I don’t have a really big yard, but I do tend to spend a lot of time on the ground when I’m gardening. I might be weeding, planting, or just trying to make things look nicer. Either way, my knees take a lot of abuse. I’ve been using one of those foam garden kneelers for the past few years, but it’s no longer doing the job. I ended up with bruised knees when weeding the fire pit area.
I looked around to see if I could find a new kneeler that I would actually like. The problem was that I didn’t see anything that I thought would either last or would be something that I would like using. I knew what I wanted so I decided that I would make my own. I thought about how I would use it, what to use for cushioning and cost.
My first thought was to use a durable fabric like canvas. Then it hit me… Levi Strauss came up with denim after using tent canvas to make durable pants. Denim is not only a pretty durable material but it’s also easy to wash. So I went shopping at the Goodwill. I found the cheapest pair of large pants I could find. These are a man’s 49 waist and they were $2. I then found the fluffiest cheap towel ($1). I had purchased a cheap vinyl table cloth at Wal-Mart when it was marked down to $1. I didn’t end up using all of it, so in total I have about $3.10 invested in my kneeler.
I folded the towel until I had the right amount of cushioning for my knees and determined how much of the extra that I would need to cut off. You can always serge the cut edges of the extra and make them into rags for under the kitchen sink.
Then, with some assistance from Chester, I placed the jeans over the towel to figure out where I would need to cut the leg. If I messed this one up I still had one more to use! I wanted to use the leg because it already had a nice hem at one end. I will end up putting Velcro at the hem so that if I need to replace the towel it will be easy to remove.
To make it easier to care for I decided that I would make a sleeve out of the vinyl tablecloth to slip the towel into. The vinyl should keep the towel dry if the kneeler gets wet. This way I can remove the vinyl covered towel and launder only the denim shell when needed.
I first serged three of the sides together, then folded it right side out. Place the towel inside, folded as you want it to be for your kneeler, and serge the fourth side to close it up. If you don’t have a serger then you can use a regular sewing machine, though I would probably use a zig-zag stitch to help protect against tearing. Though you won’t see it, this portion of the kneeler will be under a lot of stress when it’s in use.
After the towel was encased in the tablecloth I sewed Velcro onto the pant leg at the hem line. Also, double check that your towel will fit into the denim shell before you go too far. Luckily mine fit nicely despite the fact that I hadn’t really measured the pant leg before starting on the towel envelope.
I sewed up the cut end of the pant leg, inserting a strip of denim to make a loop at the end. This loop will enable me to hang it for storage or hang it off of my finger while trying to carry everything to my gardening spot.
Nice and cushy…
Plenty of knee room…
I have had a chance to use it and so far, so good! It’s not too big or bulky and yet it does a great job of cushioning my knees. And I still have the other leg should I need to make a new one!