In this post I will show you how to transform a wooden Bekvam stool from Ikea into your own unique creation using just paint, paper and glue. This is a very easy project that can be done in an afternoon.

Here is what you’ll need:
Bekvam stool, £13
A tester pot of emulsion paint (I used Saxe Blue by Craig & Rose), from £1.50
Modpodge matt glue, from £4 for 236 ml
Paterned wallpaper fragments: either use left-overs or sample pieces from which you can cut small figures
Japanese washi tape, from £1.50
Satin polyurethane varnish, from £5 for 250 ml
Flat paint brushes, small scissors, scalpel, cutting mat
Total cost: £25


First paint the stool – one coat should suffice. While the paint dries, cut your shapes from patterned wallpaper: I used flowers and leaves in different sizes. Once the paint is dry, arrange the shapes on the two steps so that you know roughly where you’ll want to glue them.

bekvam stool being painted, with decoupage paper in place, Ikea hack

Glue the paper shapes with Modpodge and stick washi tape to the edges (optional). Finish by applying three coats of varnish to the two steps. You can varnish the legs too if you wish but this is not absolutely necessary.

bekvam stool with decoupage and washi tape, Ikea hack

Below you can see the finished stool, with and without washi tape. Another alternative if you wanted to make a feature of the horizontal edges would be to paint them in a contrasting colour.

bekvam stool with decoupage wallpaper and washi tape, Ikea hack

If you are interested in finding out more about decoupage check my workshops page: classes range from two hours to a whole weekend and cost from £30 for an introduction where you will learn enough about the technique to start your own upcycling projects at home.

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Gabriela Szulman


My work is often humorous and whimsical – unless my romantic side takes over and then we enter into a fairy-tale territory of old-fashioned script, pages of books and music scores populated by chivalrous gentlemen, glamorous ladies, butterflies and rabbits.

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Would you like to explore your creative side? I use the wonderful techniques of decoupage and collage in much of my work, and now I can teach you how to create your very own masterpieces!

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