Sunday, August 18, 2013

DIY Milk Crate Window Seat or Individual Stools

This blog started out as a crazy idea and has turned into such a fun part of my daily life.  Now, I'm always on the lookout for new projects, the problem is I am becoming a bit of a junk hoarder!  I'm always coming home with new "treasures", it's all contained in our three car garage so to the unsuspecting eye there appears to be no problem, but hit that garage door opener and my secret is out.  It looks like a thrift store exploded.   My poor husband is away working, so my need to rescue even more junk has gotten out of control.  

In an attempt to finally tackle some of these ideas before he gets home and commits me.. I'm forcing myself to finish all the projects I have before taking on any more (we'll see how long that last :).  And not only that I have to use the supplies I already have, which is plenty and rather embarrassing, I need to somehow get on a not allowed to enter list at Hobby Lobby, they do that at casinos right?? Why not craft stores???

OK, enough spilling my issues.  I found these old milk crates, two wood and one metal at my local antique store.  My original plan was to turn then on their sides and make a shelf/cubby for inside my front door, but the inside of these crates has metal dividers that made that idea too hard to accomplish without destroying the cool old crates so there they sat in my garage for months.  That is until I saw this tutorial to make a little ottoman.  I love the idea but I had three and really needed something for an empty spot in my living room under two large windows. 

So I thought pushing three together would make a cute window seat or bench. To get started I used some left over plywood my hubby had from building a shelf in his shop.  I cut three pieces as wide as the top of my crate, about 12 inches by 15.  Then I centered the board on top and used a marker to trace around the little metal feet to give me a guide of where to cut.

Now, with a drill make a hole inside that mark big enough to fit the blade of your jig saw and then cut out the curved triangle shape of the feet.  It took a few tries to get the tops to fit, but eventually they all fit flat against the tops of the crate then I used a palm sander to smooth out the edges of the board and rounded the corners.

Now for the cushion.  In the tutorial above, she used a piece of foam which is a great idea.  The problem is I didn't have any foam (remember the self imposed moratorium on supplies?) and foam is expensive, but I did have three old throw pillows and I wasn't using and some batting.

I tried to just keep the pillow intact and cover the board, but it felt to "mushroomy" or domed, and the batting made the corners too bulky.

So I ditched the batting and cut off the trim around the pillow removing the thick front of the pillow, laying the exposed filling flat on the top of the plywood, but leaving the tan back of the pillow to hide the white stuffing so you couldn't see it through the burlap.

Then with a staple gun staple on the covering of choice.  I used pieces of burlap from an old coffee sack, and some red and white ticking fabric for the other.  I'm no expert on upholstery, I just staple one side, then pull the opposite side smooth and tight and secure it, then turn and do the same with the other two sides. Finally, fold and staple the corners and cut off any excess fabric so the top will lay flat on the crate. 

I am really excited with how they turned out.  The kids think they are the "coolest stools ever" and not only do they fill the empty space and give us some extra seats/foot rests they also don't block the view of our pond that sits just out the window.

Blocking that view is what made filling the spot so difficult, but I think we found a solution.

And I didn't spend any additional money!!!  Huge Win!!!

But even if you had to buy the supplies this would still be a pretty inexpensive project.  Hope you like it!


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