Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Crafts Gone Horribly Wrong:Making Stools for the Playroom

I am not much of a crafter. Yeah, I have a glue gun, but do I know where it is? No. Which is unfortunate since we are trying to make dragonflies with sticks, leaves and glitter today.

Anyway, I caught sight of these lovely bar stools over on The Crafting Chicks and thought, 'Huh, I have old bar stools and a playroom with a distinct lack of pint-sized seating. Also, this looks pretty easy.'

Anyone ever notice that easy is a four letter word?

So I gave my hubby orders to chop the stools down to size, bought some paint and fabric and fully channeled my inner Amelia Bedelia.

The first major hurdle, I didn't have a large craft paint brush or sponge applicator. I used the BBQ basting brush from the kitchen instead. So what if the finished product smells a little bit like liquid smoke?

Application of the Mod Podge was a bit more challenging than I had anticipated as well. It's much thicker than I thought it would be. Also, I realized, after the fact, I bought the wrong kind. I'm not much of a Mod Podge connesieur, they all looked the same to me. Mod Podge is Mod Podge, right?

Well, time will tell as the stools are still drying. While we're waiting, if you want to attempt this craft yourself, here's my take on the instructions.

Supplies & Tools
  • Paint --We used Rustoleum spray paint from Walmart.
  • Brush or Sponge applicator (FYI the BBQ basting brush actually worked okay.)
  • Scissors--We used pinking shears.
  • Fabric--1/2 a yard if you're good at cutting fabric out, 1 yard if you plan on making mistakes.
  • Large plate to use as template for the fabric
  • Thin tipped Sharpie or marker
  • 1 jar Mod Podge--We used Fabric Mod Podge, but Glossy Mod Podge is recommended.

Tip: When selecting fabric, try to find fabric that has the same background color as the paint for a seamless look. Or you could do what I did, which was pick fabric in a contrasting color for a not-so-seamless look.


1.Paint the stools at least twice, thrice if necessary.

2. Fold your fabric in half and on the wrong side (e.g. inside out) and place half the plate on the fabric. Trace half the plate (e.g. you're tracing a half of a circle) on the fabric and cut along the line to create a circle.

Trust me, it is much easier to cut the fabric like this. I cut one full circle out and it was much harder to control the fabric and scissors. The folded fabric, half circle method is much easier.

3. Apply Mod Podge. There are two ways to do this, each has its pitfalls for the impaired crafter.

Method 1. Apply a circle of Mod Podge on the stool and place fabric on top. Pro of this method: Allows for easier movement of the fabric to center it on the stool. Cons of this method: Hard to thin out thick lumps of Mod Podge trapped underneath the fabric and can lead to a bumpy lumpy finish.

Method 2
. Apply a thin smear of Mod Podge to the back of the fabric and flip onto stool. Pro of this method: Avoids the bumpy lumpy accumulation of Mod Podge. Cons of this method: You better hit the center on your first try or this could get messy.

I had two stools and used each method. Personally, I think method 2 looked better in the end.

4.Smooth the fabric with hands or a ruler to eliminate air bubbles and excess Mod Podge. Note: It's really easy to pull the fabric off center or create wrinkles so be careful--this is a real hazard of Method 1 in step 3 above.

5.Let dry for 10-15 minutes.

6.Cover the top of the fabric and stool with a thin coat of Mod Podge. Don't panic, it should dry clear.

7.Let cure for several hours or overnight.

8.Apply a clear coat or polyurethane top coat to seal the stool and add a glossy luster.

9.Let the stools cure again. The hubby is an experienced painter and we both work/worked (he's still there) for a Big Name paint company so we know something about paint and sealants. Curing can take time, especially if the weather is humid. Put the stools somewhere safe and just leave them for a couple days after step 8.

If you use the stool before it properly cures, the finish will be soft and even peel. So just set it aside and let it be. If you can put it in direct sun to cure, all the better.

Now, drumroll's a picture of our stools so far. All we need to do is seal them. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I love this! I'm getting ready to do a project with fabric and mod podge. Did you seal even the fabric with polyurethane?