Thursday, March 23, 2017

Upcycling: DIY Mongolian Fur Stool For Under £100

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I'M OFFICIALLY A HOMEOWNER!! Like how? Since when? When did I become an adult? I fell in love with my dream home on October 15th and 5 months later it's officially mine. With my stress levels peaking at least 100 times throughout the process, it was a loooong journey, but worth waiting for the end destination. (More home posts coming v v soon).

Despite virtually moving in 5 months ago, it's only been in the last few weeks I've been scouring the net and frantically going back over my 1,000 + pins on Pinterest. I'd already decided I wanted a little furry stool, (I blame Kate La Vie's beautiful home interior for this!) But it was a game changer when I stumbled upon the mongolian fur stool on West Elm, swooon. Coming in at £400 I almost had a little heart attack, why so expensive? But cannot afford to not have this in my life. How hard could it be to do it myself and for a fraction of the cost? Not very. Real Mongolian fur stools are expensive anyway, it's the fur that pushes the cost up, but as I realised when I was searching around for mongolian faux and real fur, the difference between the two was incredible. Faux fur is perfect if you're on the fence for buying real fur or have an ethical stance, but if you want the proper designer and luxe look you do need to buy real fur. It's so much warmer, thicker, won't matt and it looks amazing. 

So, if like me you're a magpie when it comes to fur and fluff, and you've lusted after a designer dupe for so long, then you might want to have a crack at making your own without the designer price tag. Plus I LOATHE DIY, and this one really was simple and the results are A***.

What You Will Need

  • A Stool - £15
  • Sandpaper
  • Spray Paint (if required)
  • Ferrules x 4 (If 4 legged stool)  - £2.75
  • Cotton or other fabric (size dependent on stool)
  • Staple Gun
  • Mongolian or other fur rug - £74.90 (I purchased this one)
How To

1) Firstly you need to find a really good stool to work with. Finding the right one probably is the hardest part of the process, and knowing where to look. To get the desired effect you need to source an old, cheap one. New stools don't have the same character. I stumbled upon one when I least expected it, nearly everywhere has some kind of furniture store that sells loads of wooden chairs, tables and stools that are in need of some love. 

You'll know when you find the right one - this one was only £15! It needed a lot of love and affection, but I knew how I wanted it to look and this stool dates back to the 1920's and the craftsmanship of it really is amazing.

2) Once home, I took off the screws to the bottom of the legs, one had already come off and they were quite rusty, I also removed the initial polka dot cover, totally not Cath Kidston esque. Luckily the foam was in quite good condition, was comfy and didn't smell so I left this part of it.

3) The first step was sanding down the legs to get rid of the glossy finish, for paint to stick to it it needs to be completely bare. I covered up the foam and sanded down the legs to a smooth finish. I then cleaned the legs off with some water and sugar spray, you don't need to use this, but it does help to to get any last bits of roughness off.

4) I purchased a small spray paint can in gold from Hobby Craft which are relatively cheap, and again you can pick any colour you want or leave the legs bare. I went for gold as this most represented the West Elm stool and it adds that slightly luxe factor to it.

5) This bit is of course optional (dependent on stool and the condition of it), but once dried I purchased 3/4 of a metre of plain white cotton fabric, but only really needed half a metre to create the cover. You aren't going to see this part of the stool it's just there to obviously protect the foam so it doesn't matter what it looks like!

6) Once I had cut the correct amount of material for the stool, I pulled it in taut over the stool then laid the stool upside down with the fabric underneath. It was then a case of pulling it taut over the sides and using a staple gun to hold in place. I made quite a tight finish, but it doesn't need to be that tidy as again, no one will see this part! 

7) I ordered some ferrules (actually first started typing in chair leg stoppers to find the technical name, not a clue!), I measured the round part of the stool legs so I knew what size I needed, the ones I used were 20mm. I then headed to ebay and picked up a pack of 4 for £2.75 and in the colour black. I wasn't sure if they would fit, but they were perfect, and the black looks so perfect against the gold.

8) Next was the best part, finally watching my mongolian fur stool come to life, and if it actually would live up to what I hoped. It took ages to scour the net for mongolian fur but finally went for a UK based seller on Etsy called Ecostep, I opted for the mongolian style Icelandic single sheepskin rug which had that curly haired look and was exactly what I was after. The seller was UK based, it came perfectly packaged and I thought it was an incredibly reasonable price for real fur. I would definitely use the seller again. 

I originally thought I would have to staple the fur onto the underneath of the stool, but the size I ordered literally couldn't have been more perfect. All I had to do was drape the rug over the top and hey presto - it looks amazing!! It really is the fur that takes centre stage in the transformation of this stool!

I literally could not have been more pleased with the outcome, with all of the materials it came in at just under £100, which is amazing for a real mongolian fur stool as these are incredibly costly, as you can see from the West Elm one. It's sooo easy to recreate, it's just finding that perfect stool for the job and the type of fur that you want. It's definitely made me think more about upcycling furniture to get that designer look for less as I loved this little first project of mine and it's now sitting pride of place in my bedroom.

The transformation from an old, dated but classic stool into a luxe, swoon worthy stool of dreams!
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Have you done any DIY's recently?
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