Repurposing a Small Footstool with a Wooden Cutting Board

Repurposing a Small Footstool with a Wooden Cutting Board

I don’t buy much thrift store furniture for upcycling projects, simply because I usually repurpose small items from the housewares section. But I couldn’t pass up this small footstool that I saw the other day. Its rush seat was unraveling, but I could tell it had good bones and was a nice piece of primitive furniture. So, I decided to try my hand at repurposing it.

Small footstool with a rush seat that needs to be replaced

It was short, squat, and sturdy- just like me! So I felt an immediate kinship to it, ha-ha.

Even though its rush seat was unraveling and falling out in clumps, the rest of it was perfectly fine, if not a little scuffed up. Since it was heavy and had good bones, I just needed to refurbish it a little.

My plan was to restore it as a farmhouse footstool to match our painted bedroom set that was inspired by this window frame decor project:

Framed doilies as shabby chic wall decor

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Removing the Rush Seat on a Small Footstool

First, I needed to just plain undo the rush seat. It was crumbling in my fingertips, so I knew it was going to be a messy job.

Vintage footstool with a rush seat that needs to be removed

So, I grabbed some packing paper I had saved, my heavy duty craft scissors, and started to remove the rush seat.

Removing the rush seat on a low footstool for furniture restoration

When the rush seat had been completely removed from the small foot stool, I was left with a perfectly good base. Now it was ready for a complete transformation!

Small footstool after the rush seat had been removed for painting

Next, Mr. Seasonoods took off a sliver from each leg, creating a flat and universally even surface on the tops. Then, I gave the small footstool a farmhouse makeover with some chalky spray paint (specifically, thus one).

Upcycling a wooden footstool into a farmhouse footstool with chalked spray paint

After the spray paint had dried, it was time to add a new top to the small footstool.

Using a Wooden Cutting Board to Restore a Vintage Footstool

Enter…an old cutting board from my stash of thrift store boards. You KNOW I can’t pass up a good cutting board while thrifting!

And this one was just the right size to sit on top of the small footstool. I had already sanded it down before taking this photo. Trust me, it didn’t look that good at first!

Replacing the rush seat of a vintage footstool with a wooden cutting board

See how awesome the cutting board works on top, though? It’s nearly a perfect fit- it hangs off each edge just enough to make it look like it was custom made.

But it’s been sitting in my garage for nearly a year!

Transforming a wooden footstool into farmhouse furniture with a cutting board

In order to coordinate with our bedroom furniture, I needed to stain the cutting board.

I used a stain dark enough to contrast the base of vintage footstool, but not dark enough to lose the wood grain. I used this wood stain to do so, as I already had on hand. 

Wood Stain in English chestnut on a wooden cutting board to go on a low footstool

And yes, I stained both sides of the wooden cutting board and allowed the stain to cure. 

Next, I lightly distressed the small footstool and then gave it and my cutting board top a buffing of clear furniture wax. To attach the board to the small footstool, I used wood glue before driving in some finishing nails to keep it firmly in place.

Restoring a small footstool that had a rush seat with a wooden cutting board

Restoring a Small Footstool with a Wooden Cutting Board

And just like that, my small footstool looked like a brand new piece of farmhouse furniture!

It’s perfectly coordinated with out farmhouse bedroom and will be a cute addition to the set.

Farmhouse footstool that was restored with a wooden cutting board

I’ll probably use our small footstool to hold a stack of magazines or books. But I’m just so thrilled at how it turned out!

From a couple of thrift store misfits to this! Makes me want to check out thrift store furniture more often…

Restoring a vintage footstool as farmhouse furniture with chalked spray paint

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for farmhouse furniture, then you’ll love this windmill decor that I made from ceiling fan blades!

And for more upcycling ideas for cutting boards, this collection of projects will DEFINITELY inspire you!

cutting board ideas

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Christina in FL says

    Sarah, this little stool is, now, sooo stinkin’ cute! You did a lovely job of making this stool shine! Thanks for all the details!
    Create on!!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, Christina!!! I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that no one gets bad at me for painting him… 😉

      • Who cares if they get mad, it is yours to do as you please and some people need to learn that concept, what I tell them is this, “you are getting angry at the wrong people, you should be upset with the ones who abuse the furniture, paint can be removed, abuse cannot. Keep up the good works, you rock. I love the stool, you married two unusable pieces and made one stunning useful stool/table.

        • Sadie Seasongoods says

          Thanks, Ellen! (And I responded to your question about attaching the cutting board to the stool- hopefully you’ll see it. 🙂 )

  2. Wow, brilliant! Yes, very little money very well spent!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you so much, Carole! It’s a pretty awesome, transformation, right? Of course, I’m 100% biased… 😉

  3. Love it!

  4. Barbara M says

    You nailed it! Thanks for sharing your creativity!

  5. Nifty neato, I say! ?

  6. Margaret Fretwell says


  7. very sweet !!!

  8. chris aka monkey says

    this is such a fine use of old things turned into a new thing, and i love your use of words like swimmingly xx

  9. christykjames says

    What a perfect match and so cute now!! Don’t you love when things just come together like that?? Definitely Crafting kismet. 🙂

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Hey, girl!! Yes, I definitely do- especially when crafting kismet happens from the stash in my garage, LOL. 😉

  10. Can’t beat that price, for sure! Great Goodwill score but even more awesome is that you had a wood cutting board that fit for a seat. Pinned.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      It really was a marriage made in Goodwill, like you said on FB! I’m 99% sure that’s where the cutting board came from…I have a whole stockpile of them. #bloggerproblems

  11. Question, did you put the screws through the top, into the cutting board?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Hi, Ellen! Actually, I used wood glue because I’m not using it to sit or step on (discussed in the blog post)- but yes, that’s what I would have done if I had wanted to use it in that function. 🙂

  12. Barbara Redman says

    “Don’t Throw it Away” ! ! ! I bought that book in back in the last century. Still have it. Glad to see someone else is a fan.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I found it in a used bookshop!!! I just love older crafting books…no matter how “outdated” it is, there are still great tips and ideas to be used today. 🙂

  13. How cute, I love it! I have a thing for stools so I would have picked it up too!


  14. So darn clever, you are! Love it.

  15. Mary-The Boondocks Blog says

    Great save Sarah! I was wondering what you were going to do with all that rope. It looked like such a hopeless mess before.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      It literally disintegrated in my hands, Mary!! It was indeed a hopeless (and dust-creating) mess! 🙂

  16. Great redo and stools are so useful.

  17. Sarah, I love how you redid this stool! I’m a big fan of the white paint and dark stain combo. That’s really neat that the cutting board was just the perfect fit for the bottom of the stool. It looks great!

  18. Vert well spent money indeed. The transformation is amazing. It has a sort of vintage air. You did a great job.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you so very much, Cristina! It’s definitely a vintage piece- probably from the 30s or 40s based on what I could find online. But I’m glad it still has a vintage look to it today, even with its makeover. 🙂

  19. Sarah – this turned out beautiful!! I love what you do with your treasures – Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY Party!

  20. I think you might actually be a genius!

  21. Cute! I would have passed it by! I even liked the wood color before the stain!

  22. It worth spending on this project. I’m a big fan of retro style so I’m so in love with your project. HAHA. Btw, after reading your trip to Bristol, I stopped by, then have some little cute things. HAHAH.
    Happy Spring, Sadie!

  23. Oh, my! That was a sad little stool! Terrific transformation! Thank you for sharing at Dishing It & Digging It!

  24. Way to creatively repurpose! I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have thought of this! Thanks for sharing at Family Joy Blog linkup.

  25. acraftymix says

    Oh she looks perfect Sarah. I absolutely love the fact that you let the natural grain of the wood shine through on the top and let subtle hints of her true nature show through on her gorgeous stumpy legs. Gorgeous

  26. Wonderful makeover. You saved that little guy. Thank you for sharing it at Vintage Charm.

  27. You definitely breathed new life into this one! This is the size I’d like to have in our guest room. I got a kick out of seeing the rotary phone also. I tried to explain how we used telephones “in the old days” to my granddaughter and she thought it was hilarious. Kids I tell ya! Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story, have a great weekend.

  28. This turned out beautifully Sarah! I am completely in love with the mix of wood, cream and that beautiful blue <3 <3 <3. Thanks so much for linking it up to the Inspiration Galore Project party last week. You are one of my Features tomorrow over at Recreated Designs. Pinned and shared.

  29. Great idea Sarah!!! I love that you made a wooden top on this cute stool!

  30. Gorgeous repurpose! I love how you gave this sad little footstool new life! 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing this at the Farmhouse Friday link party! I’ve chosen it as one of the features for tomorrow’s party 🙂

  31. I had a very similar stool. I had some extra foam so I made a “slipcover topper”. I came out really well. I wanted to send a picture. How do I do that?

  32. So cute!?????

  33. I’m in love with this project! I’ll never pass up a sad little stool again! Thanks for the inspiration!

  34. You never cease to amaze me! I love how you save old pieces 🙂

  35. Great makeover, many years still left in this stool. You did a great job

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