before & after: reupholstered foot stool

Foot stools are such fun little pieces of furniture, and I really like it when people recognize this fact and upholster them accordingly. This fabric is so eye-catching that it could totally overwhelm a large piece, which is why this stool is such a perfect fit. Great work, Laura! — Kate

Read more details about Laura’s reupholstered stool after the jump!

Time: a few hours

Cost: $48

Basic Steps: The legs were pretty scratched up, and I wasn’t crazy about the colour. I sanded them down, and the wood underneath looked good, so I just gave them a few layers of oil and buffed them. I removed the fabric and unpicked the two sections, then used these as templates for the new fabric. I sewed the pieces together and stapled them into place over the foam — the original foam was in good condition, so I kept it. I made new, slightly larger buttons using squares of the same fabric. Using a long upholstery needle, I pulled the buttons into place and stapled them underneath. Then I just neatened up the base with some black fabric, and that was it!

My advice would be just to have a go — this was my first attempt at upholstery, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. It was easier than I thought and much cheaper than buying a new footstool! — Laura

  1. Calli says:

    That looks great! I love that fabric. Please do share your sources! I agree, in small doses a pattern like that is just fabulous! Nice redo Laura!

  2. Love that fabric, it looks really cute!

  3. Nannie Inez, good living says:

    Great job Laura, especially considering this was your first attempt at reupholstering.! Is this fabric Osborne and Little? I saw something similar in Living etc magazine by O&L.

  4. EEEK! Very cool revamp! Love the fabric she picked!

  5. Ellen says:

    Does Design*Sponge have a resources page? I feel like the key to a lot of before & afters is the fabric. It’d be great to have a list of where people find this stuff!

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      hi ellen

      yes, we do :) if you click on the “products” tab at the top menu you’ll see a “resources” filter on the right side. there are all sorts of resource lists for fabric, tiles, wallpaper, etc.


  6. I love this project! Such a huge difference! Gorgeous job.

  7. Ellen says:

    Ooh, awesome! Thanks, Grace. I’m definitely feeling inspired

  8. Laura Seaby says:

    Thanks all! The fabric is Balyan by Osborne and Little. The stool was an Ebay purchase for £7

  9. amanda says:

    I would like to attempt a very similar project! Could you clarify the bit about the buttons? Where did you staple – was it over the fabric down into the base of the stool to get the “dimples” then did you sew the buttons over that? This came out so great! Also – anyone have a resource for finding replacement feet like the ones in the photo, or something similar? Thanks!

  10. Jenn says:

    Is there a link to where she found the fabric?

  11. lizzie says:

    That final result is totally beautiful! Great work! I’m with Jenn…where did she find that fabric?!

  12. Laura says:

    I am in love with this footstool! The wood and the fabric look so good together, I love the graphic print. I’m heading onto Ebay right now to find my own footstool before and after project!

  13. hello olive says:

    Looks amazing. Great job!

  14. Jesse Lu says:

    Grace- I think there is something off in the Resources section. When you click on any of the resource links it takes you to an empty page.

  15. Footstool says:

    I am a big fan of the footstool as the star of a room. You are right, a print that may otherwise be too much is perfect on a footstool.

  16. Sharon says:

    Fantastic job. I just bought the same fabric in blue while on holiday in Korea now I just need to redo my dining set. Thanks for the motivation.

  17. ela says:

    I can’t seem to find the link of the fabric in the products tab!
    could someone be so kind to post it?!


  18. sue says:

    I think the footstool looks great and I was so happy as I scrolled down to see that you did not paint the legs. You respected the style of the piece. Hats off to you, nice first job upholstering and good design choices.

  19. DRTVrMoi says:

    I’m staging my dad’s home for sale and about to attempt my first upholstery project. Your detailed description is so helpful. I feel more confident now to tackle this job. Brava!

  20. Rebecca S. says:

    This is the fabric used on this gorgeous little stool! I love these posts…keep ’em coming!

  21. Stephanie says:

    That fabric packs a punch. I love it! I also love sweet stool legs, like the one I redid not too long ago.

    I’m currently in the process of recovering the seat of my dining room chairs and need to give this fabric serious consideration! Thanks!

  22. I love it ! the fabric pattern is great, and it seems to be perfectly done :)
    I’ve reuphosltered a vintage chair, not the same at all, but I love it too ;)

  23. Becky Rees says:

    Laura – as this was your first attempt – it’s unbelievable!!! you are very talented!

  24. Mr. Modtomic says:

    Beautiful redo! I love how you’ve refinished the legs to more closely match the rocker and the matching pillow on the rocker is the pais de resistance! Excellent job.

  25. Rachel says:

    Love love love it! Great job!

  26. Danielle says:

    Love. Such a fun pattern choice!

  27. Glorious says:

    so Fabulous! Excellent choice of fabric! It’s the perfect little cube.

  28. Fergus says:

    I really love that -great job and I think the fabric choice works really well .makes me think I should give it a go on a few small objects I have kicking around the house.Must admit I am a big fan of Osborne & little fabrics.

  29. Missy says:

    I would love to see a tutorial on how you did the buttons. I have an ottoman I want to start working on. Yours looks great!


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