if only I’d thought of that sooner.

A while back I shared this pile of goodies that I’d brought home from garage sales …

I’ve made over everything in this pile (medicine cabinet, box, birdcage, lamp) except for the pair of chairs which will likely become an early spring 2021 project (it’s a little late in the season for planter chairs now) and today’s project, the little camp stool.

I didn’t quite remember to get a photo before I started working on it, but I did grab a quick one after removing the canvas seat …

The existing seat was pretty gross, and the wood frame was looking shabby as well.  The finish was mostly gone and the wood was quite dry looking.  I tried to capture that in this photo …

Once I had the seat off, I scrubbed the wooden frame with some Dawn and the garden hose.  Once it dried again, I re-evaluated.  At this point I could have painted it, but I really liked the warmth of the wood.  So I decided to see if I could rejuvenate the wood without totally stripping and refinishing it.

I started by sanding it to remove all loose bits of the previous finish.  Then I pulled out the Dixie Belle Howdy-Do Hemp Seed Oil.

This has become my preferred brand of hemp oil because it has almost no odor at all  (I have had issues with bad odors when using other brands).

I like to apply hemp oil with an inexpensive chip brush.  Some of the really cheap ones from the DIY/hardware store tend to shed their bristles and make a total mess of it, but the premium chip brush from Dixie Belle is little better quality and it’s only $1.50 on their website.  It’s perfect for using with hemp oil.

OK, so I brushed the hemp oil onto the wood.  Then I gave it a minute or so to soak in and wiped away any excess oil using an old rag.

In the meantime, I had asked my friend/picker Sue (who also does a bit of sewing for me) to hem up a piece of drop cloth fabric to same size as the former seat of the camp stool.  She whipped it up in no time, and once I had that back from her I stenciled it to give it a grain sack look (the stencil used can be found here).

After that it was super simple to just staple the seat back onto the frame.

It wasn’t until I was contemplating how best to stage this camp stool for a photo that I realized I’d missed a prime opportunity.  Last weekend Mr. Q, my sister, my niece and I went for a hike in William O’Brien State Park.  If only I’d thought ahead and brought the camp stool along.  I could have gotten some photos of it with an appropriately camp-ish background.  I could have placed it beside the St. Croix River with an old fishing pole leaning on it.

Or maybe just next to this babbling brook with a vintage cooler beside it.

It would have been perfect!

Drat!  If only I’d thought of that sooner!

Instead I just took some photos of it on my deck next to the patio furniture.

Not quite as camp-ish, I know.

It makes a fun alternative to a traditional side table though.  It could also double as a foot stool.

What would you use an old camp stool for?

Many thanks to Dixie Belle for providing the Howdy-Do hemp seed oil used for this project. If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

And if you need a refurbished camp stool, this one is for sale locally for $25.

18 thoughts on “if only I’d thought of that sooner.

  1. I would never have thought to upcycle a camp chair, but of course it turned out lovely! I especially like the “location” shots you took!! 🙂


  2. Despite your very clever photo-shops, face it, most of us would not drag this lovely stool on a grungy camping expedition! In the summer months I would use it on my patio exactly as you have. It would be handy to be able to stow it away when not needed. I might add a small tray, suitably painted of course, to make a stable surface for cool summer beverages. The combination of oiled legs and painted canvas is spot-on for me!


  3. It’s a lovely makeover and I’ve been really wanting to try the hemp oil on something so glad for the extra info on that product!! 🙂 Super cute piece!!


  4. What a perfect way to accent a walk in the park; lug everything into the woods and slap mosquitos while you get just the right shot! 😘
    Any day, my love. ❤


  5. I just love your improvised “location” shots! And always such darling posts from Mr. Q! The stool is very cute and, once again, your stenciling skill is the BEST! 😀


    1. Stenciling on drop cloth is one of my favorite techniques. The texture of the cloth seems to almost guarantee a crisp result, unless you accidentally shift the stencil while using it (have been know to do that). Then all bets are off.


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