Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Stool Makeover

I have this great memory growing up and sewing things with my grandma.  She has this old Singer sewing machine that is in a table.  When the sewing machine is closed it looks like a plain looking table.  She usually has a lamp and a doily on it.  But then magic happens when you lift up the lid you reveal a sewing machine that is ancient.  It smells old and reminds me of good times.  The best part about this machine is that it always works.  It is simple and can only do the most basic of stitches, but it is perfect and still in great working order after all these years.  Some of you might think that this is morbid but I always say to my grandma this is the one thing that I want when she dies.  We have such great memories making stuff with this machine, it will always be something that I want to hold on to.

A few years ago when I bought my own house my mom decided that I needed a sewing machine.  I don't really know what for.  It had been many years  since I had made anything, but I guess that every time that I did I had to haul all the stuff over to Grandma's house.  Anyway since I had a such a strong bond with my Grandma and her machine, my mom found an old Singer machine for me that was mounted in a table.  It was beautiful and you can tell that the woman that owned it before me loved to sew and really took care of what she had.  The wood is still in perfect condition and the machine and all its accessories where there and in their original boxes with all the instructions.  She also had this old wooden bench that reminds me of a piano seat.  The top lifts off revealing a storage area in the top of the stool.  I feel like I get to open up presents now each time that I sew.  A few weeks ago when I decided that I was going to remodel my spare bedroom I also decide that I wanted to move my sewing machine into this room.  However the bench for the sewing machine was old and in need of a little spruce to make it "go" with the new room.  Here is an idea for a quick makeover on an old piece that you might have laying around.

First I  painted the wood part of the stool the same color that I painted the dresser that I painted in the new room.  Once again I had to do a few coats with a fine paintbrush.  I went with the grain of the wood to try and minimize the appearance of the brush strokes.

Next I recovered the cushion for the stool.  I added an additional layer of batting first.  I placed the batting over the top and then used a staple gun to attach it to the bottom in a few places (don't go over board with the staples on the batting otherwise they will get in the way when you try and attach the cover).
Place the fabric that you want to use over the top of the cushion now.  You do not have to cut the fabric to size but just start in the corner of the fabric and make sure that it is oriented the right way.  If you are using a fabric with a geometric pattern make sure that you center the design on the cushion top.

Starting on one edge ensure that the fabric is straight and start stapling it to the base.  Next go to the opposite side of the square pulling the fabric tight over the top and stapling from one end to the other.  Then do the sides of the square.  Last you will have the corners.  Fold the layers of fabric neatly inward and then pull tight to staple.  If you did not cut your fabric before hand it will look like you have a complete mess on the bottom of the piece at this point.  Use some sharp fabric scissors to cut away the fabric close to the location where you stapled it.

Now put the newly covered cushion on top of your freshly painted stool and you have a new masterpiece.  I am debating about adding bows to the corners of this piece.  I want to see how the rest of the room turns out and then I will decide what I want to do.  If I do attach ribbons to the corners I will pre-tie a bow with some pretty ribbon.  Cut the tails of the bows in some type of decorative shape (either a diagonal or V-notch).  Then use your hot glue gun to attach the bows to the wood, NOT the cushion.  If you attach to the cushion you will have to fight with the bows getting in the way every time that you take off the lid.
This would be a perfect garage sale find.  I think a lot of old vanity tables were made this way as well as piano or organ stools.  Having this extra storage is great.  It is perfect for thin books and anything small that you want to keep next to where you are sitting.  Happy crafting.


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