Monday, June 25, 2012

Riding high on my new bar stool cushions!

I am excited to share a new project I completed the other day.  We have 3 bar stools in front of our kitchen island which we use at least a couple of times a day.  These things show wear and tear pretty quickly.  In fact, this is the second time I have recovered these chairs in the past year.  However, this time I think I was a little smarter...I hope.  I chose a more durable fabric (a very sturdy cotton instead of the drapery grade poly-type crap the last time) and I took the time to have the seats scotch-guarded before attaching them to the chair.  I also made my own piping for the chairs this time around.  It took a little extra effort, but I think the extra detail really makes the chairs have a more professional and finished look.  Here are some pictures of the process (I apologize in advance for the terrible iPhone pics):     Enjoy! 

Step 1: Make your piping (or buy it).  For all that's good and holy...if you have a zipper foot...use it when sewing piping.  I do not currently own a zipper foot for this machine and I'm sure this process is much less irritating when you have the right equipment.

Step 2: Remove old fabric.  I didn't take a picture of the original cushion because I was slightly embarrassed at how funky it had become.  Just trust was time to recover.  Make sure all of your old staples are out of the wood!  Use pliers if necessary.
Step 3: Attach new fabric with a staple gun.  I kept the original original fabric on the chair because I thought it gave a little extra cushion.  You could take off the original fabric if you wish.  Start of one side and staple the fabric to each side, starting in the middle, stopping about 1 1/2" from each corner.  (Yes, that is a power tool you are looking at and yes, it's awesome.  My husband bought me a pneumatic stapler and it is such a lifesaver on projects like this.  It is fueled by an air compressor, so you get a ton of power, which is nice when you have one hand holding the fabric and the other on the stapler.)
Step 4: Fold your corners.  This is probably the most frustrating part of the process.  You want to fold the corners in such a way that you don't have lots of pleats on the front side of the cushion.  Tuck the fabric into itself and make 2 pleats for each corner.  Staple where the fabric comes together.  Give it a couple more staples on either side to further secure.
Step 5: Attach piping. I'm not sure what happened to my photo of this step. So, you'll just have to use your imagination. Basically, I attached the piping (with a 1/2" seam allowance) to the bottom edges of the cushion. Make sure you are close enough to the edge of the cushion to be able to see the piping when the cushion sits on the chair frame. Make small slits in the seam allowance along the edges so you get a nice rounded look. 

Steps 6 & 7: Protect your fabric w/ Scotch-Guard.  Attach to your chair frame.  Voila!  New bar stool chair cushions. 


  1. What type of fabric was it? It looks a bit heavier. Did you get it in the upholstery section of the fabric store or was it just simply a bit more durable?

    1. I found this fabric at a flea market. It's medium weight 100% cotton made by a company called Duralee. Here is the link:

      I lucked out and found this fabric for about $6.50 a yard...such a deal!