What you Need to Make Metal Bar Stools

Row of barstools in a bar
  • 30 hours
  • Advanced
  • 300
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Pencil and paper
Metal bars
Seat swivels
Bolts, nuts, and lock washers
3/4-inch plywood
Hard foam
Upholstery fabric
Mig or Arc welder
Welder's mask
Welder's gloves

Get your family into the kitchen to dine casually with metal bar stool seating. You can make your own custom metal bar stools with inexpensive yet durable materials. Follow the guidelines below to construct unique metal bar stools that bring both style and comfort to your kitchen decor.

Step 1 - Decide How Many Bar Stools You Wish to Make

At a kitchen island countertop, you may want just three or four metal bar stools. At a tall cantina-style table, surround it with up to eight metal bar stools.

Step 2 - Measure the Bar Stool Height and Cushion Depth

Measure from the floor up to 10 inches below the lower lip of the countertop. This is the total height of the bar stool plus its cushion. Allowing for a cushion depth of three to four inches, measure the height for the barstool frame, from the floor to either 13 or 14 inches below the countertop. This is how tall the frames must be for comfortable seating.

Step 3 - Choose the Style of Metal Bar Stool to Make

bar stools at a breakfast bar

Based on your measurements, choose the style of metal bar stool you want to make. It can have a round, square, or octagonal seat, and operate with a half-circle swivel of 180 degrees or a full swivel of 360 degrees. Choose a bar stool with a seat back for swiveling stools. You can also choose a fixed style, with no swivel at all. These stools can be backless. Choose the metal finish, which should match the other metal hardware in your kitchen. As well, select your cushion fill shape, depth, and fabric to cover them. Allow twice the diameter or width of the seat cushion top for upholstery fabric.

Step 4 - Cut the Bar Stool Frame Pieces and Construct the Seat Frame

Cut all the leg pieces and the horizontal supports to the lengths desired. Construct the seat frame from the horizontal supports. The legs, swivel mechanism, and the seat base will be attached to it, so weld it securely.

Step 5 - Weld the Bar Stool Frames Together

Metal bar stool with wood seat

Weld tack the legs to the seat frame with the assembly upright to keep everything level and square, then add the cross pieces for the footrest together. The assembly can finally be properly welded at every joint. Attach the swivel base securely to the top of the frame, with bolts and nuts.

Step 6 - Assemble the Seat Cushions and Attach to Swivel Bases

Measure and cut the upholstery fabric carefully to allow at least four inches of overlap at the bottom of each cushion. Wrap the fabric snugly around each foam rubber cushion and its plywood base. Staple the fabric firmly to the plywood base with at least one staple every two inches. Screw the seat cushions to the swivel bases through pre-cut screw holes in the swivel plates.

Step 7 - Attach the Bar Stool Backs

Align the bar stool backs with the swivel bases and screw them to the bar stool seats. Place retainers on the screw spindles to hold the screws tightly.