This DIYer Turned a Plain IKEA Stool into Something Much More Luxe for Under $50

published Mar 11, 2020
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Natural wood IKEA stool and small fern plant
Credit: Photo: Ashley Basnight/Handmade Haven; Design: Apartment Therapy

We’re going mad for makeovers this month! From home makeovers to smart DIYs to brackets, check out all of our Makeover Madness content here.

Credit: Apartment Therapy

We love a good old IKEA hack ’round these parts, so when we were planning Makeover Madness Month we knew we’d have to get in at least one. Our mystery makeover challenge—where we send a DIYer a surprise item, and $50 to redo it—provided the perfect opportunity. Megan’s Mystery Makeover is BACK for Round 2, baby! And this time, we have an IKEA twist.

Last week, we saw Chelsea Foy of Lovely Indeed turn a plain Target doormat into a whimsical entry focal point—you can see her results here. This week, we’re checking in with Ashley Basnight of Handmade Haven (and NBC’s “Making It”!) to watch her work her DIY magic.

After seeing all of Ashley’s woodworking projects and plans, we knew we wanted to send along a small piece of wood furniture for her to get her hands on. Enter the NORRÅKER stool from IKEA, which boasts a solid birch construction that makes it endlessly hackable. We had one sent to Ashley’s house and gave her $50 to spend on the redo. Other than that, there were no rules! We just asked Ashley to document the process so we could see the transformation in action.

When it came to upgrading this plain stool, Ashley knew she wanted to keep the pretty wood grain visible. So she decided to focus on just the top. With a yard of vinyl fabric (just $20) and a fresh pack of staples for her staple gun, Ashley turned the basic stool into a much more expensive-looking version. Watch the video above to see the process—and the fab results!