Make your own butterfly chair cover

Butterfly chairs are currently in vogue again. I saw lots of them at Maison et Objects in Paris. They were covered in a variety of fabrics and skins including leather and pony skin.

I bought this old butterfly chair in a junk shop for £10. The cover was rust stained and not very nice so I decided to give it a revamp.

butterflychair .jpeg

You will need

3 metres of white cotton drill

Dylon goldfish orange machine dye

Dylon Tulip Red machine dye

Dress making scissors

Sewing machine



15mm bias binding




  1. Cut the fabric in half and using the instructions on the pot, dye half the fabric red and half orange.
  2. Draw round the old cover to make a pattern and don’t forget to add the seam allowance
  3. Cut out the pieces and sew the pieces first in one colour and then in the next together as in the original pattern.
  4. The only difficult part is pinning and stretching the seat top to the seat bottom as you are joining a concave piece of fabric to a convex piece. With right sides facing, pin the top of the seat to the bottom at the center seam. Sew from the center of the seat outwards stretching as you sew. This way the two pieces will fit together. Repeat this step to join the other half of the chair top to the chair bottom.
  5. The pockets for the front and back of the seam are neatened at their bases and then sewn with raw edges onto the cover. This is repeated for the reverse of the seat.
  6. Once the pockets are in place, with wrong sides facing, sew the seat top to the seat bottom round the edge and then hide all the raw edges with bias binding.



Mini Makes – Pom Pom Hat

Transform a dull, charity shop hat, into something a little more on trend with just some wool and a pom pom maker. If you don’t have a pom pom maker then cut two disks of card and make it the old fashioned way.

You will need

Woollen hat, An odd ball of wool this could tone in with the hat or be a complete contrast. Scissors to cut the wool and a pom pom maker.  A needle and thread to sew the pom pom onto the hat.


Instructions Cut the wool and thread it onto the pom pom maker. When the pom pom is finished sew it onto the center top of the hat.


Mini Makes – Envelope back notepad

This is a very easy and practical way of using up old envelopes to create a notepad. Useful  for writing shopping lists and phone messages. I would love to say this is my idea but I must be honest and admit to having seen similar elsewhere. I have one friend who creates wonderful works of art from old envelopes so that are really worth taking a second look at and also why waste them.

You will need a collection of old envelopes, split open to reveal the patterned inside, a hole punch, paper scissors, charity shop key rings with easy opening rings.



Cut the envelope backs to roughly the same size. Punch a hole in one corner and then thread on the envelopes, with the patterned side facing upwards, onto a key ring.



Mini Makes – Fingerless Mits

If you scroll down into the blog you will find a cushion made from an old sweater. As we never throw away anything round here, we decided to turn the sleeves into finger less gauntlets. Undo the part of the side seam where the thumb can poke out and make a hole. Remember to sew either side of the hole so that the rest of the seam doesn’t unravel.  cut the sleeves along the top so they are straight and then roll them over and neaten with a running or over stitch. IMG_0007


Butterfly lamp shade

I had a lamp shade in need of some TLC  at the same time i had some very nice fabric remnants left over from other projects so I decided to combine them.

finished shot

You will need

A lampshade

Half meter of silk fabric

Half meter of Butterflies fabric


Thin bendy wire

Wire cutters and small jewelers pliers

Sewing machine

Fabric Glue



1.Roughly cut out the butterflies and iron onto Bondaweb.

  1. Cut out the bondawebbed butterflies, I saved three butterflies to iron onto the backing fabric, the others I made 3D.
  2. To make the 3D butterflies, cut two lengths of wire, and using the jewelers pliers bend to roughly the shape of the butterfly wings but slightly smaller. Or bend one piece of wire that goes under both wings.3 Cut wire shapes to fit underwings
  3. Peel off the backing paper from the reverse of the butterflies, sandwich the wire between the butterfly and the backing fabric, iron to fuse the fabrics together and encase the wire. Using a zig zag stitch, being careful not to catch the wire, sew round the edge of the butterfly.
  4. Cut out the wired butterflies.
  5. Measure the circumference of the lampshade and add a 2cm seam allowance to the length.
  6. Measure the depth of the shade and add 5cm for turning in.
  7. Arrange the flat butterflies and the 3D ones on the lampshade fabric. Once you are pleased with the design, take a photo, then remove the 3D butterflies.8.Arrange butterflies on fabric
  8. Peel the backing paper from the three saved butterflies. Iron to fuse onto the lampshade fabric.

10 Using a zigzag stitch sew round each butterfly.

  1. Looking at your original image, arrange, pin and sew the 3D butterflies down their backs onto the lampshade fabric.11.Sew 3D butterflies down their centres
  2. Fold the lampshade fabric in half with the butterflies on the inside of the fold.
  3. Using a 1cm seam allowance, sew down the center back. Turn the cover the correct way out, slip it over the shade. Arrange the fabric so the turning allowance at the top and bottom is equal.
    1. Fold the turning over the top edge of the frame, glue in place, repeat with the lower edge of the shade.

    Note: the butterflies may have become crumpled during sewing so rearrange them. fabric used for lamp shade Amilie silk dupion in shade 4723

  price £56 a meter Fabric used for butterflies


    detail 1