A week or so ago, I showed you that red and cream checked stool in my master bedroom closet, and I told you I would make a tutorial on how I recovered it. So today’s post is your promised tutorial, but I have to warn you…I am NOT a professional…not even close…which means a couple of things: I will probably use sewing terms and sewing methods incorrectly. But on the flip side, my beginner status means that if I can do it, anyone can do it.
I started with this plain Jane footstool that I purchased on sale from Target. It was actually available in a nice neutral khaki color, but the wooden legs on that style were darker, and because I was using lighter wood hangers in the closet, I wanted lighter wood legs. (All about the details, right? 🙂 )
My first step was to prepare the piping/welt/cording…not sure what all of you call this, but for the sake of continuity in this post, I am going to just call it cording. Okay? It took about 4 yards of the cording to trim out around the top and bottom of the stool. When using a check fabric to cover it, I really like to cut the fabric on the diagonal. It looks better on the piece. I laid it out and wrapped a width of the fabric around it to see how wide the strips needed to be. (See..not professional at all.)
Then I cut out a number of long pieces until I felt I had enough to cover 4 yards in length.
The next job was to sew the ends of the long pieces together. I don’t really know how to explain the angle of how I overlapped the pieces but you can see it in the photo. (If you are a visual learner that should help.) I imagine you could sew the ends simply straight across, and it would be fine.After making long strips of the fabric, I wrapped it around the cording, and sewed it close. Do notice the position of the needle. You want your stitching to be as close to the cording as you can get it so that it will be tight around it.
Then the fun began. I measured the top of the footstool, and after positioning the fabric like I wanted it on the top of the stool, I cut out a rectangle 17 1/2 x 19 1/2. This was about 1 inch longer on each side than the measurement of the top. I then pinned the fabric covered cording to the piece of fabric (not to the stool.) By doing it with it sitting on top of the stool, I was able to better position the cording.
After it was pinned all the way around, I sewed the cording to the fabric rectangle and removed the pins. This is how it looked at that point.
That took care of the top. Then it was time to work on the sides. I cut 2 pieces 7 1/2 x 20 inches and 2 pieces 7 /12 X 17 inches. I tried my best to get the check patterns to match up, but remember I was working with a leftover scrap of material. There was no way to match all of the pattern with the little piece of cloth I had. (I think I now have a scrap of about 2 inches by 5 inches left!) After laying right sides together on top of the rectangle, I sewed it around all the sides. (Yes, it is laying on top of the cording.)
When the sewing was finished, it looked like this.
I then folded it and put the right sides together at the corners to stitch up.
When that sewing was finished, I slipped the whole “skirt” on top of the stool to check for fit. I could have simply hemmed it at this point to make it like a slip cover and leave it on there like that. That would have been good for having it cleaned.But I wanted it to be more upholstery than slipcover, so I wrapped it under the edges and used my staple gun to staple it down on the underside of the stool.
The final step was to hot glue the trim cording around the bottom of the stool on the edge of the underside.
And here is how it looked all finished.
Just a reminder of the before and after…
and here is a snapshot of all the steps in one photo.
I hope you were able to follow all my amateureness. It really is not difficult to do if you have a sewing machine, staple gun, and glue gun. I do not sew clothing. That sewing machine (which is actually my mom’s and we share it) is used for house projects around here…drapes, pillows, napkins, etc. (but I did take the ever invaluable home ec class in school. 🙂 ) Is sewing becoming a lost art? How many of you own a sewing machine and sew? Just curious.
We’d love to hear!