February 17, 2013

How to: Recover a seat using a table napkin

Hey y'all! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekends... I definitely know that I did! I spent some quality time with my husband and it was so nice to just relax together! He went back to work today so I took care of a few things that I've been wanting to do. One of those things included my little stool for the kitchen. I had it covered in a plain beige canvas cloth for sometime now but let me tell you, not practical because bare feet and doggie paws are on this stool so let's just say it didn't stay clean for long ;-) I've been searching for a fabric that I loved forever... similar to one I had on it before the beige canvas. Here is the before the canvas fabric. Very fun and colorful.

I was just wiping my counters off when I glimpsed over at my bar with my new World Market napkins on my plates. I wondered if the napkin would fit the stool at 20 inches by 20 inches and sure enough it did! So... I used a table cloth napkin instead of going to have fabric cut and recovered my stool! Here's some steps for recovering a stool. You would use the same steps for a chair or something with a single seat, etc. Hope it's easy for you and enjoyable!

Materials: Stapler, fabric (napkin), screw driver

First thing that I did was take the screws out of the bottom of the stool that were holding the top on.

I then laid the napkin pretty side down and put my seat centered on it. I didn't bother taking the older fabric off. I figured it would just add some more cushions for those cute little paws that like to sit on this stool ;-) As you can see below, it was a perfect fit. You always want 1-2 inches of fabric left on each side so you can staple easier. 

The way that I upholster my chairs and stools most people know how to do or at least I always think they do. I like the use the "butterfly" method which I will show you next. Below, I took one corner and pulled towards the middle of the stool cover. The represents the "body" of the butterfly fold. I stapled the very end of the napkin to the wood seat and also in the corner for a secure hold.

 Next as you will see below, I took the left side and folder over the body or center of the corner and stapled there.... By the way, if you plan on doing a lot of these projects with upholstery, invest in an electric stapler. Well worth the money people. 

Here you see me folding over the right side and a peek of my electric stapler. Perfect, neat and one corner down! 3 more to go!

Here below you see two sides done. It is not critical that any excess fabric is stapled down, just make sure you have most of it secure and where you won't see it hanging down or have a lot of excess once you put your seat back on the body of the stool or chair or whatever you are recovering.

I seriously am in love with this fabric! What do you think of it?

And here is the final product! Pretty and colorful goodness! The stool I found in Minot, North Dakota a year or so ago. It is from the 1900's and is in amazing condition! Probably something I will never sell because Winston loves it too much ;-) Usually when he wants a treat or an ice-cream, he'll run to sit on this stool and stand up on two legs...that little dork!

 So, have y'all ever used anything you had to reupholster something like an old t-shirt or a napkin like I did? I've used burlap before too! What do you think of this thrifty project? Do you have something that you want to upholster soon? Let me know and please show me your projects over on Facebook. You can find Home by Ally on Facebook by clicking HERE!

If you enjoyed and loved this project, please help spread the word about my blog by pinning this project to your personal boards on Pinterest. You can do so by clicking "pin it" below.




Liz Marie Blog


  1. Ohhhh I love this tutorial. I need to cover up my leather chair and have been wanting to find out how. Thanks for sharing. I am a first time visitor. I hope you visit sometime- http://atozebracelebrations.com/2013/02/link-party-8.html

  2. I love the fabric and your new little stool! I also wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Liebster Award. You can see it on my blog: http://www.abritofhappiness.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-liebster-award-nomination-and-bit.html.
    Have a great rest of the week, Helen

  3. Great idea Ally! It turned out so pretty. Thanks for sharing. -Karen

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