Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sore Bum: Stool pillow top

A log stool is just a log if you don't spruce it up!

My log stool was hard and not that exciting until I added a pillow top to it!


Stiff Fabric

Foam or Round Pillow

Long screw

Washer the bigger the better

Big Button

Strong glue

First determine how big to make the pillow. I made mine 1" wider than my stump so that it had some overhang. I had some old foam lying around so I cut that to the right size. I wanted the seat to be soft, so I cut an additional circle slightly smaller to go on top for extra padding. If you are using a pillow skip this step.

Making a pillow, I quickly learned, is a very simple task and does not require a pattern. Measure the diameter of the foam and add 3" total to the measurement to account for the 1.5" seam on each side. Fold your fabric in half and cut a circle out of your fabric with the new diameter. To cut a circle I tied a pencil on one end of a string and cut the sting to be the correct length. Hold the sting in the middle and draw a circle with the pencil all the way around keeping the sting tight. It was not 100% accurate for me, but it should be close enough that it will correct when you sew it together. 

Next measure the distance around the outside of the newly cut circles Add a few inches for 'safety' this will be the side panel. Measure the height of your foam/pillow. Mine was 6" tall but I wanted it to squish down inside my pillow case so I only cut 6" total (3" + 1.5" seams on each side). 

Fold the side panel stip in half, and in half again. Pin the corners (3 pins and 4 even sections). Next fold the one circle in half and pin the edges (do this both ways so there are 4 pins dividing the quarters). Match the pins so that the side panel stip is evenly dispursed around the circle. Make sure you do this right side to right side (so when you flip it inside out you see the good side of the fabric). 

Sew the circle on to the side panel strip. Do it again for the other circle but only sew 3/4 of the way around. 
Put the pillow or foam pieces inside and hand sew the opening closed. 

Take a long screw. Mine was 5" but that might have been over kill. Place the washer on the screw. This gives extra security so the fabric doesn't rip and pop over top of the screw. Place the pillow on the stump just how you want it. Find the middle of the pillow (I eyeballed it) and screw down through the pillow into the stup. Go down almost as far as you can so that when you sit down the screw doesn't poke you. Finally glue a big button on top of the screw to hide it.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rustic Cabin: Stool and side table

I don't know if its because I'm Canadian, British Columbian, or if its just me, but there is something fantastic about that deep in the woods Cabin. The kind where the owner says, my grandfather built this cabin and everything in it from the trees on the property. Then you cook the fish you just caught for dinner over a wood burning stove. That to me, sounds delightful!

I have a friend with a cabin like the one I am describing. Its near Egan Lake in BC, which is 1.5 hours to the closest town of under 2000 residents. Its really in the boonies! My friends dad built the entire house, and all the furniture inside. Its probably close to 500 sqft which is very squishy in -15 C  with 8 other people inside...But I love it so much! Unfortunately I can't find a good picture of that cabin, so I will have to update this post next time I go up there.

That being said I made some wooden stools that are very log cabin-esk.


Large log stump

Skinny log stump

Sand paper (palm sander if available)

Large circular saw or chainsaw

spray varnish

3 Dowel Screw

What I did:

I started with two big log stumps and two skinny stumps from the pile in our back yard. You can get your from anywhere, I often see free fire wood on craigslist.

Brush off the sides with a coarse broom to get rid of any groseness and any loose bark. Then sand the top and bottom to remove any slime and to level out the surface.

Varnish all sides. I used spray varnish because it was much quicker and easier to get in the cracks. Trust me on this one, when I discovered varnish came in a spray can...my life was very simplified!

Next cut three even pieces from the smaller log. Keep in mind that a chair is about 19" tall. I wanted mine 21" for a bit of a higher stool so we cut the feet to be 3" tall.

Clean up and varnish the feet the same way as the main stool. Use the dowel screws to screw the legs into the side you choose to be on the bottom. Dowel screws are also revolutionary. If you have never used them before. Grip the middle with a pliers while you twist it into the foot. Only twist 1/3 of the way into the foot. Then flip it over and twist it into the stump using the foot as your handle. Once the stump side is tight the foot side will tighten up as well.

If you want a side table or a hard top stool thats it your done!

Pillow Tutorial coming soon...