Up­hol­stered stool

Master a new craft and make the Min­istry of Up­hol­stery’s foot­stool from scratch

Mollie Makes - - INSIDE THIS ISSUE -

Learn the art of furniture mak­ing with a mid-cen­tury in­spired foot­stool



Small foot­stool frame with cor­ner blocks Four leg spac­ers Four ta­pered wooden foot­stool legs

Blue foam, 5cm (2") thick 1m (393/ 8") pat­terned fab­ric (we used Orla Kiely Lin­ear Stem in Dan­de­lion)

1m (393/ 8") polyester wad­ding (we used 2oz Dacron)

1m (393/ 8") dipryl bot­tom cloth Furniture fin­ish­ing paint (we used Fu­sion Min­eral Paint in Soap­stone) Spray ad­he­sive Sta­ple gun

Sta­ple lifter


Ham­mer Painter’s tape

Tape mea­sure Clear furniture wax Old sheet To­day’s agenda: learn up­hol­stery. It’s prob­a­bly been on your craft skill wish­list since the dawn of time, and what jam­mier feel­ing is there than mak­ing your own ac­tual furniture? We’re crush­ing hard on the mid- cen­tury modern vibes of this ta­pered-leg foot­stool with its snazzy Orla Kiely cov­er­ing, but you call the shots on this one so the de­tails are en­tirely up to you.

Min­istry of Up­hol­stery have kindly put to­gether a spe­cial foot­stool kit for this project – visit www.min­istry­ofuphol­stery.co.uk/

our-shop/mol­liemakes to buy yours.

Screw the four legs into the


frame for paint­ing. Mea­sure and tape off the bot­tom third of the legs us­ing painter’s tape. Ap­ply a coat or two of paint, fol­low­ing the man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions, and leave to dry. Once dry, de­tach the legs and put them to one side.

Pro­tect the workspace with a


sheet and at­tach the foam to the frame us­ing the spray ad­he­sive. This is a con­tact ad­he­sive, mean­ing you’ll need to spray both the frame and the foam. Hold the can ap­prox­i­mately 15-20cm (6-77/ 8")

from the sur­face and spray, aim­ing for a Silly String con­sis­tency.

At­tach the foam to the frame straight away – it’ll set im­me­di­ately.

The pur­pose of wad­ding is to


take the fric­tion out of the foam and al­low the fab­ric to glide. Lay the wad­ding over the top of the stool, en­sur­ing you have equal amounts on all sides. Turn the stool over and use the full width of your palm to ‘feather’ the edge of the wad­ding to meet with the edge of the frame – there’s no need to sta­ple or glue. Once all four sides are done, move onto the cor­ners. Fold the wad­ding over one way and feather it in line with the cor­ner, then fold it the other way and re­peat. En­sure there’s no ex­cess bulk any­where.

Turn the stool back over and lay


the fab­ric on top. Make sure the pat­tern is sit­ting as de­sired, then

trim the ex­cess, leav­ing ap­prox­i­mately 2.5cm (1") of ex­tra fab­ric on each side be­low the bot­tom of the frame.

Us­ing tem­po­rary tacks, start to


at­tach the fab­ric to the frame. Tack in the mid­dle of one long edge, then add one ei­ther side, about 5cm (2") from the leg plate. Place the tacks as far back from the front of the frame as pos­si­ble. Once the first long edge is done, work on the sec­ond long edge. Start work­ing on get­ting the cor­rect ten­sion in the fab­ric by turn­ing the stool on its side and stroking the fab­ric from the tacked side to­wards the un­tacked side. The fab­ric is tight enough when it starts to give a rounded ap­pear­ance along the edge of the foam. At this stage, nail a tack in the mid­dle. Re­peat the process with the other two tacks, then re­peat the process along both short edges. Check the pat­tern is still as you want it. If it’s moved, re­lease the tacks and re­po­si­tion the fab­ric as re­quired.

Next, re­place the tem­po­rary


tacks with sta­ples. Start­ing from the mid­dle of one long edge,

re­move the tack and sta­ple the fab­ric down. Now work from the

cen­tre out­wards, stroking and pulling the fab­ric as tightly as pos­si­bly to work out all the ex­cess. Sta­ple as you con­tinue to smooth the fab­ric to­wards the cor­ners, fin­ish­ing about 5cm (2") from the cor­ner. Re­peat the process on the op­po­site long edge, check­ing the pat­tern as you go, then re­peat with each short edge.

Pull the cor­ner of the fab­ric as


tightly as pos­si­ble over the cor­ner of the frame, en­sur­ing there are equal amounts of fab­ric on both sides. Pop a sta­ple in the cor­ner about 1cm ( /8") from the edge.


Cut out the waste fab­ric around 08 the leg plate, and cut out as much as pos­si­ble to avoid bulky cor­ners.

Form pleats about 1cm ( /8")

09 3 ei­ther side of the cor­ner. The pleats should face the cor­ner, be as straight as pos­si­ble, and start at the same point on each side.

Se­cure each pleat in place with a sta­ple, then re­peat Steps 7-9 on the re­main­ing cor­ners.

Cut out all the ex­cess fab­ric


around the bot­tom, start­ing from the mid­dle and work­ing to­wards each leg plate. Cut as close to the line of sta­ples as you can.

At­tach the dipryl to the bot­tom


to hide the sta­ples – fold the raw edge over to make a clean line and sta­ple in the mid­dle of the long edge. Sta­ple as close as pos­si­ble to the edge of the dipryl. Next, fold

over the op­po­site edge and sta­ple in the mid­dle. Go back to the first side, sta­ple roughly 5cm (2") from the cor­ner, then re­peat on the op­po­site cor­ner. Sta­ple roughly 5cm (2") from the other cor­ner on the first side, then op­po­site again. Now there are six sta­ples hold­ing the bot­tom cloth in place, start to fill in the gaps in be­tween, work­ing all the way round.

Ap­ply a layer of clear wax to the


legs, fol­low­ing the man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions. Find the holes in the leg plates by pierc­ing scis­sors through, then screw the legs in to fin­ish, adding the spac­ers in be­tween the leg and plate.

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