DIY: 1953 sewing stool cushion

This past Christmas, I went home to spend some time with mama and to also spend some time cleaning out a few closets – donating goodies, throwing away trash, and packing up things I definitely wanted to keep. Note that when I say trash – I don’t mean old cookie boxes amongst a pile of used Kleenexes, I mean all those research papers or cards I thought I’d want to keep forever. Turns out, it was all indeed trash.

After I got through the bulk of things, I started going through items I had deemed collectible a few years ago, before I moved into an apartment and really understood the value of space. Among those boxes, I found a lot of classic 90’s toys, knick-knacks, photos, and pieces that had been passed down to me from my grandma.

One of my favorite discoveries was my grandma’s 1953 sewing table with a built in Singer sewing machine.

Mama had taken great care of it over the years and it was in perfect working condition. She even had the wiring updated a few years back. All that was needed was a little TLC for the wooden desk and it was in tip-top shape…except for the cushion on the stool that was dated with dirt, dust, and other things you pick-up after 59 years.

So, I decided to DIY it up since the cushion was removable (and revealed a small storage space for zippers, buttons, etc). Mama and I headed to the fabric store, picked up new vinyl (that we got on sale in the scrap pile), a heavy-duty staple gun, and a bit of foam for added cushioning. In total, it cost me about $20.

Next, I set to ridding the stool top of 59 years of gross. Using a flat head screw driver and pliers, I took out all the old staples.

It took a bit of effort, but I was finally able to separate the old vinyl and foam from the wooden base.

I wiped off the fuzzies and before I threw out the old cushion, I used it as a template to measure my new foam. I then measured out my new vinyl using my new foam cut-out, giving myself a good 3-4 extra inches on all sides…just in case. I was then ready to apply it to the board.

Of course, I tried to do this part myself but it proved too difficult to pull the vinyl tight enough and to staple effectively so I enlisted mama for a bit of help. She pulled and I stapled starting with one side and then going to the opposite side until we had all four sides set. To eliminate bulk, mama suggested I miter the corners. Being new to the sewing/quilting world she had to show me, but it’s basically like folding from both sides under towards the middle like when you make an paper airplane. That probably made no sense, so you’re better off googling it! Anyways, we mitered the corners and voila…

Since I had given myself so much wiggle room in my vinyl, I had a bit of excess. But nothing a pair of scissors couldn’t handle!

So without further ado, my DIY updated vinyl upholstered sewing stool…ta-daaaaah!

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1 Comment»

  DIY: viynl painted bracelets « zigzagmags wrote @

[…] I didn’t have any extra leather laying around, but I did have some extra vinyl from my sewing stool DIY several months back. I had also just purchased snaps from the sewing shop and a snap fastener for this very […]


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