Saturday, June 20, 2009

Altered wooden step stool

I mentioned before that in my monthly Close to my Heart team meetings I give my downlines a challenge. I find a low-cost item for them to alter that they can then show to their customers.
Because I own so many scrapbooking products I'm always trying to find ways to use them for projects other than scrapping and cards so I've really enjoyed this aspect of being the team leader. So far we've altered frames and popcorn boxes and this month it's going to be little wooden step stools I found at target for $2.00. They came about 3 or 4 different colors and even though my team meeting isn't until July, I'm going to give you & my team members a sneak peek at what I did with mine. By the way, this particular step stool will be up for big at a silent auction at the Fall Camp scrapbooking and stamping 3-day weekend in September. Check out the sidebar at the right for more info. All monies from the silent auction that weekend go to Operation Smile, a charity that helps children with cleft palate deformities have operations to fix them. It's a great charity that I'm proud to support.

I found these stools at Target in the first section when I walked in, it's a dollar section with tons of low cost items. The moment I saw them I thought they'd look so cute altered. I figured at first that they would function more as a shelf-type item but I tested them out and stood on them myself and they are strong and would be a great addition to a kids room so I decided to make one with that in mind. You will need: the stool, a couple of sheets of matching paper, I used Animal Cookies, perfect for "kid" anything, a brayer, painter's tape, acrylic paint that matches your paper, or you can make your own with re-inkers and Magnolia White Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paint, a sponge, paintbrush, ink to distress, a trimmer, and Mod Podge.

If you don't have the exact step stool that I used you will have to adjust measurements but here's how I cut my paper. My stool was 8" by 6" so I cut my background paper 7 3/4" by 5 3/4". I cut my animal paper 2" by 2" and then cut strips of red paper 1" x 7 3/4". Once cut, distress everything (if you like) with a sponge and dark ink.

This is the first time I've used Mod Podge but I'd heard a lot about it so I had some good hints to make sure my project turned out well. I bought the type that had a little gloss to it but there were tons of different kinds to choose from including sparkle Mod Podge so choose what appeals to you.

Put a layer of the Modge Podge down on the top of the step stool, keeping it a nice even layer.

Lay your background paper down and smooth it then put another layer of Mod Podge over it. Here's where it gets tricky. The paper doesn't particularly like being Mod Podged and so it keeps trying to bubble up everytime you look away!! I kept pushing down the bubbles with my finger until the Modge Podge was drier and then I used my brayer to press down on the bubbles.

Once that layer dries a bit, add more Mod Podge and glue down your stripes. The stripes break up the background a bit giving the animal paper more of a grounded look instead of seeming to float around on your background paper. These stripes really like to bunch up and come off the paper so have your brayer ready.

Let that layer dry for about 10 minutes or so and keep brayering. Add another layer of Mod Podge.

Add your animal squares, aren't they cute? I go for the easy way out and just lined the top three on the strip of paper and the bottom three about a 1/4" from the bottom of the middle red stripe. Watch it and use your brayer, let dry completely.
Once dry, it's time to add a bit of punch to the bottom of the stool. Having it be completely white didn't look good to me so I wanted to add more color. I used painter's tape to block off the top of the stool so I could just paint the legs.

Make sure you get a good couple of coats. Let dry completely. Some people suggest removing the painter's tape before it's all dry, some after. Do what works for you. I remove it before it's dry.

Once the paint dries you can Mod Podge over the whole stool several times until it's the way you like it and well protected from use. Here's what it looks like from the side.
Here's the final product on the top. Now wasn't that easy? Two dollars and a few supplies and you have a great gift!


  1. Very cute! I love step stools. I don't know what it is. They are awesome!!

  2. You found a wooden step stool for $1??? What a bargain!

    And I love how you decorated it - so cute!

  3. Wow, these are adorable. I can totally see a little one standing up at the bathroom sink brushing their little teeth. Sweet.