Upholstered Footstool {Ballard Design Knock Off}

1:27 PM

Ballard Design Knock Off:
Classic Footstool

I like getting the Ballard Design catalog.  It's nice because, unlike Pottery Barn, they keep sending you their catalog even if you never buy anything...at least so far.
I noticed in the last few catalogs, these tiny footstool/ ottomans in lots of different shots.  They were cute, but not worth $129 bucks.
They had them in the bedroom next to the bed, in the living room, under the desk in the office. 
But this shot reminded of me of the chairs I reupholstered in my living room.
Then I remembered this little stool I'd bought at the thrift store a few weeks ago for $3.00 that I didn't have a plan for.

So in less than an hour, I had an upholstered little footstool.  All the foam, batting, and fabric were scraps I already had, so the entire project only cost me $3.00, which makes me like it even more.  Luckily I had a scrap large enough from upholstering my State Legislature chairs, so I decided to make the footstool for them.

What's nice is the fact these are so small, they can tuck right under the chair when not in use so they are out of the way so you won't trip over them.

So here's the quick steps to make your own upholstered baby footstool.

-stool base
-paint for legs if desired
-2 or 3" thick foam
-staple gun

I found my little guy at the thrift store for $3.00, but you could always make your own using a piece of 2x12 for the base, then buying the legs with screw plates.  My stool is 10.75" square, but the Ballard Design is more like 12x15".  So if you make your own stool, it can be a little bigger.
Also, for the ottoman/ footstool look I prefer the legs coming straight down, rather than at an angle on my stool. Also, there's more options to pick your own legs if you made your own stool.

I chose to paint the legs of my stool ivory.  I chose to use spray paint for even coverage, and speed.  I used white spray paint primer, then 2 layers of ivory spray paint for the legs, letting it dry 10 min between coats. 
I had 1" foam scraps that I used rather than buying 2" thick foam. Because my foam was pieced together (the top layer was one solid square), I actually used Elmer's glue to glue the foam to the stool, then the top foam to the other layer.
But just layer the big piece of batting, foam, then stool.  
Wrap the batting up around the edges and staple in place. 
I didn't cut out the corner of the batting, but just folded it on itself in the corners to further pad the wood edge. 
You could just fold the corners as you staple it on, so you wouldn't have to sew.
But to get the nice rounded look from the fancy footstools, I chose to sew the corners to achieve the smooth rounded look.
The following are my measurements for my stool, but I included them in case you wanted them as a guide for your own.

My stool was 10.75" square on all sides.  So the bottom of my fabric cover needed to be 10.75" on each side.  I decided that the top of the corner needed to be 3/4" less than the base.
So the top of the cushion would end up being 10" square, and the base would wrap around the wood at 10.75" square.

To measure this on my fabric scrap, I folded it in fourths (shown in red), giving me the center point as a reference.  So I first measured 5" out from the center to mark the top square that is 10" on each side.
Then from the quarter fold at the edges, I measured the 5 3/8".  The finished edge is 10.75, so half of that is 5 3/8".
So when you mark each corner, it is actually a slight curve, (shown in blue)

So with right sides together, you sew the curve on each corner.  It's a slight curve, the top only 3/8" smaller than the base.  The difference from the 10" top of the cushion to the 10.75" base of cushion is the 3/4", so the curve is half that measurement, 3/8" difference. 

Once your corners are sewn, you'll have a cushion cover with the corners poking out. 

To help the cover fit snug, I serged the ears of the corners off.  You could zig-zag and then trim, or just trim as it will be hidden and not fray. 

Stretch your fabric cushion cover over the stool, lining up the corner seams and making sure it has a tight fit.
Then you just staple the fabric around and to the bottom of the stool.
**Make sure you pull the fabric tight enough the corners round nicely around the foam/batting**
I started on one corner, then pulled the fabric tight and stapled the opposite corner.  Then did the other corners opposite each other.  Then I just had to staple in between the corners around the edges. 

Just a quick project, a good beginner project if you're new to upholstery.
I've been trying it out, and what started just as a decorative piece, has turned into a really useful footrest.  It's a much better height then before when I'd put my feet up on the coffee table.  It's padded too.

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  1. Very cute! (And so are your babies!) :)

  2. Thanks for a brilliant tutorial! The corners part had always flummoxed me before!

  3. I love it. Aren't you suppose to be recovering? :)

  4. Super cute! My boss knows I sew and brings me random odds & ends, so I've ended up with some squares of upholstery padding and now I know what to use it for.

  5. I just wanted to let you know that I tried your dragon tail tutorial. I am a very beginner sewer but I just had to try this for my twin nephews. They turned out great! (if you don't look too close at my crooked seams)When you said 'use non-stretchy material', you weren't kidding. I did and man what a pain in the butt! But it did turn out.. I had to go back and put some stuffing in the largest of the spikes to get them to stand up but they turned out great! Can't wait to give them to the boys for Easter!! Thank you so much for such a great tut!


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