I believe that creativity is a powerful skill that can be practiced and developed. I hope my blog inspires you to find your very own "creative lment". ~LM
Footstools are one of those items that get used a lot in my house. In addition to giving my tired feet a little lift, they also provide extra seating, storage, or when used with a tray, they can serve as a small table. So. if you are decorating a small space, a good footstool is a very worthy furniture investment. While I’ve been fawning over more than a few wicker footstools over at Amazon, I decided that, in the short term, I would create a budget friendly version for myself using items I already had in my home, namely: a cardboard box, some stretchy fabric, a thin pillow insert, and some rope. To start my project, I selected a sturdy cardboard box (from one of my sewing machines). The nice thing about this box is that it came with really thick styrofoam packaging inside of it. This added to the strength of the box significantly. And since this was a box I intended to keep, using it freed up extra space in my storage closet. Bonus! The fabric I used was a neutral coloured, medium weight stretch fabric I had purchased on sale a while back. I was happy to finally use it up! To create my pattern, I literally tipped the box over and traced out the pieces. I cut 2 for the top (since I planned to make a cushion top for my footstool) and 4 pieces to cover the sides. Using some cans to help weigh down the fabric, I began cutting, adding about 1/2 an inch all the way around each piece for the seam allowance. The last piece I cut was a long strip of fabric for the piping trim that I intended to add around the cushion. Although I could have just skipped this, and make just a basic slip cover for the box, I really wanted something with a bit more character. And since I had never made piping before, I was excited about the challenge :) To make the piping, I used some thin robe I had previously purchased at the dollar store. All I did was envelop the rope inside of the fold of the fabric and then pin it in place. Then I used my trusty sewing machine to create a nice tight seam, resulting in custom piping for my project. Wa-laa! With the prep work now behind me, I was ready to tackle the pillow top. Using the 2 pieces that I had cut for the top, I placed wrong sides together, and sewed around the edge, leaving a 6″ opening on one side. This gave me a “pillow” cover ready for stuffing. Since the insert I had on-hand was round, I had to cut it into a rectangle shape first, then stuff in the pillow cover. After stuffing the corners and playing around with it for a bit, I was finally happy with the end result and sewed closed the seam. The next step was to pin the piping I made to the top edge of the cushion topper. I started at one corner and kept pining all the way around, careful to ensure the corners were well defined. When I got to the last corner, I just wrapped the piping piece across the point where it started and pinned it (rather than cut it). I figured I would worry about making that look good later….heehee! I have to say, I was pretty excited at this point. I finally could see what the finished product would look like! The next step I needed to do was create the slip cover for the sides of the box. Taking the 4 pieces that I had already cut out, with right sides together (facing the box), I pined it onto the box, careful to pull just enough to ensure I got the right amount of tension on the stretch fabric. After I pinned it, I sewed it – and then put it back on the box to double check the fit. After making one or two adjustments, the side seams were done. I tried it back on the box one more time (this time with wrong sides facing the box), then pinned up the bottom seam, ensuring to leave plenty of seam allowance to attach the top cushion. Then, I finished the bottom seam with my sewing machine. Next, with the slip cover I just made for the sides of the box (right sides facing each other) and the pillow topped (placed upside down on the top of the box), I began pinning the top to the bottom. Carefully pinning all along the edge, I occasionally cheated and turned it inside out to check how it would look, especially around the corners….which proved to be a little tricky. Then, I proceeded back to my trusty sewing machine… I struggled with sewing through all the way through the fabric at each of the corners, so what I did instead was sew all along the 4 main seams, and then I went back, and hand stitched the corners. This gave me greater control over the finished look and saved me some frustration – and potential rework. When I got the corner where the piping began/ended, I just crossed it over and sewed it neatly, then cut off the extra. I love not only how nice the finished product came out, but how well it blends with my existing furniture. Plus, it cost me $0 to make and saved me a ton of storage space in my closet. Overall, a very fun and worthy project! Now, I’m all ready to enjoy a well deserved Netflixs binge and a glass of wine :) Toodles!