DIY plant stand from upcycled thrifted bar stool

I am so excited to be participating in the At Home DIY challenges this year where each month we are challenged to complete a project with a particular theme.  This month’s them was to upcycle something either from around your home or something you got at the thrift store.  You know I love a good thrift store makeover so here’s what I created!


I LOVE having plants in my home year-round – they add life and greenery and the extra benefit is they are healthy too for the oxygen in your home.  I had wanted to add some different types of plants but needed to have something to elevate the smaller ones a little bit to help them fill the space.  I love little stools and knew that I could take a basic bar stool that you see often at thrift stores and turn it into a plant stand!

I picked up this wood bar stool for $5.99 at Goodwill.  I see them often at thrift stores or yard sales and you even may have an old one hanging around your house that you could upcycle. 

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It was a 48-inch stool and I basically cut it in half making 2 sections that were 24 inches tall.  In hindsight, I wish I had varied the heights and made the top portion more like 30 inches tall and the bottom part 18 inches tall.  I ended up having to trim a few more inches off the bottom portion to make it shorter than the top portion to make them be varying heights.   I just made a mark and used my handheld circular saw to cut the legs but you could use a jigsaw, table saw, or even a handsaw.  

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If you are wanting to use both portions of the stool, you’ll now need to create a new top of the bottom portion. You could cut a circle out of a sheet of plywood or MDF if you are going to paint your stool, but I decided to do a simple planked square top instead. 

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I just attached all the planked parts together in the back by using another scrap piece of wood and screws and nails.  I should have predrilled my holes for my screws which is why the wood cracked but I was just in getting this project done fast mode.  So definitely pre-drill your holes for your screws first or even use a Kreg Jig to join them.  I was just going for super fast and easy and don’t plan on this supporting lots of weight. 

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I sanded the old finish off and then applied a coat of Varathane Classic Penetrating Stain in Special Walnut. 

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Once the stain was dry, I decided to do one more thing to make them look a bit more aged.  I mixed 1/2 water and 1/2 Rustoleum Chalked Linen White paint and just wiped it on and then off with a rag.  I rubbed against the grain intentionally trying to get it to go down into all the cracks and grooves in the wood.    I love how it turned out!

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And here’s how I am using them! 

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I have this corner in my dining room that I really wanted to add a plant and these stools were perfect to add a little height to the plants.  I recently bought my first Snake plant and I am loving it!  Hoping to find some fun baskets for them this spring at yard sales or thrift stores, but for now these galvanized containers I used for mums back in the fall are working fine. 

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I may have to find another bar stool to make a 3rd one for this little corner.  Smile  These little stools would be cute to use as a stool in the bathroom for your kids or next to a bathtub for extra towels, etc. 

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Do you like having houseplants?  This Golden Pothos and the Sansevieria (snake plant) are very forgiving and easy to care for plants.  Both of them would be great plants for a beginner.

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Where would you use a short stool like this?   Upcycled anything from the thrift store lately?  I’d love to hear about it!

Make sure to check out all other upcycled projects done this month at the link below!

See More Upcycle It Projects
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  1. Oh my! What a great upcycle!! Now I will be on the hunt for a bar stool!!! Thanks!!

  2. Those are super cute! Such a clever idea to cut the tall bar stool in half and add a new top, and I like the mix of the round top and the square one. I agree a third taller one would look great! I have a couple of old similar stools with padded tops, I may have to remove the cushions and concert them to plant stands?. Thanks for sharing!

  3. They look so so so good!! What a terrific idea!! Thanks!

  4. What a great idea!!!! You are so creative and clever with your DIY!!!

  5. I never would have thought of this creative idea! So smart. I love it.

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