Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Grandma Stool

(This title is in no reference to my actual grandmothers' houses, it just looked so stereotypically movie-setting for an old house that it just fit. So, hence the name the grandma stool)

So, feeling inspired by Pinterest (if you haven't checked it out, stopped reading immediately and go see for yourself!) and a number of home decor, DIY blogs found via Pinterest, I went shopping on this past Saturday morning, all inspired and motivated to find some cool, old pieces that needed a little attention and an addition of Megan-ness to them. Mission accomplished - a few times over! This piece, of course, is the first I finished and promptly displayed on Facebook because I'm just SO FREAKING EXCITED and proud of it!

My first trip on Saturday was to the Athens Habitat for Humanity ReStore - it's a local thrift shop and all the proceeds go to the local HfH chapter, so it's a cool thing to see go straight back to the community too. I went there last week as well, with no luck. All I was really looking for at this point was a dresser (I'm still living out of suitcases in some parts of my bedroom). This store is HUGE - and has everything you could ever want... except a dresser. It had huge pieces that come with huge tri-fold  mirrors that I just couldn't see fitting (aesthetically or otherwise) into my room! So on to the next place. I searched thrift stores in Athens and lo and behold, at least a dozen showed up! Success! I was nearest the Salvation Army Family Store, which was on the way to the biggest store I knew of in town, so I figured why not? The Salvation Army store in town is itty bitty, but unlike most thrift stores or Goodwills I've been into, quite organized and not at all overwhelming. I walked straight back towards the furniture and found this little guy:

It's obviously been primed and then given up on; was totally streaky and had ridges formed just from the paint. But that's okay! For $9.99, who couldn't pass it up? Not I! Excited about this find, I kept scouring the aisles trying to see what other excitement I could uncover. And then... there it was... I had just read about recovering chairs on a number of blogs and nearly jumped for joy after finding such an easy piece I could makeover. What luck!
I was so excited to find these both, for $9.99 a piece (and a dress for $2.99) that I almost wanted to go straight home and get to work on seeing what I could recreate with these guys. But something told me to continue and go to America's Thrift Stores and see if anything good had shown up since the last time I was there (during which I was fairly disappointed). So... I did. And man, I'm sure glad I did! But that's another story because that's going to be a major piece of work for this first-timer. Because I know y'all are just waiting for the story of the stool, that's what we'll get to today! Here goes!

So, thankfully, as I said, this was probably the easiest piece to be able to recover for someone who has never even attempted to do any reupholstery, recovering of anything in her entire life. So, thankfully, this piece found its way into my life. Photo directions below for the whole adventure! Yay!
So it's not that this fabric is ugly, it's just not me. And doesn't fit my house. And it just needed some help. The legs themselves were this really pretty dark red wood that probably could have been left, but also didn't fit the idea I had in mind. So, off to Hobby Lobby and Lowe's for a little fabric and paint fun!

See? Not horrendous. Just not Megan.
First up, removing the seat from the frame itself. Thankfully, not complicated and lucky for me I had a screwdriver that was long enough to fit into the frame to get the screwdrivers out. Easy peasy.
Molly had a great day because we spent it all on the patio! It was so nice out!
Next up, recovering this seat. I picked this fabulous black and white damask print because it goes for the whole general feel of my bedroom (black and white and ____ some color to be determined). I absolutely love it and was sure to get a thicker fabric meant for upholstery and drapes and such so this guy could last forever. Because the fabric that was on top was in actually really good shape, I decided not to remove it entirely and just recovered the entire thing. Which also made for one less step but also a little extra cushion.
Wrapping a seat is a lot like wrapping a present (something that I've also never been able to master), especially the corners. Also keep in mind that I didn't feel the need to use a staple gun, as most folks do, because well... who wants to buy a staple gun when they don't regulary do this stuff anyway? Not me! So I went to the next best thing, the savior of all arts and crafts... the hot glue gun! Works just as well, and still gets hidden by the frame once it's reassembled so who cares anyway? So after I figured out how to get the corners done, voila! No problem.
She's done! All pretty!

Who's excited? ME!

So, step one is done and I'm riding high on accomplishment at this point, super pumped. So on to the frame. Like I said, the wood was actually pretty. But with the dark print and the feel of my room, I just didn't think it suited what I was going for. So, haul out the black paint, we went darker.
After the first coat.
After the second coat.

After letting it dry for about three hours (thankfully I had a few other projects work on to kill time), it was time to finally put her back together! I can't even tell you how excited I was to see my first whole piece come back to life. What fun! And now... the final piece!

Because more than one angle is totally necessary.
And so you can compare without scrolling all the way back up, the before and after:

I'm so pumped about this and though this project was so easy, it's given me the encouragement and motivation to keep going on my other projects, like that table you saw earlier (and two other pieces that will eventually make their debut too!). I've already got big plans for this chair, but I can't show you until the next piece is done!

Enjoy! Go find a chair at your thrift shop and see what you can do too!


  1. Thanks! :) I'm super excited about it!

  2. Great job Megan! I enjoy doing work like this, but I must admit that I'm glad that my house is furnished. lol

  3. Yay! I'm inspired! Pinterest will be the death of my budget

  4. Awww.. I think Pinterest will save my budget! LOL.