You can use a homemade cover, matching your room's decor, on your radiator when you are not using it for heating the room. This lets you use the radiator as a design element instead of just something that sits in the room taking up space. To put safety first, use fire retardant fabric to make a radiator cover, just in case the radiator gets turned on. If you cannot find fire retardant fabric to match your room's decor, spray the fabric with fire retardant spray before putting it on the radiator.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Old newspaper
- Indelible ink marker
- Straight pins
- 2 yards fabric
- Sewing machine
- Hand sewing needle and thread
- 1 yard, 1/4-inch wide chain
Measure the radiator from the floor in front to the back, as far down as you want the cover to go. Add 2 inches to the length for the front hem. If your radiator has pipes running up the center back, stop right above the pipes. Measure the width of the radiator. Add 5/8 inch to the width for a seam allowance.
Place a sheet of old newspaper against one side of the radiator. Draw an outline of the radiator's outer edge. Hold the outline up against the other end to make sure both ends are the same. If the sides are different, make a second newspaper pattern for the second side. Add 5/8 inch to the sides and top for the seam allowance, and add 2 inches to the length of the bottom of the side pieces for the hem.
Cut out the large piece of fabric according to the measurements. The large piece is the fabric running from the floor to the back of the radiator.
Pin the newspaper patterns to the remaining fabric using the straight pins. If both sides are the same, place the fabric's right sides together before pinning the pattern down. If the pattern pieces are different, pin each piece to the fabric's right side, or face. Cut the pieces out.
Sew all the way around each piece of radiator cover fabric using a sewing machine set to make a zigzag stitch. Let the needle hit the raw edge as it zigzags.
Pin the side pieces to the large piece of the radiator cover, lining up the bottom front edges. It will look like an inside out version of your radiator cover at this point. Sew the pieces together using a straight stitch, making sure to back-tack about three stitches on the ends of each seam. Remove the pins from the cover as you sew.
Thread the hand sewing needle and tie the thread ends together. Spread the cover out on the table. Stretch out the chain, centre it on the cover, and position the chain 2 inches up from the bottom of the radiator cover. Sew the end link of the chain by stitching a loop over the link and through the fabric about four times. Sew the other end of the chain down the same way.
Fold the hemline up 2 inches all the way across the bottom front. Pin the folded hem in place. Sew across the finished edge of the hem using a straight stitch. The back will not show anyway so you do not have to hem the back. Remove the pins.
Tips and warnings
- The weight of the chain in the hem will help the cover hang straight.
- Remove the cover before turning on the radiator. Even with fire retardant protection a cover can become a fire risk when over a hot radiator.
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