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Ah, the perils of only having one computer – it often means I don’t have access to the internet when I’m at home. And I tried using wordpress from my iphone – didn’t work so well. It seems to be rather buggy, especially if you’re trying to put photos in your blog.

Anyway. Enough griping and down to business!

A couple weeks ago we were at P’s parents’ house and his dad asked us if we wanted an old stool, then proceeded to pull a stool/bench out of the garage, cobwebs and all. He’d barely gotten the offer out of his mouth before I burst out “YES!” and sure enough, we had a stool.

Then the stool languished in our car trunk for a few days while I tried to figure out what to do with this thing.

I knew one thing: it was going to go in front of my future-imaginary-fireplace-mantle. No, we don’t have a fireplace. And no, we don’t have a mantle. But yes – I have lots of plans for our future fireplace mantle, including putting this stool in front of it!

But not looking like this.

So I went to IKEA and found this beautiful fabric called JANETTE, which has green and blue cabbages on it – upholstery weight for only $7.99 a metre! So I grabbed some of that.

From here

Isn’t that pretty? And it’s heavy weight as well – perfect for upholstery.

Then I needed a paint colour. It’s difficult to see here, but there’s a very light minty green on the cabbages that just so happens to perfectly match the colour we painted our bedroom a few years ago – and we had paint left! So first I took the old upholstery off the stool, which required pliers to remove the old upholstery tacks:

And this is what was underneath – some gross old foam. So I pulled that right off, turned the stool upside down so I could paint it – and noticed there was a giant crack (see the right leg in the first picture). I had to apply a filler – I used Dry Dex Spackling which goes on pink and then dries white. Here you can see the white and the pink:

Then I put it in front of the fan to dry faster, though it was probably done in about 20 minutes in the heat we had that day.

I then set up a drop cloth in the kitchen, put the stool upside down on a bucket and started painting with Benjamin Moore Nottingham Green.

I had to use a Cover Girl makeup brush to get some of the more intricate curlicues because all my paint brushes are at my parents’ house:

So much for that brush – I’m pretty sure it’s ruined for makeup now.

I did two coats of the paint and it looked something like this:

Much improved, I think.

I waited overnight between coats, then overnight again before I put the foam back on (yes, I reused the foam – I’m frugal!) and the upholstery. Perfect long weekend job.

I then cut the fabric in the same shape as the original upholstery, by pulling the original upholstery sewing apart and it came out to this shape:

I then pinned the insides of the squares cut from the corners together and sewed in a straight line to create the cushion shape that would fit over the foam.

I had to buy upholstery tacks to hammer the new upholstery to the stool section, and I couldn’t use the old nails because a) they were ugly, b) I’d wrecked them by taking them out with the pliers, and c) most of them were rusty or had a white residue on them – yuck. So I went to Home Depot and found these for $2.30 for a box of 24. (For future reference – they’re in the nail aisle with the picture hanging items. No one there knew where they were!) I was so happy to find them in white, though they did mark up a bit when I hammered them in – what, am I supposed to have a white hammer or something?

However, I’ll need to buy another pack because I killed a couple of the nails with my shoddy hammering and there weren’t enough (9 on each of the long sides meant only 3 left for the ends – I think I’ll need 5).

I then fit the covering over the stool, but I decided to tape it with painter’s tape so it wouldn’t move around when I was hammering; it worked surprisingly well:

Then I hammered those puppies home, pulling the covering tight as I went:

And this is the final result – minus the extra tacks needed on the ends:

Yay! I think it’s a definite improvement. Let’s do a final tally on the cost. Assuming that I purchase an additional pack of tacks and that I used 1 metre of fabric (I probably used half if not less):

Tacks    4.60

Fabric    7.99


Total    12.59

Less than $13!! I think it’ll look great in front of our future fireplace mantle, and it was fantastically frugal.

What do you think?