diy project: friendship bracelet chevron chair cushion

Our previous DIY post mentioned the genius of former D*S contributor Brittany Watson Jepsen of The House That Lars Built. Coincidentally, a new tutorial from Brittany landed in our inbox, and we couldn’t wait to share it. Using the good old friendship bracelet knot technique (I do not want think about how many of these I’ve made in my life; my big toe hurts at the mere mention of them), Brittany created a beautiful, textural cushion for a spoked chair that can easily be removed, washed or tied off to create a loose pad. I love the look, and it’s a great way to reinvent this classic knotting method on a larger scale. Thanks so much for sharing, Brittany! — Kate


When friendship bracelets started coming back, I was floored at how popular they were becoming again. I just couldn’t bring myself to get back into it, else I somehow revert back to my chubby fifth-grade self. I started thinking how I could apply the same technique to different forms yet still achieve the same beauty of colors and patterns. I first came up with a rug, and now I’ve created a chair cushion. The chair is a perfect vehicle for the technique because the spokes hold it tightly in place. — Brittany

All photographs by Hilda Grahnat

Read the full how-to after the jump!

Materials

  • chair with spokes
  • needle
  • thread
  • scissors
  • 2 sets of 8 colors (you can repeat the colors) of fabric in 12″ x 36″ strips (the size will also be determined by the depth of your chair, so get extra and sew it on to extend the length if needed)

Instructions

1. Decide the order of the colors. I find it best to take a deep color and pair it next to a light color.

2. Take the first two colors and tie them around the outer spoke.

3. Take the next set of colors and tie them around the next spoke. Repeat the same order of colors starting with the opposite side. Repeat until you reach the middle.

4. Start tying by creating a number “4” with the two outer strands of fabric.

5. Take the fabric and go under the “4” you created and tie it to the top.

6. Take the same piece of fabric and go on to the next piece of fabric and do the same tie. Repeat until you get to the middle.

7. Repeat the same process from the other side, making sure you reverse the number 4.

8. With the two pieces of fabric in the middle, tie them together.

9. Take the new outer piece of fabric and repeat the process.

10. Repeat until you get to the end of the chair. I didn’t knot the last colors in the middle so it wouldn’t create a point on the chair.

11. Cut the fabric off at the ends and sew them into each other.

12. Tuck the back ends into the chair so it’s easy to take the cushion on and off.

The best part about the project is that it’s totally washable and can be done using t-shirts or any cast-off fabric pieces. Enjoy!

  1. Oh….my…gosh! THis is freaking brillaint! I have been neeeeeeding some chair pads so bad, but they’re all so darn boring. I love it and I am adding it to my to-do list!

  2. How incredibly adorable. Love the colours…so much better than the chair cushions you find at big-box stores. Great DIY!

  3. Milena-Irshad says:

    Incredible!

  4. Faith says:

    This is genius! Now I want some wooden chairs with spokes…

    ~F

  5. Kendra says:

    Too freakin cute! I love this idea. This is another one of those ways that demonstrates how cool it is to take normally small things and make them BIG. (Giant cross stitch, giant flowers…)

  6. Um, I love this! Why don’t any of my eclectic group of chairs have the right kind of back rungs? Thanks for making me smile!

  7. miyuki says:

    I like the up-cycling idea. A color combination is the key!

  8. Simone says:

    I am in love with that color palette!

  9. RETROSMITH. says:

    Would love to try this! I could really commit & make a large floor rug…

  10. Sandrine says:

    OH this is genius! Thanks!

  11. Katie says:

    This is seriously so cool. I think I need to go raid my fabric stash!

  12. Janet says:

    This is so brilliant and it looks gorgeous. Have just the chair in mind to try this out. Thanks.

  13. Gina says:

    Such a stunning idea and such detailed How-To!! Thanks soooo much for sharing!

  14. this is just stunning!!!! could really try that out soon!

  15. Heliona says:

    seriously, this is absolutely brilliant..!!! We have chairs like this, with spokes and a weird size, no cushions would fit on them .. Now I know what to do with them. Thank you for this brilliant How To!

  16. JeminaL says:

    what a GREAT idea! I have to ask you, where have you found that chair? Because I live in Finland and I just found the same chair (x4) at recycling center here in Helsinki. That blue/turquoise color looks nice, but mine chairs are going to be black ;)

  17. hill says:

    I made one of these, turned out great! and more comfy than i thought it would be. :) Thanks!!

  18. Sarah Moses says:

    I finally found someone who understands my friendship bracelet obsession. Brilliant.

  19. marissa pruett says:

    wow this is awesome! wish i could do this but after seeing how intricate it is i think ill just admire your work! Soo cute!

  20. This is 100% brilliant!! I have so many scraps of fabric that I can’t throw away because “they’ll be useful one day”, and I think you might have just found the use! Thanks :)

  21. Zoë says:

    A friend and I tried it and it looks adorable but for some reason ours only covered about half the chair before our fabric ran out, even though our chair looks similar to yours. Very sad :(

  22. Jodie Hickman says:

    Super cute!

  23. Akasha says:

    LOVIN this idea. Must add, I have memory issues and. I know you put all kinds of detail-I was wondering if you could show.the bracelet size do maybe I could remember and put you idea to use. I get it if NO WAY! Still a great project

  24. Jill says:

    So I tried this and it was a disaster. Wasted $45 of fabric for this project that doesn’t explain the details. I’m sure there is a step missing in there somewhere because mine turned out NOTHING like this. I consider myself to be good at projects such as this one, but something went terribly wrong with this one. NEGATIVE 5 stars, unfortunately.

  25. Cara says:

    I have wanted to try this for a long time and I finally did, it didn’t work so well. I bought $50 of fabric for 4 chairs and was able to make a cushion for one chair with strips left over for maybe another half cushion. The one I did make turned out super cute, I just don’t want to spend another $100 or more to make cushions for the other chairs. I wish this tutorial had explained that more fabric was definitely needed (I feel like the blue chair must be kid-size) so I could have calculated my costs before purchasing!

  26. stephany says:

    can you tell us approx. how long each piece of fabric should be? I love this and want to try it for my chairs, but need to know about how much fabric im gonna be in for =)

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