Friday, June 12, 2015

Furniture Friday: Cosco Stools...take three

If you've seen my other two posts about this, you will know that I love, love, LOVE Cosco stools.

It's all because of my grandparents! They have 5 or 6, or maybe more, and most of my memories are of late night ice cream scooped by my grandpa while he sat backwards on a Cosco stool.

Or of another one at their log cabin in the mountains (imagine the background for Heidi and you'll get a good idea of what it's like there).

Or even of my grandmother, a strong, practical, little lady from Germany who always encouraged us to do things on our own...hence the Cosco stool. Our days there would go like this:

"Grandma, could we have raspberries and yogurt for breakfast?"
"Yes, you may!  Go pick them."
And, "Grandma, could I have a drink of water?"
"Sure. You know where the cups are."
"But I can't reach them."
"Well, get the stool and climb up and get one."

So, as always, I'm on the hunt for a stool like the one at their cabin and the one my grandpa sat backward on.

Here in the KC area, every first Friday of the month, in the area of the first real marketplace on the Missouri River, many reclamation stores and repurposed service shops open with countless amazing wares and wonders (and ideas for new ways to re-do furniture).  I've lived here for over 10 years and have never been! Until the first Friday in March. It. Was. A. Blast!

I really went to just look and maybe find one item that was unique and fun.  Our new house has a kitchen island and I needed four stools for it.   I thought that maybe, maybe, I could find something that would work for our island.  Luckily I didn't venture to First Friday alone, because my sister-in-law ended up seeing these red stools up near the ceiling of one of the reclamation stores. 

Aren't they great?!  Until we were loading them in the van, I just thought they were some cute vintage stools.  But upon further inspection, I found "Cosco" written on the bottom of each seat!  They weren't exactly like my grandparents' stools but the idea that they would be very functional in my house and remind me of good times at my grandparents was good enough for me.

There was a problem though, these were bar height and my island is counter height.  Before purchasing we called the professional, my friend's dad, to see if we could cut them and still make them work.  He said that it was possible and that he would even do it for me!  I was holding the stools so I didn't get a picture of him cutting the legs but he used a sawzall (or a reciprocating saw) and then sanded down each leg tip with an electric sander.

The metals in my new house are oil rubbed bronze and brushed nickel so I wanted to lose the antique bronze look so these new stools would match.

Spray painting the legs was relatively easy.  Just cover the chrome and spray paint the rest. 

The seat decks were a little more tricky because each stool's seat could rotate all the way around (which was a bonus!) but I wanted to keep the ball bearings in tact as much as possible.  So I covered them, and the entire seat deck bottom, with cardboard.

I then kept them upside-down and placed them on some plastic covered deck chairs.  And painted to my hearts content. 

(Picture of the ball bearings)

Re-upolstering them to get a more serene look and to match my kitchen chairs, was a little more difficult.

The vinyl was tied on the tops of the chairs; something I hadn't seen before, but it made it easy to remove because I just cut the string.   

When possible, I usually use the fabric/vinyl that was on the furniture piece as a template for my new fabric.  (pictured below)

 I glue-gunned this fabric in place.

Bear with me; this is my first video tutorial.  This first video is of how to take the metal-on-metal part off of a cosco stool (almost all cosco stools are like this, though not all of them are circular).

I hope you can see how to stretch the fabric and smooth it into place so that there are no wrinkles around any part of the edge of the circle.  I usually hold the fabric with two of my fingers while smoothing it with a thumb.  You'll see where I do that at 24 seconds and 47 seconds. 

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