Monday, August 3, 2015

Seat Covers: Oil Cloth vs. Laminate

It's still summer break (well, for me), and time to refresh anything that is starting to show that it's been well loved by children.  This is when I get to repair books, or wipe down bookshelves, and gather new supplies that are worn and now a complete disaster.  Kids are hard on things!  

I decided it was probably time to look at my crate seats again since I had noticed one starting to tear at the corner this school year.  Originally, I had covered these in fabric.  Even at the time, I wasn't completely sold on putting plain fabric on them.  Fabric tears over time with hard use.  But also, it's GROSS after 3 years without being cleaned.  You can't just tear it off and wash it and put it back on.  These were beyond gross, and I had to get it out of my classroom. 

This picture doesn't even make it look that bad!  Tearing them off wasn't too difficult since they were already getting thin at the corners, but OH were they DUSTY!  EW!  

I went back and forth on new cover choices.  Oil cloth is so thick and easy to clean.  It won't tear easily and even the kids could quickly wipe them down for me.  I ordered this great oil cloth on Amazon and was super excited about it.

Super cute!  RIGHT after I ordered it, I happened to start researching oil cloth and discovered that {TEACHER PSA:}  it is NOT CPSIA compliant for kids under the age of 12 due to the phthalates in the coating.  WHAT?  I'm not making bibs out of it, and hopefully none of my students will be chewing on these seat covers, but I still was super uncomfortable knowing that and still using this fabric in my classroom.  I tried to return it before it even shipped, but unfortunately I had to have it delivered just to turn around and have it returned.  Sad face.  

So I had to figure out what my other options were.  I've had friends use tablecloths before and really liked it because they are really easy to clean as well.  In the end, I figured I'd give laminate cloth a try.  You can laminate your own cloth, but I'd rather save myself the time and just buy it.  So I placed another order right away.  

It wasn't what I originally had my eye on as far as fabric is concerned, but they didn't have anything similar to what I had picked out before- although there are lots of nice options.  But when this showed up, I really loved it!  It's just regular fabric underneath with a laminate layer on top.  Easy to clean!  

So I tore off all those old dusty red covers, grabbed my staple gun, and started tucking in those corners!

 They turned out PERFECT!  Now I'll have to see how long these will last...  

Also, don't forget the TpT Sale on August 3/4!  The RTL Store will be 20% off of everything, for a total of 28% off when you use the code BTS15 at checkout!  Start making that wish list!


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