Art therapy: recycling an old seat cushion.

This morning I had two small first-world problems.

1. I needed a new piece of art for my hallway wall, which was bare.
2.  My favorite outdoor needlepoint seat cushion had turned black and moldy from three weeks’ of rain, and the stuffing was coming out of it anyway.

I’m glad I didn’t throw away the seat cushion, which was my first temptation. I didn’t think it could be salvaged.   But I decided to take it apart and see if I had some kind of  brainstorm that would save it because the design is so pretty.

I tore out the stuffing, and the needlepoint part of the cushion, which was on the top only, tore away easily as the fabric was nearly rotted. Carefully, I washed the needlepoint panel in the tub with mild detergent and just a little bleach to make the colors bright again, then dried it indoors.

Now I had a nice little piece of needlepoint tapestry, with a very antique look about it (even though it’s actually only about ten years old), but what could I do with it?

Finally I decided it would make a wonderful art piece for my blank wall, solving my first problem.  I measured the piece–it was 17.5 x 15 inches, wider than it is tall. I had to find some kind of frame that would fit.  I went to the dollar store and purchased a large piece of royal blue poster board for mounting.

I looked at their frames. All were way too small, intended for family photos, not artworks. But next to the photo frames were some cheap decorative photos and pictures already in frames. I finally found a framed photo of a shoreline whose dimensions fit almost exactly. The frame was plain black plastic, which was fine.  The hook on the back was in the right place too, so it would hang with the longer side horizontal and the shorter side vertical.

I took my equipment home, removed the backing and the cardboard photo inside (actually the photo is rather nice, so I might put that somewhere else like my bathroom or kitchen), and then carefully cut the poster board to the same dimensions as the cardboard photo. Then I glued the tapestry onto the poster board and set it back inside the frame, and used some masking tape to secure it there.

Here is a picture of the finished result.  I think you’d probably pay a lot if you were to buy something like this.


A closer look at the detail:

tapestry2 tapestry3

I find these sort of creative activities relaxing and fun–and very therapeutic.  My house is filed with such things I made myself out of odds and ends, or things that I was able to recycle into something exciting and new.    And I always finish these projects with my mood improved too.

8 thoughts on “Art therapy: recycling an old seat cushion.

  1. absolutely lovely!!! and everytime you look at it you will also feel proud of it.MUCH better feeling than when you buy something..

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