How to Recover a Bar Stool Seat

Written by louise harding
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to Recover a Bar Stool Seat
Recovering a bar stool requires moderate sewing machine skills. (handsome man sitting on a stool image by Leticia Wilson from

Bar stool seats often grow outdated or worn before the stool ceases to function. Instead of investing money in purchasing a new bar stool, recover the seat cushion on the stools you already own. Fabric or upholstery can be used to cover bar stools and is available for purchase at fabric stores. Bar stool seats come in various sizes and shapes. Instructions for a round stool cover can be modified for a square shape.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Plastic zipper bag
  • Staple remover
  • Pliers
  • Foam or sponge, ¼ inch wider than stool seat diameter, 2 inches thick
  • Chalk or marker
  • Scissors
  • Electric meat knife (optional)
  • Fabric or upholstery, 1 yard per stool
  • Measuring tape
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Rubber cement
  • Staple gun
  • Wood staples

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Unscrew the wood seat base from the leg frame. Put the screws in a plastic zipper bag. Set the leg frame aside.

  2. 2

    Turn the seat over so the underside faces you. Remove all staples with a staple remover. Remove the old cover.

  3. 3

    Remove the old foam. Place the wood stool base on top of the foam. Trace around the base onto the foam with a marker or chalk. Measure ¼ inch out from the outline and trace around the base again.

  4. 4

    Cut the foam along the final outline with scissors or, according to Kitchen Bar, with a regular kitchen electric knife.

  5. 5

    Place the wood base on top of the wrong side of the fabric. Trace around the base with chalk. Measure 1 inch out from the outline and trace another outline around the original. According to Kitchen Bar, this extra inch is for the sewing allowance. This is the top of the seat cover.

  6. 6

    Measure the diameter of the wood base by wrapping the tape measure around the exterior of the base. Add 1 inch to this measurement for the modified length.

  7. 7

    Put the foam circle on top of the wood base. Measure the thickness from the bottom edge of the wood base to the top of the foam. Add 2 inches to this measurement for the modified width.

  8. 8

    Cut a rectangular fabric strip according to the modified length and modified width. This is the side of the cover.

  9. 9

    Place the seat cover top fabric with the right side of the fabric facing you. Position the side strip with the wrong side of the fabric facing you. Align the top edge of the strip with the outside edge of the cover top. Pin the edges. Don't pin the last 1 inch of the fabric. It will be longer than the diameter of the top.

  10. 10

    Sew along the side to the top using a straight stitch and a 1-inch seam allowance. Remove pins. Grasp the unpinned, unsewn 1 inch of the side strip end and sew the side ends together. Cut any excess fabric from the seam. Turn the cover right side out.

  11. 11

    Glue the foam to the wood base with rubber cement. Don't glue it to the side containing the screw holes for the frame.

  12. 12

    Pull the cover over the foam and over the wood seat base, arranging it evenly. Turn the seat base over so the top of the seat cover is on a flat surface.

  13. 13

    Pull the cover edges under the wood base. Measure about 1 ½ inches from the outside edge of the base, and staple a staple into the centre under the base, through the fabric. Pull the cover edges on the opposite side of the seat taut, and staple through the opposite centre. Continue pulling the fabric taut, stapling, and then pulling fabric taut on the opposite side of the circle and stapling.

  14. 14

    Cut away the excess fabric about ½ inch from the staples.

  15. 15

    Align the frame/legs over the screw holes and screw the frame to the wood base.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.