I’ve had a few requests for the pattern for my zipless recycled cloth chair pads so after a bit of photo gathering and note making I’m happy to say that I am, at last, ready to share with you all exactly how to make a cheap and cheerful bottom hugger of your own.
First you’ll need some balls of clarn (cloth yarn). It’s very easy to make, have a look at my previous post – Ripping Yarns for more info and tips on how to upcycle your own from old bed sheets and duvet covers.
Here’s me in action, ripping and rolling my way through a double duvet cover that’s seen better days.
If you can do this part outdoors then all the better, as it does create quite a bit of dust as you tear through the fibres but it’s much quicker than cutting the strips with scissors and your strips will always follow a uniformly straight line down the grain of the cloth. I also really like the raggy edges as they add a bit of texture and shabby chicness to a project.
For these seat pads I used an 18″ round, feather filled inner (from Dunelm) so this pattern will be for that size of pad, but if you have a different size pad just crochet more or less rounds until it fits.
I like to make my clarn covers slightly smaller than the actual cushion, so that the finished seat pad is nice and puffy, and won’t flatten out too much. Think more macaroon than pancake!
For this particular pattern I made my clarn strips approx 2 cm wide, – or three quarters of an inch if you’re not into the whole metric thing.
So, clarn at the ready, you’ll also need a size N (10 mm) crochet hook, a large yarn needle, and if you’re not changing colour every round you will want to mark the ends of your rounds with a stitch marker. If you don’t have a stitch marker then a paperclip or safety pin will do the job just as well. This is my armoury of stitch markers. As you can see I have everything form a dinky jewelry clip to a chunky bag clip and all manner of things raided from the stationery drawer. I’m happy to grab whatever is to hand.
On rounds where you do change colours introduce the new colour when there are two loops of the old colour on the hook, then make a slip stitch instead of a sc for the first stitch of the new colour. The slip stitch will give you less of a ‘step’ between the colours because it is shorter in height than a sc. (See below, figures a – d). After step d is completed carry on making sc until the end of the round. Make an extra sc in the slip stitch you made at the beginning of the round. This extra sc will help to compensate for the shortness of the slip stitch and will give a much neater finish.
If you’re changing colours every row or two you can carry the unused colour up the back of the work to save keep cutting and rejoining. You can see the arced line of colour changes at the back of the piece below.
If you’re using lots of different colours or your stripes are quite thick then cut the clarn at the colour change, tie them together and crochet over the ends as you go.
With 2 cm wide cloth strips and a 10 mm hook I found the instructions below made a perfect fit for my 18″ cushion pad but you can add or subtract rows if your cushion is a different size. If you need to make the cushion bigger just keep increasing by six stitches on each round until you reach the required size.
The Pattern (Written in US terms, US sc = UK dc)
Make 2 pieces.
With your chosen colour and a 10 mm hook make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 4: [sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 5: [sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 6: [sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (36 sts)
Rnd 7: [sc in each of next 5 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (42 sts)
Rnd 8: [sc in each of next 6 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (48 sts)
Rnd 9: [sc in each of next 7 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (54 sts)
Rnd 10: [sc in each of next 8 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (60 sts)
Rnd 11: [sc in each of next 9 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (66 sts)
Rnd 12: [sc in each of next 10 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (72 sts)
Rnd 13: [sc in each of next 11 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (78 sts)
Rnd 14: [sc in each of next 12 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (84 sts)
Rnd 15: [sc in each of next 13 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (90 sts)
Rnd 16: [sc in each of next 14 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (96 sts)
Rnd 17: sc in each st around. (96 sts)
Fasten off. Weave in the yarn end.
You can make the front and the back in the same colours or vary them for a reversible seat pad with a different look for each side to suit your mood. Or, if you have a lot of clarn in a colour you don’t really like you can make the back in this and save your favorite colours for the top.
Here’s the first finished piece. You can see it’s slightly smaller than the pad. Perfect for a puffy looking cushion.
To join the pieces, hold them together with wrong sides facing.
Insert your hook through both layers of any sc from Rnd 17. Leaving a tail of around 12″ at the beginning, pull up a loop of clarn and make 1 ch.
Rnd 18: Making sure the next stitches go through both the top and the back of the cover, sc in same stitch as join, sc in each of the next 78 st only.
(You will now have an opening of 18 stitches that you haven’t crocheted together).
Sc in each of the next 18 st in the top layer only, Slst to the first st of Rnd 18 (a), turn work and make 1 ch (b) sc in each of the next 18st in the bottom layer only (c), Slst to the next st (d).
Fasten off, leaving a 12″ tail at the end. You will now have a 12″ tail either side of the opening.
Insert your cushion pad into the cover. Cut a 36″ strip of clarn the same colour as you used for the final round. Make sure this strip has no turning tags on it. You’ll need a good strong strip that won’t rip apart as you sew.
Thread the strip onto a large yarn needle and leaving a 12″ tail at the beginning, sew a line of running stitches in and out of both layers of the final 18 sts from Rnd 18.
Tie the clarn ends in a bow for a decorative finish, or you could poke them into the cushion to hide them.
If this is intended as a seat pad for a wooden chair then use the two sets of 12″ strips to tie the seat pad to the back spokes so you won’t be slip sliding away.
When you need to wash the cover simply untie the bows and pull out the strip of clarn you used to close the seam. You can now remove your cushion and fling the cover in the washing machine. Keep the strip to hand for sewing it together again once it’s all clean and fresh.
There’s a couple of cheeky apes getting down and cosy on mine already.
One word of caution, crocheting with thick clarn can be quite tiring on the hands. Holding your crochet hook more like a bread knife than a pencil will help, but make sure you take lots of breaks if you’re feeling the strain. You can always try to persuade a friendly neighborhood cat to help you out with a few rounds.
To be honest, I haven’t had much success with that yet, I just get this steely look, but maybe you’re much more persuasive than I am!