Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Stools, Comfy Stools part II

Almost forgot! The befores!

These stools came with the house. Which was great, don't get me wrong. But after sitting in them for several years now for sometimes looong stretches (darn you Pinterest! just kidding I still love you), they were leaving my boney bum a little sore. They needed more padding, bad!

And since they'd get disassembled for extra or new padding, I thought it'd be the perfect excuse time to change out the old fabric. Besides, since painting the walls tan and having beige laminate floors and honey cabinets and tan carpet and brown couches ... this place needed some different, lighter colors.

I was super excited to get these in the mail!
Sooooo pretty!!!!!!!!

Along with the two other ones that I decided on in the first stool post but failed to take pictures of like those above. Woops.

Oh, also in the first stool post I mentioned that I was looking for a way to make them wipeable without covering them in vinyl. I searched high and low for alternatives - linseed oil (turned my fabric scraps yellow), waterproofing spray (worked fine, but I feared stains and dirt would still work their way in), and some EXPENSIVE otter wax. I was hoping I could find a diy way of making the fabric wipeable like toddler bibs or highchair covers. After doing a little research, though, it seemed like those were "treated" fabrics, in which case, I'd have to ship my fabric off somewhere, have them treat it, then they'd ship it back. That = lots of waiting. So I finally caved and bought vinyl. But three out of four fabrics did get sprayed with some Kiwi Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellent. The fabric smelled like camping equipment and was a little nostalgic, but the smell disipated after a couple days. Phew. It was fun to test it:

Okay, now back to actual upholstering.
Once the old staples were out came the fun part!

For two of the stools, I used some green, high density foam. But for the other two stools, I just doubled up on the old foam, like so:

Keep in mind that before this, I had never upholstered anything. Nor had I ever used a staple gun. Haha. I don't know why I do this, but lots of times when I see a project, I think, "I could totally do that." And I know this is absolutely ridiculous, but sometimes I find myself thinking, "I bet I could build a house from the ground up if I wanted to." Hahaha. It might not be OSHA safe and might fall apart before anyone could step foot in it and it might look like this
or this
from the outside, but I would think I rocked it like a hurricane. (p.s. Those are Hundertwasserhaus apartment buildings in Wien [Vienna, Austria] and ...Germany. What city were we in? Somewhere near Darmstadt, I believe.)

Okay, back from that detour.

I found that the stapling worked best to just rotate it. It did not work as well to staple one spot and then staple the opposite side in one spot and then do inbetween. If you ever attempt a round cushion like I did, just work your way around. I did it the less-right way with this one. Can you tell?

Here's a close-up of the folding and stapling.

The fabric actually seemed to want to fold in a certain way. Or rather, it folded better at the points/distances apart as pictured above than if I tried to space the folds out more or make them closer. And it was like that for all of them, so I don't think it was just the fabric. About every 2-3 inches.

The vinyl did the same thing. Although, with the first cushion that got vinyl, I tried to space the folds out more just 'cause vinyl isn't easy to work with so I wanted to fold it as little as possible. That, however, turned out to be a horrible idea. It forced my hand and I submitted to folding it the same as the fabric.

After that it actually wasn't too bad to work with. The above one was the first to get vinyl. So the underside looks a little crazy.

Oh, and I have to mention a little glitch I encountered and remedied. See anything wrong with these staples?

They kept going in all wonky.

I finally figured out that I was actually keeping the staple gun too close to the surface. So instead of keeping it flush with the plywood/vinyl, if I kept it just barely off, they went in the way they're supposed to. I don't know why that worked as opposed to being flush, but it did. Was it the new box / different brand of staples? Was it the different type of plywood? (Two seats were this different, flakier? plywood. The other two seemed like better quality. I have no idea what the actual difference between them was, though.)_
Better quality on the right. Lesser quality on the left.

Or maybe it was just me. Who knows.

Next up? Final assembly! Stay tooned!

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