It’s Friday! I’m choosing to have a great day today, and ignore the fact that I do not have a solution for the apartment…yet. I’m getting there, but we are a long way from “solved” at this point.
Instead, I’m sharing a simple DIY project that converted a dirty and disgusting pouf into my favorite seat in the house.
When Mom first came to visit me in the new apartment she was already saying the words, “You need a pouf!” – I was NOT so sure. I knew my husband wouldn’t understand the idea of adding another “pillow” – especially one that belongs on the floor. (Or maybe he would! He acts like all pillows belong there anyway…)
As usual, Mom was ahead of her time. I couldn’t possibly imagine that any New York City apartment would ever make room for a large smushy object that has no storage function. Boy was I wrong!
Over the next year, poufs started popping up everywhere. CB2, West Elm, Target – everybody had them. They were pretty cute…and very expensive. I couldn’t believe it!
They were selling these pouf things for crazy prices!
Source: West Elm – $249
Source: West Elm – $149
Source: CB2 – $129
Source: CB2 – $79
Source: Target – $219
Source: Target – $159
Those prices are blowing my mind! Guys…we can MAKE these things! Or at the very least we can recover old discarded ones and make them like new.
I should be clear that I didn’t decide that I needed a pouf just because the poufs popped up in popular stores for exorbitant prices. It took me purchasing that lovely grey chair and wanting a spot to prop my feet while I read or surfed the internet. Then this beauty caught my eye while browsing Target in Queens.
This was another Long Distance Decorating moment of sharing pictures with Mom, but something about him spoke to me. I think he reminded me of my navy blue rug, and the turquoise color would blend nicely with the walls (I was really talking myself into it).
It was a little big for our space, and when I finally figured out that it was 69.99 – I was happier to leave it behind.
Thankfully, Mom (to the rescue) told me she had just recently picked up a pouf with me in mind. It needed some TLC (and I SADLY don’t have ANY before pictures) but trust me when I say it was only 6$ at the Habitat ReStore for a reason. On my next trip to North Carolina we planned to recreate him.
I get kind of weird about “dirty” stuff from the thrift store sometimes. To be honest, this pouf was grossing me out a little bit. It was a cheerful yellow circular disk that had a funky stain on the bottom. Coca-cola? Coffee? Motor Oil? Couldn’t say for sure…
It was a very similar shape to #16, 18, and 21 below:
Source: Teal and Lime
I knew it needed to be covered ASAP, but I was stumped when it came to choosing the right fabric. I wanted something geometric (that my husband couldn’t call “girly”) and I also wanted it to blend with the new grey chair and blue rug. That’s a pretty tall order for bargain fabric shopping, but I hoped that the right fabric would find me.
Mom took me out to her favorite hotspots and I became quickly exhausted and defeated after going through warehouse after warehouse of this:
Before I left for NC I attempted to color match my grey chair upholstery with paint chips, but it was a really tricky grey. I feels like that lovely Revere Pewter color to me, you know the one:
But when I put the paint chip next to it…it was ALL wrong.
That was certainly, the most difficult part of the fabric hunt. Time and time again I thought I had found “the one” and when we laid the our paint chips next to the fabric it just didn’t work.
I was ready to give up. I needed a snack and I was grumpy. Nothing was speaking to me. I had an idea of exactly what I wanted…and it wasn’t here. (Poor Mom!)
On our way out, Mom wanted to look in one last room, and I was aimlessly
sulking wandering behind her when I saw something interesting. It almost looked like a solid, but it seemed like the right grey. As I climbed over some obstacles and got closer, I realized it was a detailed pattern that definitely reminded me of my rug!
This was IT! We finally found exactly what I was looking for (geometric, non-girly, interesting but not too interesting that it detracts from the rest of the room, and it matches my grey chair, AND ties in the rug!). Hallelujah!
Thankfully they had enough fabric to cover our pouf…and I think we bought the rest because it was just too perfect to leave behind.
Now for the DIY instructions:
Our pouf was cylindrical, with two circles on the top and bottom and a rectangular piece covering the sides. Sounds familiar, right?
We could have used some fancy math skills to figure out how long to make our rectangle, but since we had the pouf in front of us we let Pi go this time, and measured the circumference with a tape measure instead.
- We added a 1/2 inch seam allowance to the height AND length of the rectangle (on both sides, 1 inch total to height and length) so that the sides could be attached to the top and bottom circles.
- The same 1/2 inch was added to the circumference of the circle (on both sides, 1 inch total).
- We didn’t have a circle cutter large enough to do the tough part for us, so we used a string, pencil, and paper to draw our pattern, which we then laid over the fabric and pinned before cutting to make sure we had an accurate circle.
It looked something like this:
- With the sewing machine we sewed the ends of the rectangular piece together, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
While checking that it fit perfectly around the pouf, we found that the fabric was a little stretchy.
- To prevent issues later, (with fabric only) we pinned the top circle to the rectangular sides so that we didn’t end up with too much fabric if it stretched while we were sewing it around the top edge.
- Again, we used the 1/2 inch seam allowance, folding the fabric in toward the inside of the pouf.
Adding the last circular piece was the most difficult.
- We had to figure out just how far we could machine sew the top circle on, before we could no longer fit the pouf inside. I think we managed to make it work with a little less than half of the final piece sewn on.
I’m very proud to say that I sewed the rest of the last piece on by myself by hand.
- It was a bit tricky to fold in exactly 1/2 inch on both sides and stitch around the edge without stretching the fabric. If you end up with extra fabric that stretched as you pulled it tight, just go back a few inches and try to use less tension to spread out the remaining fabric evenly. Pins can help with this if you don’t have enough fingers to keep you on track. I didn’t!
Mine still shows a little lump where the hand stitching meets the machine stitching. It was actually hard for me to find when I wanted to take this photo, so I’d encourage you not to stress if yours has a bit of a lump. At least that way you can prove you made it!
- After you tie off your thread, you’re all done.
Poof! … (Sorry I couldn’t resist).
See how it mimics the rug without being too matchy-matchy?!
I love the way they almost melt into the cabinet and the wall. It makes the room feel bigger even though it’s more full than it was before.
Although it functions wonderfully as a footrest, this is now my favorite seat to blog, eat, dinner, do baby research…you name it.
Sunshine, iced coffee, and a laptop. What more do you need?
Welcome to my office. :)
Happy Friday Everyone!