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2 Ways to Update the Humble Wooden Stool with Pattern & Color

by Caitlin Kelch


Adding pattern and color in unexpected places and repurposing existing pieces are the inspiration for these two mini-makeovers. We’ve seen the simple wooden stool rise to multiple uses and permanent places (like next to the bed as a nightstand) in modern homes. The mix-and-match possibilities for customizing and creating a look of your own are pretty much endless.

Today we’re making a padded perch for my tiny entryway so I can actually sit to put on my shoes, instead of tipping over as I try to balance on one leg. Next up, a humble wooden counter-height stool transforms into the plant stand seen above. With minimal supplies and some creativity, adding some embellishment to an inexpensive stool or thrift store find can provide some fun form and function. —Caitlin


*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Waverly Inspirations. This project, ideas, and words are from us here at D*S.  Thanks for supporting our sponsors that help us create original content like this. The Waverly Inspirations collection is available at Walmart.


Thanks to Flower Haus for the beautiful location above! 

Click through for instructions for this DIY and a padded stool!


The instructions and materials for the DIY above and below are similar, so we’ve outlined instructions below that work for both projects! For the stool above, we also painted the rim of the seat. The seat simply has the fabric decoupaged on without any padding — just brush the seat with glue or Mod Podge, top with the fabric circle and seal the top with Mod Podge or glue.


  • Stool
  • Paint (We used a blue called Ocean & a creamy off-white called Ivory in a matte chalk paint finish. Both by Waverly Inspirations)
  • Waverly Inspirations Paintbrush (We used the nicely stiff, but flexible 1/2″ flat brush.)
  • Fabric (We used a Moroccan-inspired ivory & cobalt blue print and a classic floral from Waverly Inspirations.)
  • Glue or Mod Podge (for plant stand or a stool without padding)
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Pillow Stuffing
  • Ruler
  • Staple Gun


Image above: DIY Padded Stool (and my rescue pup, Rex!)


1. Place fabric face-up to design what portion of the printed fabric will cover your stool. We opted for the largest flower in the print to be in the center.

2. With your stool placed over the fabric section you’ll use for your seat cover, cut out a large square of fabric that has 5″ of extra fabric from the edge of the stool. Make sure you cut the extra 5″ on all sides of the fabric square.

3. Flip the fabric over so that it lays flat with the pattern facing down. With your marker, measure 3″ from the stool edge and mark the backside of the fabric. Draw a circle around the perimeter of the stool, leaving about 3″ overage so you you can fold it over the stool after stuffing it.

4. Cut out the circle of fabric.

5. Using the ruler, measure and mark at 2″ on the legs of the stool if you’d like to add a dip effect. Of course, you can go higher or lower than the 2″, but that’s what we used.

6. Use masking or painter’s tape around the stool legs, taping all the way around and sealing the edges tightly with your index finger. (Tip: When I’m using tape with paint and plan on removing it, I always fold the end of my tape onto itself so I have a little “tab” to pull when I take it off. That way, you don’t have to scrape the edge of the tape to remove it, which can sometimes be frustrating if you’ve sealed the edges really well!)

7. Using the contrasting paint of your choice, paint below the tape to the bottom of the stool legs. (We went with a dark cobalt matte chalk paint that has a teal look in different lighting. It’s called by Ocean by Waverly Inspirations.


Stool 1 - 6

Step 8. Let the paint dry for approximately 15 minutes or until dry to the touch. Give it a second coat and let dry.

Step 9. Place your circle of fabric print side down and place the stool facedown on top of the fabric in the center of it with the extra 3″ you left all the way around the stool seat’s edge.

Step 10. With your staple gun, staple your first section of fabric to the underside of the stool seat. Continue to staple the fabric to the seat, folding the fabric over itself as necessary (shown in the close-up below).

Stool 7 - 8

Step 11. Staple all around the seat, leaving an 8″ opening, or at least a large enough opening that your hand fits in so you can stuff it with your pillow stuffing.

Step 12. Flip the stool over and stuff the fabric with the stuffing through the unstapled opening. Make sure to push the stuffing to the back and sides so the padded seat will look uniform and not lumpy.

Stool -9 - 10

Step 13. Pull the excess fabric over the stuffing tightly to mimic it being stapled. You’re checking for any uneven stuffing areas! If it needs more stuffing in a certain area, add it. If not, grab your staple gun and finish stapling the fabric to the stool.


Step 14. Once the fabric is stapled all the way around, use scissors to trim excess fabric to just above the staples. Pay special attention to the excess fabric around where the legs meet the seat as it tends to bunch up there. You’re trimming the excess so that when the stool sits upright, you won’t see any fabric underneath the seat hanging down.

Step 15. Enjoy your new and improved stool!


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