Turning Vintage Side Tables into Upholstered Stools

One of my (other) favorite projects from Abbey's apartment was these oversized stools we made from vintage side tables.


We knew we wanted a pair of stools or benches in her large living room to provide extra seating in a pinch, or just a place to put your feet up. I saw these side tables at a junk store in Staten Island and thought they would work perfectly if we could upholster them. I loved the octagonal shape!



I had picked up a couple of yards of this vintage stripe fabric years ago in Philadelphia's fabric district. I still really love this fabric - all the unexpected color combos! Abbey and I both thought the stripe would be perfect for these benches, piped in a hot pink cotton.



Finished, they were taller than most stools (a little taller than chair height), but that was something I liked about them, and Abbey's living room was plenty large enough to house the pair. So if you're hoping to take on a similar project, just be mindful of the height of your side tables to begin with. You'll  end up adding two or three inches of height in foam and fabric after upholstering.


I think if I could have my way, every room would have a pair of little stools somewhere. They are so cute and functional! Have you DIYed or rehabbed any benches or stools? Off the top of my head, I can remember bench projects here, here, here, here, here and here (honorable mention here). I'd love to see your favorite pair!



Top photo via Abbey's house tour featured on Cup of Jo.

32 comments:

Melanie said...

Love it! Hope to find some tables for myself and give them a transformation!

smidge girl said...

These are adorable! I love the fabric. I have long legs, so I always appreciate seating that's a little higher. :)

Laurie said...

Fantastic! Love the stripe fabric.

Kristin Smith said...

I love the stools, and the piping on the upholstery, and the curtains! What is the fabric on the curtains?

Lauren @ Craft My Life Away said...

I have thought A LOT about this! I desperately need stools in our new house, but can't find the right pair at the right price. Yours look GREAT! I am just getting into upholstery, so I am pretty much just making cushions. Now, is the piping actually sewed onto that cushion? Or is it more like welting and attached after the fact?

Thanks. Love this blog, so glad you are back!

Kim@OfAllTheFish said...

Hi Jenny, I love these stools! I actually upholstered a pair of side tables into stools for my guest room. You can read about them on my blog here: http://www.ofallthefish.com/home/2012/5/30/post-235-1.html

charmaine said...

Love the shape and fabric! They are adorable!
I've turned a parson style side table from target into an upholstered bench. I have yet to make another one.
http://mybestfriendcraig.blogspot.com/2012/09/diy-parson-style-upholstered-bench.html

maggie said...

I love these stools. Great idea using the side tables!

mappingkat said...

My favorite stools actually came from you! I picked them up at the sale you had in Arlington a few years ago! Red metal with leopard (RL I think) fabric.

I have them in my living room and never fail to make me smile!

mappingkat said...

My favorite stools actually came from you! I picked them up at the sale you had in Arlington a few years ago! Red metal with leopard (RL I think) fabric.

I have them in my living room and never fail to make me smile!

Kate said...

Ohmygosh I am obsessing over the coffee table. It is exactly what I have been searching for. Any thoughts on where I can find something similar???

My Interior Life said...

I often think about upholstering side tables but haven't found the right ones yet. I got some thrift store benches reupholstered a while back and they make me very happy.
http://myinteriorlife.blogspot.com/2011/12/new-and-improved.html

Oh, also, I saw the malachite fabric on the pillow on the chair. Is that the Spoonflower pattern? I just ordered some samples for a rope chair I found. How do you like the quality? And of their fabric content options, which one did you choose? I got cotton poplin samples and while I love the pattern, don't love the texture. Thanks!

Tiffany Leigh Interior Design said...

Such a unique idea! I love the way yours turned out. The piping was the perfect finishing detail!

john in nc said...

clever-
i am actually getting ready to turn two stools into side tables-
lol

john in nc

Becca - {extra}ordinary wonders said...

I love these! What a fantastic project. Thank you for highlighting it.

Elisa @ fancyfreeme said...

Great fabric choice, I love it mixed with the octagonal shape.

Franki said...

What a cool idea. Love the shape of those tables - what era are they? I'm guessing 60s... ?

morocco tours said...

nice blog

Jennifer {The Chronicles of Home} said...

Really interesting finished project, very unique! For the piping, did you sew it or make the welting and then glue it on?

I DIY-ed a pair of X-leg benches for my living room a couple months ago and love the way they came out. You can see the tutorial here if you're interested: http://www.thechroniclesofhome.com/2012/08/tutorial-for-diy-x-leg-upholstered-bench.html

Ivy Lane said...

very clever! and that coffee table is pretty fantastic!

Lemon Macaron said...

Another great DIY, Jenny! I actually recovered a little lucite vanity stool which was inspired by yours so I could have a place to sit while giving my daughter a bath. Here's a link if you want to check it out!

http://lemonmacaron.blogspot.com/2012/07/diy-upholstered-lucite-vanity-stool.html

Camila said...

Perfect! I've always wanted to do that, but have never had the opportunity to tackle that project with a client.

It looks great!

What junk shop did you go to? Was it every thing goes? Doesn't look like it, but I haven't been there in awhile and itching to make a trip back to S.I. to check out the thrifting!

classic • casual • home said...

You are brilliant!!!
Such vision. Love the fun colors, too!

Lianne Whitelaw said...

What a fab idea! Love the fabric :)
Lianne x
rubyrubyslippers.blogspot.com

Carmel @ Our Fifth House said...

Love this - I'll be looking at side tables in a whole new way now - thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing..

tell it to your neighbor! said...

Love this! Such a unique and creative idea! I've been wanting a bench at the end of my bed, I could do this with a vintage coffee table, thank you!
Erica

Jenna said...

Loveee the stools! And the apartments is super cute too :)

wmbg. said...

those look perfect. the unique shape adds to the charm. i could really use a pair like these for my living room!

Gabbi @ Retro Ranch Reno said...

Absolutely love the side table makeover! I just made over a bench that I found on Craigslist. It lives at the bottom of our bed now and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out! You can see it here if you want...
http://retroranchrenovation.blogspot.com/2012/08/move-over-west-elm.html

Brittney said...

Perfect stripe, if you ask me. Adds an unexpected punch to the room without being overpowering.

Since you asked...I took an old coffee table and turned it into a padded bench. http://smartgirlstyle.blogspot.com/2012/09/coffee-table-turned-padded-bench.html

Glad you're feeling better...or at least faking it to make the rest of us feel better. :)

-Brittney
http://smartgirlstyle.blogspot.com

RETROSMITH. said...

Wow how fitting! I've just been doing the same thing! Love the stripes and the shape is fantastic! They'd be nice & sturdy too. This is the DIY I just did! Same concept in a very different style: http://theretrosmith.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/diy-side-table-makeover.html

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails