Make a Seat to Take a Seat


October 16, 2012 by Decorum DIYer

During the last installment of Clairisse’s Toddler Room: Paint-a-palooza, I showed you a slew of painted furniture.  One piece of which is this glider I received via Craigslist for free:

The white glider I received for free from Craigslist. It was in great mechanical condition, just missing the cushions.

I thought I could refashion the glider myself.  I am sure that way I went about it isn’t the correct way, but it worked out for me. I started by removing the upholstery webbing and giving it a good cleaning.

Glider’s seat with upholstery webbing still in place.

The first change was to paint the glider the same color as Claire’s toddler bed and dresser in the closet.

The glider painted in Martha Stewart’s ‘Dusk’.

Next, I thought about how to fashion a seat.  Since I removed the upholstery webbing from the seat, I needed to take a different approach.  I first started by making a paper template of the seat that was just slightly smaller than the entire seat of the glider (inside the rails).

Then I cut the template to size and traced the template on a scrap piece of plywood.  I asked my trusty husband, Chris, to cut out the shape for me.  I’m not going to lie, no matter how much precaution I take, I am terrified of power tools.  I never used to be this way, but  I just see bloody stumps instead of fingers whenever there is a power tool around.  Okay, enough about my neuroses.  This is what I had after the paper template’s shape was cut out of the plywood.

A perfect fit!  My husband was even kind enough to round the edges along the front to ease the hard edge.

The next step, I cheated a bit.  Instead of purchasing high-cost upholstery foam, I purchased a full-sized, egg-crate, memory foam mattress topper from Target (this could have been from anywhere, really).  At $22, it was way cheaper than upholstery foam and I have plenty left for other projects.  I traced and cut an exact copy of the plywood seat out of the foam using the plywood seat as my template.

First layer of the memory foam cut to the same size as the plywood seat.

Next, I cut out a second layer but gave myself plenty of extra of a margin (except the flat part of the seat and the back corners which abut against the back of the glider).  I needed this margin to wrap the edges of the plywood to make the seat soft along the edges in the front.

Here you can see that the edges of the second layer were cut flush to the plywood seat at the back edge and back corners. The rest of the foam topper was gut to allow for a margin that would overlap the hard edges of the plywood seat.

I didn’t bother using any glue or spray-on adhesive.  I simply placed the first layer, flat side down, egg-crate texture up, on the plywood.  Then, I placed the second layer of memory foam on top egg-crate side down and flat side up.  I also made sure that the second layer lined-up flush with the back and back corners.  This ensured that the top of the cushion (the part you sit on) was flat, not bumpy.  It also helped to hold the two layers together and reduce, or even eliminate, shifting.

Working from the underside, I rolled the second layer of memory foam over the hard edge of the plywood and using a staple gun stapled the foam to the underside of the seat. I worked in a center-out fashion.

Looking at the foam-covered plywood seat from the top side.

A test fit.

It is actually starting to take shape as a seat! I really surprised myself (and my husband) with this process thus far.

Now for some fabric…

With my fabric, Central Park Toile in sage, face-down and the image moving away from me. (This means that with a directional pattern, in my case toile, the bottom of the image was closet to me and the top of the image was farthest away from me.) I cut out a piece of fabric the same shape as the seat, but with an additional 3-4 inches margin to allow for wrapping.  I made sure that the toile image was centered and straight both vertically and horizontally.

You can see the extra margin in this photo. Sort of looks like a piece of toast, huh?  Just as I did with the second foam layer, I started pulling the toile fabric around and stapling it to the underside of the seat in a center-out fashion.

Tada! A new seat for the glider. I didn’t even bother to screw the plywood seat into the glider frame, as the fit was perfectly snug. As for a back cushion, I am currently using a thick crib comforter that matches Claire’s toddler bedding. I don’t know how to sew, so a real back cushion will need to wait.


My temporary ‘no sew’ solution.


The was a cheap and easy fix.  While it isn’t a true upholstery project, it did make the glider attractive and useful.  It matches Claire’s room perfectly and it is her favorite spot for bedtime stories and rocking back to sleep.  Considering I already owned the paint, the plywood, the staple gun, and fabric, this makeover was only the cost of the memory foam mattress pad – a whopping $22.00!  Less, if you consider how much of the memory foam mattress topper I still have for other projects.

Stay tuned for more diy furniture and storage ideas, as I continue the sage of Claire’s toddler room.  Until next time…, happy painting and Craigslisting!


4 thoughts on “Make a Seat to Take a Seat

  1. […] insistent that Claire still have a glider, as I showed you in a previous post, which you can see here. I also obsessed with furniture arrangements via  to create several room […]

  2. […] Glider FREE   –  Craigslist (wood scrap for seat, fabric scrap from Roman’s nursery) […]

  3. Suzz says:


  4. […] I even recovered the seat.  The foam was old, disintegrating, and smelly, so it also needed replacing.  I used the same diy upholstery method I used on Claire’s glider. […]

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