Some of the split-level houses on our street share the same cool feature: a strange nook set into the walls of one of the bedrooms.
I’ve noticed it in a few friends’ houses and I’m always intrigued by it. (Our house has a disappointing lack of interesting nooks and crannies.)
One neighbour turned her nook into a deep bookshelf, but a neighbour down the street mentioned turning theirs into a play area for their five-year-old son. I jumped at the chance to help them cosy it up with a few cushions.
They sent me measurements of the space, and I lucked out by getting two 24×24-inch chair pads (around $11 each) that fit almost perfectly — no trimming required. I also bought four metres of colourful, funky, Riley Blake fabric to go with the little boy’s green walls.
Once the fabric was washed and dried — always important when you’re dealing with cotton that’s going to shrink a bit — it was time to sew the cushion covers.
Instead of using the chair pads to make one long 48-inch cushion, I decided to keep them separate so they could be stacked or rearranged.
Sewing an envelope-style cush- ion cover is easy. Just lay the cushion in the middle of the fabric — so the good side of the fabric is facing up — and fold each end over the cushion so they overlap at least six inches.
Trim off any excess at the sides, and pin/sew along the sides. (It’s easier to do this one side at a time, since you have to remove the cushion to do the sewing.)
To get nice, crisp corners, pin off the excess — the little triangle at each corner — and sew a vertical line down each one.
It was exciting to head down the street to set up the reading nook with its new cushions. I even had enough fabric left over to make a little throw pillow, too. It was just so I could take pictures, though — the actual space was going to be a Christmas surprise.
The cushions looked great, and the little boy’s parents plan to add a guardrail and rock-climbing grips to the wall — how cool is that? — so this space is about to get even more awesome.