Friday, July 15, 2016

Refurbishing, Redecorating, Repurposing: Giving That Old Teacher Bar Stool a Facelift

It's the time of year where most of us teachers are getting ready for the upcoming school year. I love the idea of freshening up my classroom every year because I spend SO much of my time there, but if you're like me, it might not be financially responsible to redo your entire classroom theme. With my husband working on his doctorate, I'm our only source of income, which means I have a very small classroom redecorating budget to work with. With that said, I've decided not to scrap my current color scheme but to spruce it up a bit! Because a lot of this "sprucing up" involves a great deal DIY, I've decided to do a blog series on varying classroom projects I have planned. The series is called "Refurbishing, Redecorating, Repurposing" and this is the first post! I hope you enjoy and find something you can use in the freshening up of your own classroom for the upcoming school year! Happy teaching!

 Giving That Old Teacher Bar Stool a Facelift 

We all have that bar stool in our classroom that sits at the front of the room near our podium, front table, standing desk, etc. My particular stool was inexpensive when I bought it and, honestly, not very sturdily built. Despite the fact that it rocks a little (it isn't supposed to) and it's a little dirty, I love my bar stool. I decided that instead of shopping for a new one this summer that I would first attempt to give mine a makeover. Now, before I start in on how I did this, I want to add a disclaimer. The following project should be done at your own risk. I do not promise/guarantee that your end project will look like mine (though hopefully it will!). 

My old bar stool has a metal frame and a fabric cushion seat. If yours is all metal or all wood, you have an easy fix! Simply repaint it , spray it with an acrylic sealant (found next to the spray paint in almost any store that carries it), and voila! If your chair looks like mine or you would like to purchase one from a secondhand store (my sister purchased one for the purpose of refurbishing it for $3.50 at a Goodwill), the directions down below will walk you through how I personally did it!

-staple gun (handheld, not electric)
-fabric of your choice (amount depends on the size of the cushion, but 1 square yard should be more than enough)
-*If the fabric you choose is light in color (like the one I chose) you may need to purchase a plain color fabric to line the padding

Step #1:
Flip the bar stool all the way over so the legs pointing at the ceiling and the underside of the seat is exposed. There should be screws visible that attach the cushion to the chair frame. You'll need to carefully remove these screws. Be sure that you do not remove any of the screws that are holding the actual frame together! I started to remove the wrong screws but quickly noticed and put them back in without issue. 

Step #2:
Next, lay out and smooth your fabric. If you have a lining fabric, like I did, put one over the other. You can save a little time by cutting them at the same time because the cut doesn't have to be neat! Lay the cushion and the support board (if there is one) on top of the fabric and trace a circle about 2 inches larger than the cushion itself. 

Step #3:
Cut out your circle(s). As you can see in the pictures, I didn't worry about drawing or cutting a perfectly round circle. If you're a perfectionist, I promise it will be a waste of time to trace and cut perfect circles because no one will be able to tell once you're finished!

Step #4:
For this step, you may need an extra set of hands to help you out. I made my husband use the staple gun while I held the fabric in place. Make sure that you're pulling the fabric taught as you secure it to the underside of the support board. You will also need to make sure that you aren't pulling it too taught and stealing fabric from the other sides. Just take your time and, if you need to, pull the "uh-oh" staples out!

Step #5:
The last step (before securing the seat cushion back on the bar stool frame) isn't completely necessary, however I didn't skip it because I feel it polishes the whole look of the "new" bar stool. Anyway, most cushioned bar stools have a piece of fabric stapled over the upholstery fabric on the bottom to cover it. When I took my cushion apart, I carefully removed the bottom cover fabric and then re-stapled it to the bottom when I was finished. However, I noticed while I was in HobbyLobby the next week that you can purchase this material in the fabric section in a rainbow of colors. So, you can forego this step completely, you can save the old fabric and reuse it, or you can purchase new material and add it at the end. The choice is yours!

** One step I considered adding during this process was painting the frame when I had removed the cushion. My classroom has a lot of black and grey, so I decided against it because the black works for my room. Spray painting the frame outside with multipurpose spray would be a piece of cake though!
So, there it is! A brand new bar stool! Inexpensive and super easy! I'd love to see how yours turns out! Post a picture in the comments below!