There are amazing teachers at my school who rock flexible seating. I have been toying with how to implement something like that in my classroom.
On one hand:
*Sitting on the floor is a challenge for some kiddos. (The sitting, the space, the temptation to talk to a neighbor. I totally get it…I hardly ever sit down.) It would be nice to have an alternative/incentive.
On the other hand:
*Furniture like chairs take up so much space in my room. I have a wonderful room with lots of tall cabinets, three doors and very little wall space, but I have to maintain a large open space for movement.
I bought a few inexpensive pillows as options and spent the summer hoping for inexpensive stools, chairs. I caught a steal on a storage ottoman. The storage makes it totally worth the space it takes up. It is a two seater, though, so…a great spot for group work or for me to play my guitar, but I needed something else.
I toyed around with pickle bucket (paint bucket) seats, but cutting a circle and getting the fabric folded under to look nice in a circle…I am just not ready for that, but rectangles, I can do. Even rounded edge rectangles. I found the basic info here:
I wasn’t sold until I found the fabric that spoke to me, though. So beautiful! Thank you, Hobby Lobby! I bought the crates at Target when they were discounted. (Win!)
I had leftover wood from random projects around the house, so I didn’t have to buy wood.
So, first, I measured the wood, but seeing as the crates are plastic and there is possible bending, I made a construction paper template to check the fit just in case. Excuse the fact that it is sloppily taped together…
The dimensions were about 12 12/16” x 14 9/16”. I chose to hand saw these because I squeezed time in here and there like when I was cooking pizza in the oven. (Honestly, it took less time than cooking a pizza to finish one of these.) Getting out the table saw over and over would have taken too much time…anyway. I traced the template and remeasured just to make sure. Sawed the cut to a nice pointed rectangle…which didn’t fit. These puppies have rounded corners, so I had to cut a tiny triangle off of each corner, then I sanded them smooth.
Perfect fit! Well, with just enough space for fabric. Next, I got my 14″x14″ foam, sliced off the excess on the short side and glued it with good ol’ tacky glue to the long side. This gave just a touch of overhang to ensure no tushies fall in the cracks. 😉
Then I tacky glued that puppy to the wood. I honestly think trying to force tacky glue out of that bottle may have taken more oomph than sawing the wood…it’s a well loved bottle of tacky glue.
Once that was glued, I probably could (should) have let it dry first, but I am impatient. 😜 I got my fabric cut. I bought 1 yard of fabric for 4 crate seats. I cut it into 4 equal sections, and they were the perfect size! (I folded it before cutting and laid it out to verify – Always a good idea to avoid waste.)
Then, I got crazy with a staple gun.
Some tips: Ensure the staples won’t push through the wood, and fold over each edge before stapling (like a hem). I chose to do a center staple on two opposite sides before adding more staples to each side. Also, you have to push down on the wood to depress the foam with this kind of staple gun. Otherwise it bounces and the staple doesn’t go all the way in…hence the hammer. I gave all of the staples an extra whack just to make sure. (It can’t hurt, right…and it’s good stress relief.)
You can actually stop after this and just stick your hands through the handles to lift the seat, but I liked the idea of of adding ribbon underneath. I looped it under so that the main pull would not be on the edge but on the wood support.
Viola! Here are 3. I brought the first one to school as soon as it was done. I just couldn’t wait.
I am super excited to use these. I am hoping to store group supplies in there or instruments for stations when we rotate. There are so many possibilities! I hope my students like these flexible crate seats as much as I do. 😁