How to make a slip cover for a footstool

Updated April 17, 2017

When you make a slipcover for your footstool, you're creating a decorative touch that's also practical. Although it's small, it will have a big impact on your room when you choose a fabric that makes it stand out. Since the temporary nature of your footstool slipcover will allow you to remove it for laundering or seasonal changes, you might decide to make several.

Measure the width of the stool. Start on one side at the point where you want the slipcover to end, whether that's the floor or a spot higher up on the footstool. Hold the end of the tape measure, go over the top, and finish at the same point on the opposite side. Measure the length in the same way. Add 6 inches to the width and the length measurements.

Divide the length measurement by 36 to determine the number of yards of fabric needed. Check the width of the fabric you choose to make sure it meets or exceeds the width measurement.

Cut a piece of fabric according to the length and width measurements.

Place the fabric over the footstool wrong-side up, centring it so that there's an equal amount of fabric on all sides. Pin the fabric to the top of the stool in several places.

Pull the fabric straight out at one corner. Working from top to bottom, pin the fabric together by placing a line of straight pins 1/2 inch from the side of the stool. Repeat with the other three corners.

Remove the pins from the top of the stool. Carefully remove the pinned slipcover and turn it right-side out.

Place the pinned slipcover on the stool. Check the fit. If it's too loose or too tight, remove the slipcover, turn it inside out, and move one line of straight pins at a time, rechecking the fit after each adjustment.

Baste the slipcover by hand next to the straight pins, using long stitches. Remove the pins.

Turn the slipcover right-side out and check the fit again. If it's too loose or too tight, baste again, recheck the fit and remove the first basting stitches.

Cut off the excess fabric at the corners and sew the corner seams. Remove the basting stitches.

Turn the slipcover right-side out and place it on the stool. Turn the fabric under along the bottom edge, making sure all of the sides are even and the length is satisfactory.

Sew the hem. Don't turn the fabric under, since it will be too bulky. Finish the raw edge with hem tape, which you can sew in place or attach with an iron-on fusible product.

Glue decorative cording to the right side of the slipcover around the top edges, if desired.


If you prefer, you can make a muslin pattern before cutting the actual fabric. Follow the directions through Step 10, but don't sew the corner seams. Remove the basting stitches, open out the muslin and use it as a pattern.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Hand-sewing needle
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Hem tape
  • Iron-on fusible product (optional)
  • Decorative cording (optional)
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About the Author

Margaret Morris has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She also holds a celebrant certificate from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute. Morris writes for various websites and private clients.