Monday, September 3, 2012

presenting a meal-dropoff apparatus

my friend sara came home from the hospital yesterday!  we wanted to make sure she and jason wouldn't have to cook for awhile, and stumbled upon an awesome website called meal train that allows many different people to coordinate meal dropoffs.  brilliant!  we already have meals planned for a week and a half out.  this would be a great resource for any of your friends who just had a new baby, too; highly recommended.  anyway, the night before sara was to leave the hospital, i had a brainstorm.  (conveniently, all of my brainstorms happen around midnight, which is why i have so many dark circles under my eyes.)  we were trying to think of a way that sara and jason could politely communicate to people dropping off meals whether they were up for visitors or not, without having to be like, "get the hell off my porch, woman."  especially since sara would never, ever say that, not even to hitler.  well, maybe hitler.  anyway!  i came up with the idea of a chair with a tray where people could leave food, and with a sign that can be flipped over depending on their mood.  since one thing you can count on in this crazy world is people going through ruff times, i thought i'd share with you how i made it, in case you ever have a pal in need of something similar.

i took my favorite old chair with a tragically ripped seat, and my dad helped the next morning by removing all the stuffing so the tray would sit flat, then roping it on in case of tornado. you could also just use a folding chair or one that already had a flat seat; i like to make things difficult whenever possible.

i found a piece of sturdy upholstery fabric, cut it into a rectangle, and sewed bias tape along two edges. bias tape is truly the lazy sewer's right hand man (therefore i use it constantly). it makes things look so polished while actually taking very little effort: the american dream! for the remaining top and bottom edges, i simply folded the rough edges over and hemmed them, adding two pieces of green lace (you could also use bias tape or string or ribbon) on all four points of the rectangle. this is used to tie the front and back of the sign together, so it stays on the chair, and i should have taken a close up picture because it isn't as confusing as it sounds.

now, for the craziest part!  i needed words on that there sign, and every option sounded super work intensive.  screen printing?  iron-on transfer paper?  embroider each letter?  iron-on sparkly letters?  then i recalled my middle school days, when a love of punk music and crafting collided (on a daily basis) to pistols patches printed, using a regular ol' printer, directly onto fabric!  did you know this actually works, and is relatively (sort of) water-resistant?  you too can create your very own sex pistols patches using your personal home printer, for all your middle school angsty needs!  anyway, you just tape a piece of plain cotton fabric onto a piece of thick paper.  double-sided tape would be best, or tape loops if you're not fancy...a whole lotta tape, so the fabric doesn't wiggle.  then send it through!  it definitely doesn't come out absolutely perfect, there were a couple small ink spots here and there (maybe 'cause i only thought of double-sided tape afterward), but really, so ridiculously easy compared to all other words-on-fabric methods.  then i just folded over and ironed the edges of the fabric, and sewed on using a zigzag stitch.  c'est finis!

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  1. Great idea! Thanks for the heads up on this site...I just set one up for a friends who's having a baby any day! I might steal your idea for the drop off sign too :)

  2. This chair/sign has been great! It still feels polite if we're asking people to give us some space. Thanks, friend.

  3. We put a cooler outside a good friends house so that the squirrels wouldn't get into the food, and it would stay cold/hot until my friend could grab it. That way, if the patient was at a doctor's appointment, no coordination needed!