This easy and Spring-toned project is double the pleasure because you are not only upcycling a pair of stools, you also are reusing a fabric shopping bag.  Therefore, you will be keeping lots of things out of a landfill!  

A pair of stools is always welcomed for small spaces and as extra seating for guests.  Given that Mother’s Day is right around the corner, this cheerful pair makes a delightful gift for your dear Mom and one that she will use often.  She’ll also appreciate your thoughtfulness as you show love for Mother Earth, too!


·        Pair of stools with screwed on wooden seats

·        An oversized shopping bag made of durable plastic fabric

·        Green, blue and pink spray paint

·        Mod Podge or Elmer’s glue

·        Foam craft brush

·        Staple gun

·        Screwdriver

1.      Find your good–and a sturdy stool—at Goodwill

At your local Goodwill store, you’ll find lots of interesting things that could work for this repurposed shopping bag project.  Go with an open mind to see what treasure awaits you there to take home to transform.  

This pair of stools was ideal because the wooden seats could be easily removed and recovered.   Also, everyone can always appreciate having a pair of stools that are lightweight and can be tucked out of the way when not being used. 

Other ideas you might consider for this project are a serving tray, small side table or even a set of square wooden coasters.  What good will you discover?

2.      Remove the seats

This step is easy as 1, 2, 3 or flip, unscrew and remove.  All that was needed was a screwdriver to take out the screws holding the seat to the metal legs.  The screws and the seat were placed aside.   The metal legs were wiped down to ensure any dust or dirt were removed.  Literally, in about two minutes, this project was ready to take a big leap forward in the transformation process.

3.      Spray on style

Many items you buy at stores, and which end up at Goodwill, are very generic, color-wise so that they appeal to the masses.  How boring!  To give this twosome a much happier look and one that matched the colors in the shopping bag’s designs, a bright green spray paint was used as the base color.   

Place your stool outside or in a well-ventilated space and upon something to protect the floor or outdoor surface. 

Spray on a light coat over your entire pieces, but not too much as you want to avoid drips and runny spots.  Don’t aim for a perfect first coat as you will come back to your pieces several times.   

After the first coat is dry, flip your stool legs upside down and add another layer.  Keep moving around your pieces so that you get every angle and cover them from top to bottom.   You may need to lay them on their sides, too, to be sure you get every part. 

While you could stop there with one solid layer of bright green, I encourage you to get more creative and add more visual interest.  To accomplish this with this pair,  I “spritzed” on a some light blue over parts of them—not a solid coat—to allow the green layer to show, too.   Following the same technique, I gave the stool legs a light dusting of pink spray paint which allowed the green and blue to shine through as well.  It almost looked like an impressionist painting the way the colors flowed and complimented each other.

After adding your paint layers, allow your stool legs to dry for several hours.

4.      Upcycle by upholstery

A very quick, easy and inexpensive way to upcycle an item is to use material or fabric to cover parts like a seat or table top—if they are made of wood so they are able to be stapled.   The shopping bag was torn and one of its handles had become detached, so it was no longer functional.  However, it was colorful and had some lovely images with birds and butterflies.   

The two side panels were cut away and I was left with a long piece of material with which to work.  I knew that I wanted one seat to have the bird on it and the other to have the butterfly, so I carefully and strategically placed the seats on top of these designs.  Scissors were used to cut the material around the seats, leaving enough to be wrapped over the ends and attached to the bottom. 

Mod Podge was brushed on the top of the seat to help adhere the fabric tightly on top.  The top was flipped over and the fabric was secured around it with a staple gun.  This step is easy but requires you to gently pull at the fabric as you go.  Flip it back over and, “Presto!”  You now have a totally transformed stool seat!

5.      Re-screw to the legs

Place the stool seat on your work area upside down with the stapled back side facing you.  Carefully place the painted stool legs on top and use your screwdriver to put the screws back in place.  Yes, that’s it!  You now have a lovely pair of pretty perches!

This project was such a fun and easy one.  When you create one yourself,  I’m sure you’ll enjoy using this stylish set or sharing it with someone you love.  As you can see by the photos, my sweet kitty Gypsy is ready to sit with me on them for a while!


Tim Kime

Artist, Motivational Speaker, Life Coach

Tim Kime is an artist, life coach, connector. He is President of Kime Leadership Associates offering executive coaching, meeting facilitating and motivational speaking. He is also Chief Creative Force of Transformation Junkies which upcycles furniture and other household items into functional works of art. He combined his two passions—unleashing the potential in people and transforming items with the launch of the Art of Possibilities Workshops. These workshops are part upcycling, part dreaming, part goal setting.