How To: Turn One Stool Into TWO Stools

How To: Turn One Stool Into TWO Stools

I'd been looking around for a small stool to help our arthritic fur-child get on and off the bed at night. (If you're used to sleeping with a cat on the foot of the bed, you'll understand.) The problem was, I couldn't find a stool that I liked that was the appropriate size and height. Before sketching up a design to make one from scratch, I thought a trip to the thrift store might be in order. Hey, you never know, right? When I spotted  this bar-height stool--on sale for $4, btw--inspiration struck. I'd cut it down and upholster the top!

First, we needed to cut the top off at about 17". For this, we propped the stool up on the table saw and clamped it to the fence to keep in it place.  

When the cutting was done and I set the two pieces side by side, it was obvious I had TWO stools in the making, not just one. 

The surprise stool just needed a seat. For that I found a piece of scrap MDF in our stash of the appropriate size, which we squared up and then attached with screws from the top. 

Then I lightly sanded, primed, and painted the legs with bright white semi-gloss. 

Also from the leftover bin, I found a piece of high-density foam and batting. A bit of spray adhesive kept them in place. 

Because I wanted to slip-cover the stool, I then upholstered the top in a utility cotton.

For the slip-cover, I fit the fabric pieces to the stool itself, pinned them in place and then basted them together. (I always baste my slip covers, otherwise the whole process generally ends in tears.) 

I decided to go with two different prints. Thought that might look cute.

After basting, I went to the sewing machine and sewed everything up. 

And here's what the unexpected stool looks like finished:

As for my original idea...the one for the fur-child? That was super easy. I lightly sanded the legs and then applied a couple coats of danish oil. 

Although the legs were in pretty good shape, I couldn't live with that shiny original finish, which you can still see here on the seat: 

I added a piece of batting and then stapled some fuzzy faux fur to the top.

And here it is complete (start to finish, took about 30 minutes, not including drying time): 

There's a lot I love about this project. One was the unexpectedness of the extra stool, but also how completely different the two stools look now. Especially considering they started out as one!





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