Make this: Upcycled Woven Leather Stool

Vintage materials, reimagined.

Skill Level



1-4 hours

Skill level
1-4 hours
Written By

Naomi Huober

Numie Abbot

Written By

Naomi Huober

Numie Abbot

This DIY seat takes an old vintage stool and transforms it into a chic piece for the modern home. The time needed to put it together is under two hours, and takes practically no reupholstering skills to assemble – figuring out the math is the most time-consuming part. Get creative and play with different colors, or use a single tone of leather as shown here. This same technique can be used on benches and stools, and is a great way to give an old piece new life.

You will need

You might already have

Vintage stool
Flat-head screwdriver

Step 1: Remove pre-existing seat and measure stool

Use scissors to remove the pre-existing seat on your stool. Cut off any wicker, remove any wood, upholstery, etc. Now it's time to do some math. Don’t be scared, it’s very simple! Use the measuring tape to measure the length and width of your stool. Write these numbers down; they will tell you how many straps you need to cut for each direction. For example, if your stool is 14 in. x 16 in. / 35 cm. x 40 cm., you will need 14 straps that run lengthwise and 16 straps that run width-wise. Tip: If your leather is 1 in. wide, use inches for this project – it will simplify the process of working with the inch-wide straps.

Step 2: Add 4 in. / 10 cm. to length and width measurements

The second measurement you need to figure out is how long to cut the straps. To do this, add 4 in. / 10 cm. to the length and width measurements. Taking the previous example, your vertical straps would be 18 in. / 45 cm. and your horizontal straps 20 in. / 50 cm. This will leave enough room for your to wrap your straps around your stool and attach.

Step 3: Cut leather straps

Now it’s time to cut. Grab your ruler, pencil, and leather straps. First, we’re going to cut the vertical pieces of leather. Flip your leather over, so that you’re looking at the underside, and measure the length needed using your pencil to mark the distance (going with the previous example, this would be 18 in. / 45 cm.). Measure out the number of straps needed for the vertical side using what you found in step one (in our example, this was 14 in. / 40 cm.). Follow the same steps for your horizontal straps.

Step 4: Mark where screws will go

Prep the strap to make holes for the Chicago screws. First take the end of one strap and loop it around the outside frame of the stool.
Layer the bottom end of the strap, so that there is about 1 in. / 2 cm. of overlap with the top layer. Using your pencil, mark a dot in the center of the overlapping section, and trace a line on the underside where the strap ends.

Step 5: Punch holes in leather

Remove the strap from the stool and grab your leather hole punch. Punch a hole in the strap where you made a dot with your pencil. Fold the bottom end back under, so that it lines up with the pencil line. Take the leather hole punch and make a hole in the bottom strap, making sure that it lines up with the top hole. Repeat step 5 and this step to make holes in one end of all vertical and horizontal straps.

Step 6: Attach vertical straps

To attach the vertical straps, loop the end of each strap around the stool frame. Insert the post end of a Chicago screw, so that it goes from the top two holes, and then screw in the back using a flat-head screwdriver. Repeat this step with each vertical strap until they are all attached along one side.

Step 7: Attach straps to opposite side

Loop the straps around the opposite side of the stool frame and pull the the leather taught. Grab your hole punch, and punch holes in the top and bottom of each strap end, making sure that each hole lines up. Depending on how strong your hole punch is and how thick your leather is, you may be able to punch through both layers at the same time. Using the same technique outlined in step 6, insert the Chicago screws and tighten, so the vertical straps are completely secured to the stool.

Step 8: Attach one end of horizontal straps

Now, attach one end of the horizontal straps to the stool using the process outlined in steps 5 and 6.

Step 9: Weave and secure opposite ends

Weave the ends through the vertical straps, going over under. Secure the opposite ends of your horizontal straps using the same process outlined in step 7. Done!

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About the Author
Naomi Huober

Naomi Huober is a photographer, marketer, and yoga instructor living in Seattle, WA. She approaches life with passion, eager to better the world through her teaching and creative endeavors. Follow her adventure on Instagram at @numieabbot.