How to reupholster a round bar seat with piping

Reupholstering your round bar stools is a simple project that is perfect for the homeowner who is just learning how to recover furniture. The size of the stool makes upholstery fabric inexpensive, and this will allow you to use a nice fabric for your new cover. If you have more than one stool, it is a good idea to recover all of the stools at the same time so that they will look uniform at your breakfast bar.

Turn the bar stool upside down and remove the cambric. Cambric is the black cloth covering the bottom of the stool. Remove the staples or tacks using a prybar, pliers and a flat screwdriver.

Rip the seams on the bar stool cover and separate the cover into three pieces. You should have a top cover, welting and a side cover. Welting or piping is fabric covered cording that you can buy or make.

Flatten out the seams on the old cover. Pin the old cover over the new upholstery fabric and cut around the cover. Pin the side piece and cut around the cover. Cut welting 2 inches longer than what you removed.

Cut small V-shaped notches 1/4-inch deep every inch around the round cover to ease your seam. Fold the side cover in half and line up the short ends face sides together. Sew a double stitch seam using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. A double stitch seam is a seam sewn twice. Turn your side piece right sides out.

Place the round cover face side up. Align the outside edge of the welting with the outside edge of the cover so that the cord is toward the centre. Place the side fabric face side down and align the edges with the outside edges of the welting. Pin through the side, welting and top cover using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Pin around the entire cover.

Sew a double stitch seam through the side, welting and top cover using a 1/2-inch seam allowance and keeping your sewing machine foot close to the cording. Start 1/2 inch away from the beginning of the welting. Stop 2 inches from where the welting overlaps. Open the seam and pull back the cover of the end piece of welting and cut just the cord so that it touches the beginning cord. Trim the overhanging cover to 1/2 inch. Fold the end of the overhang under 1/4 inch, and slide the folded end over the top of the beginning end, lining up the cords. Finish sewing your seam.

Turn the cover right side out and pull it over the stool cushion. Turn the stool upside down. Staple the cover to the underside of the stool stretching the fabric evenly all around. Trim off excess fabric. Staple cambic to the bottom of the stool to cover your work.


Make welting by cutting fabric on the bias (45-degree angle) that is 1 1/2 inches plus the diameter of the cord. Fold the fabric strip in half along its length. Insert the cord and sew the fabric as close to the cord as possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Prybar
  • Pliers
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Seam ripper
  • Decorator fabric
  • Scissors
  • Welting
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Staple gun
  • Cambric
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About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.