Mexicanize Your Life: Bar Stools

I love Mexicanizing things in my home to brighten up the space and fill it with the vibrant colours that really represent Mexico to me. This weekend I embarked on a little project to Mexicanize some simple bar stools using Mexican oil-cloth and a lick of paint. It was super easy and I was pleased with the results, so I thought I would share the ‘how-to guide’ with all you Mexico lovers!

How to Make

What you will need: One basic wooden bar stool, a piece of foam (at least 1/2 inch wider than the seat of the stool), 1/2 meter Mexican oilcloth*, staple gun, glue, scissors, craft knife, marker pen, paint.


1) Measure the seat of the stool placing it on top of your foam, add an extra half inch all the way around and draw a circle with a marker pen

2) Cut out the foam with a craft knife or scissors (mine was not neat at all and it worked fine)

3) Pick the part of the fabric that you want to be on the top of your stool. Turn the fabric over and place the foam on that spot

4) Measure roughly 11 centimetres beyond the foam on each side and draw a circle connecting the dots. Don’t worry about being totally precise (this measurement may change depending on the size of your stool and width of your foam- essentially you want the material to reach underneath and to be stapled easily).

5) Cut out the circle with a pair of scissors

6) Glue the foam onto the stool seat with any wood glue

7)Place the cloth on top of the foam as you want it to look

8) Pull one side really tight and staple it to the bottom of the stool seat. Then do the same on the opposite side and then the top and the bottom.

9) Pull the fabric at the corners tightly underneath (you made need to make a crease in the material) and staple. Do this until all the material is stapled underneath and you have a nice circle shape

10) Test that all the fabric is taught. Any bits that are loose pull the tight and staple.

11)Paint the legs of the stool in the colour of your choice! (You may want to do this prior to making the cushion, especially if you plan to use spray paint).

12) ENJOY your wipe clean Mexicanized bar stool!


* Mexican oil-cloth is available all over Mexico. I bought mine at the local fabric store for $30 MXN per meter (2.50 USD/ £1.50). I have also noticed it for sale online at the following websites:

In Australia you can purchase it from Me Too Please

In the UK you can find it at and Viva La Frida

In the US you can find it Oilcloth International

I do hope the instructions are clear but feel free to contact me with questions and/or queries and I would love to see photos of any Mexicanized bar stools you guys make!

Photo Credit: Nikhol Esteras Photography
Susannah Rigg is a freelance writer and Mexico specialist. Her work has been featured in BBC Travel, CNN Travel, Conde Nast Traveler, AFAR and The Independent among others . Check out her portfolio here. Contact Susannah by email, info [at] mexicoretold [dot] com and join her on Instagram and Twitter.

2 thoughts on “Mexicanize Your Life: Bar Stools

  1. Love the vibrant colors. I have made reservations to visit Oaxaca in April 2014; which will be my first solo vacation! Traveling solo is something that I have dreamed of and now it’s going to happen! I will be looking to purchase some of the colorful oil cloth for an unyet identified DYI project. Enjoying wandering through you blog pages. Thanks.

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