Painted stool

I have had my trusty Ikea Bekvam step stool for many years and it has seen me through many a DIY and painting job. As a result it was looking rather sad and paint-splattered, so I decided to give it a new lease of life.

The bright sunshine is hiding the worst of the paint splatters!

There are lots of ‘hacks’ for this stool on Pinterest and initially I toyed with the idea of painting the stool and decoupaging wallpaper across the steps, but then I came across an image of a white-sided, varnish-topped stool and thought it looked classy, and would fit the colour scheme of my kitchen (where it currently lives).

First of all I sanded the paint splodges off the stool – some paints were easier than others (the red was the most stubborn!).

Already looking happier after a sand-down

I used some old B&Q quick dry varnish in gloss oak for the steps; I did the steps first so no drips could ruin the white sides. I then used some Ronseal garden paint in white ash for the sides, simply because a tin was lurking at the back of the garage along with the varnish.

Usually found hiding in the garage

It needed two coats of paint and varnish overall, though I did do a third coat on the front section to thicken it up. I’m really pleased with the end result, if I do say so myself!

Looking good!

Link here:


Crochet square blocking

Having a growing pile of willow squares (see previous post), I decided it was time to start blocking them ready for joining. I looked at several Pinterest pins for how to block, having never done it before, and found this to be the simplest looking method.

Just some of the squares made so far

It requires a foam pad, bamboo skewers and a water spray bottle. I used some additional blocking pins I’d bought on Amazon too. I sprayed the squares lightly with water before pinning them to the board with the bamboo skewers in each corner. I used the blocking pins to straighten each edge. The foam pad I used is one especially for crochet blocking with grid lines printed on it to help keep edges straight, but it could be easily duplicated with a cheap piece of plain foam with hand-drawn lines.

My blocking board

I blocked the squares in sets of four and each set took about 24 hours to dry out – so a long process!

Once removed from the board I then stored the squares under a heavy book and paperweights to keep them flat.

Keeping the squares flat after blocking

An easy but long process (unless I buy more foam pads) to block crochet squares. Now the next job is to work out how to join the squares and add a border!

Link here: