Remaking the Lap Desk -Or- When Good Microbeads Go Bad

My lap desk was propped against a chair and fell over.  My husband stepped on it and his foot caught on the button and “rrrrrrrrippppp”.  There it was, all those white microbeads all over everywhere.   Instead of throwing it out completely, I used the opportunity to remake my lap desk.

Step 1:  I went into the garage and ripped off the microbead bag and then used a razor to remove the hot glue from the back of the plastic desktop.

Step 2:  I pouted about the demise of my lap desk for several weeks.  I really liked that lap desk.  And I pondered how best to fix it.  Or even if I could.

Step 3:   Measured the area of the “pillow”.  It was 18 x 12.  From muslin I cut  2 – 18.5 x 12.5 rectangles, 2 – 4 x 12.5 rectangles and 2- 4 x 18.5 rectangles.

Step 4 - Muslin "pillow form"

Step 4:   I sewed the  4 x 18.5 and 4 x 12.5 inch rectangles end to end to make the sides of my “pillow”.    Then I sewed on the bottom.  This is a little tricky as you must stop a quarter inch PLUS  a couple of stiches before the corner (if you sew right up to the quarter inch you will have tucks).  Sew one side at a time.  Then sew ACROSS the corners to prevent leakage.

Step 5:  Repeat for the top–EXCEPT leave a 4 or so inch opening in one of the shorter sides.  Note:  you can leave the seams on the oustide.  No one is going to see them.

Step 6 Big old bag of scraps

Step 6:  Stuff your muslin pillow form with your itty bitty scraps, threads, selvedges, batting scraps.  I used about 2/3 of the scraps from this bag.

Step 7:   Sew that open area closed.  I just stitched it down with no attempts at prettiness.  I had planned on covering up my pillow, so who cares what it looked like?

Step 8:  The cover.  Again cut cut  2 – 18.5 x 12.5 rectangles, 2 – 4 x 12.5 rectangles and 2- 4 x 18.5 rectangles.   I cut one of the 18.5 x 12.5 rectangles from a plain fabric since I knew it was  going to be the top and under the lab desk–and therefore not going to show.

Step 9:  The top piece–I sewed 2 long strips of velcro on the long sides–one inch from the edge.  A lot of people use self-adhesive velcro, but I always find I get better results if I sew on velcro on fabric.

Step 10 - hook & loop closing for cover.

Step 10:  On one of the short ends of the top, I turned under 1/4 inch.  On the underside I sewed a piece of loop tape to what would be the inside of the cover.  This is only sewed on the very edge–the opposite side of the loop tape is not attached.  Now take one of the short sides of the bag.  Turn the top edge over 1/4 inch and sew the hook tape to the inside edge AND THEN sew down the other side.  Hopefully the picture will illustrate why you sew one tape completely down and only one side of the other–it si so the top tape will pivot 90 degrees and maintain the box-like structure you are trying to create for the cover.  The picture was taken after the complete assembly.

Step 11:  I decided that a pillow form full of scraps was going to be heavier than microbeads, so I decided to add a handle.  I used a 12 x 3 inch fabric, folded in half and seamed wrong sides together.  Press the seam open on the back.  Then used a 2 1/4 x 12 inch accent strip folded

Step 11 - Handle

in half and seamed wrong sides together.  Press the seam open on the back.  Then place the two ugly seams together, centering the accent strip on top of the handle and stitch down the edges.  Voila, ugly seams hidden.  Turn the ends of the 12 inch strip under and center the handle and sew on.

Step 12:  Sew together the cover like you did the basic pillowform only DO NOT sew across corners and, of course, don’t sew the velcro end closed.

Step 13:  Insert your pillowform into your cover and velcro closed.

Step 14:  Measure and apply your hook velcro to the underside of your lap desk piece.  Then place your pillow on it and match up the velcro.

The Lap Desk Makeover Complete!

Voila!  My new lap desk is complete.  And because I have attached my new pillow with velcro, I can clean my pillow, or replace the cover if I tire of it!

AND BEST OF ALL!  I used a whole, whole lot of tiny, tiny scraps.

And what are you doing with all those scraps?


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