How to recover bar stools

Updated February 21, 2017

Recovering any furniture may seem like a daunting task. The key is to start with small projects and work your way up to the larger and more difficult pieces of furniture. Recovering a bar stool is one of the most simple upholstery jobs. This simple task takes no sewing talents whatsoever. Besides new fabric, all you need is a few tools that you probably already have lying around the house. Do not be intimidated by recovering your bar stools and making them look brand new. Surprise yourself with the changes you can give to the look of your kitchen.

Pull off the original fabric. Use pliers to pull out all the staples. Save the padding from the seat if it is in decent shape. If it is not, throw it away and cut out three to four pieces of the high-loft quilt batting to use for new padding if necessary.

Measure across the bar stool. Start three inches underneath the bottom of the bar stool and measure up and across the top to three inches underneath on the other side for a round bar stool. Measure the length and the width of a rectangular bar stool, making sure to add three inches to all sides.

Cut the fabric to that measurement.

Lay the fabric face down on a work surface such as a table. Lay the old padding or the new quilt batting on top of the fabric. Place the bar stool seat on top of the padding. Center all the layers with the seat of the stool.

Pull the fabric underneath of the stool. Secure in place using the staple gun. Press the staple gun down with your free hand to make sure the staples go into the bottom of the stool completely. Pull the fabric on the opposite side of the stool and secure in place with another staple.

Work on the other two sides of the stool pulling up fabric and securing with staples to form your fabric into quarters, if your stool is round. Work from the centre of each side to the corners if your bar stool is square or rectangular.

Fasten the fabric in one quarter with several staples. Fold the fabric, making small pleats on the underside of the stool if necessary, to make the fabric fit smoothly around the stool.

Continue working the other three quarters in the same way.

Trim off any excess fabric using the scissors.


You can save the old fabric piece of your bar stool seat and use it for a pattern. Pin it to your new fabric and cut around it to eliminate the measuring step.

Things You'll Need

  • Pliers
  • High loft quilt batting
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun with staples
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