Upcycled bar stools

When I moved into a new apartment with an open kitchen, I decided it was time to get bar stools. But when you´re living in a rental, especially in a city that will not be home forever, you tend to think twice about each decision when it comes to furnishing the apartment. I needed to feel at home in my new place and I wanted to decorate it the way I like it, but I wanted to minimize the costs. Instead of buying new things and consuming more, I wanted to use what was already available.

My bar stools project started with looking at designs and products in the internet. Of course, I made my inspirational bar stools board on Pinterest that you can see HERE.

The next step was checking second hand options on the local buy and sell portals. That was when I had to face reality. Most of the good stools were too expensive compared to what I was planning to spend. The rest were typical mass production ones that we’ve seen so many times in so many places and, of course, they were not of my taste. The only possible solution, which happens to be my favourite, was upcycling those “plain and boring” stools.

I got an excellent deal for a pair of chairs that look like the ones in the picture: someone was moving out and getting rid of the excess. I’ve seen a number of DIY posts and tutorials on how to make those more “appealing” and I have to say that a lot were very cool and neat as upcycled better versions. However, because I wanted something slightly different, I decided to do a bit more than just a mere cosmetic change. You can see the result below.

I hope you like this quick and easy DIY project for my kitchen and be inspired to do the same or something similar. Send me your thoughts. I would love to hear from you.


To start with, I removed the backrest and I painted the structure. I wanted to change the seat, and I was planning to use wood for it. In keep with the upcycling approach, the idea was to find a wooden item that I could repurpose. That led me to cutting boards, and… I found the perfect bamboo ones! They were inexpensive, already treated, just the right size and with shaped edges. Plus, the color was a perfect match for the kitchen and living room palette. No cutting or crafting needed! I just had to remove the small hanging ring.

Although the stools looked amazing as they were, I made cushions for them. To make the inner cushion, I used an old bed linen for the case and and old pillow for the filling. To make the cushion case, I used a table cloth I’d bought in Ecuador: I loved it’s colorful ethnic pattern and I thought it might be a good idea to use it in one of my projects. In any case, I’ve seen other interesting ideas and I’m planing to make another pair of cushions. A change in the look of the bar from time to time is always good!

BEFORE photo > Google image search

All the rest of the photos by Mili