About a year ago, I came across this little gem sitting rejected at the curb while on a walk with Pashicakes. At the time, it had all four legs. Leather! Piping! I’m telling you, it was true love and it had to come home with me.

Once at home, I realized the (fake) leather upholstery, although delicately embossed with a flower reminiscent of 1976, had a tear that just couldn’t-be-fixed. And then a leg fell off. And I thought to myself, “Self – what kind of troubled little footstool did you just adopt?”

It had to be rehabilitated. And really, upholstery is just a fancy word for folding and stapling fabric in a new way. It’s do-able! In fact, I did it – a year after dragging it home! Want to know how I did it? BEFORE AND AFTER GOODNESS.

1. Take it apart and don’t panic when it looks horrendous. I removed the legs, then tore off the old pleather cover. When you remove the old fabric, keep it as nice as you can.

If the batting is in gross shape/has a living fungus in it/has turned a strange color/etc now would be the time to replace it. My batting was fungus free, so it stayed!

2. Survey the old fabric, and learn it’s secrets. I cut at the seams, and then used the old pieces as a pattern for the new fabric. Whew, look at that orange and brown combo – what a, um, bold choice!

3. At this point, you’ll probably have to make your dog a Kong so she’ll leave you alone. Do your pets do this? Whenever I’m sitting on the floor, Pashicakes thinks I’m lounging about for her sake.

And yes, I did get my hair cut! Thank you for noticing! But it’s still quite long – don’t be fooled by the layers.

4. Now that you have some peace and quiet and the dog is preoccupied by peanut butter, using the old fabric trace your new pattern and cut, giving yourself a 1″ seam allowance.

In the end, I had one large piece that would comprise the top of the footstool, and then 4 separate strips that would make up the sides.ย The old footstool had rounded corners, but I figured that was a complication I could live without. I went for square edges and planned on folding them hospital-bed-style when I put it all together.

I sewed all the pieces together, eyeballing it as best as I could so that the seams would lie right on the edge. Better bloggers probably take measurements. Pshaw, I say to measurements!

5. When it lays properly, staple! Do you have a staple gun? You’ll need one, and you’ll love it. It’s addicting. I now want to staple everything to something.

Make sure you hem the edges BEFORE you staple. I forgot until the whole thing was adhered together and ended up modge-podging the strangly bits. Functional, but not ideal.

Oh, back to stapling! I put a couple of staples in each side to secure the fabric, and then went about finagling the corners. Once the corners are secure, go back and finish stapling the sides.

6. And staple some more!

7. Re-attach the legs, and rejoice. It’s finished!

Total cost? Something around 8 bucks, and that was just the 1/2 yard of fabric I needed (I used outdoor canvas, although wouldn’t oil cloth also be fantastic?).



Filed under Before / After, Buying other people's things

7 responses to “UPHOLSTERED. Craft Win.

  1. I love it! So Crafty! Also I was wondering if, during your recent encounter with Morgan, you convinced her that her life is indeed interesting enough for a blog!?! Just wondering..

  2. Very nice! I feel like I could possibly turn in to a fanatic upholster-er if I got started…. Oh the possibilities. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. great job! I like your choice in fabric. I made pillow covers for S.Reynolds in that pattern in blue.

  4. Oh my gosh, that looks incredible! I wish my husband would let me adopt curbside upholstery projects. (Oh wait. He doesn’t live in this country this year – hmmmm…) I’m more impressed than you will ever believe, because even when I take lots of measurements I end up with wonky sides and other such oddities.

    Also, the piping on the sides is probably difficult to achieve without a sewing machine, but is REALLY easy with one. If you decide to do that someday, let me know. I know of a fantastic youTube tutorial on just how to do it.

  5. OH, and great fabric choice! So bright and pretty!

    And lucky you that the foam was still good – I recently discovered that new foam is incredibly expensive. Boo.

  6. I LOOOOOVE that fabric!! Good choice!

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