This is a simple, satisfying project you can do with a two-year-old’s help (or even on your own). Start with a plain ol’ stool. This one is from IKEA and it needed a little something to brighten up the playroom (without paint… I’m so tired of painting!).

I used oilcloth for this project, but a canvas-like fabric makes nicer corners (less bulk!). You can add a piece of foam to the top of the stools if you like (use a little spray-adhesive to make it stick), but I just wanted them really clean/flat looking. If your stool or chair has curves, just fold several pleats on the curves and use lots of staples. Corners are trickier than curves for me, but they’re not really tough at all.

Mark the bottom with a pencil. We marked the outside edge so we’d know where to staple. The mark will be hidden by your fabric.

Remove the stool legs. See the marks?

Use a staple gun along the edge, covering up your mark as you go. With some fabric (like this gingham look) you need to make sure you’re working so the lines on the fabric run parallel to the stool. Repeat on the opposite side.

Now for your two remaining sides… Corners will be two-step folding fun. The first fold should look like this, with the edge of the folded fabric perpendicular to the partnering edge (forming a right angle with the fabric edges). Sometimes this takes a little play-time to get right… You just don’t want bunchy fabric on the corners.

Bring the fabric down to staple again (oops!– Changed the view on you there… Sorry). Be sure the fabric for this next fold is pulled tight. Do this on all four corners, trimming fabric as necessary so the edges are hidden by your stool legs.

It looks like this when you’re done stapling, though I’m sure yours will look much neater.

Reattach the stool legs. If you stapled and trimmed your fabric just a bit beyond your pencil marks the stool legs should cover up all of the fabric edgey/stapley mess.

Ta da! Well done.

A staple gun, some (optional) foam, a screwdriver and beautiful fabric are often the only tools you need to give stools and chairs in your home a great, new look. The next time you see an old (and/or cheap) chair for sale, turn it over and check how easy it would be to take off the seat. Have you re-“fab”ed a stool or chair lately? Give us a link in the comments so we can take a look!