In Juneau the phrase "canceled for rain" is barely in our vocabulary. The don-a-rain-jacket-and-tough-it-out mentality is our credo and we are proud of it. But there are a few times when we could use more than just a jacket to weather the storm. For those times I've recreated a clever childhood craft made out of oilcloth (fabric that is treated on one side to be waterproof, like your mom's cherry-covered picnic tablecloth) to make with the kids on a rainy day for the next one that comes along.
Oilcloth and Newspaper Seat Cushion:
Ever watch a summer sports game and get so distracted by the freezing metal bleachers that you miss the big play? Well, it hasn't happened to me since I created my insulated waterproof cushion to keep me cozy! More than 10 years later I still use these cushions for all kinds of outdoor fun. Now you can make your own.
Supplies: 1 yard of oilcloth or 1 oilcloth tablecloth, scissors, newspaper, yarn, hole punch, yarn needle (helpful, but not required).
Step 1: Cut one piece of oilcloth to about 26" x 14". Fold this piece in half with right sides out. This should be about 1/2" larger on all sides than a newspaper when it's folded in half.
Step 2: Take the folded piece and with your hole punch make a hole every 1/2" along the entire outside edge. Don't make the punches too close to the edge or they will rip out.
Step 3: Insert several newspapers into the folded oilcloth. The paper will act as padding. Make sure you put in several layers because the air pockets between the layers are what will keep your toosh warmer.
Step 4: Thread the yarn needle with a long piece of yarn. Using the pre-punched holes, stitch together the layers using a blanket stitch. This stitch creates a better seal at the edges to keep out the wetness, and is more decorative. Refer below for an illustrated blanket stitch.
Step 5: Tie off the yarn end in a loop as an easy handle for carrying on-the-go and enjoy your new seat cushion.
Tips: Eventually the newspaper will lose a bit of fluff, so simply unstitch one side of the cushion, replace the paper and stitch it closed. Though sealing the edges with tape might seem like a bright idea, eventually the dampness loosens the tape and leaves its gummy residue behind. Yech. So stick to the old ways of stitching and you can't go wrong!
Blanket Stitch How-to:
Step 1: Work the thread from right to left. Hold the tail end to start in position 1A. Thread the needle through the first hold punch in position 1B, making sure that the tail end of the thread is tucked behind the needle as it is pushed through (as in 1C).
Step 2: Continue to hold the tail at the 2A position. Now thread the needle through the 2B pre-punched hole. As you pull the yarn through, tuck the needle behind the above yarn in the 2C position.
Step 3: Repeat Step 2 until you are complete.