I saw a similar chair cover for sell online a few weeks ago and decided to try to recreate the chair cover, though my design is prettier (in my totally biased opinion). Halloween craft #4: Skeleton Chair Cover.
- 1 large black cotton t-shirt ($3.99 at Michael’s)
- Ribbon, any Halloween color
- Needle and thread, any Halloween color
- Straight pins
- 1 can silver Simply Spray Soft Fabric Spray ($5.99 at Michael’s)
- Skeleton Template
- 1 sheet white card stock
- X-ACTO knife
- Cardboard (at least 8 1/2 x 11)
- 6-8 sheet of paper (I used ones in the recycling bin)
- Scotch tape
- Paper towels
Note: If you plan on covering a chair that has a straight back, you can skip steps 3-6 and omit the ribbon from your supplies list. Step 3-6 are only necessary if you’re covering a chair that has a neck, like an office chair, which is what I did.
Step 1: Turn the t-shirt inside out. Lay the t-shirt open on a flat surface. Cut a straight line from one armpit to the other.
Step 2: Use the straight pins to pin a straight line 1/4 inch from the edge you just cut. Make sure the pins go through both layers of fabric. Using the needle and thread, sew along the straight pin line. The t-shirt will now have 3 sewn sides and 1 open side. The open side will be the bottom of the chair cover. The side you just sewed will be the top of the cover.
Step 3: Measure enough ribbon to run around the bottom of the shirt plus 10 inches. Starting at one seam, lay down the ribbon in a straight line along the bottom of the shirt. Pull the bottom of the shirt over the ribbon to form a pocket. Use the straight pins to pin the pocket shut. Leave about 1/2 inch wide pocket for the ribbon and 1/4 inch on the other side of the pin. Pull 5 inches of the ribbon out of the pocket. Leave this part of the ribbon out of the pocket.
Make sure you’re only pinning the one side of the shirt, you don’t want to seal the shirt shut, that would be bad. Continue creating the pocket for the ribbon and pinning the pocket shut until you’re back at where you started. You should have 5 inches of extra ribbon on each side of the seam. Check the position of your pins and make sure the ribbon isn’t exposed, like the image below. If you see exposed ribbon, remove the pins, push the ribbon into the pocket and pin the pocket shut.
Step 4: Turn the shirt right-side out. Find the seam that that you started with in step 3, where the extra ribbon is. Remove the pins on either side of the seam. Carefully cut a small slit in the steam, along the bottom on the shirt, wide enough for the ribbon to slide through. Thread the ribbon through the hole. Replace the pins.
Step 5: Turn the shirt inside out. Use the needle and thread to sew the ribbon pocket shut. Sew on the side of the pins that you left 1/4 of fabric, not on the side of the pin that the ribbon lays on.
Step 6: Gently tug on the exposed ends of the ribbon. If you feel any resistance, the ribbon was sewed to the fabric somewhere. Check the seam to locate the ribbon. Once located, rip the seam out, push the ribbon into the pocket, and stitch the hole shut. The sewing (read: hard part) is now complete. Yay!
Step 7: Print the Skeleton Template on the sheet of white card stock.
Step 8: Use the X-ACTO knife to cut out the bones in the template. Discard all of the bones except the 2 two hip sockets.
Step 9: Find a well ventilated area (I’d suggest outside, on the driveway). Lay the template on the shirt, find the middle, and use the scotch tape to secure the template to the shirt. Don’t forget to tape the hip sockets down! I rolled the tape into balls and stuck them between the shirt and card stock. Liberal use of the tape means less chance for the spray paint to get under the edges of the template, which can cause a huge mess. Place the cardboard inside the shirt and position it behind the template. This will stop the paint from bleeding through to the other side of the shirt.
Step 10: Lay the sheets of scrap paper around the template to protect the rest of the shirt from the spray paint. Tape the sheets together. If it’s windy outside (it was when I did this) use rocks or other solid objects to weigh down the scrap paper.
Step 11: Shake the spray paint can for a few minutes. Starting at the top-left of the template, squeeze the trigger and paint a slow, solid line to the right side of the template. Continue the same motion until you’ve painted the entire template. Leave the template on and examine the paint. Check to see if there are areas that need more paint. If so, lightly spray those areas.
Step 12: Do not remove the template yet. Paint will probably have pooled in certain areas of the template. Use the paper towels to remove the excess paint. Gently blot at the paint, do not scrub or swipe. Once the excess paint has been removed from the template, you can then remove the template to reveal the skeleton.
Step 13: Lay the shirt on a flat surface and let the paint dry for 3-4 hours, or until it is dry to the touch and the glitter does not come off.
Note: You’ll notice in the picture above that the paint leaked under the template and caused undesirable spots. To get rid of those spots, use a black Sharpie or marker to blot out the spots. It takes some time and patience, but you can eventually blot them out.
The chair cover is now complete! Pick your chair, put the cover of the back of it, pull the drawstrings close, tie off the drawstrings, and you’re done!