{Around the world DIY} round #1 – pimp a stool

1 project, 2 ways. In 2 different parts of the world…ready?! For our first round, Belinda and I choose to work on these round stackable stools that everyone seems to have right now in their home. As I mentioned in my teaser post yesterday, Belinda from The Happy Home worked on her version while I worked on mine…not really knowing what we were each up to!

And here’s the result…

So…what do you think?!

While I was working on my little cross-stitched version in New York, Belinda made this gorgeous hand-painted stool inspired by aboriginal art. Pretty uh?! Now, now, this is the only picture I’ll share of Belinda’s stool, so make sure to go to her blog for more!

For my version, I found inspiration in the current dipping trend – even though what I did isn’t exactly dipping- and in some of the amazing cross-stitching work that I’ve come across lately. Here are some images that inspired me: this flower cross-stitch mural, the work of Jessica Decker, and this piece of furniture.

Want to make this stool for yourself? Hang in there, the DIY instructions are right after this jump!

– stool (something like the FROSTA stool from IKEA – unfortunately they don’t carry it in the US, boohoo)
– masking tape
– acrylic paint
– varnish
– power drill + 1/4 drill bit for wood
– wool in 4 different colors. I used this Garn Studio wool -a bit fuzzy for this project I’ll have to admit…but the colors are so gorgeous!
– large-eye needle that will fit your wool
– paper and a printer


1. Print out my cross-stitch flower pattern (you can click on the link to view then print, or right click to save the file to your computer).
2. Tape the pattern to the top part of the stool so it won’t move. Using a push pin or other needle through the paper, mark each corner of the Xs on the pattern – it will show you where you have to drill holes.
3. Drill holes with your power drill where you made the tiny marks. As you’re drilling, make sure to avoid any screws that are already in the stool to hold the legs. Do so by drilling sideways into the wood whenever a hole is meant to be direcly above a screw. Dust off the stool so that it’s clean for the painting part.
4. Use masking tape to cover that sides of the leg that aren’t going to be painted.
5. Paint the edges of the legs and the top part. Let dry. Add as many coats of paint as necessary until you are happy with the result.
6. Varnish the painted areas.
7. Let the stool dry for a few hours. Once it is completely dry, thread your needle with the wool and start cross-stitching your way through the flower pattern. If you have never cross-stitched before, you’ll see, it’s easy – just find a tutorial on youtube!
8. You’re done!

PS: If you like this stool but drilling holes ain’t your thing, you can just paint the cross-stitch flower on your stool instead. Super easy and you’ll get a very similar look!

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48 Responses to “{Around the world DIY} round #1 – pimp a stool”
  1. belinda says:

    ahhh i LOVE it. It looks perfection. And go you for including steps (though there weren’t many to mine. Just rule, dot, rule, dot!). I promise to get my act together and give myself more time next time. It’s so, so beautiful xxx

  2. Lisa Jay says:

    This project is a fab idea! I love both the stools. I like the colours you chose for the cross stitch.

  3. First, I love the around the world DIY! I know I’m not around the world from you (unless you consider CT another country), but I would love to participate in this!! I love both stools. They are both so unique and both super cute! Well done, ladies!!

  4. caro says:

    Oh. My. God. That’s absolutely gorgeous. I love it and I will try it. And then it must be: New York, Sidney, Koblenz *lol*

  5. Katie says:

    That’s so clever! That stool is so much more fun with the embroidery. Wouldn’t a whole set be amazing (and time consuming, I guess)?! Ok. Off to look at Belinda’s now.

    • audrey says:

      It really doesn’t take that much time – mostly the painting because it needs to dry etc….but making the holes and stitching was surprisingly easy! A whole set it a fantastic idea, I might just have to do that!

  6. The moment I saw this project I couldn’t help but think about a quote from Austen’s Pride and Prejudice… Something about the mark of accomplished woman being, among other things, her ability to create “delightful little designs for a table.”

    You nailed it.

    Jane Austen would be proud. :)

  7. Alexa says:

    Okay that is the happiest little stool ever!

  8. Clemence says:

    Oh wow, this is absolutely gorgeous! Such a fabulous idea. It must be the best DIY project I have seen in a while! I have that stool and I’ll be cross stitching it over the weekend. My living room (and myself) thank you so much!

  9. Samantha says:

    This is pretty awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Such a great little project! Found your site via Creature Comforts and loving your blog.

  11. Sherisa D says:

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I love it.

  12. So stinkin’ adorable. I found your post through Creature Comforts and wrote about you on my work blog today: http://www.commonthreadstudio.com/journal/2012/5/4/diy-cross-stitch-stool.html. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Heather says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE both the stools, but since I am an avid cross stitcher and cross stitch pattern creator I super love the cross stitch stool idea… may need to have one in my house soon. What a great idea :)

  14. How cute is this!! Is this the answer to how to use amazing doilies I inherited? There must be a way.. love to hear any suggestions.. Love both the footstools..

  15. em says:

    beautiful idea and result!! well done!

  16. They are wonderful both, at what a cool Challenge! I really love Them both, the crossstich is so cool og brilliant! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day

  17. Regina says:

    Hi Audrey, I just love this. The stool looks gorgeous. You were very creative.
    I like you DIY so much that I posted about it on my blog. I hope you don’t mind.

    If you interest you can see the post just following this link http://catarinaregina.blogspot.com/2012/06/ponto-cruz-em-todos-os-lugares-diy.html

  18. ScrapHacker says:

    This is simply stunning! Thanks a bunch for sharing:-D

  19. Bibouchka says:

    Your stool is beautiful ! I also customized the same stool but difenrently. You can see on my blog bibouchka.fr . I also put yours !!

  20. Shut up! You are a genius. I love this idea and will definitely be doing it on something.

  21. Great, I like it very much!!! I write you grom Spain….

  22. Great!!! I like it very much!!! I write you from Spain…

  23. daria says:

    this is such a great idea! I love cross stitch on anything.

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