How to Reupholster Footstool Corners

Footstools are small stools that sit in front of large chairs to elevate the feet of the person sitting in the chair. Most footstools have fabric that doesn't match the fabric of the chair but complements the colour or design to allow the footstool to be moved to other locations in front of other chairs without looking like it doesn't match. Often the fabric chosen is whimsical, such as an animal print, leather or an attractive neutral colour that will blend with all the fabrics in the room. When the fabric corners wear down or the fabric becomes dated, it is easy to recover the footstool.

Remove the legs from the top of the footstool using a screwdriver and pliers. The legs may detach separately or as a set. If they detach separately, number each leg, and mark the bottom of the footstool with the number at the matching corner. This will help you reassemble the stool properly in case the feet are different lengths.

Lay the top of the footstool face down on the work table, and pull out with pliers the staples that are holding the fabric to the wood. Discard the old fabric if it is soiled or ruined. Examine the footstool top to see if the corners are collapsed. Generally, corner problems are due to deterioration of the foam.

Replace any deteriorated or collapsed foam with foam that is at least 1/2 inch thicker. Cut the foam to the shape of the wood with an electric knife. Spray the top of the stool base with spray adhesive, and press the foam to the base.

Measure the length and width of the footstool, and add 20 inches to each measurement. Cut muslin to size. Place the muslin face down on the table. Position the footstool top foam side down on the fabric. Pull the sides of the muslin up over the foam and to the back of the stool base. Staple the centre of each side with a staple gun, and then the centre of the top and bottom. Staple from the centre toward the corners every 1 to 2 inches, pulling the muslin tight. Trim off the excess fabric.

Cut quilt batting and finish upholstery fabric the same size as the muslin. You can reuse the original upholstery fabric if it is in good shape. Otherwise, lay the finish fabric face down on the table. Place the quilt batting on top of the finish fabric and the muslin side of the footstool base face down on the batting. Pull the finish fabric sides to the back, and staple the centre. Pull the top and bottom to the back, and staple the centre.

Add two staples on each side of the centre staples, working from side to side and top to bottom. When you are 2 inches from the corner, make even folds to tighten the fabric going around the corner. On some footstools, you may want to create a single large fold that is perpendicular to the base. Work with the fabric to achieve the finished look you want. Trim off excess fabric.

Reattach your footstool to the legs by screwing the legs into the correct spots on the underside of the base.


Footstools are often trimmed with fringe, nail heads and other fabric trims. Some can be hot glued on, while others are nailed through the fabric to the base wood.

Things You'll Need

  • Foam
  • Electric knife
  • Spray adhesive
  • Muslin
  • Staple gun
  • Quilt batting
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.