Sunday, August 14, 2016

DIY Vintage Heirloom Stool Makeover

I'd like to introduce you to a dear family heirloom: 
This is The Stool. 
In the early 1950s, in Burns, Oregon, my grandpa George Bradley made this stool for his new bride, Betty Kiggins Bradley. The top was plain wood colored and the legs were painted bright red and later, a rusty red color. When my mom left home (Gresham, Oregon---I think) in the early 1970s, Grandma Betty gave her this stool, as she had no furniture! 

Mom kept this with her when she married my dad. She painted it chocolate brown and did a little repair work: 

It has served all kinds of purposes since! I remember it as a plant stand in the living room and a night table in pretty much every family member's bedroom! When my husband and I were married in Baker City, Oregon in 1998, guess what I inherited?

The stool! This really is one of the most special things I own. How awesome to have such a portable little heirloom! For several years, I had plans on fixing it up, repainting it, just adding my own flavor to it. 

A few years ago,I decided I wanted to "get crafty" so I grabbed The Stool out of the shed and came up with a plan to get it looking presentable. (FYI---I really had no plan...I just kind of did whatever seemed right. Ha! I'm a very spontaneous "crafter").

I brought it in and set it on the kitchen floor, telling little Selah that I was planning to fix it up cute. She put her baby blanket on it and said she thought that was pretty cute. 

It was...but not quite what I had in mind! I wanted to try and take the paint off but, since I was only using the things I had around the house, I had to improvise. I used my Pampered Chef spatula to begin scraping off the top. 

That lasted about 5 minutes and I was sick of it so I decided just to paint over the 3 other layers of paint and hope that it would crackle neat! 

It did! By the way, I tried and tried to pry that nail out of there but it wouldn't budge. I kinda like leaving it there though as my mom put it there and it's kind of been a little joke over the years! I needed to find some way to cover it though! 

After a couple coats of paint, I decided to stop for the night and consider options for the next step. 

The next day, I remembered that I had several yards of some pretty fabric that my friend JoAnn gave me. I decided to make a cute cushion for the top. Using my then 8-year-old Michael's school ruler, I measured out a circle that I hoped would fit.

I'd never made a cushion before so I wasn't really sure what to do---when suddenly, I remembered a Christmas craft project that we did in the 5th grade! Mrs. Neyman taught us how to make mini-pillows and string them together for wreath ornaments. 

I stitched all the way around the circle.

Little Avalon helped, of course! 

Then I filled it loosely with pillow filling. Once I set the cushion on the stool, I realized that The Nail was still very obvious. So, I hot glued eyelet trim all around the top and then glued the pillow on. 

Not bad for a 21st century makeover! 


  1. Sarah,
    It came out so cute!! Love it!!

    Thanks so much for hosting!!


  2. The stool went from trash to treasure :)

  3. that was awesome. love the make over

  4. Such a cute story and such a nice heirloom that you can pass down. Apparently I keep coming to the party too late to link up!


  5. I am so happy you gave it a new look!

  6. I loved this stool so much! It's so pretty!

  7. Oh you improved it immensely. It's a treasure to be sure.


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Mrs. Sarah Coller

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