Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thrift Store Stool Makeover



A couple weeks ago, I discovered a fantastic vintage store called Ransack the Universe. It's not new, but it's new to me! I freakin' loved it. I basically fainted a little when I walked in. Then, I fainted some more when I went down the scary steps into heavenly bliss.


I walked around that place for so long, left the store, walked down the street then came back to look at the same stuff again. I basically looked at every item in the store about 3-4 times. I just didn't want to leave. Eventually, I bought 2 simple stools out of the stack of, like, 10, and a little pouch for my sunglasses. I bought them with a plan in mind for the stools. I am pretty confident that every time I ever go to Ransack the Universe, I will leave with SOMETHING. Can't wait to go back!!

I've had a busy last little while so I decided that this weekend, I would take it easy. I decided to stay in on Friday night, chill out and go to bed at a decent time. By chill out I meant makeover my new, old stools.

Here's how I did it in 10, ahem, simple steps.

STEP 1: CLEAN THEM UP

I did this when I originally brought them home. I used an all purpose cleaning spray and a rag. Simple.

STEP 2: SEPARATE THE SEAT FROM THE FRAME


This should have been the simplest step: unscrew the screws. I, on the other hand, took 15 minutes just to find my screwdriver kit. It ended up being in the first place I looked but was just covered with a scarf that had fallen down. I thought I had rummaged through that closet sufficiently but apparently I didn't the first time. With all the pieces in my kit, I didn't have the right screwdriver head.  Are you kidding me? I was already in my painting furniture clothes! I threw on a jacket that covered my attire as much as possible and ran, well walked quickly, to my dollar store that's not really a dollar store. I found what I needed fairly quickly. When I got back, I unscrewed the seats in about 2 minutes.

STEP 3: SAND THE FRAME



This is straightforward. I used a sanding block and just kept going until it felt smooth when I ran my gloves over it. I loosened the rubber feet on one of the stools because I had one set of replacement rubber feet.  I wanted to keep them on while painting so the metal wouldn't scratch the floor.  I covered the other feet with painter's tape since I couldn't replace them. Next, I wiped down the frame with a cloth to get all the bits off.

STEP 4: SPRAY PAINT THE FRAME


I don't have any outdoor space at my little apartment, so I created a makeshift paint tent with a plastic drop sheet and foam board for structure.  I opened up all the windows, put 3 fans on and put on my face mask. I know this is not recommended, but I made it as safe as possible. I sprayed 1-2 coats. I didn't wait between coats, I just went for it. I made sure to compare the new colour against the old then I left it to dry while I started the rest.

Step 5: REMOVE THE OLD FABRIC


This ended being the hardest part! I originally thought that I would pull out ALL of the old staples then just pull off the old fabric, which was really just some vinyl.  The old staples were really rusty and there were so many. I was trying to use a slotted screwdriver to lift them up and a pair of pliers to pull them out. This was taking forever so I decided to skip this step.  I used a box cutter to slice a line in the vinyl around the staples. The goal was to be able to cleanly pull off the vinyl from the top of the seat in one shot and it worked. After that I just butchered the back. I sliced lines all over the place and pulled of the pieces of fabric with the pliers. After that was done, I removed any staples that were raised. There weren't many.

Step 6: ADD BATTING AND NEW FABRIC


Maybe about 1 year ago, I bought a bag of batting from a Salvation Army store. I usually only buy items from thrift stores that I can clean, wash and/or steam but this was in a completely sealed bag and it was only 99 cents. I knew I would eventually use it in some project or another. Luckily, when I opened it up that night, it was exactly the size I needed for my 2 stools seats so all I had to do was cut in half. No measuring. Yay! Finally, things were going well!


To measure the fabric, I laid it out flat on the floor, with the good side of the fabric facing down. I initially tried to measure about 3 inches overlap on each side. I wanted to conserve as much fabric as I could so instead I opted to fold it in half, place one seat on top and just pull the fabric over each side to ensure that there was enough of an overlap on each side. I cut off the excess fabric. I eyeballed it. It worked. Then I cut right along my fold. I knew I had a small margin for error so I didn't bother drawing any lines or anything.


I laid out one piece of cut fabric, good side down, and lay the seat with the batting on it, face down. I centered it and started stapling. I started with one side, stapled all the way across, but not all the way to the ends. Then I did the opposite side. Since my fabric was really thin, I put a lot of staples in it so that I wouldn't get those lines pulling where each staple was. I could have used more fabric to avoid this because there was enough but I loved the fabric so much so I was being stingy. For the corners, I pulled the corner piece of fabric down, put one staple in the middle piece, then kind of played around with the rest of the fabric until I got a good, rounded corner. I repeated this for the next seat. I was already loving it! Hopefully, this explanation makes sense to you.


Step 7: ADD THE BACKING

my little oops!

When I got my screwdriver at the dollar store that night, I spotted some vinyl placemats so I bought 2 as backing for the stools. I have a box full of fabric at home that I was intending to use for this, but for $2, this seemed like a better option. I lay the mat over the seat, estimated the size and started trimming. I wasn't too fussy on this part so I eyeballed it again and just used the straight edges of the mats as my guides.  I stapled one of them on then realized I hadn't cut the holes out for the screws! I ran my fingers over the mat to try to find the screw holes. It took me a few tries, but I eventually got them. I sliced an "X" with the box cutter where each hole was then cut a little square around the "X". This created little triangles that I was able to easily pull off. I pulled the fabric through the holes if there was any and trimmed it with scissors. First, I tried to just screw right through the fabric BUT it was starting to pull the threads. I am so glad that I figured out this little mistake before I did the second backing. I cut those holes in before stapling the full mat on second stool. That's what you call a learning curve, my friend.

Step 8: ATTACH THE FINISHED SEAT TO THE PAINTED FRAME

Simple. Took about a minute.

Step 9: DO A HAPPY DANCE


This was a must. I was so excited! I proceeded to send a picture to a bunch of people even though this blog was supposed to be my alternative for that. I couldn't help myself.

Step 10: PLACE THEM IN MY HOME

I put the stools at the foot of my bed and stared at them for a while. Every now and then, I would go back and peek at them. I was swooning. One day, I'll post pics of my projects actually in use in my home. One day. I'm not quite ready for that right now.

This was not a crazy, complicated project. It's been done before. It was not particularly innovative, but I still LOVE IT.  I think it's the fabric choice that excites me. I love colour and print and brightness. In the past I was trying to be more muted in my decor. I thought it would be more sophisticated and less feminine so it would be fair to the fiance. I'm not doing that anymore. I can make it colourful but somewhat gender neutral and he's ok with that. I'm on a mission to live my life in colour! I am working on surrounding myself with pieces and projects that I love both individually and combined.

I hope you can appreciate this project as much as I can! Have a great week!

Sarah

26 comments:

  1. These are so fun-looking! Great for an alternative to a bench at the foot of the bed (not sure if you're KEEPING them there) or as extra seating for guests!

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    1. Thank you!! I am going to do both! They will live in the bedroom and come out as guest seating if we need them. How did you know? Lol!

      Sarah

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  2. Its so much more rewarding recreating something for yourself, love this idea! I wish I could do more like this. x

    Louise
    http://louiseplace.com

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    1. I agree! Thank you. Love your blog by the way. You post on 8 social perks is fantastic.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Sarah

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  3. Replies
    1. Thank you very much!! And thanks for stopping by :D

      Sarah

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  4. This is so impressive! You make it sound simple enough, but it's way out of my craft skills;) I love the color too, I'm trying to start wearing and choosing more color. I usually just pick anything, blue or gray.

    www.hollandsreverie.blogspot.com

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  5. Aw, thank you very much! I'm sure you could do it :) I wear a lot of colour and I find it energizing. I love a good neutral too but something about bright colours always get me. I say try one bold piece, like a printed pant. You may find that you love it ;)

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Sarah

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  6. They came out amazing! Great job! I love DIY makeover projects like this!
    Xo Amanda
    http://sansscrubs.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Amanda! I like your Buy This Instead series btw.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Sarah

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  7. Looks great! Love how you recreated it! Great skill

    www.madeinmauve.com

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    1. Thank you for the lovely comment and for stopping by!

      Sarah

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  8. The fabric you used is super cute! Love the colors!

    http://www.petiteyetchic.com/

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    1. Thank you very much! I was drawn to it immediately. Thanks for stopping by!

      Sarah

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  9. This is such a fun project, and such a great idea. I really wish I was more into the diy stuff! Maybe I need to be!

    Lauren xo
    Sophisticated In Style

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    1. You do! It's so satisfying! haha and customizable. Thanks for visiting!

      Sarah

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  10. Great finds and so creative with what you did there.

    Mary

    theloveofmary.blogspot.com

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  11. Great job re purposing that chair! its looks like its in wayy better shape now! :)

    xx Sera | STARDUSTBOHEMIAN.COM
    (IG: @TheStardustBohemian)

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    1. Thanks Sera! Appreciate you stopping by!

      Sarah

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  12. So cute! Gotta love a good thrifty find!!!! xo

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    1. OMG a celebrityyyyy!!! Thank you! And thanks for checking out my little blog :D

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  13. This project turned out so good! xo, Hayley www.dailydoseofdarling.com

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    1. Sorry for the late response Hayley. I totally responded way back but I guess it didn't take?? Anyways, thanks for the lovely comment and thanks for stopping by!

      Sarah

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  14. Love the idea! Ideally simplistic as I like such small diy projects. Would love to feature a post of yours on my blog one day.

    Cheers!

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    1. Thanks Daniel! Yes, I love the small DIYs, easier to check off the list. If you are interested, feel free to shoot me an email: diyescapades@gmail.com. Thanks for stopping by!

      Sarah

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