So, why ever would I make chair covers for my preschool class? It is a lot of work. One good reason is that preschoolers [and kindergartners, too] love having name tags on their seats. That, in itself, is motivation.
In previous times, there were easier ways to mark my students’ chairs. For years I had taped laminated tags with their names onto the backs of their chairs. You would have thought that taping the tags to the table in front of their chairs was the best but the tags get destroyed so much more quickly. One good spill from the juice box will ruin a tag, even a laminated one.
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This year, our school moved into a new building. We are renting space and the chairs belong to the landlord. They are painted and taping tags to painted chairs pulls the paint right off them when they are removed.
That is when I got a brilliant idea. I would make slipcovers to go over the backs of the chairs. Velcro has a new product that adheres to fabric. How perfect is that! Now, I can move the labels from chair to chair in seconds, a valuable feature if we have a “chair-identity-crisis.” [This is preschool. That kind of crisis happens – trust me.]
I wanted the slipcovers to be identical and bright. I was so excited to find bright red canvas upholstery fabric to use. Canvas-like upholstery fabric is very durable and holds its shape well. The fabric I purchased is also washable in cold water. I plan to use them year after year so that is important.
How To Make Covers For Chairs In Preschool With Removable Name Tags
These slipcovers for chairs are as simple as putting a pillowcase over the chair, only much better.
- Measure the back of the chair for the widest part and the length you want for your chair cover.
- Cut the fabric so that the width is 2 – 3 inches wider than the widest part of the back of the chair.
- Cut the length of the rectangle of fabric so that it is 2 times the length that you want the slip cover to be as the finished product PLUS 2 inches-to account for the hem you will sew at the bottom.
- Fold one end of the rectangle over about 1/2 inch and double it over again another 1/2 inch. Pin it and sew straight across it creating your first hem.
- Do the same for the opposite end. Be sure that you fold it in the proper direction so that when you sew your slip cover (Reminder – think “PILLOWCASE”) both hems wind up on the inside of the chair cover.
Note: the TOP of the chair cover will be seamless since your piece of fabric is so long. Just fold it over so that the hemmed ends meet. It is neater and less work, too.
- Fold the fabric in half, raw edges of the hems will be on top.
- Pin each side and sew a simple seam down each side.
- Turn it right side out and there you go! You have a chair cover.
- Now, cut a piece of the SCRATCHY side of the Velcro, 2 inches long.
- Peel off the paper and press the Velcro onto one side of the chair cover so that it is centered and just a couple of inches from the top.
- Let it dry for 24 hours before attaching a label.
How To Make Name Tags For Preschool Chairs
You can make your own template or use mine. I have saved it as a Word document so that you can add the names yourself.
Insert a transparent text box on the center of each tag on the page.
Type in a child’s name on each tag.
Set your printer’s settings to “color” and print the page onto white card stock paper.
Preheat your laminator.
Insert the sheet of tags into a laminating sheet and run it through your laminator.
Now, cut out the tags.*
Tip: I suggest that you NOT use your sewing scissors to cut out the tags. Using sewing scissors on laminated paper will dull them. Use another pair of scissors to do this task and save the sewing scissors for sewing!
Finally, cut a 2″ piece of the FUZZY side of Velcro.
Peel the paper backing off the Velcro and apply it to one of the name tags.
Now, stick it onto the scratchy side that you put on a chair cover.
Isn’t it the best? Yes!
*When you first click on this, the images do not appear. I have NO idea why. If you select the option to open it in Google docs, they finally do pop up for you. Save it to your computer and add names using text boxes.