Old Footstool, New Look

Awhile back I picked up this blue velvet foot stool at the Pregnancy Support Group store for around $20. I liked the look of it and am always looking for a place to rest my feet (or laptop) while working on the couch since I don’t use a coffee table.

2013_11_29 (13)The problem was it was not so comfortable. The batting along the edges were worn down so your ankles often hit right on the wood frame.

It wasn’t looking great either. The velvet tufting picked up dog hair like no other, often leaving little divot hairballs on the top. And the legs were pretty dinged up so the walnut coloring was messy.

Then this happened:

2013_11_29 (14)

I spent Friday tearing it apart using a screwdriver and needle nose pliers to take out all of the staples around the frame. There were hundreds. They all sucked. I poked a few holes in my fingers.

Once I got through the first few layers of velvet I was able to examine the base. Part of the problem was the bottom was held up by a piece of cardboard which was really wimpy and allowing the batting to push through the bottom.

2013_11_29 (16)The batting was pretty gross, it was falling apart and left my carpet really messy. I ended up tossing all of the material in the trash, not needed it as a template. This is the new fabric I’ll be using instead:

2013_11_30 (09)To do the padding I started with a $9 twin sized mattress egg crate that I picked up during the cheap college sales at Wal-Mart in the fall. I cut the crate into 3 parts which immediately became attractive to Nixon:

2013_11_30 (03)Instead of keeping these as doggy yoga mats, I decided to use them.  The 2 end pieces were wrapped over a piece of MDF and stapled in:

2013_11_30 (06)This piece forms the base which gets nested into the frame. Before I show you that, let’s talk about the frame.

I had the frame sanded and then stained in ebony, I rubbed it down and it looked so much richer than the former walnut color.

The legs got 2 coats of stain, sanded lightly in between. After the stain dried I covered them with a thin coat of poly to protect them from scratching.

2013_11_30 (10)Here’s the first set of padding on the frame:

2013_11_30 (11)As you can tell, this is not quite enough to really cushion around the edges of the wood frame. To finish off the cushion I added a bunch of poly fill around the edges for extra padding:

2013_11_30 (13)Yes, I know it looks ridiculous. After this step I wrapped the last 1/3 of the egg crate and then covered the whole thing in batting. Much better, nice and smooth!

2013_11_30 (14)Finally it was time to work with the REAL fabric. I laid the fabric down on the carpet then centered the foot stool to begin wrapping the fabric.

2013_11_30 (15)With chevron fabric I wanted to make sure it was even otherwise my OCD would come out to play.

2013_11_30 (16)I thought about edging the fabric with upholstery tacks but like it just the way it is right now. The top isn’t going to be tufted because of aforementioned dog hairballs. It’s much easier to clean off the top when it’s smooth. After many, many staples and tucking around the legs it was done.

Footchest finalSome helpful hints:

  • if you’re shopping for fabric make sure you allow some extra yardage to account for extra padding
  • remember to pick up some fabric to cover the bottom
  • account 4-5 hours to sand and re-stain any wood since it’ll need drying time

Screenshot 2013-11-30 18.46.22

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