Sunday, July 29, 2018

Tutorial - Slip Covered Slipper Chair Part 1

This is another item from the two-sided dome project.  I needed a small chair since there was not much room inside the dome.  So the slipper chair was made from scratch.  It’s kind of complicated so I’m spreading it over two blogs.  I used a sewing machine for faster gathering but you can hand-sew if desired. In this part I will cover the seat base with skirt.  In Part 2 I will cover the seat back and cushion.  Read on for tutorial:

  • Acoustical Ceiling tile - 24” x 24” x 5/8” thick (building supply store).  Cut in half.  Use half to make a pinning board and cut up the remaining to make the seat base (it will be more than you need) Pin Board Instructions HERE
  • Razor saw or mini table saw to cut ceiling tile
  • Sewing machine, matching thread
  • Steam Iron
  • Glass head pins
  • Bug’ pins (optional)
  • Strong tweezers or thin needle nose pliers (clean, not rusty!)
  • Wood glue (for gluing ceiling tile) & Tacky type for other steps
  • Fabrics (plain white, 3 coordinating fabrics for seat, back and gusset)
  • Scissors … mechanical pencil … cutting mat… the normal toolbox stuff

  1. You can see a prototype in the photo (teal and red).  This was one I made many years ago that I was using for a pattern and for size.

  2. For seat base cut 3 blocks from ceiling tile about 1-1/4 inches square (I used my Dremel table saw but you can use a razor saw).  Stack them and glue together with wood glue.  When dry, sand the four sides so there are no big lumps.
  3. Cut a piece of solid white fabric to cover the entire base.  Glue around all four sides and bottom.  This is just to prevent the ceiling tile material from showing through the patterned fabric.
  4. For the ruffled skirt, cut a piece of fabric about 2-1/2 inches wide by about 8 inches (double the measurement of the four sides).  Iron a ¼ inch hem on one long edge.
  5. Make a mark with a pencil about 1-5/8 inches above the folded hem.This will be your gathering line.  Sew a gathering stitch on this line along the entire length using a long stitch length.
  6. Pull the gathering threads to gather the fabric to a length that will cover 3 of the 4 sides of the block (about 4 inches).  You can leave the two short edges raw (don’t fold any hem on those).  Tie the gathering threads so the gathers won’t come out and adjust the gathers evenly.
  7. Using the ceiling tile pinning board and regular glass head pins, place a pin into one side of the gathers just at the point where the threads are knotted.  Pin the other side in the same place along the same line of the graph paper keeping it straight.  Place more pins JUST BELOW THE GATHERING THREAD all along the top. All pins should be angled upward.  I used the regular glass pins here since the top gather where the pins are will eventually be cut off (so pin holes will not be visible).
  8. Now start pinning the bottom edge using ‘Bug pins’ if you have them (if not, just use the thinnest pins you can find).  The bug pins leave almost no holes in the fabric when they are removed.
  9. Pin across the bottom pulling tightly as you pin. It helps to use strong tweezers or needle nose pliers.  Angle the pins downward as in the photo.  Steam the gathers with a steam iron.  It’s OK to get the fabric wet.  Let dry overnight then pull out the pins and carefully peel the ruffles off the wax paper.
  10. To attach the skirt, cover one side of the block with glue. Line the hem up with the work surface (“floor”) and glue to the block starting at the center front.
      Glue to the other 2 sides keeping the hem straight along the ‘floor’.
    Wrap the un-pleated outer edges around to the back side.  Flatten any ruffles so the last side is smooth.  It’s OK if it doesn’t meet in the center, this 4th side will be covered with the back piece.   Let dry a while (about an hour?).
  11. Trim off the gathering edge about ¼ inch above the block and glue the fabric over the edge of the block onto the top.
See my next blog for Part 2 - making the seat back of the slipper chair.  Enjoy!


  1. a Very Pretty chair!
    I also give you 2 THUMBS UP for the way you have constructed the base along with the fabrics you've chosen to dress your girly slipper chair with!

  2. Pretty chair Kendra! And interesting tip about the bug pins! I knew they were tiny but didn’t think that they wouldn’t leave holes int he fabric! Genious!

  3. I just found your blog via a post on Paper Minis. How lucky for me! I'm always looking for tutorials, and I've added you to my daily list of blogs to read. Thank you for being so generous in sharing your skills.