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Repurpose a Bar Stool Into a Unique Table

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Repurposing furniture is one way to make clever and wonderful little changes to our home’s decor to update our lives using things that we already own.

By transforming or combining a few pieces of furniture together to come up with an ideal piece designed exactly for your unique needs and style while staying on budget can be very rewarding.

I just finished my latest piece of living room furniture by repurposing two unrelated items – an old bar stool and a tray. No paint needed for this easy counter or bar stool to accent table upcycle needed.

vintage metal stool

Old bar stools or stools in general typically follow three fates. They get trashed when no longer needed. They get sold at a garage sale or donated to a thrift store. Sometimes they become treasured heirlooms that get handed down to family members.

The latter is where I got this decorative metal stool from my husband’s grandparents.

decorating-ideas-for-kitchens

The vintage metal stool used to sit next to the sideboard/cabinet in the kitchen in my previous house. When we moved to the lake house, I had no place to put use the stool, but it was unique, so I kept it.

When I rearranged my living room a few months ago, I got an an idea on how I could use the stool once again.

With the new furniture layout, I needed to create a slim space saving accent table to place between the two comfy chairs in my living room.

Since placing the stool between the chairs and using it daily, I love the fact it fits so nicely and is neutral in color, but the top was just not functioning as I wanted it to be slightly larger to hold a bit more.

So I have been searching for something to attach to the top. At first I wanted to use a round wood top that you can buy at the home improvement store. I used one of these for the big wicker basket side table I made that has hidden storage, but the smallest one was too big for the narrow space between the chairs.

whitewashed round wicker tray with handles

While browsing through HomeGoods to see if I could find something, I did. I came across this small woven round tray with handles.

Round wicker tray with handles on a metal stool

It was the perfect size and color that coordinates with my two tier white and woven side table I added a few weeks ago to the room.

Round wicker tray topped bar stool made into a side table for a tight space.

The repurposed bar stool transformation can be done on any stool. Since my stool had a round top, I chose to go with a round tray. If you have a square or rectangular stool, look for a tray in the same shape.

vintage metal stool with round wicker tray on top becomes a unique table.

That is the fun of repurposed furniture makeovers… you get to be the designer and create something useful to fit your style.

a DIY textured side table made using a bar stool and a tray.

The item combination possibilities are endless by what items you choose to combine. Adding a new coat of paint or fabric can take it up a few notches that will give a new use to anything you own into something new, pretty and functional for your home.

Keep reading to see how I securely attached the tray to the stool.

How to Repurpose a Bar Stool Into a Unique Accent Table

Making this accent table from a stool and a tray is very easy. I used Velcro and hot glue to secure the tray to the stool top. As an option, if you don’t mind drilling a hole in the top of a stool, you can use a screw and wing nut to secure the tray.

Looking down at a completed repurposed bar stool into a side table.

supplies needed:

  • Bar stool or any type of stool
  • Round tray – I bought mine at HomeGoods.
  • Strips of Velcro
  • Hot glue and gluegun
  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • Optional: Scissors and Straight pin

Time needed: 15 minutes.

How to Attach a Tray to a Stool to Make a Unique Table

  1. Find a Round Tray


    Use an existing or purchase a new round tray in a size that will be in proportion with the stool and that also fits your decorating style.

    My woven tray had handles that I didn’t want for the table, so I used sharp scissors to remove them. It is very easy following the steps in this removing a basket handle post.

    DIY side table made using a vintage metal stool and a round wicker tray.

  2. Cut and Attach Velcro


    Connect the hook and the loop pieces of Velcro together.

    Use a ruler or measuring tape to mark the center of the stool.

    Cut the Velcro to fit the top of the stool as shown below. I used 3 cut lengths.

    Supplies needed to attach a tray to a stool to make a unique table.

  3. Attach Velcro


    With Velcro hook and loop sides still connected to each other, use hot glue to attach bottom strips of Velcro as shown to the top of the stool.

    Press down with your hands and then smooth to make sure the Velcro is securely attached to the top of the stool.

    To help align my tray that has a hole in the center, I placed a straight pin at the mark I made in the center of the stool. The pin will act as a guide to help me center the tray on the stool.

    how to securely attach tray to the top of stool using Velcro

  4. Attach Tray to Stool Top


    Place a line of hot glue on the top pieces of Velcro.

    Immediately, center and place the tray over the top, lining up the pin and press down hard to make sure the hot glue is connecting with the bottom on the tray.

    Let hot glue cool.
    close up of center of wicker tray and a pin used to center it on stool

  5. All Done


    Once the hot glue is cool, the table is ready to use.

    If you ever want to remove the tray to use the stool as a place to sit again, simply pull up on one side of the basket tray to zip it off.

    DIY side table made using a vintage metal stool and a round wicker tray.

See how easy the accent table made by repurposing a bar stool was to create? It could even be used as a nightstand alternative.

I hope it inspires you the next time you need a piece of furniture to function in a certain way that you shop your home first to find a few items to combine to create just what you need.

More Furniture Repurposing Ideas:

Vintage Stool Decorating Idea

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18 Comments

  1. I love this look, Diane! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm and I will be featuring you at Wednesday’s party! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

    1. Hi Cecilia – Thank you so much. :-) I enjoy thrifting so much and coming up with ideas on how to use it. Looking forward to seeing all the ideas you found this week.

  2. I have that same exact stool! I was with my mom when she bought it shopping an old barn store in the early 1960s and it eventually came to live at my house. I sat on it as a child, so did my children and now my grandson loves to sit on it at my kitchen island. ❤️

    1. Hi Pamela – Having the same stool is pretty cool. It is so unique I could never part with it. Yours sounds like it has become part of the family. I hope it lasts through many more generations. It is very sturdy so it should. :-)

  3. Wow I loved your idea. I am specially liked how you mentioned removing handles. I have a basket with floppy badly made handles. I will be removing the handles ASAP.

    Thanks for all your great ideas.

  4. What a great idea, Diane! I tried to use a square basket to sort of “fit” over a not exactly square stool (it had really rounded edges and no pointy points). But I guess I’ll have to wait until something better shows up. Will take the square basket and a round one to the resale shops I frequent and make sure of they fit before buying a stool. Not sure what to do with the one I have, but I could upholster it and cut it down to be a foot stool.

    Thanks for the good idea and instructions! You are a gem.

  5. Wow, love this! Thinking something like that would be great on my covered patio.

    Thank you.

  6. Another fantastic idea. You have such good explanations I believe I can accomplish this.

  7. The tray atop the stool just a great idea for a small place. Your results are really nice.

  8. That looks like an old stool from an ice cream shop. I have one that is lower and was a chair but it was missing the back and the seat. I had a piece of glass cut that is a couple of inches larger than the top and also use it for a side table next to an armless chair.

  9. Very clever and so nice looking! I love the look of woven baskets and trays, rattan, etc.