So Poufy it Hurts

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  July 19, 2011 — 10 Comments

What I meant to say is that it’s so awesome I can’t even help myself. I just die. In less than two hours and for absolutely zero cash, I made my very own pouf:

It’s the perfect perch for extra guests and soooo comfy for me to prop my feet on after a long day of being awesome.

I used this pattern and tutorial from Better Homes and Gardens, but modified it to suit my fast and loose crafting sensibilities.

I started by harvesting canvas drop cloth material from the overhang on my slipcovered sofa. All that extra fabric hanging around has been kinda bugging me for months anyway, and now all I have to do is hem the cut edges the next time I take it off to wash.

Guess who the new camera hog in our house is? Juliet is even worse than Pistachio about wanting to be all up in my business. Lucky for her she’s so adorable.

Now that I had my free fabric, I used the pattern to cut out 8 matching pieces to construct the pouf.

I probably should have taken more pictures to explain the sewing process, but I was so “in the zone” and blown away by how easy it was that I just snapped a picture after each step. Since dropcloth material is so sturdy, I skipped BHG’s recommendation to layer muslin with the upholstery material. This made for half the cutting and kept sewing pretty simple. Working two pieces at a time, I stacked two pieces on top of each other and sewed them together all along one side. This gave me four pieces that were kinda shaped like orange wedges.

Then, I took two of those pieces and layered them inside of one another, making sure that the seams were all facing the inside of the sandwich, and sewed them together all the way down one side. I repeated with the other pair, yielding two halves of a sphere.

Turns out the only picture I took of my half-spheres was Nick wearing one as a hat. You get the idea.

With my two halves ready to go, I sandwiched them together (with seams all on the inside) and sewed them together all around, leaving a big honkin’ hole for me to get the stuffing in. I was especially careful around the point where all the wedges met to make sure that everything was all closed up. This was the only time that I wished I’d followed the tutorial’s instructions to iron all of my seams open. I was dealing with kind of a lot of material and it was hard to see what was what, but I made it through.

With my pouf shell ready to go, I gathered my stuffing materials–two fiberfill Euro pillows that I didn’t want anymore, two down-stuffed pillows that had seen better days, and a bunch of fabric scraps that were either too small or too weird for me to do anything with.

I opened up the pillows and got down to business. My basic strategy was to use the fabric scraps as the core of the pouf, with feathers adding a cushiony middle layer and fiberfill giving a soft outer crust.

I just started stuffing, and stuffing, and stuffing.

Things were looking pretty good after one pillow each of fiberfill and down (photo below), but when I gave it a test sit I fell over. A sure sign that I needed to firm things up a bit.

After using every last bit of stuffing I’d gathered (minus the feathers that ended up all over me and the floor), I declared it done.

A test sit confirmed that this pouf was destined for greatness, so I brought it into the living room and sewed up the opening by hand while catching the end of the Women’s World Cup final.

I flipped it over so that ugly hand-seam was on the bottom and spent the rest of the day reveling in its wonder.

It’s my new favorite thing. And word on the street is that I’m knitting an awesome cover for it, but you know how I am about projects that can’t be completed in one sitting. I’m really excited about the thick, rope-like yarn that I’m using, but I’ll be shocked if the dang thing ever gets finished. What’s great about this project is that it really was so much easier than I thought it would be. The fact that I skipped the octagon top and bottom pieces and decorative stitching recommended by the tutorial went a long way to keeping things simple. If you’re a details person, though, you could probably add those elements without a lot of drama. I’m all for decor that’s casual and not too fussy, so I don’t mind the rough seams a bit.

The canvas dropcloth material is really inexpensive and durable, but if you’ve got kids or are spastic yourself and are worried about stains showing on the light fabric, I think it wouldn’t be too hard to make a slipcover for it using the same pattern and snaps or velcro to close it up on the underside. Also, you could use Rit Dye to change the color to better suit your space or to hide dirt and stains a little better. Just dye the pouf shell in the washing machine before stuffing it and people will think you spent a lot of money on some beautifully dyed linen.

This project has been brewing in my mind for some time and I’m really glad that I finally did it. It really is such an awesome thing to have in the living room. So simple and comfortable. I don’t know how I ever lived without it.

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


10 responses to So Poufy it Hurts

  1. Being awesome is a full time job.

  2. Girl! That is awesome! If I didn’t have an ottoman, and a small space, I would totally give that a try! It looks really easy! And I love that zebra rug. I need to put some more DIY on my blog. I always forget to take stinkin’ pictures while I’m DIYing. I’m going to follow you on pinterest (haha, I totally don’t mean for that to sound stalkish either!) I love your style.

  3. Your ottoman is so cute. I like yours much better than the BHG one with decorative stitches. Great job!

  4. Love it! I like poofs. I used to have 3 in different colors from Pottery Barn, they eventually became so flat that I had to throw them out. They had covers that I could zip off and was. They did see a lot of action as you can imagine, but I definitely got my money’s worth! Juliet is soooooo cute and photogenic! Does she get her own poof?

    • Charlotte | livingwellonthecheap July 20, 2011 at 9:38 am

      Juliet sits on the pouf if we’re eating on the couch, but as soon as we put our plates down she’s back up in my lap. I bet your boys loved those poufs!

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