Ikea Hack FROSTA stool – Leather and maple stain

Frost Ikea Stool Hack Before and After

For $15, who can resist buying one of these FROSTA stools from Ikea? I certainly couldn’t. For this kind of money, I also figured if I had a go at hacking it and ended up just hacking it up, it wouldn’t be a terrible loss.

Firstly I decided to turn the legs upside-down to have them join at the base rather than to the top. I cut off 8.5cm from two and 5cm off the other two from the ‘shoulder’ ends (in hind-sight, 8.5cm was a too much 7cm would have been better – maths has never been my strong suit). As the ‘ends’ of the stool legs are a bit rounded, I also cut a tiny bit off those ends too to make them flat. Then out came the trusty sander to take all the varnish off the legs and top.


I’m going to hold onto these little bits I cut off as I have a master plan brewing for a second stool which will need these. Also, I’m just a bit of a hoarder.


You know that expression ‘measure twice, cut once’. Yeah, pay attention to that. It’s good advise.

Next I drilled some holes in the tops and sides of the legs so that I could connect them all together into a cross at the base using those wooden stick thingies that I always seem to have left-over after I build Ikea furniture. I also made the four existing holes in the base of the round seat bigger so they could fit the wooden thingies too. (Very exciting news – I heard that Ikea have a little section after the check-outs where you can pick up extra screws and wood thingies. I’m pretty excited to check that out.)

So I wear a skirt and florals when I drill. Don't judge me.

So I wear a skirt and florals when I drill. Don’t judge me.


Not exactly OHS work boots there.

Then I stained all the parts with some ‘Maple’ stain. This should have been the easiest part, but was my undoing. I got a little stain-happy and did 3 coats, to which my husband commented that the stool looked like it had been for a bad spray tan. Seeing as I’ve never been a big fan of the fake tan look, I then sanded everything back again and this time just did one light coat. Much better.

maple stain  IMG_7096

I used PVA wood glue around all the joins (because it’s strong, dries clear and is really fun to peel off your hands when it dries).

IMG_7106 IMG_7107 IMG_7105

I did 2 coats of matte varnish over the whole thing to make it look more professional than ‘crafty’.

IMG_7110Speaking of crafty… I then used some leather strap that I ordered from Etsy and with the same glue, placed a cross over the base to hide the original holes and around the edges of the seat.

IMG_7111 IMG_7112 leather accents stoolSo there it is. Ikea stool turned one-of-a-kind side table.

IMG_7121 ikea frosta stool hack

Check out the inspiration behind this Ikea Hack.

You’ll need:

Dog not included.


Left over leather from this project? Check out my Leather Key Fob left-overs project.


5 thoughts on “Ikea Hack FROSTA stool – Leather and maple stain

  1. Darlene says:

    My heart actually went pit-a-pat when I saw that awesome sidetable. Having been to Ikea last weekend and looking at the stools , but unfortunately not buying, this will be my next purchase. Now added to my long “to do” list. I can hardly wait to get my hands on them. Thank you so much for the “how to” .


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