Cinderella Step Stool
My youngest niece's first birthday was just over the horizon, and I had to think of a gift. At that age, I try to go with stuff they need since they don't really have a long list of toys they want. I know she can hardly walk, but pretty soon, she'll need a step stool. Whether it's for brushing her teeth or helping in the kitchen, a stool is pretty handy. I was always short as a kid and appreciated being able to see what was going on.
With the gift in mind, I knew I wanted to also customize it. For her cousins, I usually give them painted shoes or picture frames of characters I know they like at the time. Since she's young enough to not really have a favorite princess yet, the options were pretty open. I got into my head of doing a staircase since these are just little stairs, make her feel like a princess. Belle has a good one, Aurora climbs some stairs, but those are to the secret room with the spinning wheel. Mulan has a good scene on some outdoor stairs that I love, but my mind kept going back to the Cinderella stairs where she loses her shoe. Yet, when I started my google search, I saw there were lots of scenes with stairs in Cinderella. I know it's a very climbing-the-social-ladder kind of story, so it makes sense to really stick to that imagery. She lives in the attic up the old wood stairs, there are stairs that the cat chases the mice on, and sooo many pretty stairs in the castle. So, I narrowed it down to the 3 where I feel like she was happy (her at the top of the stairs in her pink dress was sad knowing what her step-sisters were about to do to her). Plus, it's kind of a beginning / middle / end with the 3 pictures that were eventually chosen.
I had to paint the whole thing white first to get a blank canvas from the unicorn that came on the Home Goods stool. Then, I sketched it all out to get some compositional ideas. Then, just painting with acrylic, which took much longer than I expected. Just the gradients on the stairs in the middle panel took a whole evening. After that, I coated everything in clear paint-on sealant then again with spray gloss sealant. I hope this lasts a long time and doesn't discolor... I don't know if I could do it again...
Enjoy the process-shots below!
I also wanted her to have a toy to play with that day, and my brother said she actually does like the Puppy Dog Pals show on Disney Channel. So, I picked up a cheap wooden animal toy and repainted it to look like the girl dog, Keia, from the show. Same clear coating process on her was used.