Finished size : customizable
A potting bench is a handy piece of outdoor furniture to have around. Its job is to store pots, tools, and soil and to provide a place to do the dirty work. Because we don’t always want to see what’s underneath, I’ve created this cover to hide all the bags of whatnot. Hook-and-loop tape makes this pretty oilcloth curtain removable, so it’s easy to get to your potting supplies. And the waterproof oilcloth helps keep the weather from rusting your tools and turning your dirt to mud.
Materials and Supplies
- Yardage of polka dot oilcloth for panels (amount varies depending on size of bench)
- ½ yard gingham oilcloth for trim
- Fat quarter fruit or floral oilcloth
- 1″-wide hook-and-loop tape (amount varies depending on size of bench)
- Double-stick tape
- Staple gun and ¼″ staples
This pattern can be used in several other ways with a bit of modification. For a cheap and easy bathroom makeover, just flip the hook-and-loop tape to the other side and make the cover-up wide enough to wrap around an outdated bathroom vanity.
- Measure the width and length of the openings that you wish to cover on your potting bench. I chose to cover all 4 openings: the front, back, and both sides.
- To calculate the amount of material needed, add 1″ to the length for each opening. Follow the examples below depending on the width of your panels to determine the yardage you need to purchase.
If your openings are wider than 23½″ but narrower than 47″, you can cut a single piece across the width of your oilcloth. Openings that are narrower than 23½″ (half the width of the oilcloth) can be cut 2 across the width of your oilcloth.
Example : To cover 4 sections that are each 21½″ long but wider than half the width of the oilcloth:
21½″ + 1″ seam allowance = 22½″ × 4 panels = 90″; 90″ ÷ 36″ = 2½ yards
To cover 4 sections, each 21½″ long, but with 2 side panels that are narrower than half the width of the oilcloth:
21½″ + 1″ seam allowance = 22½″ × 3 = 67½″÷ 36″ = 1⅞ yards
I often buy a little extra, just in case.
cutting it out
1). From polka dot oilcloth: On the back of the material, draw—with a pencil—the width and length of the opening. Then add 1″ to the length for the hook-and-loop header. This will be the top of your panel curtain. You do not need to add any seam allowance or hems for the panel. Repeat this for every opening that you will cover.
2). From gingham oilcloth: To determine how much bias trim you will need to cut, multiply the width of each panel × number of panels. Multiply the length of each panel × 2 × number of panels. Add these subtotals together. Divide by 25″ (the length of a strip cut from 18″ of oilcloth at a 45° angle) to determine the number of strips to cut.
Example : 44″ (width) × 2 panels = 88″
20″ (width) × 2 panels = 40″
22½″ (length) × 2 × 4 panels = 180″
88″ + 40″ + 180″ = 308″ ÷ 25″ = 12.3, rounded up to 13 strips
Cut enough 1″-wide strips at a 45° angle to trim both sides and the bottom of each panel.
3). From fruit or floral oilcloth: Cut a series of flowers or a bunch of fruit from the oilcloth fat quarter to appliqué to your curtain panel(s). Use as many or as few motifs as you like
4). From hook-and-loop tape: Cut 4 pieces of the hook side only of the hook-and-loop tape to match the width measurements of your bench.
sewing it up
1). Refer to Bias Tape to connect the bias strips, making sure to match the gingham patterns.
2). Refer to crease-pressing (in Tips and Tricks) to press the joined 1″ strip in half lengthwise. Sandwich the trim around the panel, starting at the top right-hand corner. Pin and edgestitch the trim in place with a ⅛″ seam allowance, using the Super H foot, making sure to keep the pins along the ⅛″ seamline. Refer to faux mitered corners (in Bias Tape) to miter each corner.
3). Along the top edge of each panel on its right side, stitch the soft side of the hook-and-loop tape ⅛″ away from the top edge. Use the Super H foot and move the needle to the right to get as close to the edge of the tape as possible.
4). Sew the left edge of the loop tape in place; make sure to move the needle to the left this time. Carefully trim off any extra loop tape at the ends.
5. Place your oilcloth fruit or flower appliqué as desired on the panel(s) and adhere it with double-stick tape. Stitch around the outline of the appliqués, ⅛″ from the edge.
6). Staple the cut pieces of the hook side of the hook-and-loop tape to the underside of your potting bench. Press each panel into position.
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