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Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp StoolsSwiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools

It should come as no surprise that I grabbed these two folding tables from Goodwill for some future project I was imagining while in a creative frenzy. That was two years ago. This week was The Week!
Let me show you how I transformed the outdated, drab toteable tables into cushy, upholstered, Swiss Army themed folding camp stools? They turned out quite dandy, if I do say so myself.

Sources
Burlap: BuythePiece.com $5.49 per yard. I used 1 1/2 yards of red and 1/4 yard of ivory
Tables: Goodwill Stores

Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 2
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 2

I had been itchin’ to do something other than a pillow using the red and white Swiss cross design, but wasn’t sure how to sew it so that the white cross peeked through from behind the red fabric. It had to show through from under the red while the edges of the cut out red fabric were tidy, finished and top stitched for a smooth, professional look. I was mentally engineering this project for a couple of weeks. Why I like these kinds of challenges, I’ll never know. Oh, and I almost forgot the biggest challenge of all—-sewing with burlap. Read on to see how I mastered the technique. Every now and then it’s quite exhilarating to feel like you’ve solved a riddle.

Here are the tables right after I brought them home.


Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 3
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 3

Here are the tables right after I brought them home.




Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 4
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 4

I cut out foam tops, used adhesive to secure the pad on the table top, and then attached dacron batting all around. I also added a band of dacron to cover that exposed wood, but no picture was taken of that.




Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 5
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 5

I need to side track for a moment here, and chat about burlap. For a nice change of pace, I found 60? wide burlap in an array of colors. You may be surprised to know that burlap is a dream to use for upholstery fabric. My new stash includes red, soft slate blue, forest green, classic black and a versatile ivory. For me, plain colors allow me to be more creative in my designs. Right now, I’m all about color block designs.

Burlap drawbacks: It’s scratchy and it’s difficult to keep straight due to the loose weave. As any Halloween costume maker can attest to, it’s tough to keep a true, straight line when stitching two pieces of burlap together. You think you have a straight cut, then, it suddenly becomes wavy. My only hope was that if I cut straight, pinned like crazy and sewed carefully, it just might work. I bossed it around and it worked! I’m kind of (really) proud of how these turned out. (Great source for burlap is listed at the top, as well as washing instructions below, to soften it up.)

1. I cut a piece of red burlap large enough to cover the stool top.

2. With a piece of computer paper, I cut a 9? x 3? strip and two 3? x 3? squares to make the Swiss cross pattern.



Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 5b
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 5b


3. Next, I cut out another square of red burlap to be used as the interfacing for the cross. I had a moment when I remembered cutting arm hole interfacing on the bias, so I decided to turn that square on the bias.





Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 5c
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 5c


4. I traced the cross pattern in chalk, pinned the interfacing piece to the big piece and stitched the two pieces together.





Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 6
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 6


5. Next, I cut out the center of the cross, leaving a 1/2? seam allowance. Then, I made some inside and outside clips, snips and cuts to allow the interfacing to easily fold under and get pressed in place.





Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 6a
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 6a


6. After giving it a good steam, I top stitched a line of stitching approximately 1/4? from the folded edges of the cross.




Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 6b
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 6b


Then, it was time to sew the striped piece.





Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 7
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 7


7. I cut out two 2 1/2? strips of ivory burlap to stitch to the red burlap, creating two stripes.





Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 7a
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 7a



8. After carefully sewing the stripes in place, I steamed the fabric and top stitched 1/4? from each edge of the red burlap.





Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 7b
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 7b


Upholstery Time.





Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 8
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 8


9. Measure and make sure the stripes are equi-distance from one side of the stool. Secure in place with staples.
9b. Next, attach the top pieces using the basic upholstery technique. Align fabric on top of stools. Secure the fabric in place by placing 4-5 staples in the center of each side.
Start with one side, smoothing and stapling up to about 4? from each corner. Move to the opposite side and do the same.
Then, you work on the left and right sides. It’s important to check to make sure the fabric design stays in place and is still aligned. In a nutshell, you pull the fabric evenly and snugly out from the centers of each side towards the corners.

TIP: Use your open hand to smooth and pull fabric, rather than using your fingers.


Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 9
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 9


10. Finish up by making nice, crisp, folded corners.


Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 10
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 10


11. The only thing left now is to cover up those staples on the bottom of the side rails. I simply cut cardboard tack strip and stapled it in place for a more finished edge.


Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 11
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 11





Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 12
Swiss Army Inspired Folding Camp Stools, 12





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