Saturday, April 14, 2012

While I've been holed up in the house.....

I'm still in freaked-by-ticks mode, and haven't been venturing out much, although that will probably change (cautiously) now that the weather has warmed again. But in the cool temperatures of the past few weeks I embarked on a project I've been thinking about for awhile.

Last year I bought a footstool at an antique shop. It cost only $21, and was probably a circa 1960 "antique," but I liked its sturdy, simple lines. I didn't like the fabric that covered it, and planned to change it right away. Well, we know how those things go.

Here's how it looked when I bought it (and used it for many months). Note how crappy the pink and green fabric looks against the Persian rug it's sitting on:

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So last month I rather impulsively sketched out a design I felt would work with the rug without actually copying it, and then (this is the fun part) dove into my large stash of wool to pick out colors. I often play with colors by dyeing or overdyeing, but this time I wanted to use as-is colors and make the project go quickly. Then I started hooking. (That's fun too.)

I had a hard time figuring out the exact dimensions of the design. It's not as though I were covering something flat; the footstool had padding, and the hooked design would have to cover the top and a bit of the sides as well. I didn't have a lot of confidence that it was going to work.

When I finished it, or guessed I had, it was time to operate on the existing cover. I removed a zillion staples......

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And peeled the pinky-greeny fabric off, along with a layer of dried, crumbling foam rubber. This was underneath:

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Sort of sweet, isn't it? But it doesn't go any better with the rug (or anything else in the house) than the first fabric did. So I removed some more staples and peeled the chrysanthemums off as well.

For padding, I cut two pieces of latex left over from trimming a 1" latex mattress pad. I covered the rectangular block of wood with one and put a narrower strip on top, creating the slightly domed effect I was going for. Then I placed my hooked design on top. I discovered that I hadn't left quite enough of the burlap on all sides. What I should have done at this point was to sew strips of brown wool around the hooking to create an ample border. But I didn't.

Instead, I made good use of my son's staple gun. For those who don't already know this, adding staples is a lot more enjoyable than removing them.

Here's the finished footstool. It's not perfect, but it looks good on three out of four sides. For a first effort, I'll take it. I'm happy with the way it looks on the rug.

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11 comments:

Eulalia (Lali) Benejam Cobb said...

Now you're not actually going to put your FEET on that beautiful object, are you?

Susan said...

Ha! I already did. But thanks for thinking it's beautiful.

Kathleen said...

This came out lovely. I keep coming very close to trying hooking, but I have so many projects going as it is. Someday though...

Susan said...

Kathleen, as you probably know, traditional rug hooking is very big in New England. I'm sure when you're ready you'll find lots of inspiration.

Bridgett said...

That looks perfect with that rug. You're right about each of the previous coverings, too. The first is awful. The second, well, at least it's honest--but your result is best.

Indigo Bunting said...

YUM!

Susan said...

Thanks, guys! It's fun to be able to share things with you.

crystal said...

Beautiful - vivid colors

I've not ever tried hooking (heh) but I've re-done the seats of a few upholstered chairs just with material - alos lots of staples and crumbly foam.

Susan said...

One of the presents my son gave me for my birthday was a staple gun. Now I'll have to think up a new project. :-)

crystal said...

You could try your hand at making cat furniture - I thought of doing that for a while because the stuff you buy is often so badly made (and expensive).

Susan said...

Crystal, as much as I love cats, I cringe at the thought of them clawing at my hooking and pulling up all the loops.

Thanks to my Amazon credit card, with its nice points I can spend, I bought a $50 scratching post after I acquired Peachy. As it turned out, Peachy will have nothing to do with it, but Annie and Pogo think it's just wonderful. (So do I.)