Master a new craft and make the Ministry of Upholstery’s footstool from scratch
Learn the art of furniture making with a mid-century inspired footstool
HOW TO MAKE AN UPHOLSTERED STOOL
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
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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