How to Make Modern Bar Stools

by Chris Lambton

Seating is always a necessity at my house. I am constantly entertaining and having people over for dinner or drinks and the kitchen seems to be the default gathering spot. I soon started to notice that my existing stools were showing some wear due to the frequent use they were getting. I knew I wanted to salvage them because the legs go great within my kitchen aesthetic, and the height is perfect for my kitchen island.

How to Make Modern Bar Stools

Consequently, I created a quick DIY bar stool project that is super simple for anyone to follow along with. This article will detail the tools and materials needed for this upcycle project, along with the simple instructions and some design tips for your new DIY bar stools.

Materials Needed to make your DIY Bar Stools:

  • Stools
  • Fabric
  • Cushions

Fiskars Tools Needed to make your DIY Bar Stools:

How to Build Your Own Modern Bar Stools

Step 1. Remove the existing seat. When changing out the fabric on a stool you will first have to investigate to see how the cushion is attached. Most are attached underneath with screws. The first step is to remove the cushion using your Fiskars® Precision Screwdriver which is perfect for a job like this with its quick flip heads for whatever screw type you encounter.

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Step 2. Remove all staples. Once the cushion is detached, remove all existing staples holding the old fabric in place. The Fiskars® Precision Needle Nose Pliers are great for removing staples as the teeth grip easily and the handles are super comfy.

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Step 3. Remove the fabric. Once the staples are removed, you should be able to easily remove the layer of fabric. If your fabric is not coming off easily, use the Fiskars® DIY Snap Off Knife to cut it away and then remove any stubborn staples.

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Step 4. Cut your new fabric to size. Lay out your new fabric and place your cushion on top to measure the fabric needed. Add 2" around each end of the cushion to account for wrapping the fabric under and stapling it to the seat base. Cut your fabric using the Fiskars® Original Orange-handled Scissors.

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Step 5. Adhere fabric to cushion. Using the staple gun, attach the new fabric on top of the cushion. Make sure to tightly pull the new fabric and tuck underneath while stapling. Add a final piece of fabric to cover any stapled fabric edges to create a more finished look.

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Step 6. Reattach cushion to stool base. Using the same process for which you removed the cushion, reattach the reupholstered cushion to the stool base.

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This is a simple project that will result in giving new life to existing chairs.

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How Much Does It Cost to Build Your Own Bar Stools?

This DIY bar stool project cost me only $20 to reupholster four stools. I love this project because it is a super simple way to hold onto great pieces, like bar stools, ottomans or chairs, but give them a face lift with a new fabric or pattern.

Design Tips for Bar Stools

Designing your DIY bar stools is completely up to you. You can select any kind of fabric that you like – from patterns, colors, texture and more – everything is customizable. I would recommend selecting a studier home décor fabric when reupholstering a project that gets a lot of use, like a stool or chair, to protect the look of the object a bit more.

You can also swap in a vinyl material which is super easy to clean if you have little ones at home who sometimes make a mess! Think about a leather or faux leather material if you want something with a warmer look and feel or stick with a durable cotton – you can't go wrong with the classics.

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