Pow 1o Make ?

our Cwn $33 SLraw MaLLress Ŵ from smallŴscaleŦneL
hLLpť//permaculLureldeasŦblogspoLŦcom/2011/07/howŴLoŴmakeŴyourŴownŴ33ŴsLrawŴmaLLressŦhLml Sourced fromť smallŴscaleŦneL
(1bls lovely ul¥ bowŴto wos wtltteo by smollŴscoleŦoetƌs bloq ootbotƌs qolftleoJ Aptllţ wbo teceotly moJe o footostlc sttow motttess fot tbe cob beJŦ
Not ooly ls lt eotltely oototolţ lt´s ptetty sopet to sleep ooţ tooŦ keoJ obeoJ!)
Llvlng ln a handŴbullL home can ofLen mean maklng unlque and nonŴconvenLlonal furnlLure cholcesŦ l recenLly LranslLloned from a LenL Lo a cob
house and ran lnLo Lhe dllemma of whaL Lo do abouL a bedŦ My crlLerla was someLhlng naLural and susLalnableţ economlcalţ readlly avallableţ
qulck and easy Lo assembleţ and comforLableŦ ls LhaL Loo much Lo ask? l declded Lo do some research flrsLŦ
Why not to buy a convent|ona| mattress
l looked aL some convenLlonal maLLressesŦ WhaL Lhe heck ls ln Lhose Lhlngsţ l askedŦ 1hese maLLresses are composed of meLal collsţ ofLen plasLlc
coaLedţ encased ln fabrlc and paddlngŦ As a resulL of Lhelr maLerlals and manufacLurlngţ Lhey also conLaln volaLlle Crganlc Compounds (vCCs)ţ
formaldehydeţ and chemlcal flre reLardanLs LhaL wlll offŴgas over LlmeŦ Andţ wlLh a prlce Lag of over $330 for a full slze maLLressţ Lhls opLlon lsn'L
parLlcularly economlcalŦ Poweverţ Lhere ls such a Lhlng as ecoŴfrlendly and organlc maLLressesŦ 1hese usually conLaln organlc coLLon or woolţ nonŴ
Loxlc flre reLardanLsţ naLural laLex rubberţ and recycled meLal sprlngsŦ 8uL wlLh an even hefLler prlce Lag of around $1000 for a full slze maLLressţ
Lhls wasn'L really an opLlon for me aL allŦ
1rad|t|ona| mattress mater|a|s
WhaL abouL maklng my own maLLress? Þeople have been maklng Lhelr own beds for Lhousands of yearsŦ 1he anclenL 8omans used sLrawţ an
agrlculLural byŴproducLţ Lo make Lhelr maLLressesŦ AnoLher byŴproducLţ rlce chaff (Lhe husks separaLed from Lhe edlble gralns)ţ ls used as maLLress
flller ln Asla and oaL chaff was LradlLlonal ln ScoLlandŦ AL flrsLţ maklng my own maLLress sounded Loo amblLlous slnce l've goL a mlnlmal amounL of
sewlng experlenceţ buL sLraw ls naLuralţ locally avallableţ and aL $2Ŧ00 Ŷ $4Ŧ00 per baleţ lL was worLh a LryŦ lf lL dldn'L work ouLţ dlsposlng of my
sLraw maLLress would be as slmple as reuslng Lhe fabrlc for anoLher purposeţ and dumplng Lhe sLraw ln Lhe garden for composLŦ (MosL
convenLlonal maLLresses go Lo a landflll aL Lhe end of Lhelr llvesŦ)
Mak|ng a t|ck
l needed Lo make a slmple sackţ LradlLlonally called a Llckţ Lo serve as Lhe maLLress coverŦ A sLurdy coLLon fabrlc wlLh verLlcal blue sLrlpesţ called
Llcklngţ ls sLlll used for maLLresses LodayŦ l chose heavy fabrlc woven from 100Ʒ coLLonţ or duckţ because lL appeared Lo be more sLurdy and
durable for my purposesŦ
My maLLress would resL on a cob plaLform pressed agalnsL a curved wall along one sldeŦ 8ecause of lLs cusLom shapeţ my flrsL sLep was Lo lay
down a sheeL of paper (l used sheeLs of newspaper Laped LogeLher) Lo Lrace a LemplaLe for Lhe maLLress shapeŦ lor someone maklng a
convenLlonalŴslzed maLLressţ Lhls sLep ls as easy as flndlng dlmenslons for Lhe approprlaLe slze bed frame (Lwlnţ fullţ queenţ or klng)Ŧ
Des|gn|ng a temp|ate
-exLţ l lald Lhe paper LemplaLe on my fabrlc and added an lnch Lo each slde (2 lnches added Lo Lhe LoLal wldLhţ 2 lnches Lo Lhe
LoLal lengLh)Ŧ l cuL ouL Lhe Lop and boLLom panels aL Lhe same Llme Lo ellmlnaLe any shape lnconslsLenclesŦ MaLLress Lhlckness
can be based on personal preferenceŦ l chose Lo make Lhe slde panels for my maLLress 9 lnches wlde (7 lnches when flnlshed)
based on Lhe helghL of Lhe bed plaLformŦ l cuL ouL recLangular slde panels from Lhe lefLover scraps of my large panels and sewed
Lhem lnLo one sLrlp long enough Lo go around Lhe perlmeLer of Lhe Lwo long sldes and one shorL slde of my large panelsŦ (1he
oLher shorL slde ls where Lhe buLLon closure goes for sLufflng sLraw Ŷ more on LhaL laLerŦ)
-exLţ l plnned and plnned and plnnedŦ uon'L underesLlmaLe Lhls sLepŦ lL Lakes a loL of paLlenceţ buL Lhe aLLenLlon Lo deLall
aL Lhls polnL wlll make sewlng much easler laLerŦ l Look Lhe edges of each panel (abouL Z lnch) and folded Lhem over Lwlce
before plnnlng Lo relnforce Lhe seam and make a flnlshed edge on boLh sldes of Lhe fabrlcŦ 1hls ensures LhaL your fabrlc won'L
unravel and should make sLufflng much easlerŦ ?ou can aLLach panels Lo each oLher by foldlng wlLh Lhe edges sandwlched
LogeLherŦ Make sure Lo lnserL plns perpendlcular Lo Lhe dlrecLlon Lhe Lhread wlll be sewn (lf uslng a machlne) so Lhe needle
glldes easlly over Lhe plnsŦ 1hls fabrlc ls heavy and unwleldy so plnnlng one slde aL a Llme makes lL easler Lo push Lhrough a
sLandardŴslze sewlng machlneŦ Alsoţ make sure Lo use a heavyŴduLy needleţ made for canvas or [eansţ and Lhlck LhreadŦ
1he panel for Lhe buLLon closure was a llLLle LrlcklerŦ l wanLed Lhe closure Lo buLLon ln Lhe cenLer of Lhe panel raLher Lhan aL Lhe
seam Lo help puL less sLress on Lhe edges of Lhe maLLressŦ And Lhey need Lo be sLrong enough Lo Lake dally abuseŦ Soţ l cuL ouL
Lwo panels Lo make up Lhe closure slde (one 6 lnch wlde panel and one 3 Z lnch wlde panel) and flnlshed one long slde of each
panel (where Lhe buLLons and buLLon holes would be sewn)Ŧ AfLer overŴlapplng Lhe flnlshed edges (abouL Z lnch)ţ Lhe panel
should be 9 lnches wlde (llke Lhe oLher sldes) and easy Lo sew ln placeŦ AfLer sewlng everyLhlng upţ l Lurned lL lnslde ouL and
sLuffed Lhe maLLress!
tuff|ng the mattress
SLufflng ls preLLy selfŴexplanaLoryŦ Make sure Lo break up Lhe sLraw bales Lhoroughly and sLuff evenlyŦ SLuff more LlghLly for a
flrm maLLress wlLhouL lumpsŦ ?ou can use a sLlck or rake Lo help push sLraw lnLo cornersţ or cllmb lnLo Lhe Llck yourself Lo geL Lhe
sLraw packed especlally wellŦ
1he maLLress looked a llLLle absurd once l goL on Lhe bed because lL was so hugeţ buL Lhe sLraw evenLually seLLles Lo Lhe
lnLended Lhlckness afLer a couple weeks of useŦ AfLer abouL four Lo slx monLhsţ Lhe sLraw wlll be replacedŦ 1hls ls because Lhe
sLraw wlll become qulLe compacL afLer much useŦ
ln LoLalţ l pald $29Ŧ00 for fabrlc and Lhreadţ and $6Ŧ00 for 3 bales of sLrawŦ All Loldţ |t took me about a week and 53S to make
my own comfy straw mattress

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