Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Making Your Own Footstool

My dad had given me a framed piece of needlepoint several years ago that his aunt had made in the 1920's. The glass was cloudy and the frame was in pretty bad shape. It was definitely not something I would use as it was put together all those years ago. But the piece of needlepoint using deep shades of greens and reds was beautifully executed and in perfect condition under the glass.

Isn't that pretty?

To preserve that nostalgic old piece of needle crafted art, I decided to make a footstool and place on the top of it the rose needle-pointed in wool.

I measured the unframed piece of work, discarding the glass and frame. Those measurements determined what size box was needed in order to have an adequate base for the footstool. Then I determined how high the footstool should be in accordance with my favorite reading chair. My father-in-law made a hollow pine box base, so half the battle was over.

Coordinating upholstery fabric in reds, greens and blues was purchased. Bagged polyester filling was place on top of the box, and then the needlepoint rose was secured to the top of the box with a sturdy staple gun. I bought fabric three times the diameter of the box and the appropriate height of the box. It was all fairly intuitive after that as far as cutting, hemming, gathering the fabric and sewing the skirt.
The skirt was also attached to the box by staples. Where the edges of the top and skirt came together, I hot glued a length of cording all around it and attached tassels to each corner.

The dogs immediately destroyed the cute corner tassels, but it still looks nice enough to use and display that vintage piece of fiber art.

After the first footstool turned out so well, I decided to make a more simplified one without fabric on the bottom. Instead, a nicely crafted pine box supplied by my woodworking friend was used for the base. I stained the wood and put a quick acrylic spray on the wood when the stain dried. The top of the box was covered in the same manner previously described, but using a striped fabric for the top.

There was even enough fabric left over to make a matching pillow.

Only after making these two footstools did I find an article from the Carol Duval television show that explained how to make a footstool step-by-step. Those directions can be found at Carol Duval.

Another footstool using a metal planter as a base is shown with directions given by DIY, DIY Decorating & Design host Nancy Golden. All the tools she used are included at that site.

I was pleased with the results of making these two footstools, and happy to preserve my Aunt Lula’s needlepoint. To sum up, who could say it better than Mark Twain?

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.--Mark Twain

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