How to Save Money on Christmas Gifts

Facelift, Paint, Reclaimed, Upholstery

Saving money on Christmas gifts is easy to do when you avoid shopping. Plain and simple. It is a tried and true plan that works every time. I set this budget-friendly plan to action today and worked outside (it was 50 and sunny in December!).



The cowprint vinyl stool was painted to look like wood grain. I don’t even want to know why. 

While Christmas shoppers were scouring the toy aisle, I decided to finish two stools I had purchased over a month ago. Both stools were painted and badly nicked. On a previous project day, I had used paint stripper to remove the top coat of paint and most of the under layers, but not all of the paint. Truth be told, I ran out of sunlight.



The seller purchased this stool at an estate sale. It was sold with a bathroom mat stapled to the seat.

The unfinished stools were directly in my eyesight everyday when I pulled in and backed out of the garage. Overtime, I fell in loved with in the  partially-removed paint look. Back to today. I bonded with the sander and went to work smoothing out the legs and removing some, but not all of the remaining paint. I made to decision to keep some of the layered paint. Crazy, I know.



Rustic and refined

To finish and condition the recently exposed wood, I applied mineral oil to the stools. The depth of the wood grain came to life. Rae is huge fan of animal hides, but even she was happy to see the faux cow go in the trash and be replaced with a romantic and soft pink motif.

I want more warm days before Christmas!


Footstools—Around since ancient times, well, this one might not be that old

Facelift, Reclaimed, Upholstery

Yes, I admit it. I am drawn to stools of all kinds. They are adorable and so functional. Today’s featured stool is a short footstool that I rescued from a consignment shop.

The "before". I do not believe this was the original fabric.

The “before”. I do not believe this was the original fabric.

When I saw the footstool in the consignment shop, it caught my eye mainly because it was out-of-date and needed my love.  I made the educated guess that the dirty embroidered upholstery was not original to the piece due to an extensive amount of fabric used to cover the underside and the nails, not staples, holding the fabric in place. It was the first time I had seen upholstery adhered in this fashion.  With all of that in mind, I still proceeded with the purchase.

I removed the embroidered upholstery and was astonished by the amount of fabric used.  It appeared that the fabric was embroidered to cover the top and sides and the extra pattern material (which was twice the size of the footstool top) was folded in a non-typical manner. A wood shim was actually used to attach the feet since there was so much extra material. I replaced the embroidery with a modern geometric print of green, gray, and white.

New fabric and new paint for the base

New fabric and new paint for the base

The footed-based of the stool was badly nicked. I sanded the base to remove the remaining varnish and remove the visible scratches. I applied one coat of primer and used 220-grit to hand sand the primer. I then applied two coats of gray paint.  When the paint was nice and dry, I re-attached the newly upholstered top to the painted base.

Sit back and relax!

Sit back and relax!

Time to put my feet up.