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Entries in cushions (10)


DIY Floor Couch | Bohemian Style Floor Cushion

When we first moved into the new house this was our "couch." It was just the cushions from the girls' former closet bed and a bunch of floor pillows I had made for our studio.

My brother mentioned he had a full size mattress we could use as a floor couch and I jumped at the opportunity. We already sit around a lowered table to eat, AND we have little kids, so why not keep everything low to the ground?

OMG they are so cute!The foam was in good shape, but the cover was not. I ditched the cover (and saved the zipper) and got out a bunch of fabric scraps to make a new cover.

Before long, this was covered with this:

Of course as cute as this pieced cover was, you are crazy-sauce if you think I'd leave it like that.

Did I mention I have little children?

On went a waterproof covering from Ikea.

And on top of THAT, I found a colorful sheet that would hide marks and stains, and that became the top layer of my DIY floor couch.

I actually bought the full sheet set in that print. I turned the flat sheet into a fitted sheet as well so now I have two covers for when one inevitably gets dirty or needs washing. 

I had made these gorgeous floor pillows for the studio. You can view all the detail photos of these floor cushions at Sew Sew Sew Your Boat. The problem with their size though, is that we just kept doing this when we used them:

Kind of a waste if you ask me. And since I was asking "me," I decided to do something about it

I straight up cut those suckers in half.

After I cut them, I created new seams and now I had a bunch of bolster-sized pillow forms. 

Before I show you what I did with the pillow cases, let me show you the giant body pillows I made as back rests.

Target sells a body pillow for $10. Not a bad price for a pre-made pillow with stuffing. I ordered four.

I knew that one wouldn't be firm enough so I cut them all open and took the filler from one and wrapped it around the filler from another. Then I repeated the process so I had two much firmer rolls of batting.

Those rolls got shoved (with Eric's help) back into the original pillowcases. The result was two very firm back rest pillows. One for our floor couch downstairs and one for the guest room floor couch upstairs (which I have yet to show!).

Eric approved.

I was ALMOST done. I took some spare fabric from the custom sheets I made for our upstairs bed and made the covers for the big back rest pillows, using coordinating fabric from the new sheeet set on each end to get some matchy-matchy going on.

Then I turned my eyes to all the smaller pillows I had created.

I cut the pillow cases in half, just like I had cut the pillow forms. Then I re-sewed them and slipped them back on.

:::::::::::::::Drum roll please:::::::::::::::::::::


I give you our cozy family, boho-style floor couch.

My loves.

Total project cost was $75. $40 for for the four body pillows I ordered, $20 for the sheet set I got on sale, and $15 for the water-proof cover under the sheet.

BOOM! I may never go back to a real couch again. 

Bonus? It can double as a bed for overnight guests!


Tiny House Bed | DIY loft frame, mattress, and bedding

Remember the loft bed Eric and Dan built for our tiny studio last year? 

It was an epic bed set up for our tiny home. You can read about it here. This post is about the foam, mattress, and bedding, you know, the stuff I do :)

We ordered a piece of 4" high-density foam and had it cut to the size of a queen bed. I know people spend thousands of dollars on mattresses, but I have never slept better than when sleeping on this type of foam. We had the same high-density foam in our v-berth on Rebel Heart. It is the best.sleep.ever.

I made a cover for the foam out of some awesome home-dec weight fabric.

The only thing I would have changed about making this cover is to have added handles. I forgot and a mattress without handles is a pain to move.

Next up was making a mattress protector. I had a king-sized white fleece blanket that I thought I'd turn into one for us.

While it looks lovely, and it is, this was a project fail. I first cut it to size (of the queen bed top) and then added satin blanket binding.

The reason it failed? When I added the fabric to tuck around the sides and the bottom of the cover (to turn it into a fitted cover), I miscalculated. I made the measurements from the edge of the blanket but realized I didn't want to sew into the beautiful blanket binding. Instead, I sewed the edge/bottom fabric into the seam of where the binding meets the blanket, moving my math by 2".

See? I sewed the fabric to the red line to preserve the satin binding, but my inital measurements were for the blue line.

Of course this meant that I made the cover too small/tight.


Sometimes, however, perfect is the enemy of done. I pulled an "ain't-nobody-got-time-for-that" and just cut the fabric in a few places and stretched it around the corners, quickly putting our fitted top sheet on to hold it into place.

And that is how the project stayed for quite a while. Technically, it worked. But underneath the fitted top sheet, the messed up project sang to me, calling out to be refinished correctly.

I finally got around to it.

The small blanket came off and I set it aside so I could carefully use a seam ripper to detach the side fabric and keep the beautiful binding intact. Now we'd at least have another pretty blanket in the house.

This time I used a much bigger orange fleece blanket for the cover. (Fleece makes an excellent mattress protector.)

All I did was pin the corners to size and then sew those lines. No chopping, no cutting. When I want to turn this back into a blanket, I can rip those seams and it will be back in business.

Ta da!!

Meanwhile, Lyra is doing her thing in the bathroom. Love that kid.

A perfect, tiny, minimalist bed.

I also made a custom pillow case for my memory foam pillow.

From too-large pillow case to...

A pattern drawn to....

A custom, zippered, matching pillow case to our bedding.

Here is the loft bed in our old studio.

And our bed in the San Diego house. 

I love that it is simple. I love that is comfortable. And I love to put a custom, personal touch on where ever we are living, on land or at sea. 


DIY Outdoor Couch | Thank you, Buy Nothing Project!

If you aren't a part of your local Buy Nothing Group, then take a moment and find (or found!) your local one now. One day on my Buy Nothing Group a member posted this picture and asked if anyone could re-purpose this old, rusty set of patio furniture.

I about died when I saw it.

It was exactly what I had been waiting for. I knew that if I just bided my time, the right outdoor seating would come to us, and there it was, plain as day. I jumped at the chance, and to my extreme pleasure she picked me!

I brought those three pieces home and immediately got to work sanding and cleaning them. Then I primed and spray painted them black.


Lyra's birthday party was just around the corner and I didn't have the funds to buy foam + fabric, nor the time to make the cushions for the couch anyway. My brother, Rich, cut a piece of wood for me to fit the seat of the couch and I covered it in some canvas fabric a friend had given me. 

I used hose clamps to join the three pieces together. Each piece is nice and heavy, but I wanted the added security of uniting them together.

Now I had somewhere for the guests at Lyra's party to sit (albeit hard seats, but still!) The couch stayed like that for quite awhile.

While I waited for more funds and time, I dreamed about the fabric I would use on the cushions. This is the fabric combo I had an eye on:

It was not to be, however, because my friend, Cherry on s/v Rainbow Gypsy, gifted me almost 10 yards of outdoor fabric. It was a hugely generous gift and I knew the fabric would work perfectly for the outdoor seating. She also gave me all the batting I'd need to. So grateful to you, Cherry! (This is what happens when sailors finish projects and then get ready to leave the country for new ports of call. They give away anything they can't use or store and move on. It's good to be friends with sailors :)

The creating commenced.

I ordered 3" thick, high-density foam (Q41) from Keyston's, cut to the exact size I needed. The foam was in place for a couple of days before I could order parts like zippers, piping, and pillows at Sailrite.

Even with just bare foam, we could all tell right away that the couch was exactly what we had been missing from our little outdoor play yard.

Soon I started to work some magic. I needed to seam two pieces of fabric together for the top and bottom pieces. My first attempt was not as good as my second one, so this became the bottom piece:

And this became the top piece (can you find the joining seam in either photo?):


For the front boxing, I carefully considered where I should cut from the fabric. Just a couple inches of difference would have had the emphasis on 'flames, flames, flames,' and thank you, but I've had enough home catastrophies for one life time.

Nah, instead I focused on 'laugh, laugh, laugh.' Too bad it didn't have 'LOL, LOL, LOL' in there somewhere.

I also made sure that each pillow was cut exactly the same for the type of continuity and exactness that my OCD mind craves:

Gotta tell you,

I think I nailed it.

And for the requisite Pinterest comparison image, I give you.....:drum roll please:......

Lyra loves to just chill on the couch.

I used the same green polka dot fabric on the bottom wood piece for the flat fabric circles on the ends of each bolster pillow. I love how it brings it all together.

We use this lovely couch all day, every day. We have family dinners outside now.

And we eat outside when friends join us too.

Lyra, Melvin, Alexis, Estella, Cory, Cora, Eric, and me.

Cora says "this is the perfect couch for just laying down with my sister and looking at the sky on a lovely spring day."

^^Her exact words. 

They do sit and play for hours on that couch <3

There is family reading time.

And then there is the blissful, after-kids'-bedtime too. When Eric and I sit outside and chat, or read, or blog. 

A few more details photos, because I must immortalize this lovely, almost free, couch.


Check out that piping, baby.

And the join on the piping...flawless.

The zippers and stitching on the bolsters are straight, zippy, and awesome.


I'm not a fan of how many square pillow go all pointy at the corners, creating bizarre, star-like ends. A way to avoid that is to sew in towards each corner and NOT sew an actual square shape. I followed this technique (see photos on the right of my pattern and how the corners looked after I had sewn them and then trimmed hte fabric down around the corners.

By doing so I was able to avoid pillows like the example on the left of this collage:

^^ That is NOT a square pillow!

Instead, I got much closer to comfy, cozy, square pillows. 

The front and the back:

Definitely a difference, right?

The overall cohesion of all the pillows and the main cushion worked out harmoniously, especially for such a busy fabric. 

And as my friend, Kaye, pointed out, the fabric pretty much complements any outfit too. Couch as life accessory FTW!

A special thank you, again, from the wonderful woman in my Buy Nothing Group that gifted me the furniture and to Cherry for the fabric and batting!


In case you are curious, here is my list of supplies:

- All my work is sewn on my Sailrite Ultrafeed LSZ-1

- Cording foot set for Ultrafeeds, for larger welting (this foot goes over Sailrite's vinyl piping like a dream)

- Sailrite Edge Hotknife

- Trust me, get Sailrite's knee pads

- Main fabric, (appears to be out of print): Richloom Solarium Outdoor fabric, Grillin' in Summer, teal

- The polka dot fabric is from a friend's stash; I'm not sure its designer or name.

- Polyster batting, white

- 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive (to attach batting to foam)

- Naugahyde Universal vinly embossed welt piping/cording in Pure White

- YKK Zipper #5, continuous coil in white

- YKK Slider #5, white, metal, single, non-locking pull

- Supreme Poly-fil, bolster pillows, 9"x20"

- Supreme Poly-fil, square pillow forms, 20"x20"

- 3" thich, high-density from, Q41, ordered at my local Keyston's

- I used size 18 needles and V-69 thread in white


I hope you enjoyed this peek at our new couch. What kind of craftiness are you up to?  

PS - I am not affiliated with Sailrite in any way. I just love their products, their service, and their love of helping makers and DIYers of all stripes.


Closet Bed | Living Small on Land

It took me and Eric about two seconds to figure out that we'd be sharing the master bedroom in our two bedroom apartment with the girls and using the second bedroom as a guest room/office combo.

We could see right away that our bed would go to the left of the girls in the photo above, under the eaves of the attic, and the girls would sleep here, to the right of the window:

Oh yes. So.much.space.

At least, compared to their last closet bed, right?

You betcha!

To get started, we needed to be able to use a baby gate to keep Lyra wrangled at night or at moments when we needed to neutralize her for her own safety (ie. I need to take a shower without worrying about what my 22 month old is doing.)

My little painting partner 

Eric installed four 2x4s, two on either side of the wall. Lyra and I painted them white, and then we installed the Ikea baby gate we had in the previous apartment. The gate was doubly nice because it gives the room it's own sense of space for the girls. We also installed curtains to draw across the gate in case the girls wanted to read quietly in their room, or we wanted to draw the curtains closed at night once they were asleep for our own privacy.

Then there were these issues to deal with. Yeah, Lyra, that's a NO.

Lyra helped me take off the old face plate and install the new, impenetrable ones.

Thumbs up all around!

I purchased 4" thick, high-density foam from Keystons and cut it down to give it a bit of space at the front for entering and exiting. 

Next up? Time to make a mattress cover. 

I found this mattress ticking fabric at Joann's. I love the old school look it gives the finished product.

I also learned the hard way with the last mattress cover I made for mine and Eric's bed: 4" thick, high-density foam is heavy. If you are going to make a mattress cover, do yourself a favor and sew handles to make the mattress easy to move.

I've got eight pairs of these running all around the mattress. It is now a breeze to move when I need to pick it up for any reason.

Not too shabby, eh?

I also saved myself unnecessary future foam-wrestling by installing the zipper around three full sides of the mattress and going around 2" of the top and bottom of the fourth side. If I need to take the cover off to wash it, it will be a breeze to get the cover back on the foam.

Queen Elsa and her sister, Anna, heartily approved of the new mattress cover.

Of course this was only the first step of many.

Remember the shelves on the wall from the first three photos in this post? They were there when we got the place and they had to go. Because of earthquakes, I didn't want to store anything on them that could fall down on the girls, plus they cut right across where the privacy curtain hung.

Nope. Sayonara weird little shelves. 

I removed the shelves and used them in another project downstairs. I asked my landlord for the exact type and color of paint he used in the bedroom and did a little spackling and painting.

Even with the photo blurry (pic by Lyra), you can see that no trace of the old shelves remain. Picture perfect!

The LED light is from Ikea. I installed it so it follows the same angle of the down-slope of the room a foot above it. The switch is installed so Cora can reach it, but not yet Lyra. Soon though, soon.

Puppy-pile!! The girls love sleeping together.

With the mattress cover done, I needed to make a custom waterproof mattress cover like I did for their last few beds. (You can read about the last ones I made for them here.)

Lyra is just so sweet, isn't she? She was thrilled by the new sewn-to-size waterproof mattress cover.

Once that was done, it was time for the last step, custom sheets!

The girls' bed is so comfy that Eric and I are both often lulled to sleep ourselves when we get them ready for bed at night.

Until a few days ago, I had just been tucking fabric in around the mattress, but no more. I purchased this queen-sized duvet cover from Ikea and finally got around to turning it into two fitted sheets.

REMEMBER: If you are going to take the time to make custom fit sheets for a bed, do yourself a gigantic favor and make two sets when you do. Especially if you have kids. You can thank me later.

Most tutorials will tell you to cut the four squares out and sew the seams together. 

You could do this, yes.

Or, you could hem the full-size of the sheet you have measured out.

And keep the fabric whole. Sew along the blue line, folding the triangle inwards on either side for a nice clean look (and no exposed seams).

Pay attention and make sure you fold the triangles in to mirror each other on each end. To take it to the next level of fancy, top stitch the triangle too.

See what I mean? Fancy-schmancy.

My butt, or, Cora's view of the world while I'm sewing.

She also snapped this adorable photo of Lyra just up from her nap. LOVE.

With Lyra awake from her nap, I was able to bring the finished product back upstairs (using those awesome handles I had sewn on the mattress at the first stage).


Kid-tested, parent-approved.

And because the girls insisted I include this photo too, which has nothing to do with anything, other than that my kids are the cutest.

More to come on the artwork I'm going to do for one of the walls in their bed, but for now, officially crossing the "bedding" part of their room off of my list, and that feels awesome.


Studio Living | Custom Sheets for a Closet Bed

View Part One here | View Part Two here | This is Part Three


At last, the third and final post in the my-girls-sleep-in-a-closet-series!

I give you the custom top sheets I made for the cushions in their "bedroom:"

Hello lovelies!

After cutting the foam to the right shape, and sewing custom mattress covers and waterproof sheets, I finished the custom top sheets.

I bought a queen-size sheet set at Target on clearance. I use the fitted sheet for our bed up in the loft. I used the flat sheet and the pillow cases to make the custom sheets for the girls.

I even undid the seams on the pillow cases to use every last usable bit of fabric to create these.

I made the top portion of the sheets fit like a sheath on the cushions, and the bottom part had elastic like traditional fitted sheets. This assured that the sheets stayed on nice and tight (and looked good too).

I used every scrap of fabric from the sheet and pillowcase to make TWO SETS of sheets.

If you are just skimming through this post looking at pictures, let me repeat:


If you are going to go through the trouble of making custom sheets, remember that kids get sheets dirty. Things happen. Have a spare set on hand while the other set is in the laundry.

I also used spare fabric on hand to make the bottom pieces (of the sheath bit) and the sides as well.

I grabbed some spare blue flannel to finish the sides and for one bottom piece.

Only problem? When I put the cushion in the bed, you could see the blue peaking out, and the perfectionist in me couldn't handle it.

See? See the blue peaking out?

Just no.

So I went to a thrift store (because I was out of spare white fabric) and found two white curtain panels originally from Ikea, and bought them both for...wait for it....three dollars.


Whew. So much better.

:random adorable photos of Lyra I took while sewing this project:

And the finished product:

Happy girls showing off their new bed.

This post would not be complete without an adorable video of Cora (and Lyra) as she shows off her bed, her special shelf, and Lyra the "Destroyer."