This Stool is Stepping Up

I’m sure to spend this post fluctuating between snickering and gagging. You don’t really think too much about a word until you write it. Repeatedly. For an audience. Such is the word ‘stool.’ Many of you grown-ups would have never thought twice about me discussing my stool makeover. But if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, then chances are you’re snorting along with me. So let’s talk stools, shall we?!

stool makeover

Every home with young kids has a little step stool like this in a bathroom. I mean, how else are they going to glop toothpaste in the sink and spray water all over the mirror, if they can’t reach? I guess I’d gone too long without holding a paintbrush, because I spontaneously decided this stool needed softening.

I raided my fabric swatches for something that coordinated with the Kids/Guest Bathroom, and found this sample. I had checked it out from JoAnn Fabrics ages ago for $5, and apparently never taken it back. I’m assuming that means I paid for it, and it’s mine? Hope so, because my stool is wrapped in it.


These samples are the perfect size for a throw pillow or other small project, and $5 is a fraction of the cost per yard for these high-end fabrics. Jackpot! Does anyone know the proper protocol for “purchased” samples? (JoAnns refunds your $5 if you bring the sample back.)

Moving on. For the base, I simply took my fabric to the craft store and chose a coordinating color from the row of $1 acrylic paints. After brushing on a few coats, I sprayed it with a high-gloss finish. Then I cut the fabric to size and stapled it to the underneath, folding the corners like a package. (No foam or batting needed since this is a foot stool.)


Remembering this stool’s intended mess-maker user, I covered the top in a second layer of clear plastic shower curtain liner, to protect the fabric from water and stains. Using oil cloth would be perfect for this kind of project, but I didn’t think of that until after. You could also use clear contact paper, or laminated fabric.


Now instead of junking up the bathroom with kid gear, this little stool adds to the decor! (Just because kids use it, doesn’t mean it has to be hosed down with yellow duckies.)

Of course it looks like this everyday. Don’t your kids keep their bathrooms this tidy?!

I chose green to pull from the Anthropologie knobs and plants, and foresee this color ending up on the “5th wall” at some point. The wall stripes and shower curtain have a slight purple undertone that also work well with the fabric.

Someone needs to touch-up that vanity paint. ‘Someone’ usually means me.

I’d say $6 for paint and fabric is a steal for a custom step stool that looks intentional for this space!


Kid tested and approved!


Have you turned an everyday household object into something special? Don’t flog me, but if you’re in the know regarding the fabric samples, please share with the class.

** Also linking up to Home Stories A to Z, Tip Junkie, Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Just a Girl, Remodelaholic, The Shabby Nest, The DIY Showoff, TaterTots & Jello, Serenity Now and Thrifty Decor Chick**

Leave a Comment


  1. i'm stepping out, with my baby…
    blah blah blah, don't mean maybe…
    LOVE the step stool! it looks so bright and cheery in there! the green is awesome!

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  2. Laurie wrote:

    Watch your step baby….it is too cute

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  3. So glad your stool came out, I mean, turned out so good. ha! Love your humor!

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  4. I'm snickering……. love the stool!

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  5. Amanda wrote:

    too cute! and yes id say for $5 that fabric sample is yours to keep. Have a great day girl!!

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  6. Mrs. H wrote:

    I love this! My little one isn't even walking yet, but I'm sure we will be needing one of these very soon!

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  7. Kerri wrote:

    That's so cute! and I love the knobs on the cabinet!

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  8. Leslie wrote:

    What a cute project. I love how cheerful the piece turned out!

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  9. I like the green paint color you chose, and the fabric is perfect. I agree about not throwing yellow ducks all over the place just because the kids are using it!

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  10. Leigh wrote:

    I love this. My little one is 7 months old but I know we will need a stool soon. Oh goodness, what is he going to do the bathroom?!?! I can't imagine. Oh, love the shower curtain. I'd love to know where you got it!

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  11. Danielle wrote:

    Really cute! Kid-friendly AND it looks nice! I'd say win-win!

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  12. Elz wrote:

    I love that stool! Covering it with a clear shower curtain is genius too. I'm curious about the tip on the $5 fabric samples as pillows (fronts of them anyway)… our nearest Joanns is an hour away but we're going up there this weekend already. Do you know how many inches square the sample was? I'm being super anal asking this haha sorry!

    HA I said anal in a post about stools 😉 teehee

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  13. Such a cute little stool! Love the fabric!

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  14. Personally I would have given the kid two dumb bells and told her to build her upper body strength so she could hang from the sink and brush her teeth with one hand. Ergo why I am not a parent and why you produced a cute stool…….

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  15. Lo wrote:

    This stool needs some softening… lol… seriously. I love that kelly green btw!!! Cute and high impact!!

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  16. Tiffany wrote:

    Very cute! I love your shower curtain by the way.

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  17. Hmmm, now you've given me another project. I still have the stools that my son and daughter used in the bathrooms. My granddaughter uses them now, and I never thought of painting them/covering them. Yours looks so cute, I may have to break out the plastic paint and see what I can do with it. Yours looks fantastic!

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  18. IT'S YOUR BATHROOM!! OMG!!!!!!

    Sorry for the spaz but I pinned your bathroom when I first started Pinterest and you weren't given credit for it so I never knew where it came from! But I am IN LOVE with it! I seriously want to do mine very similar! Next time I post about now I know who get's the credit!

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  19. Ha! I love ashley's comment!!! So cute. And she is totally my daughter. . . they are long lost sisters for sure.

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  20. Lori wrote:

    So cute! (The stool and your daughter!)

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  21. I love the $5 samples at JoAnn's. Brilliant to create a stool! Lately I've been crazy for anything kelly green so this fits right into my business. 😉
    LOVE IT!

    Posted 1.25.12 Reply
  22. Girl! You crack me up! The stool is super cute- we need one here too- can you whip one up for James??!! Your daughter is adorable!!

    Posted 1.25.12 Reply
  23. emily wrote:

    How cute is your daughter?! Love the stool and that is genius to cover it in a shower curtain liner! Brilliant!

    Posted 1.25.12 Reply
  24. Would Mod Podge also work for sealing the fabric? I've never used it before.

    Posted 1.25.12 Reply
  25. So cute! Love the pic of baby girl…she is like a mini adult 🙁

    Posted 1.25.12 Reply
  26. So cute! Love the fun fabric!! You are seriously superwoman with all of your projects/DIYs/work/mother/wife/etc/etc/etc!! I don't know HOW you do it all!

    Posted 1.25.12 Reply
  27. Emily wrote:

    Looks great! I love your shower curtain!! where did you get it?

    Posted 1.25.12 Reply
  28. Really cute and I have 3 step stools that could use a makeover! I'm your newest follower.

    Posted 1.31.12 Reply
  29. This is so cute, and the shower curtain liner stuff works. There's a lot more patterns and colors available in cotton fabric than there is in oil cloth.

    Posted 2.3.12 Reply
  30. Anyone have an idea what the fabric name is?

    Posted 8.10.12 Reply