DIY Rustic Barstools

One of my favorite places to go is Fredericksburg. If you aren’t familiar, it’s a small German town in Texas that has amazing scenery, fun things to do, and great shopping. Most of the shops are pretty similar to our style- rustic, western, and classic. I like to think of our style as Texas Hill Country, with a touch of glam.
Each time I’m in a shop with furniture there, I’m soaking it all in. The pieces are beautifully made, usually with a wood stain and a lot of times with animal hide. The only thing not exciting is the prices!

We have a small bar in our house that we love to sit at. Jake and I wanted rustic barstools, but the ones we have seen usually run about $650 bare minimum a piece.  That’s $1,300 for two. One day, I was walking through a little antique shop on my lunch break, and I found these:
They had great lines and a rustic shape (I loved the Texas star) but they needed a lot of TLC. I called Jake because I knew I’d need help on this one, and he agreed, so I snapped them up, negotiated the price down and brought them home.
The chairs had multiple layers of paint (black, red, and blue) very thickly glopped on. We (mostly Jake) worked with a paint stripper and tons of sandpaper and finally got that bare wood. (I should note, this project was taken on pre-pregnancy, but I'm just now posting on the blog!) After a stain job, they were starting to have that classic rustic look.

They had nearly neon red vinyl seats, so I reupholstered the seats with an axis hide I sourced from Craigslist for a steal. The hide was just barely large enough to cover both seats, as they are pretty large, but I scrimped and made it work. It was my first go with upholstery with hide, and it went well! I must say, though, it’s much harder to upholster with hide than with fabric. All in all, after some hard work, we got our dream barstools for much less.
In the above photo the hide upholstery looks wrinkled, but I believe it's the angle of the photo showing the individual hairs. It's smooth in person.
And here's a side by side:
They're very comfortable, and we love the look. I also love having something special we made together for our home.

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