Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Merriam-Webster defines a SIT-UPON as "a square of waterproof cloth carried by hikers and campers for sitting on wet ground."  I remember making a sit-upon as a young girl with my Brownie troop.  As a troop leader, I knew our troop would enjoy making sit-upons during our overnight camping trip this past fall.  I searched "sit-upon" online and discovered many different examples of how to make this traditional Girl Scout cushion. 

I bought two vinyl tablecloths for $2 each at Walmart that measured 60"x120".  The girls were allowed to vote for their favorite tablecloth.  I explained it would be used for a craft at a future meeting.  The decision was unanimous.  They loved the watermelons!  I later used fabric scissors to cut the tablecloth at 15" increments along the 120" side which gave me 8 rectangles measuring 15"x60".  I then cut these rectangles in half on the 60" side to get smaller rectangles that measured 15"x30".  

I folded the 15"x30" rectangle in half to make a 15"x15" square.  I punched holes about 1" apart and about 1" from the edge, using a standard handheld 1-hole punch.  This was very time-consuming and tiring, so I worked on one sit-upon per night over the course of a couple weeks.  I researched different padding options for the cushion.  I considered recycling and reusing carpet remnants, plastic grocery bags, newspaper, and bubble wrap.  We ended up using pieces of thick, high-density foam one of our parents saw in a recycling bin at work and was able to donate to our troop.

I originally planned to have the girls use yarn and a plastic needle to sew the three open sides of the tablecloth together.  Days before our camping trip, I was at a Service Unit Leader Meeting, talking with another leader about the sit-upons.  She described a Duct Tape Sit-Upon she had come across on the Internet.  After some consideration, I scrapped my original plan and adopted this alternative idea.  I used a 40% off coupon at Michael's and paid only $2.65 for a roll of red Duct Tape to match our watermelon tablecloth.

We finished the sit-upons by spreading the tablecloth rectangles out on a picnic table.  The girls placed the precut 12"x12" foam square on the nearest end of the rectangle before folding the far end over the foam to cover it.  We helped them tape the edges of the tablecloth together.  The girls finished the sit-upon by adding a handle.  They folded one long piece of duct tape in half lengthwise and secured the handle to the cusion with smaller pieces of duct tape.  The girls used the sit-upons when they sat at the picnic tables for meals and to do crafts.  They also took them to sit on by the campfire later that night.  Super cheap...super useful...super fun!

Thank you for reading!


  1. What a great idea! Duck tape! I pinned this one and hope to do this with our girls..thanks!

    1. Good deal! I hope you all have a great time with the project.

  2. do you remember where you got the foam and how much it was?

    1. A mother of one of the girls in our troop works at a hospital. She saw the foam in a recycling bin and asked if we could have it. I saw that Hobby Lobby is currently offering 30% off foam products. Maybe this chair pad would work?
      Good luck with the sit-upons!