Thursday, July 22, 2010

Recovered Bar Stools

Good guess, Megan! Yes, the good ol' bar stools got a little makeover last week. I have been talking about recovering my bar stools for YEARS. They are awesome seats -- very sturdy and comfortable. They are perfect for our family. However, they were in dire need of some "spice", and besides, the previous fabric had seen it's day (pretty dirty from one to many Gogurt's getting dripped.)

Last week I headed to JoAnn's and found THE most perfect fabric.
1. Original price was $10/yard
2. I had a 50% off coupon!!!
3. I love the lattice style print - slightly modern and very crisp looking
4. Kelly green!

I was stoked. Per the excellent advice of the fabric counter helper, I purchased two yards of fabric for my 4 bar stools, and 2 yards of clear vinyl (8 gauge I believe -- strong enough to not rip really easily, but not so thick that I wouldn't be able to staple it.) I already had a staple gun and staples.

Ready for the pictures of my process?
Here's the before shot:

Here is a shot of my fabric and vinyl (I didn't edit every picture. I knew if I did this post wouldn't be up till next week!)
First, I unscrewed each seat from the stool. Then, I cut off the existing fabric. If I had wanted to be really perfect and precise, I could have taken the time to remove each staple from the old upholstering job, but I wanted to be speedy (instant gratification!), so I just cut all the fabric off as close to the staples as I could. You'll see some of the old fabric remains in some of the upcoming pictures. Next time I recover these stools I will take out the staples.

Next I placed my fabric, print side down, on my freshly wiped counter. Let the stapling begin! Start by stapling one side, then pull the fabric tight and staple straight across from it. Then, staple the top, pull the fabric tight and staple the bottom. See the picture for clarification.
Rotate the stool a quarter of a turn and repeat this process. Then, rotate another quarter turn and repeat. At this point, you should have enough fabric stapled down to focus on individual sections. Pull the fabric around, smooth out the wrinkles and folds and keep stapling until all of the fabric is secure. Staple a lot! Here's an example of how many staples I used.
I constantly held up the seat and looked at it from the front view to make sure everything was smooth and that no wrinkles were showing. If there were some wrinkles, no fear, I just pulled the fabric tighter and stapled again!
All smooth!

The fabric is pretty easy to work with. It's not really hard to make it look crisp and clean. If you don't have little mess makers in your house, you could easily stop here and be all done. In my case, I knew I was going to need more protection and a wipe-able surface (I want these bar stools to work for me!) Enter: the vinyl.

Stapling the vinyl on was a bit more work, and it was impossible to achieve a perfectly wrinkle free edge with the gauge I used. I did my best though, and once the seats are actually on the stools, you can't really tell. I think I will sacrifice a few wrinkles for clean seats!

Repeat the same process used for the fabric. Staple opposite ends until you have about this much space between staples, then start working in sections. Just keep pulling, smoothing and stapling until you are all done!
It took me about 30 to 40 minutes to recover each stool. I am SO happy with the results. I love that I don't have to worry about spills on the bar stools. I also love the pop of color they add to my space!

Hopefully this will inspire some of you to make a little change. If you can find a good deal on fabric, this project can be really cost effective! My fabric was only about $10, and the vinyl was only about $5.00!


  1. Looking SOOO good. I think I'll bring over some gogurts to celebrate!

  2. I LOVE it! And look how clean the inderneath of your counter is? I wonder if mine is?

  3. They look great! I just did the same thing with some chairs I bought for our kitchen. It was really fun change the look of them, and I got a great deal on the fabric. I love the way they turned to finish painting the kitchen table!

  4. See also more and compare for best prices deals for Barstools Sale here!