Large upholstered footstool corners

How to Reupholster a Footstool – A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you keen to take a foray into the world of DIY upholstery? Recovering a footstool could be the perfect way to try out reupholstery at home and hone your tack hammer skills.

A footstool is an often overlooked piece of versatile furniture for the home. Ideal as extra seating, a spot to put your feet up, or even as an ad-hoc occasional table, reupholstering a footstool can bring some newfound vibrancy to your space.

Whether you want to reupholster a footstool with buttons, piping, or just simple corners, Vinterior will provide you with everything you need to know. Follow our comprehensive step-by-step guide to ensure that recovering your footstool becomes the first of many successful reupholstery projects.

What materials do you need to reupholster a footstool?

Materials to reupholster a footstool
Just some of the equipment you’ll need to begin your footstool reupholstery project.

Gather together these materials and tools to ensure you’re ready to recover your footstool.

– Fabric
– Scissors
– Staple gun
– Stapler remover
– Foam
– Tacks
– Tacking gun
– Measuring taps
– Glue gun

Optional materials:

– Button covers and buttons
– Piping cord

How to recover your old footstool

Step 1: Remove the old fabric and foam

Old footstool
The perfect footstool reupholstery project for beginners | Seller: Wears Mid Century Furniture

Start by turning your old footstool upside down and remove any existing staples or nails using a staple remover. Then, carefully peel away the old fabric and foam from the footstool frame. At this point, you can clean and prep the frame by sanding or painting it if necessary.

Step 2: Cut the foam and fabric

Foam for footstool
An array of foam choices to choose for your footstool.

Choose a foam that is soft enough to be comfortable, yet strong enough to stand the test of time. Haberdashery shops and online retailers have plenty to choose from. Using measuring tape and scissors, cut your chosen piece of foam to the size of the top of the footstool, leaving about an inch of foam around the edges for wrapping. Then, cut a piece of fabric that is about 4 inches larger than the foam piece on all sides.

Step 3: Attach the foam to the frame

Reupholstered footstool
1950s footstool reupholstered using a playful print | Seller: Studio Alis

Place the foam on top of the frame, centring it and making sure it’s snug against the edges. Staple the foam to the frame, starting at the centre and working your way out to the corners. Make sure the foam is secure and there are no wrinkles or bumps.

Step 4: Attach the fabric to the frame

Footstool reupholstered
A small Kilim upholstered Turkish footstool | Seller: Vintage Pillow Store

Place the fabric right side down on a clean, flat surface and place the footstool on top of it, with the foam facing down. Fold the fabric over the edges of the frame and staple it in place, starting at the centre and working your way out to the corners. Make sure the fabric is smooth and wrinkle-free and staple it along the bottom edge of the frame.

And now for the trickier bits…

How to reupholster footstool corners

Large upholstered footstool corners
Large upholstered footstool | Seller: Colour Me KT

They might seem challenging but there’s a simple tactic to recovering corners. Cut a triangle-shaped piece of foam for each corner and attach it to the frame using staples. Then, cut two pieces of fabric, each in the shape of a trapezoid, with the top edge equal to the width of the corner foam and the bottom edge equal to the width of the frame. Staple one fabric piece to each side of the corner, wrapping the fabric around the foam and stapling it to the frame.

How to reupholster a footstool with buttons

Footstool with buttons
Innovative use of contrasting colour when reupholstering a footstool with buttons | Seller: Colour Me KT

Buttons can elevate your footstool, adding texture, style, and personality. Cut a piece of foam for the seat and attach it to the frame as described in Step 3. Then, cut a piece of fabric for the seat, leaving about 2 inches of excess fabric around all sides. Place button covers on the fabric, spacing them evenly and attaching them to the fabric by hand-sewing them. Finally, pull the fabric taut over the foam and frame and staple it in place, making sure to staple it around each button.

How to reupholster a footstool with piping

Blue piping adorning a reupholstered antique French footstool | Seller: Hutton Clarke Antiques

If you don’t secure piping to your footstool securely, it can begin to come away and ruin your newly upholstered piece of furniture. Simply, cut a piece of piping cord to the length of the perimeter of the seat and attach it to the fabric using a zigzag stitch or a hot glue gun.

From removing old fabric to adding the finishing button-tufted touches, you’re now armed with everything you need to reupholster a footstool. So, why not take the plunge and create a beautiful and functional piece of furniture that you can enjoy for years to come? Gather your materials, take your time, and have fun with your DIY reupholstery project.

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