The $2 stools that I found at a garage sale made such a fantastic DIY seating arrangement in my son’s new room! These upcycled folding stools were an easy DIY project that gave some old items a new life!
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Upcycled Folding Stools
Welcome to this months At Home DIY Challenges! Every month this year I will be participating in a different DIY challenge! This month’s challenge is “Upcycle It!” After I share how I upcycled my folding stools, make sure you check below to see what the other talented bloggers upcycled!
I found these stools at a garage sale for $2 a couple of years ago. They were dirty and old, but I fell in love with them! I could see their potential!
Since they are camping stools, they are a little smaller than normal folding stools. They looked like they would be perfect for a kids’ space!
They have sat in my basement for two years, until now when I finally figured out where I could put them! I am updating my 6-year-old son’s bedroom for the 555 Room Challenge that I started in February! I have 5 weeks, a $500 budget, and must include 5 DIY projects. His room was a mixture of nursery item and random things he liked. I wanted to give it a more cohesive theme and a big boy feel!
I’m going to create a DIY Lego wall and the upcycled folding stools will be perfect for that space! He and a buddy will be able to sit comfortably and play Legos!
Related: “$500 Master Bedroom Makeover”
Related: “$500 Star Wars Bedroom Makeover”
How to DIY the Upcycled Folding Stools:
- old stools
- new fabric
- Ryobi hand sander
- small hammer
- Rustoleum chalk paint
- Frog tape
- bleach and water
- towel and bucket
Remove the tacks and fabric. You might need to use a set of pliers to remove any stubborn tacks. Mine came over very easily with a hammer. Hold onto the fabric, because you will use it as a pattern for the new fabric.
Sand down the wood to remove any old stain or residue on the stools. I used my Ryobi hand sander for most of the project using a 220 grit sandpaper. Then I hand sanded the hard to reach spots using a 180 grit piece of sandpaper. I wiped the stools down using a tack cloth to remove any dust.
Next, I created a mixture of 1/2 of a cup of bleach and 1/4 of a cup of water. I used an old towel and rubbed the solution all over the wood to remove the reddish tint! You can really see the difference in color between the completed stool and the old one. I let the wood dry before adding the fabric.
Using the old fabric seat as a pattern, mark an outline with a marker or chalk on the fabric for the new seat. Leave at least a half of an inch around the new pattern so that you can create a finished edge on the fabric.
Make sure you use a heavy duty fabric. Something like a canvas or upholstery fabric is good. I used my son’s old drapes as the new fabric. They were lined, which made them quite sturdy and they were FREE!
I cut my fabric into a rectangular shape, so I had to fold in the corners to adhere the fabric to the wooden base. That works for me, but if you don’t want any folds, you will need to cut your fabric so that the ends taper inward.
You do not have to worry about sewing anything for the upcycled folding stools! I used Heatnbond adhesive tape to create my finished fabric edges. In order to use the adhesive tape, you will cut a piece in the length you need and lay it on the fabric. Place the other piece of fabric on top and hold the iron there for 2 seconds. Next, peel off the paper backing and place your fabric back down on top of the adhesive tape. Hold the iron on there for 8 seconds. Repeat this process up and down the fabric as needed.
Using Frog tape, tape off a pattern that you would like on your new fabric. I created a stripe on both edges as a simple and subtle pattern. Make sure the Frog tape is pressed down firmly to prevent any paint from seeping through. I used Rustoleum chalk paint on the fabric.
Dip your brush into the paint and wipe off any excess paint that you can. Next, dab the paintbrush onto the fabric and repeat until the fabric is covered in paint. Do not put too much paint on the fabric or it will bleed through! While the paint is still wet, peel off your tape. Let the paint dry before working with the fabric.
Place the fabric on top of the wooden base of the upcycled folding stools. Take a moment to measure out how wide you would like the seat. Once you’ve determine how wide you would like it, tack one end of the fabric to the underside of the stool. Like I mentioned above, I had to fold in the corners of my fabric.
I started at one of the wooden base and then stretched and smoothed the fabric before I tacked down the other end. After tacking both ends, I tacked down the middle of the fabric. Next, I stretched and smoothed the fabric onto the other side of the base. I made sure that the width was correct and again tacked down one end, then the other, and then the middle.
Related: “$100 Room Challenge”
Finally, I added a couple of fun embellishments! I made some tassels out of THIS bakers twine and hot glued them to the corners of the stool underneath the fabric. You can see how to make the tassels in my post, “Wooden Bead and Tassel Napkin Rings.” I also painted the rungs of the stools for a little unique touch.
They turned out so cute! I’m so glad that these little guys got a new lease on life! Make sure you check out the other awesome upcycled projects below!
Don’t want to DIY your own stool? Check out these adorable ones you can buy!
Upcycled Folding Stools
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Cherryl Ehlenburg says
What a great transformation! I love the fabric you chose!
The camping stools look great! My kids would love something like this in their rooms. it’s perfect because they can grow with your son too
Stunning transformation! Those are adorable stools. I cannot wait to see the reveal.
Have a great week,