This post is by long-time contributor and super-mama, Leigh!
I clearly remember the year my mom helped me make a sit-upon for my Brownie troops’ camp (I remember it as well as I remember the smell of the ancient canteen I used to have to take with me to camp…. but that’s a story for another day….). What’s a sit-upon? Well, it’s… something… you sit upon. Hmph – that was easier to explain in my head. Here, let me show you…
Back in the day, Mom and I made my sit-upon out of a black plastic garbage bag and newspaper. I wanted to improve on the design a bit, because while I remember making it and using it, I have no idea how long that black plastic sit-upon lasted, and I remember not enjoying it being tied around my waist. I was told that it was to be worn around my waist so all I have to do is sit down and it would be in the right place, but even then I thought that was silly. Maybe I don’t sit down like everyone else, but that sit-upon was too tight around my middle and always had to be adjusted when I sat. So here’s what I came up with…
Gather your supplies:
- an old vinyl tablecloth or a shower curtain (the dollar store has shower curtains a-plenty!)
- a hole puncher
- large plastic needle
- heavy duty string or cord
Using your newspaper as a template, cut out a rectangle (or two or three – however many you will be making) on a fold of your vinyl tablecloth/shower curtain.
On a fold? Fold your tablecloth/curtain in half and use that fold as one of your edges. You will wind up with a 2 layered piece of cloth/curtain, and you will only need to sew up 3 sides instead of all 4!
Take a hole punch and punch holes spaced evenly around the 3 cut edges of your cloth/curtain through both layers. You will be whipstitching the sides shut – see the picture below? You just “whip” your needle around the back of the cloth/curtain and bring your needle and thread up through a set of holes, repeating the process over and over.
And I did say “you” will be stitching… Elias gave it his best shot, and did pretty well for his first time sewing anything by hand.
He wasn’t too interested in doing it “correctly” – so I just had to back up and let him do his thing. He “finished” one side, and I finished it from there.
So I mentioned I never liked the sit-upon being tied around my wait – I wanted to make these so they slipped easily over a shoulder and could be plopped down on the ground wherever needed. I used a length of ribbon for each sit-upon – and look! My hole puncher could punch through ribbon! Who knew? Punch 2-3 holes in your ribbon (depending on the width of your ribbon).
Sandwich the ribbon in between the layers of your cloth/curtain before you sew up a corner, then sew the ribbon in with the sides. I added extra stitches around the ribbon so it would be reinforced, since that part of the sit-upon would potentially take more stress and strain than other parts.
Once you have 2 sides sewn up, stuff the sit-upon with newspaper. My one from back-in-the-day only had flat newspaper layers in it, and I never thought that gave any cushioning for a little hinder. So I just added some fluff to it – sandwich some crumpled up newspaper in between 2 layers of flat newspapers. Sitting on it will flatten the crumpled layers out anyway, but in the meantime it will be a bit more comfy. After stuffing, finish stitching up the sit-upon and tie off the end of your string, clipping any loose ends.
This step is optional – and can also be easily done before the sit-upon is sewn and stuffed – let your little ones decorate their sit-upon! Super fun, and one thing I never got to do with my black plastic one. Use permanent markers – you don’t want marker or paint coming off on little hind ends during your hike.
Here are ours, all ready to go!
This really was a walk down memory lane for me, and the boys have already had fun with the sit-upons… well, sitting upon them, amongst other things. I wonder how long these will last…
Affiliate links included. When you purchase anything via these links, we make a small commission. Very small. But very appreciated. Thanks for loving ohAmanda!
All photos property of Leigh Miller. Do not use without permission.