Brave New Home

creating authenticity where it matters most

Easy Peasy Bar Stool Makeover



If I were in the market for bar stools, I would go for an updated classic…


…or a piece with some sculptural flare…



But that would imply I have money to burn!  We already have a perfectly good pair of bar stools that we nabbed from an uncle’s storage unit when we first moved in together/got married.  Read, it’s time to upcycle and get our craft on!bar_stool_makeover_beforeThere used to be some natural wood elements to our stools but I initially gave them a few coats of white spray paint cause I thought it made them less tacky.  I entertained the idea of making/buying seat covers but I’ve never been a fan of them.  They always seem to slide all over the place and get lumpy and stained in no time.  Wow, I guess I am actually practical about at least one design concept!

So I did a little search for ideas and came across this fabric covered bar stool.  I loved how fun they were and how crisp the fabric looked on top.  Best of all, all you need is fabric and mod podge!


But I was a little leery of the results (remember, I’m actually being practical on this one?).  So I left a comment and the blogger, Claire, not only responded to the comment but sent me a personal email.  Here’s an excerpt:

“I was so happy with how the stools turned out. It was my first real DIY makeover.  The modpodge has held up really well. Admittedly we’re not sitting on them daily but it hasn’t worn at all. My aunt made kids stools using the same method and had no trouble with it so it should hold up over time.  Good luck!”

I hafta tell you, being new to this whole blogging bidness (which actually isn’t a business at all for me) I’ve been really impressed and warmed by all the thoughtful and encouraging responses I’ve received from fellow bloggers along the way thus far.  Anywho…bar_stool_makeover_modge_podge_and_fabricI really liked the idea of using a striped patterned (when is stripes a bad idea?  Please don’t answer that, my wardrobe will have its feelings hurt) so I bought a yard of Sophia fabric at Ikea for $7.99.  I only used a fourth of it so really I only spent $2 on this whole project and about a third of a jar of mod podge.  I previously bought mod podge for no particular project thinking that it might be useful to keep in my crafting arsenal (and wanting to find out what all the big fuss was about) and have thus far found many a use.  If you’re unfamiliar, think extra strong (and smelly) glue in a bottle.bar_stool_makeover_sandingI gave the top a bit of a sanding (because sanding furniture always seems like a good idea), wiped it down, and let it dry.anak_photographs_stoolHere’s a little behind-the-scenes action for ya!  Whenever I start taking photographs, Anak usually insists on joining the fun so I let him borrow my point-and-shoot camera.  We’ll work on light metering when you hit three, little one.bar_stool_makeover_tracing_fabricI traced a circle and cut about two inches away to leave some room for wrapping .  Then I put mod podge directly on the chair, smoothed the fabric down, and applied a generous coat of mod podge on top to fully saturate the fabric.bar_stool_makeover_taped_edgesI used masking tape to wrap the edges because that screams durability (I’m still out of hot glue gun sticks) and applied a coat of mod podge to the edges.  I made it a point to keep the lines straight (my fabric isn’t nearly as organic as Claire’s).  I think the whole project took about three episodes of commercial-free Hart of Dixie.  Update: I finally got some more glue gun sticks and glued down the edges.bar_stool_makeover_worn_edgesThe I went a little sanding happy and gave some parts a worn look for added character.bar_stool_makeover_afterA closeup (should have used a tripod, those stripes looks trippy!).bar_stool_makeover_closeupI really like the way they turned out and they were worth the full two dollars I spent on the project!  I think the room is really starting to come together now.

Linked to Boogieboard Cottage, Keeping it Simple, Say Not Sweet Anne, An Original Belle, The Gunny Sack, Alderberry Hill, Not Just a Housewife, Happy Go Lucky, Delightful Order, The Shabby Creek Cottage, Somewhat Simple, One More Time, House of Hepworths.

Do you like backless bar stools, too?  How do you decide when to swap out versus update?

Author: Jennifer @ Brave New Home

Hi! I'm Jennifer from Brave New Home ( I blog about overcoming fear and transforming a house into a home one DIY project at a time.

18 thoughts on “Easy Peasy Bar Stool Makeover

  1. Pingback: Pool Toy Turned Wreath | Brave New Home

  2. I’ll agree on a room coming together. The striped warn look is awesome and I really like it. I don’t know why I’ve never thought to “sand” in my warn look. Its much faster than waiting for one to develop. Thanks for your post and pics it’s looking good.

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  4. Pingback: What’s In The Gunny Sack? Link Party #71

  5. I think there must be a gazillion of those plain old bar stools out there that really need to be spruced up with something just like your Easy Peasy Bar Stool Makeover. Great idea!!

  6. Great DIY! I’ll be stopping by your blog frequently!

  7. They turned out great! I wish I had a place for bar stools in my kitchen! I’ve featured your post today on The Gunny Sack and shared your post via Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and StumbleUpon!

  8. these are great! I agree that you can’t go wrong with stripes :) stopping by from shine on fridays !

  9. I love your bar stools…Thank you for linking up to One More Time Events.

  10. Hi Jennifer,
    just found your idea an like it a lot. I just made my first mod-podge Project and like that stuff very much!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Love from germany, Daniela

  11. 谢谢 for liking my post about Engrish, Jennifer! I reckon you have at least a few favorite examples that you’ve seen?…
    Those stripes look trippy indeed (glad to see we’re on the same page;)) At first I thought I’d prefer a back(ful) stool, but if I learned anything about eating in Japan, where stools run amok in kaitenzushi, curry shops, and ramen eateries, it’s that good posture is quickly overshadowed by good eats/good conversation.
    The next point is, when sitting on one, it’s nice to have a footrest at a certain height above the floor. If it’s a beam on the table/counter or on the stool, it doesn’t matter so much, but for attention-deficient legs, a beam is um, a boon. The variety that you have indeed seems suitable.
    You’ve got some rad ideas that you’re undertaking, so keep it up!

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