ikea hack: bekvam stool

*1/27/15 Edit: IkeaHackers added this to their page – check out their site for a ton of great “Ikea hack” ideas! :)

Ikea does make some really great products, and one of the things I use often is my little BEKVÄM stool. It is lightweight and easy to carry around my kitchen and other parts of the house when I need a step up. Plus, it works as additional seating sometimes – often for my cat, Maya;) I decided it needed a cushion but I wanted the cushion to be removable for when I needed a step up, you know? I don’t want to stand on a pretty seat and make it dirty over the years! So, here I introduce to you my own Ikea hack!

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I bought a piece of ¾ inch wood, cut it the same size as the top of the stool, with about ⅜” extra on the left and right sides (to have a little edge to grab onto when removing), then lightly sanded the edges and corners just so my fabric would not snag on a splinter.

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I used this board as a template to cut the cushion to size. The cusion is very thick and firm, and a little tricky to cut. I tried scissors, a knife, and my rotary cutter. What worked best for me was using the rotary cutter in vertical chopping motions.

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Then, I had a piece of snazzy canvas I bought a while back, and cut it so that I had about three inches to staple to the board. That way, I could make a hem with the fabric for extra strength. I did not have rhyme or reason to how I stapled it – I just had fun!

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The whole point of this Ikea hack is to have a removable cushion, so as you can see above, I also set the cushion top on the stool and then traced where my wood-plug would go, through the handle opening of the stool itself. To make the plug, I had an extra bit of a 2×4 cut to the rough shape of the handle, then I sanded it down until it fit snug. I used a bit of wood glue and two screws (pre-drilled) to hold it in place.

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The plug allows the cushion to sit firmly on the stool, so you do not have to worry about knocking it off when you sit down. And, it let’s you pop the cushion off when you need to step on the stool, because it isn’t anchored to the stool itself – just slips into the handle hole.

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Now, all that is left is deciding on what color of stain I want to use on the stool itself!

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What do you think of my Ikea hack? Have you made one yourself? I’d love to see it:)

paper elephant

I am torn between saying the best thing about the internet is the wealth of knowledge and saying it is the wealth of generosity. I came across a free pattern of such a cute little elephant I had to try it out! Thanks to the Swedish material girls at materialisterna!

I printed mine onto the blank side of some scrapping paper I had cut to 8.5 x 11″ and printed it at 108% to make it the largest I could. It jammed the first time in my printer, but then I used the manual feed for envelopes and it worked without issue.

I carefully cut everything out, using an exacto knife for some parts, but scissors probably could have handled it all. I also used a little burnishing tool to make a crease where the tabs get folded. That was a great decision on my part and I pat myself on the back for thinking of it!

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I used tiny white beads for the eyes, and simply taped the thread on the inside. I pierced the holes on both left and right sides of the elephant at the same time to assure they would be in the same place, and also used my needle and that method to mark where the ear pieces would be glued.

Then began the arduous task of glueing… My little clothespins helped hold things in place, with some Elmer’s glue and scotch tape. About one Star Trek episode later, I had a perfectly darling elephant.

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chocobo mug rug

Do any of you know what a chocobo is? It is a bird from one of my husband’s favorite game series: Final Fantasy. I came across this image from HowToDrawManga3D.com and decided to try  my hand at a mug rug one day over break.

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I embroidered the chocobo onto some yellow fuzzy fabric I had, and for the first time, I experimented with different number of strands. The bird was mostly done with 6 strands, but the beak and feet were done with one. I was impressed at how much of a difference that really can make – not necessarily with this since it was on fuzzy fabric and all one color, but for adding texture in future projects.

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I really did not know what I was doing with the mug rug, so I learned a lot here. I made it up as I went with whatever materials I had handy. (What I mean is, I did not spend time planning it, which is noticeable!)

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For the binding, I had to sew two strips of fabric together (I used some left-over canvas from the applique piece I recently did). I also decided to quilt the mug rug after I had sewn the chocobo to the front, so I had to be tricky and hand-finish some of it to complete the look without sewing over top of the chocobo.

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He loves it and I have more planned. Maybe, since my in-person classes got cancelled this semester, I will complete a few more!