It doesn’t take too much time (about the length of a Jane Austen period drama; I chose Mansfield Park) to recover two barstools. I inherited a pair of ’70s barstools from my dad and covered the faded brown pleather in red fabric years ago when I lived in Chicago. They don’t match my house in New Jersey, so I bought a gorgeous black and cream tropical print by Tommy Bahama and set to work recovering them.

The process is simple. First, remove any existing fabric you may have stapled on in the past. I wore gloves since working with any tools gives me blisters. Second, lay the barstool top-side-down on the new piece of fabric, so you can decide where to cut. Move it around until you like how the pattern looks. Give yourself a GENEROUS amount on all sides! I didn’t, and it was difficult to work with such little fabric. Using a staple gun, begin securing the fabric to the underside of the seat. You’ll use a LOT more staples than you first think. Staple, pulling the fabric taut, and check the top of the stool occasionally to make sure you haven’t made creases. Turn upright and display!