Padded Foot Stool

Ever find yourself sitting on a comfy chair, settling in to read your book, but you can’t quite get your legs in the right position? You need something to put up your feet!

Try making one of these padded foot stools to accompany your reading chair. I didn’t quite finish these in time to submit to the September Sewing for the Home series on the Sew, Mama, Sew blog, so I will share my steps here:

Here are the materials you will need:

Footstool, wood unfinished (my samples came from Michaels and Joanns)

Piece of fabric in home dec weight, measuring two inches larger than the platform of the foot stool (I used scrap pieces left over from my portable cushions)

Batting, several pieces measuring the same size as the top of the footstool (I used scrap pieces left over from quilts)

Staple gun and staples

Scissors or sharp knife (not pictured)

Paint or stain and appropriate brushes

Step One is to paint or stain the footstool to match your decor. You can leave the top platform unpainted since it will be covered with fabric (or you can keep going if you want to get carried away, like I did).

Step Two is to patiently wait for it to dry thoroughly. If you are staining the stool, apply a protective coating. Wait for it to dry again.

Step Three is to lay the fabric right side up over the top of the stool to gauge the placement, especially if you are trying to center a pattern. Set aside that fabric for now.

Step Four is to center several layers of batting on the footstool and cut to the same size as the top of the stool.

Step Five is to lay the fabric right side down on a flat hard surface, smoothing it out. Center the batting and the foot stool upside down onto the center of your fabric. Measure 2 inches to 2-1/2 inches all the way around the footstool and trim the fabric.

Step Six can be tricky. Fold one corner edge of the fabric down and over to the underside of the footstool platform. Picture wrapping a present.

Pull the fabric tight over the under side edge of the stool as if you’re making a pleat, and staple on the under side, close to the corner to catch the pleat. I ended up making two pleats to get a smooth corner.

Slide your fingers to the next corner, pull the fabric tight, and repeat your pleat folds. Secure with a couple staples close to the corner, on the under side of the stool. Repeat for the remaining corners of the stool.

Step Seven is to staple down the fabric in between each corner to secure it in place, about five times should hold it.

Step Eight is to trim the fabric underneath so it lays flat. Put your feet up and enjoy!

I love walking into someone’s office when they are reading and have their feet propped up on the desk. They jump and sit up straight in their chair, as if you just caught them reading the sports page or sneaking a shot of liquor. Wouldn’t it be fun to have one of these padded footstools in those boring corporate offices?!

Portable Cushions – Perfectly Fun!

I found this fabulous tutorial for portable cushions on the Sew, Mama, Sew blog, and instantly knew I had the right fabric in my stash and the right sewing skills to make this project.

From the Drawing Room fabric collection, I used the Pressed Flowers fabric in teal and the Trellis fabric also in teal. I bought 20″ zippers in a natural color, a piece of 3″ thick foam that I cut into two 15-1/4″ pieces, and about 10 yards of cording for the piping.

Overall, the tutorial was easy to follow. Here are a few comments on the pattern:

*The section on cutting bias tape was quite helpful. Make sure to follow these steps exactly. It really was amazing how this bias strip worked out.

*Making the piping was much more fun that I thought. Definitely need a zipper foot to make the piping tight and smooth.

*I messed up the zipper part where you attach the zipper to the gusset but I made it work in the end. I attached the zipper to each piece of gusset fabric/zipper panels, then I got stuck. I looked in one of my sewing books (Sew & Stow by Betty Oppenheimer) to try to figure out what I did wrong. After staring at the directions for the cozy cushion cover instructions in that book, I figured it out. What you’re supposed to do is put the zipper panels right sides together, sew a short distances to the marks you made earlier where the zipper will start and stop, baste all the way down to the next mark, and sew to the end. Thus, basting the zipper panels to each other, but not including the zipper yet. Then, iron the seam allowance down/open. Adding the fusible tape seemed a little putsy to me, but I know it will hold that extra fabric down. Then sew the zipper to each side of the zipper panels (aligned between those marks you made), and open the basting stitching on the front. Maybe this part wasn’t a problem for others, but I got confused. I’m over it now.

*The handles were easy, but I had to leave the raw edges showing, since I couldn’t fold over the ends – too much bulk (four layers of fabric and a layer of interfacing, doubled when folded over). I tried trimming the interfacing off the ends but I had already fused it to the fabric. No big deal. I think it still looks cool.

Even though I did get stuck once or twice on the instructions, normal for the first time using a new pattern, I would highly recommend making these!

I love having handles on each side of the cushion,

making them portable to carry wherever you go, your backyard, the park, the beach, a tailgate party, wherever. I love them so much I just carry them around the house! (I secretly wish I could take them to a show-and-tell, so thank you for indulging me.) Mostly, I use them on my Adirondack chair.

The zipper on one the side allows for easy removal to clean the cover or replace the foam cushion as it wears out.

I have four yards of the Shadow fabric in Teal, so I will be making more of these.  Next up, a cushion for this bench my brother made.

Did I mention that I love these cushions?!