How to Upholster a Bar Stool

How to Upholster a Bar Stool

Eric: This video is brought to you by Sailrite.
Visit for all your project supplies, tools, and instructions. In this video, we’re
going to recover this bar stool with a new upholstered top that includes piping- not
only on the top, but also on the bottom of the stool.
We’ve already removed the old fabric and foam. We’ll replace it with a new beautiful
fabric that we’ve chosen. Here’s Cindi to show us how it’s done. We’re going to work on this bar stool today
and make a cover with a band on it and some piping. The first thing I need to do is measure
across the diameter of the bar stool, and its 12 ¼”. So I’m going to cut my fabric
pieces at 13 ¼” because I’ll need a ½” for a seam all the way around, and I’m going
to cut my foam also at 13 ¼”. My measurement was 13 ¼” and I want to cut my foam that
same size. I’m going to mark the center at 6 5/8”. Then I’m going to make a circle
on my foam piece and cut around it. Eric: We’ll show this in double time. We’ve
chosen to use Fairfield Poly-Fil Nu-Foam. This is a compressed polyester. However, if
you’d like, you can use a polyurethane foam that’s also available at Sailrite. This
is a 2” thickness. A full materials list is found at the end of this video. When I use the scissors, I’m going to take
it and divide it in half so I’m only cutting half the thickness at once. Just follow my
marks all the way around the circle. Eric: When cutting compressed polyester, we
find this process much easier than cutting the full thickness all at once with scissors. Then go back and cut it again; the rest of
the thickness. Eric: If you’re using polyurethane foam,
an electric kitchen knife works well for that. But not for compressed polyester. So you can see that my foam piece is a little
bit larger than the top of my stool, and it’s going to compress when I put the fabric on.
Now to determine the depth of my band, I’m going to measure the foam and the base of
the bar stool. Its 2 ½”. So I want to add ½” for the seam up here and 1” or so
to pull it down and around underneath the bottom of the chair. So 2 ½” plus 1 ½”
is 4”. I want to cut my bands 4” wide. Eric: Sailrite often refers to bands as boxing. Because I have a pattern on this fabric, I’m
going to straighten up this edge so that my band is the same pattern all the way across.
So all I’m doing is cutting along the weave of the fabric at the top of the pattern so
that my first band will be the right depth and it will be even on the pattern. Eric: You’ll find thousands of decorative
fabrics to select from at I’m going to cut this across the full width
of the pattern and then just make it to size when I sew it on. Eric: The length of the band, or facing, or
sometimes referred to as boxing, should equal the circumference of the chair plus about
5”. Now I’m going to cut the circles for the
very top of the stool. I’m going to find a center point again like I did on the foam.
On this piece I want to center one of these little circles. I’m going to measure a circle
again at 6 5/8” from that center point. Eric: We’ll show this again in double time.
Marking a circle this way on the foam and also on this fabric is tedious and cumbersome.
In a few seconds, Cindi will show using the Sailrite Canvas Patterning Ruler, which I
highly recommend, in lieu of doing it this way. Then I’m going to cut on my lines all the
way around that circle also. Another way to draw this circle is to use this Canvas Patterning
Ruler, and it has a hole right here. I would put my pin in the hole and then put my pencil
in one of these holes out here that corresponded to the size of my circle. Then I could draw
a circle with this ruler. Eric: Using this tool, it is much easier.
So there’s a couple different ways that you can make your circles. I’m going to
cut around the lines that I drew to get my circle. So there’s the circle for the top
of my bar stool. The other thing that I need to cut is the bias for the cording. Eric: Coming up next, Cindi will show you
how to make cording, or sometimes referred to as piping. We’re going to make it ourselves. I’m going to cut it on a bias because it’ll
stretch easier; it’ll go nicer around the circle because it has a little bit of stretch
to it. When I make my cording on the bias, I use this ruler and line up the 45 degree
line along the selvage edge of the fabric and draw a line. This is my bias cut. My cording
needs to be 1 ½” wide. Eric: If using a rotary cutter, there’s
no need to mark it with a pencil and cut it with scissors. We’ll demonstrate that in
a few seconds. I’m going to draw lines with the ruler to
get enough cording to go around the stool twice. Eric: Since we’re covering the top side
and the bottom side of the stool with piping, we need enough to go around the circumference
plus about 5”. Then take that times two since we’re doing both top and bottom. There is another way to cut this bias that’s
a little bit simpler. I’m going to fold this in half so it fits on my rotary cutting
board and use this cutter to cut my strips. Eric: As you can see, using the cutting mat,
the rotary cutter, and the clear acrylic ruler, it’s much easier to cut bias piping. After
all the strips are cut, we need to join them together. Cindi will demonstrate that now. I need a 45 degree angle at the end, and I’m
going to lay those right side up- both of them right side up- and cut my angle again.
I want to cut this selvage edge off because it’s a little bit thicker than the rest
of the fabric. After I cut the angle, I’m going to turn the top one over. So now I have
right sides together, and pin those together. When I stitch, I’m going to stitch from
this angle to this angle. And I’ll have a continuous length of bias. Eric: Let’s demonstrate that one more time
by joining yet another piece. Both are laid right side up. Cut the 45 degree angle then
pin them together as done previously. Using the clear acrylic ruler you can see the 45
degree angle on the ruler easily. So I’m ready to take this over to the machine
and stitch these three little seams and apply the cording inside it. I’m going to stitch
this little short seam together. Eric: We’re using home décor fabric. Many
home sewing machines can sew it, but we want to demonstrate the Ultrafeed LS-1 Sewing Machine.
It’s a walking foot sewing machine. Great for light applications like this, but exceptionally
well built for heavy applications. This is a great sewing machine that’ll do a phenomenal
job for your upholstery applications. So I have one continuous long straight piece
of bias cording. Now I’m going to put the cording in. I’m just going to lay it in
the center and fold it over. You put it under the foot and there’s a tunnel on the foot
that’s going to carry this through. Eric: The Sailrite Ultrafeed LS-1 Sewing Machine
and the LSZ Sewing Machine both have a cording tunnel built right into the foot. No need
to change out the foot to a cording foot. If you’re using a home sewing machine, you
may have to do that to sew this piping. When I come to one of my seams, I want to
finger press that open like that so that when it folds over, all that thickness isn’t
folding back on itself. Eric: Coming up next, we’ll apply this piping,
or cording, to the top plate, or the top of the stool. Cut this off straight at the beginning. I’m
going to lay my two edges even and put it under the foot. The foot is going to guide
the cording around my circle. I’m going to start a couple inches from the beginning
of my cording so I can tuck the end back in there. Eric: By leaving a few inches at the end,
we’ll find it much easier to join the opposite end of the piping to this the beginning end
piping. She’ll be showing that next after we sew around the perimeter. When I get back to where I started, I’m
going to give myself 2”-3” beyond the end of my first piece and cut it. Then I’m
going to open up the stitching on this end. Eric: Following this technique is a great
way to join the ends of piping together. I think you’ll agree after you see the end
results. And cut the cording off where those two meet-
just the cording. I’m going to fold the piece I’m sewing towards…at an angle like
that and tuck the beginning piece back inside it and wrap that over it. Eric: Now we can apply the band- sometimes
referred to as boxing or facing- to this assembly. Then I’m going to apply the band- the 4”
band that we cut- around the circle also. I’m going to start close to where I joined
the cording. Not right on it because that would be a lot of thickness right there. But
I’m going to start close to it so that both of these seams end up in the back of the stool.
I’m also going to start a little bit away from the edge on that. I’m going to stop
back about 4” from where I started. Eric: Stopping short will allow us to join
the band, or boxing, together. Match these up and make a seam right here.
Put a clip… Eric: The clip indicates where we need to
sew to join the boxing strips together. And trim all this extra off beyond my clip.
My clip is up here. Eric: We only need to leave about ½” of
material beyond the clip. Then I can match the clips up and sew the
seam. Starting at the clip and straight down. Eric: Now that it’s joined together, we
can finish sewing the boxing to the main assembly. I’m also going to press that open so it’s
not too much thickness all in one spot and go back to where I stopped right here and
finish that seam. Eric: Coming up next, we’ll push our foam
inside this cover and test it on top of our bar stool. We’re going to stick this piece that we
cut inside here and see how it fits on my stool before I go any farther. It looks like
our foam is just a little bit too big; we’ve got some lumps here. So I’m going to take
it off and cut it smaller. Regular poly-foam would compress, I think, better than this.
This one isn’t. So we’re just going to trim it off a little bit. Eric: Cindi believes it’ll look better if
the foam, or the compressed polyester that we’re using, is cut a little bit smaller. I’m going to cut off about a ½” all the
way around my circle. Eric: Now she’ll reinsert the foam in the
cover and place it back on the chair to see how this looks. When I put this on, I want to make sure that
all of my seam allowance is going down towards my band and not up towards the top of the
seat. So I’m working to push that down before I pull this on. Eric: That looks awesome! Now we need to staple
it to the bottom side of the chair. We’re going to use the EZE TC-08 pneumatic stapler. Now I’m ready to staple this down onto the
base of the bar stool, and I’m going to use an air compressor stapler for that. So
I’m just going to pull my band down and go side to side and front to back and make
sure that I have everything in place where I want it before I staple the whole thing
down. Eric: You don’t necessarily have to have
a pneumatic staple gun like this to accomplish this task. You could use a heavy duty aero
staple gun that is just hand operated. Before stapling, always ensure that you like the
look. If you need it tighter, you can pull out those four staples easily and make adjustments.
Cindi likes the way it looks so she’s going to continue to apply staples applying the
same amount of tension on all sides. With this staple gun, we’re using approximately
a 3/8” long staple. I’m clipping that just so it’ll go around
the leg. Eric: We could just trim the rest of the fabric
and not apply piping, or cording, to the bottom side of the chair. But adding piping, or cording,
to the bottom side makes it look even better. I’m going to trim this extra fabric out
so it doesn’t hang out. When you’re using a bar stool, you don’t want to look at this
extra fabric that’s underneath here. Eric: We’ve made plenty of piping, or cording,
and we’re going to add a strip to the bottom side of the chair. That’s coming up next. Then I want to apply another row of cording
around the bottom like this. I’m going to start that also at the same place where my
seam is back here. Put a few staples to hold that in place all the way around. Then I’m
going to go back over it with the cardboard tack strip to hold it in place. When I come
around here to where I started, I’m going to cut it off about 3” longer and open up
my stitching and then just cut the cording even with the beginning. Fold this back, tuck
the beginning in, and fold it over. I’m going to go back over all of that with the
cardboard tack strip. I’m going to clip the cardboard tack strip about 2/3 of the
way up so that it will curve. Eric: This cardboard tack strip just keeps
that piping pushed out so it stays nice and firm. So this is going to hold the cording in place
so it has a nice firm edge. Eric: Those are the steps required to reupholster
a bar stool. Here’s the finished bar stool. Eric: Coming up is a materials list and the
tools that were used to reupholster this bar stool. You can order these at Sailrite. For
more free videos like this, be sure to check out the Sailrite website or subscribe to the
Sailrite YouTube channel. It’s your loyal patronage to Sailrite that makes these free
videos available. Thanks for your loyal support.

18 thoughts on “How to Upholster a Bar Stool

  1. It is very useful film! Thank You a lot ! 🙂 Of course I must say that it's really great job 🙂 Ps. By the way, nice fabric.

  2. I've been sewing for over 40 years but when it comes to home decor projects I ALWAYS refer to Salrite vids for the best tips and techniques !!

  3. This is a brill post! Thank you for sharing. The only issue I am having is some slight puckering of the fabric when I'm sewing the piping to the top circle. What could be causing that do you think?

  4. Thank you!!! This is exactly what I needed to know how to do. Now to get rid of those ugly ripped vinyl bar stool tops in the family room.

  5. Thank you for
     your video! I am doing dining room chairs and your video was so helpful as they are piped the same way as the bar stool.

  6. I just realise that I need a sewing machine to fix my bar stool and I can't even sew with hand properly let alone using the machine. If I don't sew it,will it wrinkle or something?

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