Saturday, July 21, 2012

How soft is your stool?

Ew! Get your mind out of the gutter!  I am not pulling a Dr. Oz and talking about your poop.  {That's right, I said poop!} I mean your foot stool!  I'm having a wee dilemma with mine...  A while back I mentioned stopping for a stool on the side of the road...

I have since reupholstered the little guy and he's lookin' better... but not great.

First, ignore the crud on the ground... then, let me show you how I covered 'im.

I skipped a couple steps {oops- bad blogger} but all you missed was stripping it down- which was filled with straw by the way.  It must have been in Mister Ed's man-cave!  Needless to say, I threw it all away as fast as possible.  All I was left with was a the legs and the round wood base to screw them into. 

I bought an 18" square of 2" high density foam and 1 yard of cotton dacron.  I traced the wood base of the stool onto the foam then cut it out with a bread knife.  If you have an electric knife it works even better!  And yes I mean this kind of electric knife....

They work GREAT on foam rubber!  Just watch those fingers.  This stool is only a good addition to the house if you have all your fingers afterwards.   Once I had my foam cut to size, I took it outside {for ventilation purposes} and used spray adhesive to attach it to the original wood base of the stool.

It's okay if your foam cut isn't perfect, it will mold to shape with the addition of the dacron.  Then lay the dacron the exact opposite way than I have it pictured here.  Lay it on the dacron with the wood side up.

Pull the darcon over the foam and onto the wood and staple.  Here is where the trick is... you're going to imagine its a pie and imagine it in 4 slices-  pull tight {but not to tight, you don't want to tear the dacron} and staple on opposite points.  From there, split each pie slice in half and staple opposite points again. Keep repeating this until you have the dacron fully adhered and you have a nice smooth surface on the top of your cushion.

When stapling be aware of where your legs screw in.  You don't want to staple over the pre-made screw holes.  Once all stapled, trim nice and close to the staples.

Now if you want just a simple stool without any piping, repeat those steps with your chosen fabrics and add your legs and you are done!  I couldn't make my own life easy, so I decided to add piping.   I cut a circle about 1/2 inch larger than the size of the ottoman base, to accommodate for seam allowance.   This will be the top of your ottoman.  I also cut a 5" wide strip of fabric that was the diameter of the ottoman base plus 1" also for seam allowance.  This will be the side of your ottoman.  And the last element to produce the cover is the piping.  I stitched my piping out of my fabric, but if you were to use another fun patterned fabric, it would look fabulous with a solid pre-made piping.  {Coats and Clark has really picked up their game with colors on their accessories lately!}

Start stitching the piping {with a zipper foot to get as close to the piping as possible} a few inches extra unstitched.  Be sure the outer edge of the circle with the fold {the piped part} facing the inside of the circle.  Once you get all the way around, bend the start of the piping {that was left loose} away from the edge and make an X with the remaining end of the piping.  Stitch these down together, creating a nice clean ending to the piping.

Next, stitch together the ends of the long strip of fabric, right sides together, to fit the diameter of the circle.  You will be left with a loop.  Sandwich the loop you just made and the circle, right sides together. Your piping will be the filling of your fabric sandwich!  Stitch down and as you go, start clipping the seam allowance of the loop, to help it release and ease together.  Be careful not to clip through your seam, or you will have a hole!  The picture above is how it will be left.  I like to line up the seams of the piping with the seam of the sides.

Flip this right side out and its ready to apply to your ottoman base.  Slip this over the base, with the cushion side up.

Repeat the steps you took to apply the dacron. Imagine a pie in quarters, pull very tight {this time much tighter, since you wont be risking tearing the fabric and staple.   Keep dividing in half and staple until you have a nice smooth surface on the top.

Again, keep in mind where your screw holes are and be sure not to cover them with your staples and/or fabric.  Trim excess fabric. Now, if you were to professionally refinish a stool you would add cambric {the black fabric that you often see on the bottom of an upholstered piece of furniture} which prevents dust collection and helps it look more cleanly finished...  But a) I didn't have any and b) this isn't hollow on the inside, so really no dust will collect anyway.

So there you have it! I reupholstered my trash pick!

I have to admit... after looking at it though, I don't love it.  Isn't that sad? I might rework it.  I want to add a second layer of 2" foam so it doesn't look quite as spaceship-like.  I have enough fabric that I can do that but we'll see how motivated I am.  For now, its a comfy addition to our chair and I am reaping its benefits as I write this!  

Hope you all are having a superb weekend!


  1. Great post! I love tutorials like this, and an upholstery one from you is really fantastic. The stool is adorable!

  2. I think it looks cute! Long time no see, blog friend.


Heya Nesters! I always love your feedback! So dish, because we all want to hear it! <3