Monday, July 12, 2010

How to reupholster a footstool - please critique my method!

I bought this cute little footstool at a garage sale - it's an inexpensive catalog-store type item, and it originally had a brocade upholstery. Cute, but not my style. When I saw this black and white paisley material, I couldn't wait to pair it with the dark wood of the footstool...but to my surprise, I got tired of it quickly. It could have to do with the "re-do" of the nook described in my earlier post, which called for a lighter look. Here's how I achieved the look I wanted:

I removed the screws from the top (or lid) so that I could work with it separately.

Using a pair of needle-nose plyers, I removed all the staples from my previous upholstering.

To re-cover the lid with new fabric, I cut a piece using the old piece as a template. If you decide not to remove the old fabric, you can use the item you are reupholstering as a template, adding 1.5 -2 inches of excess fabric around the entire perimeter so you have enough to staple to the back. Pull taut, but not so tight that fabric will rip or wrinkle, and staple. The corners can be tricky - try wrapping them as you would a present with wrapping paper - check the front for folds or creases before you staple.

One of the legs was a little wobbly, and the wood around the screw was stripped, so I added some wood glue to stabilize it. In hindsight, next time I will also add some wood filler, as the glue wasn't enough by itself.

I sprayed the base a bright white (two coats, about 1/2 hour between coats)

re-attached the lid, and voila!!

How'd I do?? For other newbies like me, I hope this was helpful. For those of you talented folks out there (and I've seen a lot of you!!)...PLEASE CRITIQUE!! I'd really love to get your feedback!

Thanks, and until next time...have a great week!
Mona Kay


  1. Mona! You've done it again, I thought the original upholstery was nice, now it's gorgeous!

  2. Thanks Arlene!! The look was inspired by all those gorgeous pictures you've been displaying on your blog!! ;)

  3. I'm hear from Brenda's Cozy Little House. Love your projects.

  4. I think it looks much cuter now!! I think that the only thing I would do is chip up the paint a bit to give it a shabby look to compliment that cottage fabric. Brenda sent me over to give you a big hello! I am so happy to meet you and am your newest follower. I hope that you will come visit me when you get a chance.

    Susan and Bentley

  5. 100 % cuter than the original! I'm going to be on the lookout for footstools now. I can't wait to 'do' one! Thanks for the info!

  6. Hi Cyndi and Susan & Bentley...thanks for stopping by!

    Susan & Bentley, thanks for the advice about chipping up the paint, I think that's a great idea, it would give it a great look & a little more character...I'm going to try it! Checking out your blogs now :)

  7. Found you from sweet Brendas post and happy that I did.
    I am now your newest follower and looking forward to learning a lot from your site.
    Can't wait to see what you do with the table in the previous post because I have one just like it. It belonged to my granddad and I want so bad to do something with it.
    Take care

  8. Love love love the white one. Looks great. And by the way, the neenish tarts are all cream inside and are pure delish!

  9. Maggie: I can't wait to work on that table - my mother used to have one in the family too :) I think it is going to'll never guess...WHITE! I just can't stay away from white. Perhaps as a change, it will be a very pale ice-blue - I'll post pics when I can (when it cools off in NJ) Thanks so much for stopping by!

    Simone, my mouth is watering!! Always great to see you, and thanks for your nice words about the new look!

  10. I'm popping over here from Brenda's, and I think you did a great job and a great tutorial! I love finding things at garage sales and flea markets and fixing them up, so I know I'm going to enjoy your blog!
    Happy Sunday!

  11. I love the black and white paisley foot stool. So cute! You inspired me big time.

  12. Carol: I love your blog! Plus, we have the exact same taste in movies :)

  13. Vickie...LOVE your projects too! You have a really great blog!

  14. I just did a google search for reupholstering a small foot stool. I clicked on your link and was surprised to find the exact same stool...even the same fabric that I bought at the thrift store for $2! I had to take the fabric off of mine because it was pretty nasty. I also added 2" foam to make it more comfortable. I'm just beginning the whole process. Glad I was able to see yours. It turned out very nice.