Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Crafty: Personalized Children's Step Stool

I spend a lot of time click-click-clicking through links in blogs and I am always amazed by the sheer number of crafty types there are out there.  Now that I'm home with Noah I find that I do have slightly more time to do "projects".  One of my first projects was to be reupholstering a chair (a full on upholstered chair, not a piddly little chair seat re-cover) but I soon realized I did not have the skill level necessary to be successful.  So I set my sights lower.  A few weeks ago I came across the cutest personalized step stool tutorial on Prudent Baby and knew it would be perfect for a) my skill level and b) for a precious one year old's birthday gift.  And it turned out better than I could have hoped.

Here's a quick step by step tutorial (a more complete one can be found at Prudent Baby):

1. Gather your supplies.

  • Step stool (this one came from Target)
  • Scrapbook paper or any patterned paper you like
  • Cutting mat
  • exacto knife or sharp scissors
  • paper cutter (not necessary but the best.tool.ever.)
  • mod podge (I used matte but any finish will do)
  • foam brush
  • letters for name (if using..see below at that step for my notes)

2.  Lay out your name on the stool to make sure your letters all fit.

*Note: I printed my letters out on my computer and when I applied the first coat of mod podge, the ink ran a bit.  Next time I would cut them out of colored paper.

3. Cut out your letters using your exacto knife and cutting mat.  The letters I chose were rather skinny so I could fit B's whole name on the stool but I would recommend a thicker font, especially if you're using scissors and not an exacto knife.

4. Position your letters on the paper to find a good placement.

5. Turn your stool upside down on the paper (wrong side up) and trace the outline.

6.  When cutting out your traced image, cut just to the inside of your line.  This prevents a "lip" on the top of the stool and makes applying your mod podge easier.  I used my paper cutter because it's awesome.  Go buy one right away.  I then used my exacto knife to trim the corners to get the rounded effect.

7.  Place your paper on the top of your stool, check fit and placement and trim as necessary.

8.  Enter Mod Podge and the foam brush.  Look at her posing all sassy-like for you.

9.  Apply a layer of mod podge to the top of the stool, about the same thickness as you will be applying on top of the paper after positioning it.  Follow the directions for application on the container.

10.  Position your paper on the top of the stool and smooth out any air bubbles starting from the middle and pushing outwards.

11.  Allow the recommended drying time and DO NOT hurry it.  If you go too fast, you get air bubbles.  TRUST ME.

12.  When dry, apply a second layer of mod podge on top of the paper and position your letters.  Once the letter goes down it's pretty tricky to move it so make sure you're extra careful to put it exactly where you want it.  Smooth out any bubbles and allow that layer to dry.

13.  When dry, apply another layer of mod podge over the letters and paper.  This is where I experienced the ink bleeding a little from the letters and I just cleaned it up the best I could with a damp paper towel.  Allow to dry.

14.  Continue applying as many layers of mod podge as you feel is needed to effectively seal the paper.  

15.  Allow to dry.  

16.  Admire handiwork and allow toddler to "test" it out while looking extremely suspicious.

All in all, I think it turned out pretty well and the birthday girl will get many tooth-brushing, hand-washing years out of it.  


Hilary said...

Last picture obv. the best of them all!

bessie.viola said...

That is so darn cute! I think that I need to take on that project for Madeline. Such talent, you!

k said...

Nicely done! I am impressed for I am neither crafty nor patient.

AndreAnna said...

How cute is that?

Mike will be 33 next weekend. He likes swords. And GO! ;)

Mod Podge Amy said...

Fabulous! I love it!

Hillary said...

very pretty!

Michelle said...

That will be a lovely gift.