I have some really good memories of being a Brownie and a Junior Girl Scout and although it has been a while since those days, many of the ideals that I learned and activities that we got involved in have stuck with me and been helpful in later life. I even remember things like the words to “The Beanie Song” that haven’t really come in handy for anything after the age of 10. And I know they are taking up useful space in my brain that could be used for something else, like where did I leave those sunglasses?
For those who were never lucky enough to be a Girl Scout or to know one besides the ones you buy your cookies from, let me provide some context about the sit-upon, sometimes spelled situpon, and other times I’ve seen it as sit upon. No matter your spelling preference, we’re talking about a piece of waterproof fabric or other material carried by campers or hikers, specifically Brownies or Girl Scouts and used for sitting on cold and damp surfaces. Making a sit-upon is one of the first Girl Scout projects that I remember doing.
Since moving to North Carolina, I have been blessed that I can go to the beach on the spur of the moment rather than having to plan a whole day’s excursion the way I did up in New England. So I try to keep things in my car, like an extra pair of flip flops and a couple of beach towels, that come in handy if I have a chance to make a quick stop on the sand. For the first few times, I kept thinking to myself, a sit-upon, like we used to use in Girl Scouts, would be just perfect. Something lighter than a beach chair and water resistant that I could use to just plop down on the sand and lightly brush off before I put it back in my car.
My plan was to look for something to buy at one of the local beach shops. But I kept coming back to the idea of a sit-upon and the happy memories from Girl Scouts so I decided to make my own. After doing a little research and finding all sorts of shapes, materials and methods, I came up with these steps:
- Vinyl tablecloth with fabric backing
- Newspaper (I used 10 full-sized sheets for a finished product size of 16 1/2″ x 16 1/2″)
- Double-sided tape (I used Thermoweb Peel’n Stick Fabric Fuse)
- Packing tape
Fold each sheet of newspaper in half 3 times so it is 3″ wide
Place 5 sheets of folded newspaper next to each other vertically
One by one weave remaining 5 sheets of folded newspaper horizontally through vertical sheets using an over and under or basketweave technique
Fold ends from bottom layer up onto the top layer and secure with tape
Flip newspaper pad over and fold remaining ends up and over and secure with tape
Cut section of vinyl tablecloth to 22″ x 44″
Lay vinyl tablecloth section facedown and place newspaper pad at one end, leaving a margin of 2 1/2″ on 3 sides
Fold short edge of tablecloth over pad and secure with packing tape
Fold each long edge of tablecloth over pad and secure with packing tape
Place strips of double-sided tape around edge of newspaper pad
Fold remaining side of vinyl tablecloth over and secure to double-sided tape