How to make stool cushions

The most common types of stools are footstools or ottomans and bar stools. The stool is a seat for a single person when the seat has no arms or seat back. Most footstools are not designed as seats; they are used to rest your feet when you are sitting on a chair or couch. The ottoman-style stool is used as both a seat and footstool. Bar stools are simply a tall variety of the stool. Often they are made without any pads or cushions. Making a cushion for a stool is not difficult.

Place a piece of paper over the top of the stool. The paper needs to be at least 1 inch larger than the stool top in all directions. Draw an outline of the stool onto the paper. Cut the paper 1/2 inch larger than the outline in all directions.

Cut two pieces of fabric the size of the paper pattern. Measure the circumference of the stool and cut a piece of fabric 3 inches wide and 1 inch longer than the length of the circumference. Form a circle from the 3-inch-wide fabric and sew a 1/2-inch seam.

Cut four pieces of grosgrain ribbon 18 inches long. Place one cover face side up. Position a ribbon with the edge lining up with the cut edge of the cover, and with the long end toward the centre. Pin the ribbon to the cover in the centre of a side if your stool has corners. Repeat this, spacing the four ribbons evenly apart on all sides of the cover. All of the long ends should be toward the centre.

Place the circle of fabric, face sides together, against the pinned cover piece and sew a 1/2-inch seam all around, sewing the ribbons between the cover and side. Place the other side of the circle of fabric, face sides together, against the remaining cover. If the cover has corners, align the corners. Sew half the cover to the side.

Cut a piece of 2-inch foam the size of the pattern, using an electric carving knife. Turn the cover right side out. Ease the curves and clip the corners. Insert the foam into the cover. Hand sew the remaining seam, using needle and thread and a simple crossover stitch. Cut the ribbons on an angle. Paint the ends with no-fray. Allow the no-fray 15 minutes to dry. Position the cushion on the stool and tie the ribbons on the underside of the seat.


For a fixed cushion, cut the cushion to the size of the pattern. Cut quilt batting 8 inches longer on all sides. Attach the cushion to the stool with spray adhesive. Cover the foam with quilt batting stapled to the underside of the stool seat. Cut fabric 8 inches longer on all sides, and staple the fabric over the quilt batting. Trim off the excess fabric.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • 2-inch foam
  • Fabric
  • Electric carving knife
  • Sewing machine
  • Grosgrain ribbon
  • Needle and thread
  • No-fray paint
  • Spray adhesive (optional)
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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.