Do you struggle to find ways to store all your thread from the various sewing projects you’ve worked on? My husband, Dave and I created an awesome Thread Storage Stool from a stool I found at one of our local thrift stores for $5.
I thought I’d show you how we did it so you can be on the look out for a similar piece to transform for your thread storage.
Now, I know most people would probably have passed this stool by even at that steal of a price and the cool leaf carvings on the front.
The wood had several small scratches and wear marks.
The upholstery on the seat had certainly seen better days. The fabric was thin and almost worn through in places.
It was definitely an ugly ducking of a stool.
But you see that compartment? Now that had potential!
How to turn a Thrift Store Stool into a Thread Storage Stool
We began by removing the hinged seat of the stool.
The wood base was given a good wash to remove cobwebs and then was sanded lightly to prep it for paint.
Two strips of wood were added just beneath the corner braces on opposite sides. Those hold the top thread tray.
This is what it looked like after the first coat of primer.
After that dried, a second coat was applied.
Then the interior and the inside of the leaf carvings got a third and final top coat with paint left over from painting the walls of my sewing room at our previous rental.
The outside was painted in the same pretty blue as the bookshelves and ironing station that Dave custom built for my sewing room and office.
I love how the white leaf carvings pop against that blue.
The paint was allowed to cure for a few days while Dave worked on making the inserts for the thread spools.
Reupholstering the seat was a must so that was done during the paint curing time as well.
The old, dirty upholstery was removed.
I decided a bit more cushioning on the seat was in order so a piece of 2 inch foam was cut to size using the wood from the seat as a guide.
Somewhere in one of our many moves our electric carving knife has gone missing so Dave used a regular bread knife to cut the foam. The edges are a little rougher than if we’d used an electric knife but those are hidden beneath a layer of batting and new upholstery fabric.
Here you can see the fabric right side down layered with polyester batting from my batting scraps bin.
My hands aren’t strong enough to make our ancient staple gun work so Dave took on that job. Before we do our next upcycle/reupholstery project, I want to get an electric staple gun!
It should be noted… that while we have recovered stools, chairs and footstools over the years, neither of us are professional upholsterers. This is just the way we recovered this particular seat.
To attach the upholstery fabric to the wood seat of the thread storage stool:
Fold the fabric edge to create a neat edge that won’t fray over time and use.
One staple on one side, flip around, pull the fabric so that it’s smooth. Fold and staple on the opposite side.
Then work along each side until about 3 to 4 inches from the corners.
Repeat this process for the third and fourth side.
After stapling, the seat will look like this.
Trim the excess batting away from the corners.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, but try to make the cut as neat as possible.
Fold and staple one side almost to the corner.
Fold the corner neatly.
Trim off excess fabric.
Staple the corner fabric in place.
Here’s the seat with all the stapling complete.
And here it is, right side up, ready to reattach to the base of the stool.
The hinges were re-positioned slightly to give the screws fresh wood to bite into.
If I hadn’t already decided this needed to be turned into a thread storage stool, it would have made a really pretty foot stool.
For the bottom of the stool compartment, Dave cut a piece of 3/4 inch plywood to fit.
Then holes were drilled to fit serger spools. Notice that the type of holes alternate. You’ll see why in a minute.
Another piece of 3/4 plywood was cut to make a tray for the top of the compartment. Small holes were spaced and drilled to insert dowels to hold regular thread spools.
Then it was time to fill the stool.
I had been keeping my serger thread in the drawer but no matter how neatly I stood them up in there, they always looked like this.
Now they are sooo much neater. The different sized holes you saw 2 photos up, allow me to fit more spools in the compartment by having every other cone standing upside down.
The thread drawer of my Art Deco Sewing Machine cabinet was overflowing with a bag of thread on top of the spools and bobbins.
It will take me a while to fill the top tray of the thread storage stool with thread!
The dowels were cut extra long to allow me to put the matching bobbin either underneath or on top of the spool.
I’d never had a stool to go with the Kenmore Sewing Machine cabinet that Dave retrofitted to house my modern Singer. Now I do!
I hope you liked seeing how we turned an ugly duckling of a vintage thrift store stool into a swan as a beautiful and functional Thread Storage Stool.
Other posts you might be interested in:
Please be sure to save this Thread Storage Stool upcycle project by clicking on the Pinterest button underneath this post. You never know when you might come across a thrift store stool that you can transform into thread storage for your sewing room.
And of course, I’d love it if you shared it on Facebook and Twitter as well. 🙂