{Summer Camp} How to Make a Sit Upon

Hello to all the Design Dazzle campers out there! My name is Amanda Formaro, I blog over at Crafts by Amanda. I was excited when Toni asked me to be a camp counselor during this fun summer camp and knew just what we were going to make together. So let’s get started shall we?

If you ever participated in Girl Scouts, then you know what a “sit upon” is. A sit upon is usually made from some sort of waterproof fabric, like a fabric backed vinyl tablecloth, and filled with some padding. The padding can be a stack of newspapers, crumpled newspaper, foam squares, scraps of fabric, or even a preformed throw pillow. Everything is sewn together by using some yarn and a hole punch and when used it will protect a child’s backside from the wet grass or dirty ground.

In my version of the sit upon, I recycled an old, ratty bed pillow to use as the innards. You know the kind. Those yucky looking pillows that your kids have been drooling sleeping on for ages. So you go out and buy new pillows for the kids, but what to do with the old ones? Feel guilty about throwing them in the garbage? Then remove the outer fabric casing and make a sit upon with me!

you will need:

water resistant fabric (I used a roll of heavy duty shelf liner)
recycled pillow
hole punch

These items are optional for the shoulder strap:
wide ribbon
clear thread

what you do:

You’ll want to start by measuring your fabric to be two inches wider than your pillow. Because I used an actual bed pillow, I used my scissors to cut the pillow to approximately 13″ square.

Now take your fabric of choice and fold it over the pillow so that you have 3 open sides.

Trim the 3 sides so that they are 2 inches of fabric overlap on all three sides. Now remove the pillow and set aside and fold the fabric so that the right sides are facing out. Use a hole punch to create holes 1-inch apart about 1/2-inch from the three open edges.

Cut a piece of yarn about two times the length of one side of the fabric. Tie a knot in one end and wrap a piece of tape around the other end (to make it easier to thread through the holes). Starting near the folded end, sew up one side of the fabric using a blanket stitch. I started my stitch at the first hole, but taped the end of the yarn inside the fabric so that the knotted end didn’t come loose and come through the large hole, which could have unraveled the entire thing.

Repeat this process on the other side, leaving the top open. Insert the pillow into the opening.

If you plan to add handles you will need some clear thread and a needle. First, to measure the correct length of ribbon, have child stand comfortably and drape the ribbon over their shoulder. Cut the proper length based on where you want the cushion end to be. You will need 2 equal lengths of ribbon. Place the ribbon inside the opening and hand sew the ends inside the fabric. Finally, finish the stitching across the top opening.

This is a fun project for kids that involves only a little help from a grown up. You can skip the shoulder strap to simplify this project even more.

By using a water resistant fabric, you will be able to easily wipe the sit upon clean with a damp cloth.

I hope you’ll stop by and visit me at Crafts by Amanda where I have quite a few more camp crafts listed! A special thanks to Toni for letting me share with you today. 🙂

We’re having a Summer CampLink UpParty!


The Link Up Party is for ideas and projects for summertime fun that you’ve created! The party starts Friday 12:01 AM (EST) or if you’re PST  – 9:01 PM Thursday. Come back and share your awesomeness!  I will choose my favorites to highlight and feature : ) 


Posted on July 27, 2011
Categories: diy projects, diy tutorials & creative ideas, holiday awesomeness, summer camp, summer camp

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  1. autumn says:
    July 27, 2011

    thanks for sharing this amanda! what a great way to recycle an old pillow…i have way too many laying around the house, and this has totally inspired me.

  2. DesignDazzle.blogspot.com says:
    July 27, 2011

    great idea! I love the fact this is a no-sew project…so easy for kids to make : )

  3. Wendy says:
    July 27, 2011

    Wow, you just totally transported me back to girl scout camp! Fun project!

  4. Grammy Goodwill says:
    July 27, 2011

    Your title is a blast from the past. When I was in Girl Scouts, 50 years ago, we made sit upons by weaving newspaper together. Or at least that's how my foggy brain remembers it.

  5. Deebi27 says:
    August 11, 2011

    Better late than never. I have been saving this blog posting for over a week … I am sooooooo glad you made this a post. The memories came flooding back to the days when I was a Brownie and Girl Scout leader for 7 years…Thank YOU!

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