DIY Throw Rugs & Stool

Military families move frequently. Since April 2011, my husband and I have made a total of four moves (two together, one for me, one for him), not including his deployment in 2012.

Each time we PCS, we want to make our new place feel like home, but we’re also a military family on a budget. Repurposing existing pieces, rearranging furniture to fit new spaces, and finding creative new uses for things we already own helps our budget go further.

This is why, when we moved to Germany, I was determined to create an entry nook in our apartment that was 1) budget-friendly and 2) coordinated with our living room.

Last weekend, I finally that project finally went live, and besides a little scare with about 8 gallons of navy blue Batik, the project turned out well!

Entry Nook Before


The Process

The little wooden bench was a castaway in a neighbor’s trash pile, so I rescued it. She got a lovin’ scrubbin’ from the husband and a krackle pant refinishing job from me.

The green throw rugs are well-loved remnants of my bachelorette digs back in the day. They’re still perfectly functional, but they didn’t match the colors in our living room.

The Dye Job


I followed the directions on the Batik-style fabric dye, boiling several gallons of water in several large containers on the stove top. As the water came to a boil on the stove, I realized that I didn’t know what I was going to mix the dye in that would also be large enough to hold both throw rugs.

At the last second, I poured the boiling water and Batik into the bathtub. I tossed in the throw rugs, added a little more piping hot water, and nervously watched as the water turned not blue but deep, creepy, abysmal black.


As the bath mats soaked, I paced, anxiously waiting to find out if the tub would come clean. Thankfully, Nick didn’t witness any of this. If he’d been home, I’m fairly certain he’d have pulled the plug on my little project (and on the bathtub).

Refinishing the Bench…

I used a power sander and some hand-sanding to remove the polyurethane coating on the bench, and to smooth out a few uneven areas in the wood.

After wiping away dust with wet cloth and allowing the bench to dry, I gave it two healthy coats of a retro green acrylic paint.


When the green paint dried, I applied krackle coat on top of the green acrylic. The instructions said to allow the krackle to mostly dry before applying my top coat. That’s exactly what I did, applying the final neutral blue/gray top coat as the final step.

Here’s our finished, shabby chic little entry nook bench:


The Finished Entry Nook

Thankfully, the bathtub came clean, and the throw rugs took the navy blue dye. The gray krackle paint picks up the blue in the throw rugs and our larger living room area really nicely, turning our previously drab entry into a pulled-together finished nook.


Supplies & Costs

Altogether, this project cost approximately $15.

Here’s the breakdown:

Price Breakdown


Have you done similar home improvement projects, repurposing existing items to create a new look and feel? Share your stories in a comment, below!

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  1. We love that you have time to explore your DIY side! Tee hee…happy that your tub came clean. Your corner is lovely! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Pingback: DIY Bucket List Chalkboard Wall - MilliGFunk

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