Playing Footsies

On a very hot Friday night date, Greg and I ventured to Macy’s for a furniture sale. We had fun testing out couches and chairs. while seeing which ones worked with our wall swatch. Then we found a set we loved at a price we loved. Except one tiny issues– Greg loves to have his feet propped up and he wanted a recliner . . . which the set did not offer.


A recliner was not in the game plan. Yes, I understand they have come a long way but I did not want one in a formal living room but I was willing to compromise with a footstool.

You see, we had a beige footstool in the corner of our family room doing nothing but holding our pile of blankets. We never used it and Hazel liked to hide her toys beneath it. I’d rather repurpose something than purchase something new or something that went against my design aesthetic.

Plus, it would give me a project and we all know how much I love my projects.

Side note: Years ago I had won the footstool a a charity casino night and my roommate was less than happy. To be honest, I just wanted the purple faux fur blanket it came with.

The plan was simple– cover it in a grey/ sea foam fabric to make the furniture set tie together. Then the hard part came.

Do you know how hard it is to find a great fabric? I didn’t want to go too geometricy or patterny since this was going on a footstool and I didn’t want to have it the sides looking funkier than the top. I spent hours on Spoonflower and other fabric site.

Then it took one trip to Target and everything fell into place. I went one lunch hour to look at their curtain options (more on that later) and saw the perfect zebra print fabric in grey. It was love!

For the $30 price tag, I was sold. For the amount of fabric the curtain provided, I could cover the chair and make one if not two pillows (more on that later too). Now I needed to pull the chair color into the footstool to really make it mesh with the room. A trip to Joanns, solved all those problems– two packages of sea foam trim, an uncovered pillow, long needles, sea foam fabric, and buttons you can cover.

So now on to covering a footstool.

What you will need:

  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Staple gun
  • Footstool
  • Fabric
  • Trim
  • Heavy duty thread
  • Doll needles or upholstery needles (5″ long)
  • Tape measure
  • Fabric scissors
  • Covered button kit
  • 1/8 yard of fabric

Note: I did not remove the fabric on the footstool because it was glued down. Yes, glued down. Nor did I add extra foam padding since there was plenty of cushion left.

1. Remove the legs (ours screwed off.) Remove the buttons.


2. Measure the length and width of the footstool going from about two inches under the stool, over the top, and two inches inside the other side of the stool. Repeat for the other side.

3. Cut your fabric to the measurements. Add an extra inch just in case.

4. Lay the fabric wrong side up on the floor or whatever your working space is and center the footstool upside down on it.

5. Pull the fabric from the long side’s center and staple it. Do the opposite side pulling it nice and tight.


6. Repeat the same task but on the shorter side.

7. Start stapling from the center spot out on each side (about 1/2 inch to an inch apart). Be sure to pull the fabric nice and tight. If one doesn’t go in well, pull it out with the pliers.

8. Stop about two inches from the corner.

9. Corner time is the worst. Straighten out the fabric and staple in the center of the corner like you are folding hospital corners. Arrange the fabric nicely around the staple, ensuring the sides looks as smooth as possible. Don’t staple until this is done. Remember to take your time.

10. Take a break and ice your hand because you will have the staple gun claw happening.

11. Hammer in the staples just to ensure they are in there.

12. Trim excess fabric.


13. Keep the footstool upside down and open your packet of trim. Starting in a corner, staple the edge about an inch inside the edge.


14. Bring the trim to the edge and staple. Continue all the way around.

15. Flip it over and get your 1/8 yard of fabric.

16. Take your button kit and center the circle over any design in your fabric. Trace the circle.


17. Cut the circle out (4 time for this project).


18. Follow the kits instructions and place in the round thing. Place the metal button front on top and push the edges into the center. Then place the back on top and plunge with the blue plunger piece.

button-cover button-last-step

19. Woohoo you made covered buttons!! Give yourself a high five.

20. I threaded the button nice and tightly with the fabric and then threaded that through the needle.


21. Feel for the button indent and send your needle through the hole. I did this for all four buttons before stapling them down to ensure they were straight/inline.

22. Staple the threads down.


23. Screw the legs back in.

24. Flip it over.

25. Celebrate with a cocktail (or puppy kisses)!


Doesn’t it look great finished? Don’t be afraid of upholstering it because if you do something wrong, you can just pull out the staples. Now our favorite part, the cost.

  • Hammer*
  • Pliers*
  • Staple gun*
  • Footstool*
  • Fabric $30
  • Trim $1.50 (50% off coupon)
  • Heavy duty thread*
  • Doll needles or upholstery needles $3 (50% off coupon)
  • Tape measure*
  • Fabric scissors*
  • Button kit $3.50 (50% off coupon)
  • 1/8 yard fabric $1

*Already owned.

Total costs: $39 but remember all of the zebra fabric was not used for this project. The rest will be used for two pillows. Not a bad price for something that adds a bit of whimsey to the room and helps tie all the colors together.




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