Stool Sample


Was that a little much? I mean, it IS indeed a sample of how to make over a stool. Sorry, just had to go for it. Actually, I apologize for nothing. Instead, I offer you these insights on revamping a foot stool. Fair enough? Good. I went on a little countryside adventure with my parents, Ms. Kim and Mr. Bill (as my friend’s 4-year-old has named them) to the back roads of Wisconsin. There, we took part in an annual township tradition known as Garage Sale Days. If you’re not from the Midwest, let me explain. Everyone organizes their individual garage sales on the same day and it is then advertised in the weekly shopper circular. This, by historic proof increases the chances of selling that four dollar garden hose reel and plastic drawer organizer (which I did find and buy during our trip). After hitting a handful of sales, my energy was dwindling. Sure, garden hose reel and plastic drawer organizer in-hand made me feel like it was all for something, but I hadn’t found my “gem”. You know, that one unique, good steal that makes stepping in dog shit and proceeding to drag the smell into my parent’s pickup truck all worthwhile. Actually, now that I recall, it wasn’t me, it was Mr. Bill. He stepped in a canine fun pie and Ms. Kim and I laughed until we cried. “What’s that smell?” “Gross, it’s dog poop.” “Everyone check their shoes!…..oh, it’s me.” said Mr. Bill (Refer back to the title of this post, just for a second). Winding down, we had a few more garages to skim through. And then, out of the corner of my still weepy eye, I see it. The Excalibur of garage sale enticements….. an old lady’s free pile. Jrackprot! I filed through the random cubes of foam, old sewing patterns, cracked tupperware and there it was. The apple of my eye, my new charity case. A mid-century hairpin stool.


This guy needs some help

Yeah, it’s a little crunchy, a tad weathered. But it was in the free pile! And it has hairpins! I literally grabbed it by the leg with one hand much like a mother saving a drowning child and yelled at someone who seemed to be in charge. “THIS I TAKE FROM YOUR FREE PILE!” I said in full neanderthal madness. The lady gave me a concerning look and turned her attention back to a paying customer. The deal was done. A contract had been written with surly eyebrows and sweaty temples, the stool was mine.

I love a good hairpin, everyone is obsessing over mid-century at the moment and I must admit, I can’t get enough either. Go ahead, drink the kook-aid with me I toiled over how to properly give this little guy an update. I do not support heavy slabs of colorful paint on original forms of furniture, most of the time. The idea is always to enhance, not defile. I decided to leave the original finish of the hairpin legs, the worn steal underbelly seeping through was great, charming and most importantly, original. Can’t touch that. The crack on the cushion was extreme. If you closed your eyes and were to feel the top of this stool it would feel like this: crunch crunch crunch, dirty slimy crevice, crunch crunch. The mission was to repair the top and leave the legs. I found a very nice piece of upholstery fabric in the Joann’s remnant bin, clearance priced then half off. Seven bucks, booya. Gathered my staple gun, duct tape, old towels, and piece of vinyl leather and went to work. I duct taped two layers of folded towels to the top of the stool. I actually said goodbye to these towels, we would never see each other again. They were down right martyrs, giving me permission to use them inside of this footstool. Thanks towel friends.


Next, I made sure to cut the remnant fabric to cover the crunchy vinyl top, leaving enough fabric to fold under the stool. I went to work with the staple gun. It’s like tightening a spare tire, alternate between sides to make sure the fabric is stretched evenly. Otherwise the pattern on the fabric will look wonky which isn’t the look I’m trying to achieve.

I finished off the bottom to make it look nice and neat by adding a square of vinyl leather. Tiny nails hold this piece securely to the bottom of the footstool.



The minute you sweep your hand over the top of your newly finished footstool, you will have a zen moment. Like giving CPR to a baby squirrel, this was very satisfying.


It turned out really well. It looks high-end and polished. Total spend on this project including materials?…..about nine dollars.


Peanut was all like “Yyyyeah boyyyyy!”

And this is what it looks like with a cat on it. Classy, sassy, and can hold Zed’s big assy!



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