I love our classroom library! I’ve already blogged about my tshirt pillows, but promised to include a crate seat tutorial too. They’re really easy to make and the students love using the crates during reading workshop. We use them in the hallway instead of sitting on the floor too. It seems easier to manage when everyone has a spot and the crates encourage students to sit up too.
You’ll need: fabric, scissors, staple gun with staples, hammer, stuffing, and scotch gard. It helps if you have a second set of hands too. My husband is the hand model in these pictures. 🙂
I cleaned up some old files and used a crate that I already owned. You can also find these at Wal-Mart for around $5. You’ll also need plywood around 1/2 inch thick. We used scraps that we already had in the garage and pieced them together.
Make sure you measure the INSIDE lip of the crate so your wood sits inside.
I prefer flannel to cover the board, but broadcloth or interfacing would work too. Use a staple gun to staple around three edges of the wood. We used 3/8 inch heavy duty staples.
Now that three sides are stapled, stuff polyfill under the flannel to create a cushion. You could also use an old foam mattress pad.
After stuffing most of the seat, I staple it almost shut. I leave a small opening to adjust the stuffing or add a little more before closing.
Finish stapling around the edge of the cushion. I pulled it out so you could get a good look at it.
Now you’re ready for your decorative fabric. 16×18 inches is just about perfect.
Center the board (stuffing side down) over the fabric. This board was made from scraps so there’s an extra piece underneath for support. My other seats only use the one 1/2 inch piece of wood.
Staple all the way around the board. Be sure to keep your fabric pulled tight.
Pop the board back into the crate and you have a new seat for your library! If you decide to scotch gard your fabric, now’s the time to do that.
This next part is optional and only needed if you don’t want the cushions to come on and off.
Sometimes the cushions would pop off the crate so I decided to zip-tie them on. Use a long zip-tie and bend it about 2 inches from the end.
Staple the zip-tie onto the crate, centered left to right.
Loop the zip-tie through the holes in the side of the crate. Do this for BOTH sides before pulling them tight. Trust me. =)
After BOTH sides have been looped with zip-ties, pull them tight. I tuck the extra inside the crate instead of cutting it off. The point can be sharp if you cut it.
Tada! Now you have a lid that will stay on. My students love the crates and I’ve gradually added a few more to our library because of it.
If you decide to give it a try, I’d love to see pictures! Drop me an email.