March 14, 2010

Vintage Stool Remodel

Look what's been sitting in my workshop gathering dust! 
My Man found these vintage bar stools at a storage shed auction when we were first married and I loved them from the beginning.
 Now they get a long overdue remodel.
This project is easy and takes about 2 hours to complete both stools.

Tools & Supplies
Screwdriver * Pliers * Staple Gun and Staples * Hammer and Mallet * Glue Gun * Drill * Chocolate Snack * Batting * Upholstery Fabric and Trim * Lining Fabric * Knitting Needle * Upholstery Needle * Upholstery Twine *Button Making Kit
These bar stools just need a little love.  The upholstery is old and worn but the pedestal is gorgeous!  It's naturally aged and a beautiful creamy gold color.  When you're doing your own stool, you can easily paint and age the pedestals to coordinate with your new upholstery.
Step One
Remove the pedestal from the seat cushion. 

Using the pliers and screwdriver, take out all the staples and remove the original upholstery. 

This upholstery was a lovely gold pleather!  The bar stools were made by a company called ChroModern.  I did a little internet research but couldn't find much about these vintage stools.  If you know anything about ChroModern, send me an email.  I'd love to learn a little history.
Step Two
Drill a button hole in the center of the wood backing.  I use the largest size drill bit in my Man's workshop. 
Next, eyeball and cut the amount of batting you will need.  The original seat cushin is a little weak and very old school, so I've added a thick layer of batting. 

Then, staple the edges of your batting to the wood one edge at a time,  Use a firm hand and pull the batting evenly and smoothly across the seat.  I will usually do a few staples on one side and then a few on the opposite side to ensure an even form.  Until I've stapled all around the circle.

Cut away the excess batting. When covering a circle the edges will naturally pucker.  Cut the pucker away as in picture 4-5.  You want to create an even smooth form.
 Step Three
Using your eye for judgement, cut the amount of liner fabric you will need.  Liner fabric isn't any special kind of fabric.  I mostly use scraps from my fabric bin but even and old sheet will do fine.  The purpose is to help control the cushioning (the batting, the foam etc) and create a uniform shape to upholster.  Always pull firmly and evenly to avoid creating an uneven shape.

When upholstering a cirlce shape, the best way to staple is to grab a fistful of fabric and stapling the gathers that naturally appear.  Then move to the opposite side and repeat until the liner has be securly stapled.   This is a perfect time to practice how you will staple the outside uphostery.  And remember,  if something doesn't look right, simply remove a staple or two and redo it. 

Next cut away any excess fabric outside your stapled area.  And waaalaaa!  A nice smooth circle shape. 

Step Four
You can use any button you want to tuft a furniture piece but this time I'm going to make covered buttons for this project.  This is also a great time for a little chocolate snack...I love the Almond Clusters! 
To begin, simply purchase a button covering kit at your local fabric store and follow the simple directions.  But in general, this is how button making works.  I use a soft mallet for step 5 to ensure my button is fitted well.
Step Five
Thread your buttons.  Fold your upholstery twine in half to creat a loop.  Thread the loop through the eye of the button. Insert the loose end of the twine through the loop and pull tight. 

Step Six
Center the cushion upside down on the wrong side of the fabric.  Make sure you have enough fabric to staple up the sides.  And trim away any excess fabric.  It will only get in your way.

Next, using a knitting needle, push through the back side of the cushion to the front making sure you are centered.  Pull the needle in and out a few times creating a path for your upholstery needle.
Third, thread your upholstery needle with you button and twine.  Then push the needle through the cushion pulling your twine as tightly as you like.  The tighter you pull, the deeper the button tuft. 
 Adhere the twine to the back board with a few staples. And then tie a knot.
Step Seven
Turn your cushion right side up and begin to pull and straighten the fabric till it's smooth.  Begin at the button and pull outward.

Next, staple the fabric to the backboard.  With this circle I like to use the same method for stapling the liner fabric.  Grap and fist full of upholstery and pull tightly, evenly and firmly.  Ahere with a few staples.  Move to the opposite side and do the same.  Grabbing and pulling and stapling all the puckers tightly.  After you've stapled the round, cut away the excess fabric. 

I should add a backing to this chair but I didn't feel like it.  To do this, staple a piece of fabric tightly across the back and finish the edge with hot glue and ribbon.

Put the pieces back together.  Attach the cushion to the base.
Step Eight
Finally make it yours!  Add  a trim.  I picked this flirty little pom pom.  Using hot glue or fabric glue attach your trim.
Une Belle!
Now you're finished.  Enjoy your sweet little bar stool.

If you have a before and after project you'd like to feature on Peppertowne, email a low resolution before and after picture here.


  1. ooh la la! Thanks for the clear instructions...LOVE the fabric and pom poms! Wow and those gams! Lezlee

  2. Those look amazing, I love the fabric you chose!

  3. and to think I tried to throw those stools away when you were moving from the Doll House!

  4. I just love ball fringe. Great job. Thanks for sharing with Made it Monday! Jules

  5. I love those stools!!!

  6. Hello! I love your detailed instructions and the finishing touch of the ball fringe. Cute! Have a blessed week!

  7. Love what you did! Fabulous!

  8. Those look fantastic!! You must have a handsome husband who helps take such fabulous your work!

  9. This turned out so pretty! Come stop by my Favorite Things Friday party tomorrow if you would like to join in!

  10. Love those pom-poms! Great job! : )

  11. These are adorable! Love the pom-pom fringe! Thanks for linking up.

  12. Great tutorial and oh mama what a makeover!

  13. I didn't know you had this blog! These barstools are amazing- Now that I've found you I can stalk, I mean follow, you.

  14. Those are absolutely amazing--so love the ball fringe. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Wow, those turned out great, and the pedestals are so classy!

  16. These are absolute treasures! Look at those legs! And the ball fringe!!! Too Cute!

  17. GREAT job ...I love me some pompoms! ...and an excellant tutorial! I hopped in from Fun to Craft and am now a follower. Please accept my invitation to drop in at my place soon when you get a moment. until later...

  18. Great job...Thanks for sharing...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  19. Really cute remake! Excellent!

  20. These are fabulous! Excellent work!

  21. These stools look fantastic! Great job!

  22. Those are just darling! I LOVE the pattern you've chosen!

  23. This looks fabulous!! You did an amazing job! Thanks for sharing at Spring has Sprung at Fun to Craft.

  24. Much better! These turned out great!

    Thanks for joining Get Your Craft On Thursday at Life As Lori... Please join me next week for another great party!

  25. What a transformation. Thanks for the great tutorial. I love the trim you used.

    Thanks for linking up to Make it Yours Day at My Backyard Eden!

  26. I am amazed. They turned out so great!

    I'm hosting a Magnet Swap. Please stop by if you want to join in the fun.

  27. great tutorial, never knew how to do the buttons!!
    new follower!!
    (found you thru reinvented link up!)
    happy monday!

  28. wow! These are beautiful with great instructions! Thanks for linking up this week!

  29. GET OUT Miss Peppertowne! That is such a cool transformation! Seriously!! I love it! Thanks so much for linking to Creative Cats!!


  30. Beautiful stools! I love them -- so funky and different. Plus the fringe is awesome!

    Thanks for linking them up!


  31. The pom pom fringe made me smile. I have always liked it but it has been MIA for awhile. Thanks for bringing it back. Looks great.
    Pamela @ Becolorful

  32. oooh-la! i think i'm gonna come & steal them! :) just kiddin', of course! gotta love 'em!

  33. thank you for posting the directions. Always helpful!

    Are you thinking of selling them?


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