When Emily and I were on our way home after studying Seattle architecture, we stopped by a store in Ballard called Restore. It's a store full of all sorts of things waiting for restoration to a purpose … light fixtures, drawer pulls, door knobs, windows, bricks, doors, wood lockers from a high school that were big enough to lay down in, bathtubs and sinks, a little furniture, appliances … Of course, my imagination was whirring like crazy as I walked through the mazes of stuff … (which I might add was very well organized and labeled—you know how I love my labeling!)
We were about to leave when we noticed this lonely stool sitting up on a table (or some similar surface).
Any time I find a stool, I'm instantly interested. Kind of like when I find a pitcher. You know the pouring kind of pitchers. Although, I also have a penchant for the baseball kind, too.
Anyway, I was interested in this stool. The fact that it had movable steps was even more fun. I knew this stool wasn't old or antique, but I knew that it needed new life and could serve a more beautiful function somewhere besides in that store. So I bought it.
For $15 and a few jabs by the sales clerk about the fact that I was planning on 'beautifying' it. He even said that I was funny. No one ever says that I'm funny, unless they are making fun of me!
I brought it home, went to the fabric store, Emily picked up paint because I wanted to paint the dark brown parts ivory, and I got to work.
First, I disassembled the whole thing, ratchet set and all. Emily labeled plastic bags with the location of where the nuts and bolts came from. Like mother, like daughter … on the labeling thing, anyway! Organization can take you far … at least far enough to (hopefully) get the stool back together.
I used steel wool on each and every part because it was FILTHY! The foam was actually stuck to the metal seat and I had to scrub part of that off, too. It is still discolored, but it is in way better shape now than before! No more rust, no more foam fuzzies, no more spider webs! (NOTE to the Treasure Seeker: many things that look unusable simply need to be cleaned and they become acceptable!)
After cleaning it, I laid it on the foam. I had decided that I wanted to make it a bit thicker than the original had been. After I got involved with the actual project, I wished that I hadn't decided that. I'll tell you why in a moment. I laid out the fabric (right side down), then the foam, then the seat bottom. This helped me know what size to cut everything.
I've done a bit of re-upholstery in my day, but I've never re-upholstered anything metal. As I got going, I knew that staples or upholstery tacks were not going to work. What to do?! "Think outside the box" … I landed on clothespins and hot glue! This was a great solution, but I still had to have one knee on one half of the seat while I glued and clipped the other half because of that thick foam that I thought was so brilliant in the beginning. It was quite the workout and I was thankful that although I burnt my fingers a couple of times, hot glue dries quickly and holds solidly.
There was another piece of metal the same shape of the seat that fit into the bottom of the seat so after I had glued it, I just had to fit that metal piece in and secure it with the built-in clasps and I was good to go. Success was comin' my way!!
The seat was done and looked really comfy. I got the back done and then started painting parts of the stool that had once been dark brown. Dark brown would've still matched, but I thought the ivory would be more fresh.
We should've labeled each leg and joint because it was like a puzzle to get it back together –even with the labeled bags of nuts and bolts. But we love puzzles and with Ken's expertise, it was once again intact and functional.
Oh … I forgot to mention the "blueberries"!
Of course, they aren't real blueberries, they are brown pom-poms. We were at the fabric store and the little girl that Emily nannies saw them and said, "Oh! Blueberries!" Emily and I made sure she realized that if they were indeed blueberries, they would be rotten ones! But, of course, very cute ones!
Before + After = Trash → Treasure