How to make footstool covers

Updated April 17, 2017

Older footstools that have been handed down in families, or vintage ones picked up at junk shops or flea markets, were made with real wood bases of sturdy construction. Over time, the upholstered tops are the only things that wear out. Making a cover for a square or rectangular shaped footstool top is a great way to renew a piece of furniture and match it to a room's decor. This is an easy project that can be completed in less than an hour.

Determine how far down on the sides of the footstool you would like the cover to hang. Measure from this point, up the side, across the top and down the opposite side to the same point height. Add 2.5 cm (1 inch) to this total for seam allowance. Repeat by measuring between the other two sides of the footstool and adding 2.5 cm (1 inch).

Cut one square or rectangle of upholstery or heavy fabric using these measurements, for the cover. Cut one piece of solid cotton fabric in a coordinating colour, using these measurements. This piece will be the lining of the cover.

Center the upholstery fabric on top of the footstool with the wrong side up. At one corner, smooth down the draping fabric on the adjoining sides. Pin the fabric together over the corner side. The excess sticking out at the corner will resemble a triangle. Pin the remaining three corners in the same way.

Remove the cover. Sew along the pinned corners to create the boxed shape of the footstool cover.

Trim off the excess corners a 1.2 cm (1/2-inch) from the stitched lines. Separate the seams and press them open.

Repeat steps three, four and five with the lining fabric.

Turn the upholstery fabric cover right side out. Set it inside the lining cover. Match the seams and the edges. Pin the edges together.

Sew all the way around the pinned edge using a 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) seam allowance. Leave a 7.5 cm (3 inch) opening along one side. Turn the cover right side out through the opening. Press the footstool cover to remove wrinkles and smooth the edges. The opening in the side should be folded inward to match the stitched edge.

Topstitch around the footstool a 6 mm (1/4 inch) from the edge. This will give the edge a finished look and close the opening.

Slip the footstool cover over the top of the stool and pull down the sides.


If the top of the footstool has indentations from age and wear, restuff it before putting on the new cover. Place it upside down on two layers of high-loft quilt batting. Cut through both layers around the shape of the footstool. Stand the footstool right side up. Fill the sunken areas in the top of the footstool with stuffing. Press down to check for firmness and fill capacity. Place the quilt batting over the top of the stool, covering the stuffing. Then place the cover on the stool.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Upholstery or heavy fabric, amount determined by footstool size
  • Scissors
  • Solid cotton fabric, amount determined by footstool size
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • High-loft quilt batting, amount determined by footstool size
  • Batting
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About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Cyndee Kromminga has been writing craft and interior design articles for 15 years. Her articles and craft designs have appeared in Crafting Traditions Magazine, Easy Holiday Crafting Series-House of White Birches Newsletter and Country Woman Christmas Books. Kromminga's education is in interior design and she has experience operating a craft and design business for more than 20 years.