This project, like most DIYs before it, started out months ago with the seed of an idea. It was during my trip to Bruges. I was mooching around a décor shop, and came across a footstool. It was very cool: mid-century teak legs, with a really nice fabric covering. I was soooo close to buying it! However, I didn’t love the pattern on the fabric. It was probably an 8 out of 10. But I want 10 out of 10. What can I say? I’m picky! 🙂
So, fast forward 6 months and I finally made my own DIY footstool! I based it on the one I found in Bruges, but of course I was able to use some fabric that perfectly suited my home and style. And you know what? It was really simple to make! It’s totally achievable in an afternoon, with some basic tools and skills.
How to make a DIY footstool
Supplies and tools
- Plywood, chipboard or similar wood
- Short table legs and brackets (I used these)
- High density foam, at least 10cm thick
- Upholstery fabric
- Staple gun and staples
- Power drill, drill bit and screws for the leg brackets
- Hot glue gun
- Bread knife or hack saw, to cut the foam
- Fabric scissors
What to do
- Start off my deciding how large you want your DIY footstool to be. For reference, mine is 40cm x 40cm and is mainly designed as a one-person footstool (but Gareth and I do sometimes share it during our evening Netflix binges!). Once you’ve got your dimensions, cut your wood to this size. You can do this yourself using a jig saw or mitre saw. Alternatively, most hardware shops will happily cut the wood for you–just ask! With the wood cut to size, it’s a good idea to quickly sand the edges so you don’t get splinters or scratch yourself in the next steps.
- Next, it’s time to add the brackets for the DIY footstool legs. Position the four brackets at the corners of your wood piece. Make sure they’re at least a few centimetres from the edge (it’s best to measure their position, so all of them are even). I positioned mine in the corners of my footstool, as you can see in the photos.
- Hold the actual legs against the brackets and make sure you like how they are positioned. Once you’re happy, drill the brackets to the wood. Don’t add the legs just yet though – we’ll do this at the very end.
- Cut a piece of high density foam to the same size as your wood piece. Top tip: use a bread knife to cut it!
- Use a hot glue gun to stick the foam directly to the wood, on the opposite side to the leg brackets. Try and line up the foam against the edge of the wood as neatly as possible. (At this point, I added my legs to see how it looks – but I then removed them before going on to the next steps).
- Next, you’ll need to cut out a long strip of wadding. It should be the same width as your footstool and approximately double the length. For instance, my foot stool top measured 40cm square. So my wadding strip measured 40cm by 80cm.
- Use the wadding to cover the foam and edges of the wooden piece. Do this by tightly wrapping them around the wood and foam, then use a staple gun to fix them in place. Make sure you staple them to the bottom edge of the wood, next to the leg brackets. Trim any excess wadding away with scissors, taking extra care to ensure the wadding doesn’t cover the leg brackets.
- OPTIONAL: Cut out a square of fabric that’s the same size as your wood piece. We’ll use this to cover the wood at the bottom of the footstool. This is totally optional, but it does add a slightly more professional finish. Staple the fabric to the bottom of the wood, so it covers the wood and brackets completely. Use scissors to cut small holes in the fabric, so you can still insert the legs to the brackets at the end.
- Cut a large square of decorative upholstery fabric. It needs to be large enough to completely wrap over your foot stool, covering the top and sides. Place the fabric onto a flat surface, with the wrong side facing up. Then place your footstool onto the fabric, with the foam on the bottom. Try and position the footstool as close to the centre as you can.
- Wrap the edges of the upholstery fabric up and over the footstool–just like wrapping up a gift box! Use your staple gun to fix the fabric to the wood, making sure to pull the fabric as tightly as possible before securing it. Go all the way round and add plenty of additional staples to the fabric, so it’s very securely held in place.
- Finally, screw in the footstool legs. (If you followed step 8, you may need to cut small holes in this fabric to allow the legs to be screwed into the bracket. Don’t worry about these holes fraying, as the legs will sandwich the fabric to the footstool and prevent this.)
I’m super happy with my new DIY footstool! It fits so seamlessly into my home (check out how well it matches my grey and yellow rug!). I’m honestly still not over the novelty of putting my feet up and indulging in a Netflix binge. How have I waited this long before making one?!
As always, please drop me a comment to let me know what you think! I’d love to hear from you. – Mike.
Don’t forget to save this on Pinterest so you can try it later!