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    « Just like Grandma? | Main | One word: Rescued »

    How to make a pillow chaise for children

    Every once in a great while, I surprise myself and do something that exceeds my expectations. Most recently, it was the making of the pillow chaise lounging thingees I gave my grandsons for Christmas. They turned out far better than I expected, and were received with far more appreciation than I thought might be the case, especially considering they weren't toys—which, as I learned here, are far preferable to practical presents.

    What? You missed my post about giving Bubby and Mac their pillow chaises? Well take a look at their joy and ability to play slug in front of the television, thanks to a soft and comfy gift from Gramma.

    At the time I posted that, many readers wondered about how to make them. So here I offer a gift to you: Directions on how to make the super simple pillow chaises.

    I first saw this on Pinterest, but in all honesty I never looked at the directions and now I can't find the original pin. So what follows is my made-up method of providing rest and relaxation for little ones (or big ones, if you're so motivated).

    The chaises are nothing more than four or more pillows sewn together. You can sew the ends closed, but I chose to use Velcro at the openings to allow pillows to be removed and covering laundered.

    What you need (for one chaise):

    • Four or more pillow cases — As my grandsons are only a few feet tall, four were enough; use an additional pillow case for each foot of your intended recipient's height over three feet.

    • Four or more pillows — Same rule as above regarding the number to use.

    • Velcro — Plan on 16 inches per pillow, enough to provide a closure for each pillow case.

    What you do:

    1. Using two of the four or more pillow cases, sew one to another along the long sides, with right side out and the openings on the same end. Create a half-inch seam allowance and use a tight stitch for strength. The seam will be showing on the outside; do not turn the pillow cases inside out. (Depending on your sewing ability and frustration level, you can pin the cases together before sewing.)

    2. Using a third pillow case, sew it to one of the two that are already connected, ensuring openings are on the same end and seam will show on the same side as the first seam.

    3. Do the same with the fourth and all additional pillow cases, always ensuring openings are on same end and seems will show on the same side.

    4. Cut Velcro—both the hook and the fuzzy side—to fit inside the opening of each pillow case. Sew the hook side to one edge of the inside opening of each case, about half an inch from case edge. Then sew the fuzzy sides to the opposite side of each case opening, ensuring they match up with hooked Velcro beforehand. Again, you can pin first, if desired.

    5. Insert a pillow in each case, then Velcro shut.

    6. That's it! A simple pillow chaise for a child!

    A couple notes:

    • There's no need to use expensive pillows; I purchased the ones that are $2.50 each at Walmart. Using the $5 twin packs of pillow cases from Walmart, this made for a $20 price tag for each chaise of four pillows (not counting Velcro).

    • The chaises can be used in a couple different positions, depending on how you prop the end pillow(s). One reader asked what kind of frame supports the pillows and the answer is that there is no frame—nothing but pillows, laying flat or propped up in various ways.

    • As a child grows, you can easily add additional pillow cases and pillows to allow for the child's increased length.

    • If you plan to mail the chaise to a faraway grandchild, your best bet is to mail the empty (but sewn together) pillow cases along with a gift card for purchasing the pillows. Otherwise, it's a rather expensive gift since even though the chaises are light, they're bulky and cost a crazy amount to ship. Trust me, for I learned this the hard (and expensive) way.

    Of course, the chaises are soft and comfy and perfect for watching television, reading, or napping. That's not all, though. My genius grandsons quickly figured out they make great fort walls, as well.


    Today's question:

    What is your favorite position for watching television—sitting up, reclining, or a full-out sprawl on the floor?


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    Reader Comments (17)

    I'll have to enlist my sewing friends, as even this is too crafty for me!

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Tucker

    THANK YOU for these instructions, Lisa! I had no idea it was so simple.......they are truely spectacular in my opinion! I am a little rusty with sewing skills.....but I Can Do This!
    The boys turning them into fort walls is so cute.. so what kids will do!
    Thinking I'll start looking for sale pillow cases that work with my grgirls rooms......they had them rennovated for Christmas presents! Wonder if I can do by Valentine's Day.....can't wait! Will keep you posted LOL

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoan Stommen

    Coolest. Fort. Ever.

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

    That's awesome! Great job. Love the fabrics and the cute pics of the boys using them. Lots of fun :)

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterConnie

    Your pictures are a great recommendation for this project and you are a wonderful teacher of how-tos.

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

    I am going to do this for an upcoming birthday. I find that the grammy homemade items are always the favorites. I have been doing this for about 6 years. Started out writing books and having them bound at Kinkos. Up to jewelry and pillows now. Love this.
    Peggy (QMM)

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterQMM

    This is a fabulous! I'm definitely going to make this for my grandkiddos.

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNina Lewis

    This is a great project. Your grandsons look so comfy. I am quite sure that they aren't pillow potatoes for much of the time though. Loved the fort.

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterolga

    I'm so glad to hear so many of you are going to give it a shot. The boys truly love them, so I'm sure your grandkids will, too. When you make yours, you should share some photos on the Grandma's Briefs Facebook page or in the "Community" tab here (third tab at the top of the page). I'd love to see photos.

    Mrs. Tucker: Oh, but it's rather simple (as long as you have a sewing machine, of course). But, as you may have seen in the comments on the Grandma's Briefs Facebook page, you could try Stitch Witch, which would require no sewing at all. Do let me know if you try that.

    Peggy/QMM: I'd love to hear more about the books you've made for the grandkids. I made photo books through Shutterfly for everyone for Christmas, but I'm interested in other ideas.

    Olga: Ha! "Pillow potatoes" that!

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa @ Grandma's Briefs

    Lisa these are really cool! I remember the pin you are refering to, but your photos and clear instructions are far more appealing...not sure when I will get to them, but I definitely want to make these too! Thank you!

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

    Laying down makes me sleepy, and a full out sprawl on the floor requires me to figure out how to get back up. Yep - the recliner it is.

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJudy@grandparentsplus2

    OK! I am doing this! One of my goals for this year is to get the sewing machine out of the closet. This would be so fun and Amara would love it! They would be great for girls for a slumber party, too! May have to discuss this one with Jenna, too!

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma Kc

    Lisa thanks so much for the directions on these. I remember seeing them at Christmas time and I had been meaning to come back toyour site to see how they were made. Really cool idea. I can see one of these in a certain grandson's future!! Thanks again.

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRenee Spindle

    Great idea! Love this and I dont even have the kids to make if for...L.

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrown and Flown

    you did a great job. The original pin was actually from a store that sold them--no sewing instructions. We have the same recliners :)

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkelley

    these are amazing! what a great idea ... i'm running to walmart now! :)

    January 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSimplicity Interrupted

    The idea of using already made pillows and cases is genus. I'm glad you didn't find the original pin because it probably involved foam and yardage. I love the fortress use of the pillows the most. What a fun play place. I'm visiting from SITS.

    January 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSheila Skillingstead
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