How to Reupholster a Padded Bar Stool

two padded bar stools, one red and one blue
  • 2-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 130-500
What You'll Need
Heavy duty upholstery fabric
Measuring tape
Sewing machine and thread
Batting: from fabric stores
Foam padding 4 inches high (if the seat is not already padded)
Staple gun and staples

Due to the amount of use padded bar stools get, they can wear out over time and need to be reupholstered. It is a simple job with a few hand tools, only a little harder if you choose to use leather.

Step 1 – Remove the Original Fabric

Remove the seat of the stool, or turn the stool upside down. Remove all the old staples holding the fabric down with a screwdriver. Save the fabric so you know how big to cut the new piece. If the foam padding is good, keep it.

Step 2 – Measure the Fabric

If the old fabric is so torn that it cannot be measured, or you are upholstering an unpadded wooden seat, Measure the diameter of the seat, and add four inches.

Step 3 – Sew the Piping

Cut a circle of new fabric to the measurement in step two for the top. Cut a strip of new fabric two inches wide and the circumference of the stool seat (right around the edge) plus three inches. This will add a nice piped edge around the top of the seat. Lay the strip, face side down on your working table and place the piping in the center (the piping should be the same length as the strip). Fold the strip over the piping and sew as close to the piping as possible. You now have a strip of cloth with the piping sewn down the middle.

Step 4 – Sew the Piping to the Side Strip

Cut a strip of fabric as high as the padded seat, or four inches if the seat has no padding. It must be as long as the circumference. This will be the side of the padded seat. Pin the piping strip to this strip, matching one of the raw edges of each. Sew together.

Step 5 – Sew the Other Sides

Pin the round top fabric to the other edge of the piping strip, matching the raw edges and sew all the way round the circle. Sew the two edges of the side strip. Turn it inside out and it should look hat-like. You now have a seat cover that will slip over the seat padding and be stapled to the bottom.

Step 6 – Cut out the Padding

Cut out two round pieces of batting to fit on the seat padding. If the seat is not padded, cut out a circle of foam for the padding. They must be the same size as the top of the stool.

Step 7 – Staple Down the New Fabric Cover

Pulling down firmly, fit the fabric cover over the seat and turn the stool over. Staple down the fabric under the seat. It should be firm. If you press down on the stool to squash the foam a little, the seat will be firmer and neater. Trim off any excess fabric to neaten.