Sunday, 24 June 2012

Beano birthday fun!

I've wanted to share a project with you for a while now, but because the project was for a gift I had to wait until now to write about it!

As avid readers will know, just over a year ago my big sister gave birth to George, my first nephew. In a way, he was the one that started me on my mission of making and baking, as it was for him that I first sewed a baby quilt. There have been two more since, but George's was the original and it taught me to sew! And what better way to celebrate his being one year old than to make him another something special?

For his first birthday, I wanted to make something that would last and would be special for much longer than a couple of months - not clothes, not toys. So, when a colleague started talking about a chair that she had been decorating with Beanos for her little boy, I wanted in!

The chair started as an old classroom chair, from the days before these things were made out of plastic. It was a bit battered and scruffy, but it was the perfect blank canvas for this project:

The first task was to fill the uneven surfaces, before sanding it and filling it and sanding it again. This was to give a smooth base for a coat or two of gloss paint.

And then came the fun part! My colleague donated five or six Beanos for me to cut bits from, to decorate the chair with. Some of them were from 1987 and others were from the early 1990s. I had a great time flicking through, picking the bits I wanted to use and lost a number of hours of my life to the task!

Then came the gluing! I just used ordinary PVA glue to stick the pieces to the chair, carefully choosing which bits to place where. This took far longer than I had planned, as I wanted to get it just right. I didn't want it looking too uniform and too meticulously thought out, which meant I spent hours meticulously thinking it over! Like that perfectly disheveled bed hair look that guys can only get by spending 45 minutes in front of a mirror with a tub of hair wax!

Once the Beano pieces were all glued on and dry, it was time for varnish. I am lucky as my husband's job means he owns a compressor and a spray gun, which he used to apply the varnish. And then we sanded, and he sprayed, sanded and sprayed, until the seat was as smooth as could be. It was then a case of touching up the edges and adding a final coat of white to the bits I hadn't covered with paper.

And the result? See for youselves:

Isn't is brilliant?!

I have to admit, it was a real labour of love and was not a quick and easy make by any stretch of the imagination. It took far longer than I thought it would, but the result was so worth it. And even more so when I saw George's reaction to it!

George isn't sure what a chair is for. Is it for sitting on so you can reach your toys?

 Hmm, nope. Is it for playing peepo with?

It's fun, but it's not the real purpose of a chair. No. The real purpose of a chair is to keep a little boy stable as he pushes it around the living room using it as a walker, like a loony!

And that is what he does with it, day in day out! Not sure my sister's laminate floor is enjoying it much, but then she's wanted a nice new carpet for a while now. Perhaps this is just the excuse she needs??


  1. What a labour of love - it's totally fab...!!
    Well done you.
    Jo. x

  2. You clever thing it is beautiful it must have taken you forever! xx

  3. Thank you ladies. It was hard work but I am so so happy with the result. I didn't think George would be the least bit interested in it at his age, but it seems to be his favourite birthday present!