August 4, 2011

DOUBLE-HEADER FRIDAY: Bottoms Up!

Posted by Ethne~

Lori and I are wild about our Pinterest site, and let me tell you, we pin good stuff there all the time.  One of the things I recently pinned to our site was from one of the blogs we frequently visit: smashed peas and carrots.  Super creative stuff there Friends!

My interest was piqued on this homemade booster seat craft.  The girls have been eating in their high chairs all this time.  We have the Fisher Price Space Saver seats, which are great because they don’t take up a lot of space (hence ‘space saver’) because they strap right on to our own dining room chairs.

Still enough space to make a mess!

Now that the girls are at the older end of toddlerhood, we simply took the trays off and scooted them up to the table.  The problem, those tray bars on the sides of the chair prevented us from scooting the girls all the way up to the table edge.  This created maximum spillage opportunities.  We’ve made do for the past couple of years, but it’s time to upgrade.

Sorry, the photo is the wrong direction

Shaun’s parents have great booster seats that they got at Target for about $15, which is a great price.  As usual, that price gets doubled because we have twins.  Every time we turn around it’s double-trouble something.  So I’ve been on the verge of buying the Target version for a while now, but Thrifty Nana (my mom) saved the day.

She had just the plastic flannel-backed tablecloths I would need for this craft – she got it on clearance for $1.48 at Target.  Best part – one tablecloth will make both booster seats!!  That’s 75¢ per booster my Friends – a brilliant THRIFTY solution.

Tablecloth cut into squares

Here’s what you need:

Plastic flannel-backed tablecloth (easy wipe-off)
Stuffing material such as polyfill or fiberfill craft stuffing (one craft-size bag should work for two boosters)
Thread
Sewing machine (technically you could do this by hand, but that’d take a lot longer so no thanks)

I followed the smashed peas blog instructions – I cut one 21.5” square and one 12.5” square (times two because I’m making two remember). 

I also wanted ties for my boosters to keep them firmly affixed to my chairs, so I cut some long 1.5” strips out of the extra tablecloth remnants and sewed the strips in half to form ¾” ties.  I did not worry about tucking in the ends because the plastic is not going to fray.

Long plastic snake

Fold the 21.5” square in half from corner to corner so you have a triangle.  With the fold laying across the top of your flat surface and the points toward you, measure 4.5” in from the end of the fold line (both ends) and mark a line to sew.  

Do this for the other side, then fold in half the other way (as best you can) and do the same thing.  This will give you a goofy squarish bowl with floppy ends.  Trim the ends of the triangle about 0.5” from the edge of your sewn line on the OUTSIDE of the bowl:

Ties going in next
Another view of the square 'bowl'

This is the point I found it simplest to add in my ties.  I pinned together two ties of approximately 18-24” length.  I eyeballed the ¾” length of the tie ends and seam ripped that length out of the stitching of two sides of my bowl seams (right in the middle of the sewn line).  Keep in mind that you are tying the booster seat to the rungs of your chair, so these ties will go on one side of the pillow only.  I inserted the tie ends to the seam-ripped length so that the long ends were sitting in the inside of the bowl, touching the good side of the bowl fabric; pinned the strips and seam together and sew these layers shut.  The ties are now affixed.

Grab your 12.5” square and start matching the sides together, with the good (plastic) sides facing each other.  Pin then sew 3 of the 4 sides of the bowl to mostly close up your ‘pillowcase’.

Pin the small square all the way around
Top view: the corners of the small square match
up with the corners of the 'bowl' beneath

Turn the booster pillow case right side out and push out the corners till they’re nice and square.  Grab the open end and start stuffing till you get to the desired fullness.  I used shredded foam pieces that I pulled out of an old pillowcase Shaun and I had.  We didn’t care for how the foam felt under our head and necks, so they never got used much – it made for a great stuffing for my boosters and was FREE!  You could probably use the stuffing from an old pillow too, even if it’s not foam.

From pillow to pillow

Once the booster pillow was stuffed to the desired fullness – I wanted it to be firm but loose enough that I could pin it shut to sew up – fold the inside ends of the open side and hand-stitch shut.  I didn’t worry about a hidden stitch.  These are meant to be used (and probably abused) – perfection not necessary Friends.

Tied up to the girls’ regular dining room chairs, the boosters prop the girls up to a great height – they are at the right level for eating, yet we can scoot them entirely into the table so there’s less of a spillage gap.  If your little munchkin is still a little short for the pillow to get him/her to the right height (the pillows squish down a bit when being sat upon), you could always put a phone book underneath the booster pillow for a little extra height.

A perfect match to my red Fiesta dishes!
All chairs neatly tucked in

Since I had every item I needed here but the tablecloth, which TN got on clearance for $1.48, this craft only cost me 75¢ per child.  That is THRIFTY and AWESOME!  Go WOM!  Happy dining, Friends!  (Well, at least dinner might be a little cleaner?  A nifty 75¢ booster seat will not magically cure a 3-year-old's propensity to throw a dinner-time tantrum as we discovered tonight...)
Post crying fit - KD eating some cherries!
Easy Mac reports maximum comfort too!

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