Monday, April 27, 2015

DIY Spool Footstools (aka) FOOTSPOOLS!

Spring porch-sitting is the best. But I felt we needed to really kick back more in our little rocking chairs. Stan has access to these electrical wiring spools at work, so I had him snag a couple for a quick afternoon project. In all honesty, The work was really spread out over a couple days.. But it could easily be finished in an afternoon.

And then, suddenly, we could put our feet up!

In order to have the stools lay flat Stan hack-sawed off the ends of the long bolts that clamp the stool together. Be sure to tighten them a little first so you don't have to hacksaw twice when you find out the spool is loose. The bolts sticking out on top don't matter, they'll be covered with the padding.

I made the cover very simply. It's basically a huge shower cap. (Gosh, I wish I had a picture of when Stan put it on his head it would liven up this entry.) 

I traced a circle around the spool top and added about 5-6 inches on all sides to allow for a small rolled hem (to prevent unravelling and increase the longevity of the cover) and then another inch(ish) hem to act as the elastic encasement. I sewed like a maniac when I made this because no one but you and I will ever see the underside of these stools. Why get futzy over the unseen details?

Whenever I do a project where I have to feed elastic, it always feels like the first time I've done it. I never seem to get the hang of it. I always have to redo something atleast once. My only real advice is to tie your elastic to a crochet hook and feed it through the hem backwards. Oh, and always have more elastic than you think you need.

The completed cover will snap over the top of the spool with a few inches clearance to hold it in place- as seen above.

We stuffed our footspool with plastic bags instead of poly-fill stuffing. it should withstand weather well and it's cheap (free!) to replace if it gets gross. I stuffed one bag with a lot of other bags to create the tip cushion, then put on the cover and stuffed the rest while it was already on so I could make it even and good-looking.

I painted the stem and base the green of our bathroom. Lucky find! it should help it last through weather better. And it's cute.

Loving coffee and footspools. And Stan has his eye on some bigger spools at work, now. Oh boy.

Friday, April 17, 2015

DIY Stained Glass Window

Spring sun has been shining in my windows lately and had me itching to finally take on a spring project. I wanted some pretty stained glass in he window at the base of our stairwell. 

I was determined to DIY rather than use the fake, flat window clings I've seen at home stores. An internet search left me a little dry on instructables. I combined a few different projects together and here's hoping this little stained glass wonder holds up. (It's only been in place a couple hours... There's still a chance for complete failure.. I'll keep you posted.)

Here's what the project took to complete:
- plexiglass (thicker would be better. I used the plastic from an old poster frame.)
- box cutter 
- decorative glass stones ($1 a bag at the Dollar Tree, this project took about 7 bags)
- E6000 glue ($2.50)
- gloves (use old ones, they get a little gross..
- sanded grout ($5.00)
- clear Command Strips (not pictured, they are sold as refills and come in assorted sizes)

All in all, the project came in at well under $20! And those cheesy plastic clings cost atleast twice as much!

1. Cut the plastic to the window pane's size- leaving atleast 1/8 in space around the edges.

2. Arrange your rocks on the plexiglass. (It takes a while to do this, even thought the look is random, you have to try pretty hard to make it LOOK random. Also, since I used two different sized rocks, I had to fiddle with placement to fill as much space without going over the edges too much.)

3. Glue the rocks down. (I used a skewer to flip individual stones up so I could move them one at a time.) Don't forget to remove any stringy glue bits when you're done.

4. Mix and spread your grout. (I used the whole container.) You will want to really smush the grout down between all the stones and along the edges to hide the plexiglass.

5. As the grout dries, wipe it off the stones. I did this several times during the few hours the grout took to set.

6.Patiently wait for the grout to dry.

7. And then, finally, when it was completely dry, I scrubbed a little harder to remove any tough bits and chipped away any clumps of grout that we're hanging off the edges.

8. Clean the surface of the window and the back of the plexiglass.

9. Adhere command strips to the plexiglass back.

10. Press your stained glass onto the window. Then keep pressing it a lot to make sure all the command strips have made contact. Then press again.

THAT'S IT!! And here's the finished product:

I may go back sometime and add a little caulk around the edges to make the glass look more original to the window. That would also add some extra enforcement, since my greatest fear is that this would fall down and break into a rocky, grouty mess at the bottom of the stairs. But, it does feel very secure with just the command strips (which claim they can hold up to 2 lbs each).

Stan pointed out that the screen behind the glass makes a neat pattern when magnified in the curve of the stones. I like the final look, and am excited to see what the morning light looks like coming through it tomorrow while I sip a cup of coffee.
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