Sewing for the Home ~ Easy Stool Covers

on September 8 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 26 Comments

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!

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26 Responses to Sewing for the Home ~ Easy Stool Covers

  1. Thanks for another greet post. Keep rocking.

  2. Just to let you know your site looks a little bit weird in Opera on my office computer Ubuntu .

  3. Barbara says:

    Your stools are so cute. I recovered some stools not long ago but I used a layer of fabric and a layer of clear vinyl over the fabric. The stools are so easy to wipe off after my grandchildrens adventures. Thanks for the lesson.

  4. Hedgehog says:

    Staple guns are the best tool ever! I love the idea of using oil cloth.

  5. Tabitha says:

    I’m headed to IKEA this weekend! Some of their fun fabrics would be great for embellishing the plain stools. Thanks for the tutorial!

  6. Lindsey says:

    ohh, i have an OLD stool that needs a remodel…. this would be perfect & easy weekend project, yay!

  7. Mamasoo says:

    Excellent idea- I’m going to do this this weekend!

  8. andrea says:

    Great tutorial! Looks easy. Good way to dress up something basic!

  9. Blayne says:

    Such a cute idea and easy too! 🙂 I love Ikea

  10. Alisa says:

    I love this idea. I have 2 of these stools here and I think I would like to try this out.

  11. Abbi says:

    You make it look SO easy! I’m just not so sure. I do have 4 I could try this out on though!

  12. CATHRYN says:

    This is great, I am going to try it with round bar stools! Awesome! Thanks!

  13. Joan Gutierrez says:

    I’ve got to be honest and I apologize if I offend anyone. But I don’t like this idea at all because anyway you slice it those benches look uncomfortable. I realize it a less expensive version than a padded version but I would have added a little padding to sit on.

  14. Melissa says:

    So easy yet, so cute!

  15. Melissa says:

    I have to try this. So easy yet, so cute!

  16. Jill says:

    I used this method with oil cloth and a child’s table from IKEA. That oilcloth is indestructible. It survived years with twin boys, including several nights outside in the rain after an moonlighting as a lemonade stand.

  17. Cindy says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! I have a little table and chairs from IKEA that my daughter uses for coloring and it is already covered with marker & crayon marks. An oilcloth cover would be perfect!

  18. debra says:

    Those look great!!!

  19. nikole says:

    wow, what a difference! too cute!

    i wish we had an ikea here in las vegas!

  20. Kristena says:

    Super cute!

  21. Michele says:

    We have some stools that I would love to try this with. Great tutorial! Thanks!

  22. Those are neat ideas. It’s probably better to cover stools for a child’s room anyway, since there are less sharp edges.

  23. Teresa says:

    These are cute! I love this very easy project idea! Thanks for sharing!

  24. I’ve recovered some chair cushions recently!
    My dining room chairs are from Target… lovely, inexpensive, comfortable, but a little boring (well, they used to be, with their cream colored seats).
    Now they POP and I get compliments on them all the time from visitors. I covered them with Jessica Jones’s Modern Flora collection.
    Photos are in my flickr here:

  25. Kristen D. says:

    What a cute idea~ and easy! Now, I just need an IKEA.

  26. Michelle says:


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