This nail head foot stool is the first entry of “Project Bachelor Pad,” which will be ongoing as I help my son bring together furniture and mementos from our home and family. He’ll soon be finishing up grad school and may be employed far away from home, but I’m not about to let him forget where he came from. To start things off, I have made him a nail head foot stool, because aren’t foot stools at the top of every bachelor’s move-in list!
Anyway, I went with an Irish ocean village theme to honor his grandparents who hail from western County Cork, Ireland.
On the Road from Schull to Skibb, Ireland
I’m adding a bit of Irish humor here, when I tell you that herself is from the town of Skibbereen, known as the hub of West Cork, and often called Skibb for short. Himself on the other hand is from the town of Schull, located right on the shores of the Atlantic, and considered the most southern and westerly village in Cork. They emigrated to the states together years ago and have made the US their home, but as with anyone, no matter where you end up, the place where you started off never leaves you. They truly are the best grandparents a kid could have, with no lack of Irish wit and humor on any given day.
Wheat Sack or Pirate Salvage?
When I designed the pattern for the fabric on the nail head stool I was aiming for the look of a wheat sack on its way to Skibbereen by way of Schull. I think I came close, but I can’t deny that it could be mistaken for a salvaged piece from a pirate ship, too. I’ll bet you didn’t know that St. Patrick was actually captured in England by Irish marauders at the age of 16? Speaking of St. Patrick, here is a quick video from History.com that has many more interesting facts on St. Patrick and his day.
Loose the Fringe
I started out with a fringy, over-stuffed stool that I picked up at a yard sale last summer. I wanted to keep the look simple; something a typical bachelor would find to be acceptable décor. Therefore, the fringe definitely had to go!! I removed the fringe, fabric, stuffing and took off the legs.
Dye, Paint, Stencil, Nail Heads
I reupholstered the top of the stool with new foam, batting, and a piece of left over fabric to keep the batting safe from the burlap, and vise versa.
I recently dyed some burlap with this project in mind, knowing that I would alter the bright green with a paint wash and that is exactly what I did. I paint washed the burlap with some textile medium, and a mix of gray, white, taupe and copper craft paint until it had a worn, old, beat-up look. For some unknown reason, I keep resorting to copper and green, but it just seemed to fit for this project.
I then reupholstered the burlap layer on to the stool top.
I stenciled painted the top of the stool with a design I put together with a few sail boat images and the words Schull and Skibb opposing each other. I used Skibb twice because grandmas are extra nice, just ask herself!
Note: I tested the stencil and paint colors on the fabric scraps before hand, to make my final color choice for the stencils.
To emphasize the wording, I outlined the letters using a thin stiff-bristle paint brush and dark gray craft paint.
Note: Once again, I tested this first on fabric scraps to be sure I would be getting the look I wanted.
Last step, I put the legs back on and added the nail heads.
As my son has become an avid fisherman, I think this nail head foot stool will fit right in with his new home, wherever that might be. In the meantime, I’m checking “foot stool” off his “Top 10 bachelor furniture move-in list,” what’s next…? Hmmm