Monday, January 16, 2012

Stool Boom

**That post title is in honor of my favorite blog Young House Love, who have had a few posts about counter stools with that title. Go check out their awesomeness.


While my parents were here, we started a stool reupholstering project. We bought two different fabrics (I don't want them to match too much), one from JoAnn's and one from IKEA.
from JoAnn's
 The above one is a Waverly fabric called "Bedazzled" in the color silver lining. It's a little bit ikat and is a medium-weight home decor woven fabric, off-white w/ slub.

from IKEA
This other one is a heavy-weight home decor fabric (no slub). I can't find it on their website anymore so I don't know what it's called, but they still carry it in the store here.

We bought two packages of high density foam and some batting type fabric to cover up the green color of the foam before the pretty fabric goes on top.
image from

Lesson 1: Measure before you buy.
I didn't measure the stools before we bought all the stuff. I just had an idea in my head what the seat size was. Alas, my idea was undersized. I have plenty of fabric, but not plenty of foam. I thought I'd be able to get two circles out of each foam package, so I only bought two. And you'd think foam wouldn't be all that expensive, but it's actually not that cheap. For the high density stuff (which is the main reason I'm doing this - the current foam has lost its cushion-iness, so I want to get some better quality foam), it's about $13. If I bought four at $13, that's $52!!! Luckily, my mom suggested I double up on the old foam cushions to create two more better-padded seats.
image from

Lesson 2: Do your homework, and test things out on a small scale first.
One thing I love about IKEA is that most of their fabric-covered furniture is removable and machine-washable. So I thought about doing what they do and using velcro on the underside of the stool, but I thought there might be an easier way.

So I looked into wipeable fabric. I still have yet to figure out what Jason's highchair fabric is, which is wipeable. And I found a lot of info about "oilcloth" or laminated fabric. (What most people and companies call "oilcloth" these days is actually just vinyl-covered fabric, which you can do yourself or have a company laminate for you.) But I don't like the look of plastic covered fabric. And it cracks over time and gets pokey and scratchy. Oh, and most of the "oilcloth" fabric that you can buy is heinously ugly. (With the exception of some more modern designers' stuff like Amy Butler or Ty Pennington.)

Then I found something about real oilcloth and that it can be created using linseed oil. Linseed oil is a coating for natural wood furniture that hasn't been stained and can be found at home improvement stores. Perfect! So I went and bought some at Lowes. FORTUNATELY I tested some scrap pieces of my fabric before tackling the actual cut-out pieces. Linseed oil is fairly yellowy and it worked fine for the dark IKEA fabric, but the Waverly one turned yellow. Scratch that idea.
Can you see where the linseed oil is vs. where it isn't on
each fabric scrap?

So now, I could send my fabric off to a professional company that treats fabric to make it waterproof and stain-proof, but I think I'll just invest in some waterproofing spray from REI.

Lesson 3: Create a solid game plan first.
The next dilemma was that the two fabrics I bought were so very different from each other. And the IKEA one didn't look good with my oil-rubbed-bronze-colored stools. It would be something like this:
The border on this pic simulates the ORB stool color.

So after MUCH deliberation and online fabric scavengering, I decided on these four fabrics:
Much better. They all go together, but don't match.

The top two are Waverly; the left one is called "Couture Kingdom" in pearl and is a little bit ikat. The bottom left is by Annie Selke, called "Links" in slate and it has slub. (Those three images are from The bottom right is from Etsy seller TheNeedleShop and is called "Antique" in taupe.

I just bought the other two online from JoAnn's this morning (which is what spurned me to post this now instead of waiting till the stool project is finished) thanks to a Visa gift card christmas present. And I'm going to wait till next month to buy the Etsy one.

I'm so excited to have "new" pretty, cushion-y stools!!! I can't wait for the fabric to arrive!

And since I did so much fabric hunting, I'll show you my other top picks if I were to go bold and graphic-y and modern instead of pretty and fancy.
The bottom three images are from, the top three are from IKEA, TheNeedleShop, and Amazon.
From L to R: IKEA ?, Valori Wells "Wrenly" in wildfield, Amazon ?, Premier Prints "Acres Twill" in harmony green, Ty Pennington "Honeycomb" in grey, & Robert Alan "Kiki" in pinata.

Other decor-weight goodies:

In no particular order, these include Ty Pennington, Suzani, Amy Butler, Annette Tatum, Prince Charming, Duralee, Robert Alan, Swavelle, Richloom, Waverly, Islander, Dorrigan, Premier Prints, Dwell Studios, and World Wide. Most of the images are from, some are from, and a few are from TheNeedleShop.


Anonymous said...

OHHH I love the first one from joanns. So pretty. I like the others too, but I want to go get some of the Waverly. We are re-doing our old kitchen table right now. It is ALWAYS more work than you think it is going to be. UGH.

AnnabelVita said...

I love the fabrics you chose and can't wait to see how this all comes together.