Monday, June 22, 2009

More Upholstering

This little footstool has been living a gray existence since the early 80s. Now its living easy "being green". The best part of this project was that I learned much about the proper way to upholster by disassembling the old fabric (done by a professional).

The tools: slotted screwdriver, needle nose, tack hammer, electric staple gun, sewing machine loaded with upholstery thread for the piping, and 1.5 yards of upholstery.

Time: a couple of hours to muscle out various old staples in the disassembling. A couple more hours for reassembling. One half hour for cutting and sewing. Total = 4.5 hours.

Cost: under $8.60 -- the fabric was on sale with a 50% off coupon and using staples on hand. I reused the tacks since they were not rusty and of good sturdy quality.

Start at the bottom and remove the legs and non-woven bottom cloth. If you use a little care, you can save this to reuse. Then you just need to work your way around taking out all the staples and tacks that held the original fabric taut. (Pay attention to how it was applied because you're going to do this in reverse when you reassemble.) Don't remove the top padding. The sides were unattached and fell away -- save it.

Use the old fabric as a template for cutting out your new fabric pieces. If the piping is in good shape, pull out the cording to use in the new.

Place the top over the padding making sure to align any design. Tack along the sides, making boxed corners like wrapping a gift box. I used 3 tacks on the short sides and 4 on the long sides, not tacking in all the way. This is only to hold everything until you get it stapled.

Next, staple the top just along the bottom of the padding which folds over the sides. Be sure to keep the top nice and tight and straight. Keep in mind at this point, you need to staple below the imaginary line you'll be placing the piping around.

Sew the piping. Then sew the piping strip to the side panel along the same stitching line.

Re-apply the side padding as you place the side panels on The side panel is placed with the right side down and upside down. Hold the padding with a few staples so it doesn't shift while you pull the side panels down in place. Tack the sides on the underside along the seam line being generous with the tacking.

Fold the sides down (right side out) and position. At this point check that the piping is where you want it to be. Staple along the bottom, again keeping things nice and taut. Pull the excess to the underside and staple here and there to hold in place.

Replace the bottom covering with tacks. Replace the feet.
Now, sit down, admire your work, then put your feet up and enjoy.


  1. What a fantastic job you did on the stool. Being green it could live in my house. I have green in every room, I think. It's such a soothing color.

  2. Thanks, Julia. I'm really liking this color, too. We purchased new furniture last year for our living room and everything is yellow, so I've been accenting with green to try to lessen the beigeiness. Next, painting the walls....thinking green again:)

  3. Great job you did there! I'll have to refer to this if I attempt re-upholstering.

  4. Thanks Morumoto. When you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!


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