Upcycling Projects to Try: Number 1: Pimp an Old Stool
Upcycling is like recycling, in that it turns waste, or unwanted items into a better product. Reusing items means that less waste ends up in landfill, and less precious materials are lost in the process.
You will be amazed at what you can use everyday unwanted items for, and how, with a little creativity, you can completely transform the look of a piece of furniture, for example.
Look in your wardrobe
Like many of us, you no doubt have some outfits that you no longer wear. You can repurpose old clothing by making them into blankets, cushion covers, tote bags, and table cloths.
Revamp your furniture
You can completely change the look of a room by repurposing furniture that looks a bit past it. You don’t have to take on a big project either, it can be as simple as giving something a coat of paint.
Always sand furniture down first, then use spray paint where possible. It doesn’t leave brush marks and takes no time at all to dry.
Upcycling project tips
Have all your equipment at the ready before you begin. This will minimise stress once you start your project.
Don’t worry if you make a mistake, correct it as best you can and carry on.
If you aren’t confident about what you are doing, pick up a cheap piece of furniture from a car boot sale and practise on that first.
Have fun! Don’t worry if the finished look of your project is different to what you imagined, it’s your unique project.
Get started! Upcycling an old stool
- Remove the seat from the frame. Most stools will have either screws or wooden latches to fit the seat to the frame and the seat should lift quite easily.
- Carefully remove the staples that attach the old covering to the bottom of the seat pad. You can do this with a staple remover and a wooden mallet. Put the seat pad against an outside wall behind a table, to make sure it’s secure. Slip the staple remover under the staple, making sure you’re facing away from your body, and tap it with the mallet to remove it. Sometimes a staple can be awkward or can break, in which case, remove it with pliers. If you really can’t remove part of a staple, hammer it into the seat so it’s not sticking out in case it causes injury. Remove the old covering and any foam and discard them.
- Draw around the wooden seat on a new piece of foam and cut it out. Measure the height in the original seat pad, so it’s easy to match the size to the material you’re going to use.
- Glue the foam to the seat using an adhesive spray. Cover the foam with a layer of cotton or polyester so it’s more comfortable to sit on. It will also provide a smooth surface for your fabric.
- If the material you are going to use is patterned, play around with the placement until you’re happy that it looks right. Turn the seat over and secure each side in place with 4 tacks or staples. Turn the seat back over and make sure that the fabric is taut.
- Continue tacking the fabric towards the corners, making sure you keep it tight. When you reach the corners, pull the fabric tight and fold it if you need to. After all of the corners are in place, trim any excess fabric.
Fit the seat back into the frame, and voila, a gorgeous stool that looks good as new!