Altered Toilet Seats

When you hear the phrase “decorative toilet seats” do you think of this:

Or maybe this:

If your experiences parallel my own, even a little bit, suddenly visions of stained super hero underwear and pleading to please, please, FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, pee in the potty … but I digress.

It turns out, decorated throne tops are all the range.

I first experienced artists making the most of this unusual location at the SLC Tattoo Convention. Among those displayed, these treasures caught my eye:

The neglected seat cover can ooze cool… thank heaven because mine, when left unattended in a house full of adolescent boys has been known to ooze much, much worse. Noxious odors being the least of it.

One particularly rad toilet seat artist is Stephanie Ziobro from Medford, MA she’s the owner of and is an altered art genius who elevates the lowly commode to a whole new level.

Here is some of my favorites:

You can see more of Stephanie’s extraordinary pieces on her Flickr stream HERE

I had the immense pleasure of getting to know Stephanie a little bit and she graciously answered a few questions:

1. What inspired you to start working with toilet seats?

A while back (about 6 years ago) I had an idea to make a
skull toilet seat for a friend of mine who loved skulls and
had a really crappy lid on her toilet. It was my first one,
and I have to admit, not my best work. I bought the
cheapest seat I could find whicnh was plastic (not condusive
to the work at ALL.) However I loved the creation process
so decided to try to make more. The downside was that I was
living in a studio apartment at the time so 1. I did not
really have any space except for my kitchen floor and 2.
The fumes from the resin just got to be too much in such a
small space. Early last year, a friend’s birthday was
coming up and i thought, “Hey! Let me try this again!” I
bought a wooden seat this time, and the result was 100 times

2. Do you do other kinds of art or do you eat, sleep and breathe mixed media/decoupage?

Because I have a “real job” which provides me with the
immense pleasure of sitting at a computer 40+ hours a week,
I absolutely immerse myself in the mixed media/decoupage
hands-on activity of toilet seats. It’s the first time in a
while that I’ve revisited that type of art, and it just
feels so good to literally have my “hands on” a project.
However, I also do a lot of graphic design and I’ve recently
started making cards and postcards, mostly from photographs
that I’ve taken (I’ve also started to revisit photography,
which has grown from goofy photos of my friends to really
focusing on POV and macro photography.) I sit at the
computer and do a lot of post-processing work, which can be
frustrating since I’m self-taught, but it’s one struggle I
enjoy. I also crochet (I created my own crocheted skull
pattern that I attach to sweaters) and I love to sew,
although I’m kind of a hack. I’d never make it to Project
Runway, although if I had the time between all my other
projects I could see myself becoming obsessed.

3. If a person wanted to try making one themselves what
tips would you offer?

1. Use a lightly sanded wooden seat. The paint adheres
much better and won’t peel off.

2. I seal the lid with an acrylic resin to create a smooth
glass-like surface. Resin can be a challenge to work with
due to bubbles and stickiness (which can be a real mess, as
I learned the hard way) but once you master the process it
is so worth it.

3. Some sort of edging around the seat (the glass beads)
REALLY neatens up the resin portion of the project. I
currently don’t have a real workshop, and I rent an
apartment, so I have to be really careful about things
dripping all over the place. I attached the edging
adornments with Amazing Goop or a nice thick glass glue (a
lighter glue can make the stones slide right off the edges.)

I can easily picture jazzing up my lowly crapper with the Happy Housewives Paper Crafting and Mixed Media Kit,

the Handsome Man Collage Sheet:

Or, a super-cool wedding gift would be a toilet seat made with ephemera from the Ball and Chain Mixed Media and Paper Crafting Kit:

Warning to my friends (who already think I’m a little kooky): You might just find something to sit on under your christmas tree this year.


6 Responses

  1. Love the Bombs Away seat. That makes me smile. A lot!

  2. HaHaHa! Thses are so exciting!

  3. Wow, these are too fun! Loved reading the interview!

  4. Totally wow! A very interesting artform. You expand our artful horizons in so many ways!

  5. Funny story for all of you. Stephanie and I turn out to have a mutual close friend. We’ve never met each other but have heard a lot about each other. Of course, I didn’t know about her toilet-seat fascination, but it was still a small-world moment. When Nicole approached her for an interview, we figured it out.

  6. This puts me in mine of the one we got my Dad as a gift one year- we were still living out on the homestead and when we saw the fur-lined toilet seat we couldn’t resist. I think it finally end up glued to the porta-pottie lid for when we couldn’t get out to the outhouse.

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