last week’s project really got me excited about woven materials. creating a simple weave is so easy (over, under, over, under…), but it creates amazing texture and a nice handmade touch. i spotted these new ikea blankö stools (so new they don’t seem to be online yet) in a gorgeous tomato red and an equally perky sky blue. i immediately felt inspired for spring, but i felt the stool could use some organic detail, and something to break up all the red. i bought a spool of jute twine at the hardware store and a few hours later…voila! i plan to use the stool indoors as a fun side table, but i think it would be equally appealing as outdoor seating. the weaving takes a bit of patience, but like most of my projects, it makes a good movie time activity (i watch waaayyy too many movies, i admit). have fun! -kate
CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!
1. ikea blankö stool
2. spool of jute twine
4. plastic large hole needle
5. piece of masking or duct tape
1. stool $10
2. twine $2
3. plastic needle $1
1. take the loose end of the twine and thread it through the center hole in the stool.
2. tie the twine in a knot underneath the stool seat, so now the twine is looped through the seat and connected to the roll of twine.
3. tape the twine loop to the underside of the stool. this will keep the loop tight as you continue to thread the twine around the stool seat.
4. cut a huge length of the twine off of the spool (about 5′) so you have a loose end to work with, but the twine isn’t so long that it tangles as you work.
5. loop the twine through the center hole in the stool, pulling it tight and re-looping over and over again clockwise around the stool. the best way to keep it tight is to thread it through, putting one hand underneath the center hole to grab the twine and hold it tightly as you pull the rest of the twine length with your other hand.
6. continue looping and pulling the twine taut, adding another length of twine when the one you’re working on runs out. make sure the knots wind up on the underside of the stool so the top stays clean.
7. as you near the end of covering the stool, you might need to use the needle to poke the twine through the center hole. when you have covered the entire top of the stool with twine loops, knot the twine underneath the stool and snip off extra with scissors.
8. use your fingers to adjust the twine around the edges so that the strands are evenly spaced (no need to be too exact).
9. cut another length of twine and knot it to one of the twine strands, about two inches from the center of the stool.
10. thread the other end of the loose piece of twine through the plastic needle, and begin weaving the twine through the strands, alternating over and under. it’s okay if you aren’t too exact on alternating every single time, slight inconsistencies add to the organic nature of the weaving.
11. as you weave around in a spiral, pull the twine tight and use your fingers to push the thread into a spiral shape. adjust the shape of the spiral to keep the concentric circular layers evenly spaced. it doesn’t have to be a perfect circle, but you want to keep the shape fairly even as you’re working so you aren’t left with any huge gaps at the outer circumference. if you have an odd number of strands, you will naturally be creating a weave that alternates over/under as you work around. if you see that the circles of your spiral are always going under and over the same strands, you need to add or drop one to make sure they alternate. this keeps the weave tight.
12. keep weaving until you’ve made it to the edge and over the sides of the stool. add lengths of twine as needed, tucking knots into the weave.
13. when you are done, knot the end of the twine to the last strand it reaches, and cut the excess twine off. this last knot should be located on the underside of the stool. the last 10 layers of the spiral might be hard to weave because the whole thing is getting very tight, but if you thread the needle through one strand at a time you should be fine.
14. if you want this to be an outdoor stool, you should cover the twine with a coat of clear urethane outdoor sealant to prevent mildew. the sealant is available at hardware stores and comes in a spray or a can.