How To Upholster a Simple Stool

published Jun 28, 2011
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

I was recently searching for a small, simple stool that was reasonably priced and was surprised that I wasn’t able to find many options. So I did what many of us do and decided to make one myself. The cost is pretty small and it comes together in no time, making this a great starter project for someone who is looking to dip their toes into the world of recovering furniture. I was thrilled with the results!

What You Will Need:

  • stool
  • primer and paint (or stain if you prefer)
  • foam
  • cotton batting
  • fabric
  • iron
  • staple gun
  • staples


  1. Find a stool with a shape and size that works for you. Craft stores have unfinished ones but if you’d like something with a little more character, stools needing a little love are often easy to find at antique or thrift stores.
  2. Prime and paint (or sand and stain) the legs of the stool and allow to dry completely.
  3. Cut a piece of foam to size.
  4. Cut a piece of cotton batting large enough that it will wrap around the stool and foam.
  5. Staple the batting to the underside of the stool on all four sides, pulling tight as you go. Tuck the batting in and fold over to make clean corners. Staple the corners then staple the batting all around the stool, making sure it is pulled evenly all around. Cut off any excess batting.
  6. Iron your fabric to get rid of any wrinkles and folds. I prefer to fold over the sides of the fabric for a cleaner, finished look but make sure you leave enough fabric so that it will wrap around the stool and cover the batting on all four sides.
  7. Center the stool on the fabric.
  8. Staple each side of the fabric to the stool, pulling tight as you go.
  9. Just as you did with the batting, tuck in the corners of the fabric and fold over and staple. If there is excess fabric you can cut it off. After all four corners are finished, staple the fabric all around the stool, making sure it is pulled tight.
  10. Flip the stool over and fix any bumpy spots then stand back and admire your perfect little stool.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Images: Kate Wangsgard