When we approached our daughters about having this joint Cinderella Ball, they each had various requests that they wanted us to fulfill. Some were do-able:
- a cake for each of them so they could blow out their own candles;
- individual “treasure boxes” for their presents to be put into;
- a “real” life Cinderella and Prince Charming (actors/party entertainers);
whilst some were not:
- Prince Charming doing real magic (sorry, Ella); and a
- Fairy Godmother to grant them real wishes and give them real glass slippers (sorry, Grace)…
One of the requests, however, which we were able to deliver on were Royal Princess Thrones (just like they have at a certain Princess Party “hall” where most of their local friends were having their parties).
Like the Cinderella Carriage Photobooth, these Princess Thrones resulted in a LOT of “research” on Pinterest. We mulled over all kinds of ideas from creating the “thrones” entirely from cardboard to full on reupholstering chairs – in the end we decided to try to “fix up” some rattan chairs we found on eBay.
Although not perfect, these chairs ended up pretty much “OK” for what we wanted, and given that I have zero experience working with a staple gun (point and shoot, right?) I’m pretty darn proud of the results.
Step 1: Finding the Chairs!
Once we’d decided on how we were going to go about this crazy new project, we then had to find chairs to remake into our Princess Thrones. I seriously searched for chairs for months (usually in the middle of the night whilst breastfeeding) and I finally found four very ugly chairs (but with the right sort of angles) about an hour from here.
So the late night (7:30 is late, right?) road trip commenced, where we met an (ever so slightly) eccentric lady with an unhealthy attachment to ugly furniture, who actually waved goodbye to the set as we drove off… needless to say, we didn’t admit to her what we had in mind for these chairs!
Step 2: Painting the Chairs
I knew when I bought these chairs that I wanted to spend as little money on each of them as possible and put in as little work as necessary (our husbands were not impressed with the thrones and I didn’t want to give them more reason to gripe!).
In an effort to keep the work to a minimum I used the cheapest chalk paint I could find (in plain white) and only painted the bits I was fairly certain would show once the fabric/tulle/cushion was later added. I didn’t bother with the additional wax that would ordinarily go onto furniture painted with chalk paint and was surprised that the texture wasn’t nearly as “chalky” as I first thought it would be and no paint/powder rubs off when touched. As is the nature of chalk-paint, it went on (and dried) very quickly and, although I did add a second coat of paint, I probably could have gotten away with just one coat.
Step 3: Tulle Skirt & Satin Pillow
Just like the tulle tablecloth I made for the cake table (see post), I made “skirts” for each of these chairs to cover their legs and give them the Royal treatment!
The pillow was a bit of a pain, as I don’t sew, and had no intention of learning for the sake of these thrones! I (fairly roughly) cut out two circles and, working inside-out, hot glued the edges so that when the pillow “case” was turned right-side-out it would have clean-ish edges. Again, in an attempt to avoid spending more money, I cut up some old cushions we weren’t using anymore and re-used the stuffing (there was discussion of taking a knife to a much hated teddy bear during one of our “drunken craft nights” but the bear in question suddenly became a favourite (of Ella’s!) and so we begrudgingly abandoned the idea.)
Step 4: The Backing – Staple Gun Time!
I’m afraid, that mostly due to frustration, I didn’t get photos of this step, but I attached the backing by:
- Stapling the fabric to the outer edge of the ratan;
- Once I was half-way around I stuffed it with the same old stuffing I used for the seat cushion and then proceeded to staple the rest of the fabric around the edge until the “pillow” was complete;
- The edges were a mess, and so I began to tidy these by cutting the fabric as close to the staples as possible and what fabric was left was glued down with a hot-glue gun;
- The edges were STILL a mess, so I cut up strips of blue fabric and (very tediously) created flat ribbon-like strips that I then hot-glued all the way around the “pillow” covering up all of the staples;
- It still didn’t look brilliant, so I then stuck little gems all the way around the “ribbon” in an attempt to cover up the joins and make it look a bit more “Royal.”
Step 5: Royal Crowns
What throne is complete without a crown? To create these crowns I found a free printable online and, after cutting it out, traced the shape onto three pieces of cardboard. The cardboard was then cut out and painted silver.
I printed the pink letters on my computer, cut them out and then stuck them on along with the gems.
Step 6: Royal Thrones fit for Princesses (for the day)
Clearly these thrones are not free of error, but they will be perfectly fine for the birthday party, and it seems that every little girl that has seen them wants one (go figure!) – so, despite their imperfections, I count these thrones as a win!