An upcycled bar stool wasn’t even on my radar.
Then I saw this:
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I have a love/not-so-much-love relationship with my nearest thrift store. They usually have great stuff.
That’s the love part.
But in my thrifty opinion, they don’t always have great prices.
And it’s because of this not-so-much-love part that I sometimes walk away from things that earn a second look – especially furniture.
But this little diamond-in-the-rough was sitting beside the door and, as usual, everything on the sidewalk was half price.
So before I went inside I strolled over to take a closer look.
The legs were solid and sturdy – and balanced. (check)
The top was made of particle board. (not ideal, but maybe I could work with that.)
The little yellow sticker: $2 (Really?)
$1 later and that ugly stool (along with a bag of other treasures) was riding home in the back of my van, with a fresh idea brewing for a favorite feline.
(Please ignore the messy van. I could have at least cleaned up a bit, right? But I was so excited about this stool that I totally missed all the mess.)
The Upcycled Bar Stool Plan
If you have cats, you know nothing makes them happier than snoozing in a cozy spot – preferably off the ground.
Our cats will get as high as they can for their naps – even on top of the cabinets in the garage, which are way over my head. I’m not so sure how they get there, but I suspect the motive has something to do with 3 particular dogs.
And one of our cats is a basket lover. He’s been curling up in baskets his entire life.
So when I saw that stool, I thought of Barney and his love of jumping up into baskets to cozy down – and decided it was past time he have his own dedicated napping spot.
Once I got my kitty project home, I headed out to the workshop to decide what I’d have to do to give it a brand new look.
I decided to cover the top in fabric, so it would be a keeper after all.
First, I pulled out the nails,
then ripped off the remaining vinyl and removed the staples.
I gave the legs a light sanding, then headed out to do some painting!
I grabbed a basket from the “one day I might use this” stash. That kind of flies in the face of my sometimes “cleaning out all this clutter” episodes, and I can’t decide if I’m more of a
hoarder collector or purger.
This time it played in my favor because I had exactly what I needed already waiting for a paint job.
It was just the right size for Barney – and the top of the stool.
Upcycling the Top
Since the stool will likely end up on the porch or beside the back door, the top needed to be weatherproofed so it wouldn’t deteriorate in wet weather. I gave it a coating of epoxy and let it dry overnight.
Now weatherproofed, it was time to give it a fresh new look. I covered the surface with Gorilla Glue, pulled the fabric snug over the sides, then stapled it down on the back.
A little trim of the extra fabric and the top was done.
Since the legs already had holes, I used wood screws to reattach the top instead of more nails.
I thought a pillow would be a lovely idea, so I used the top of the basket as a temple, then cut with the fabric doubled.
After sewing the pieces together, I turned them right-side-out, stuffed with filling, and stitched up the hole.
I thought it was a perfect addition to the basket!
Barney, however, did not!
He didn’t care for the pillow at all and refused it completely.
And since he’s a cat (complete with a cat disposition)…he won.
Apparently, a pillow is not required for a super cozy snooze in your own custom-made napping basket.
By the way, I did attach the basket to the stool with u nails. As sweet as he is, he just might be cross if he took a leap toward his napping basket and it moved…
Favorite materials for this project: