After | The upcycled stools

It was a long road from the blah brown stools I found at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore to the stage at the Vancouver Home and Design Show.

But I made it. How? A little paint and a lot of staple gun magic. If you’re into upcycling (so fun! so green!) and you want to reupholster a pair of square stools, you’ll find a step by step (ooooh baby!) guide below. And trust me, if I can do it, you can too.

Unscrew the stool’s top and set it aside.

Prep and paint the wooden part of the stool. And don’t believe your friend Justin when he tells you sanding will take two minutes. It will take much longer, but it’s worth it to ensure the paint won’t scratch off. Prime (if you like) and paint. You may need to do two coats.

Choose your fabric and buy way more than you think you’ll need to allow for accidents and overhang. Fabrics with straight lines and/or symmetrical prints (like the one I chose, which I found at  Spool of Thread) are the most difficult to use because you have to line them up carefully so they don’t get warped. Fabrics with random prints — or none at all — are much easier to work with.

Iron your fabric if it needs it and then lay it face down on a flat surface. Lay the stool top face down on the fabric. Fold the fabric over one edge, paying close attention to make sure lines in the fabric’s print don’t warp. Then, before stapling, tuck in the edge of the fabric to create a kind of hem so it won’t fray.

Pull out that staple gun and start stapling from the centre out to an inch or so from each corner. Don’t worry about completing the corners yet. Repeat this on the opposite side, pulling the fabric taught. Complete the other two sides.

Finish the corners by folding over the triangle of remaining fabric. Pull it tight toward the centre of the stool. You’ll end up with a few pleats, but that’s a-okay. Staple until they’re secure.

Screw the tops onto the legs once the paint has dried.

Et voila! New stools!

[Blouse c/o JNBY, pants by Lifetime Collective, socks from Gap, boots by Matisse, bag by Longchamp.]

P.S. I post photos to Instagram as I go so follow Kelsey Dundon there or on Twitter @TheAnthology.

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  • Reply Petite Adventures November 1, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Great project – they turned out so well!

    Kate xo

  • Reply Kelsey Dundon November 2, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Thanks, m’lady! It was a fun one!

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