Re-fashioning the footstool


The original footstool created for Machine Embroidery Magazine


After 9 years of use, the footstool was ready to give up the ghost.

Nine years ago, I created a project for Cameron’s room. A fantastic shaped footstool, made of denim, with embroidery all around it.  It was so handy, that instead of leaving it in Cameron’s room, we brought it out to the loungeroom, and used it every day ourselves.

After 9 years of every day use, the footstool began to disintegrate, and was looking very tatty, so this week I embarked on a project to rejuvenate the footstool. I still had a little of the same fabric left, and since it wore so well, I figured I would use it again.  With new designs to show a more modern, family room look, I am very happy with the results.


This project was a little bit of a challenge for me, as when I created the first one, my friend Rita assisted me in making the stool. Rita was trained in the 60’s as an upholster, and is a genius at anything like this.  So for this project, I was on my own, so now I have a real sense of achievement.

Old stool – the stool itself is still perfectly in shape, it is made of a plywood base, with solid metal legs and an 8 inch layer of dense foam. All of these parts were in good enough condition to re-use.

Step 1 – Pull Apart.

The first step was to pull the fabric off the stool. I removed the feet and set them aside (with the screws), and began the process of pulling all of the staples out (there were so many!!!)

Measure the circumference.  The circumference of my cushion is 164cm. The denim that I am using is 150cm wide.  I therefore had to cut two strips of denim for the outside of the footstool.  A mistake that I made when I created the first footstool was not cutting a wide enough piece of fabric.  This time around, I cut the fabric 11 inches wide, making the fabric simple to hoop.  After joining the two pieces of denim together, I drew a line in tailors chalk down the centre of the fabric, to allow me to hoop the fabric evenly.


The embroidery on the denim was actually quite easy. I chose the new Watercolour collection, as I was after a subtle design that still left the footstool soft and malleable.  The Watercolour collection is also quick to stitch, meaning I didn’t spend a week creating the footstool.

Once the embroidery was complete, I trimmed the top of the panel to 4.5 inches. This gives me enough fabric for a seam allowance, and half of the height of the design.  Make sure that you don’t trim the bottom edge of the fabric, as you will need this to pull around the base and staple.

In a contrasting fabric, I have then cut 3 inch bias strips from a thick cotton fabric. Once I joined the bias strips to form a strip approximately 180cm long, I have then created the piping by feeding encasing piping rubber within the bias strips.  I used my zipper foot to stitch close to the piping edge.

Whilst I was cutting, I took the base of the footstool, and traced it onto an extra piece of denim. Add the 1.5cm seam allowance, before cutting out the top piece.

From here, it was as simple as to join the piping to the top of the footstool, and the sides to the top and piping. Once all of the seams were matched, I stuffed the foam into the new cover, before adding the plywood panel.  I borrowed Darling Husbands staple gun, and stapled the sides onto the plywood.  I then replaced the top panel covering up all of the fabric, before screwing the legs back on (to be honest, Darling Husband did that part).


I am so happy with the way this turned out, and I am enjoying using this stool just as much as the old one.


Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day.  Julie.

Related Posts

1 Comment

  • Reply
    January 5, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Great job! It looks great!!

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    %d bloggers like this: