The phone book is a reliable tool for helping “big girls and boys” sit at the table with the grown-ups, but I think this handmade booster seat is way cuter. I hope you make one, if only because I sewed right through my finger making this (through the nail and out the other side – impaled) and I’d hate for that to be in vain.
This booster seat how-to uses a foam inner and a removable cover, so you can wash it (and I made it with no zipper just to be easier). The cushion is 12″X 12″ X 4″ which is perfect for my almost-two-year-old. You can scale the size up or down from there, I’ll tell you where.
-First purchase or cut 1 piece of 12″X12″X4″ foam or 2 pieces of 12″x12″X2″ foam (that’s what I used)
Sides: 4 pieces 12.5″ by 4.5″ (or one piece 48.5″ but it’s not possible to get all of these pieces if you only have a yard of fabric) To make the booster seat taller or shorter, increase the width on this/these pieces
Ties: 4 pieces 6″X2″ (or longer or wider if you like)
You’ll also need 2 packages of piping (at least 4 yards), or you can make piping, but I’ll post a tutorial on that later. Or you can skip the piping, but what’s the fun in that? (note: saving your finger could be fun)
-On each of the two bottom pieces, fold over one of the 12.5″ edges 1/4″ and iron, then another 1/4″ and iron, then sew in place. These will be the inside edges of the envelope for removing the cushion.
Set that aside.
-Now to make the ties. Fold each tie in half the long way and iron, then sew:
Loop turn inside out by inserting a safety pin and working it in on itself like so:
Until it turns:
Iron the ties with the seam in the middle of one flat side:
Turn one edge under and iron, turn it under and iron again, then sew in place:
Set your ties aside.
-Now take your top piece and lay it right side up. Pin your piping facing inwards, with the edge aligned to the edge of the fabric:
Where the piping meets, cut it a little longer on one side. On the other side, pull open the piping to reveal the cord:
Cut the cord so your two pieces of piping will meet when you slip the other edge inside:
Then wrap the fabric around like so:
Score the corners, then sew in place with a basting stitch right along the stitches on the piping using your zipper foot.
-Choose which side will be the back of your booster seat. Pin a tie to each corner, wrong side up, with the length of the tie to the inside:
-Now take your four side pieces and pin each one along one side of the top piece, being careful not to pin them into each other:
Turn the piece over so you can see your basting stitches and sew them in place on each side along the basting line. Don’t sew the corners yet.
When you turn it over, it will look like this:
-Fold your piece into a triangle so you can see where the two sides meet up:
Sew the two side edges together:
When you’ve done all four it will look like this:
But your corner will be a little loose like so:
Turn it back around and pin the edges open and finish the corners nice and tight next to the piping:
Iron the inside seams open:
Now you’ve got the top and sides assembled. You can trim the edges with pinking shears to prevent fraying or serge:
-Now to assemble the bottom of our booster seat. Take your two pieces and lay the bigger one right side up, then lay the smaller one right side up on top of it. Arrange them into a 12.5″ square. Double check to be sure!
Pin your piping all the way around with the piping to the inside and the edges aligned. Repeat the step above to align the ends of the piping and score the corners.
Sew in place using your zipper foot and a basting stitch:
Remember to sew right on the piping stitches:
-Now lay your bottom piece right side up and decide which edge is the back of your booster seat. Take the other two ties, this time facing right side up, and pin them close to the corners:
Take the top of the booster seat, inside out and pin it to the bottom (right sides facing), starting at the corners to make sure they line up, then pinning all the way around. Make sure you have the edges with the ties on the same side:
Now turn your piece over so you can see your basting line and sew together using your zipper foot on top of, or even just inside, the basting line. Take extra care at the corners.
PAUSE IN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE INCIDENT THAT OCCURRED AT THIS POINT AND IN REMEMBRANCE OF MY PREVIOUSLY UNBLEMISHED FINGER. TAKE NOTE: BE CAREFUL USING YOUR ZIPPER FOOT AND PIPING NOT TO LET YOUR FINGER SLIP AND IMPALE YOURSELF.
Above picture taken moments after impaling. I was so pleased no blood got on my booster seat. But, OMG, it’s still threaded!! It went through the top of my nail, came out the other side, and was still threaded! I was worried my machine couldn’t sew leather…THIS BABY CAN SEW BONE!
-You’re almost done, just trim the edges with pinking shears or serge:
OK, now you’re done. Flip it inside out and stuff the foam in.