Felted Wool Footstools from Thrifted Sweaters

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It time for Furniture Fixer Uppers! My gal friends and I have a blast each month bringing you DIY furniture inspiration in the projects we create. You’ll see their work in a bit. Today, I’m sharing how this dynamic duo from the thrift store is going to become felted wool footstools. Hang with me…

Thrifted Footstools Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Okay, so first off I really felt bad for this pair. They had been subject to an upholstery makeover that didn’t really suit their style, but ya know…to each his own. Since they had hung out in the thrift store for a few months, I finally caved and added them to my cart. They’re too cute with potential not to, right?

Thrifted Footstool Set Before Makeover | prodigalpieces.com

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The old upholstery wasn’t horrid, but was pilling and needed to be put on correctly. It was time to give them a fresh, new, cozy look. I’ve created a video tutorial for those of you that like to see the process in action. (see below)

So, how does one go about making felted wool footstools? Well, it’s all in the sweater. Yes, the sweater. I adore making felted wool from thrift store sweaters and use them for all sorts of things: toys, hats, mittens, quilts, journal covers…you get the idea. You can see my other wool creations in these posts.

All you need to do is find a sweater that is at least 70% wool – it can be a wool blend. I like to pick the ones that are at least size XL so I can maximize my efforts. Once you find your sweaters (get more than one!), just toss them in your washer and wash on high heat for two cycles. After they are washed, toss them into your dryer and dry on high heat until they are fully dry. This usually takes 3 or more cycles. Below I have an unwashed XL sweater on the left, and a felted one of the right. See how tight the knit is now? Perfect.

Wool Sweaters from the Thrift Store for Making Felted Wool | DIY at Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

First step in my felted wool footstools project is to remove all the staples from the old upholstery using a staple puller. That is such a handy tool I recommend you add to your tool arsenal. It’s only about $6. Once all the staples were out, I used the old upholstery as a template to cut from my felted sweaters. You can also read my DIY on how to upholster footstools HERE.

Using Old Upholstery as a Template for New | prodigalpieces.com

In order to maximize use of the sweater, I cut up a seam and them open it up. Place the old upholstery on it and cut. I save ALL scraps as they can be used for just about anything. Really! I’ll show you what I mean in a bit.

Now that I have my sweater cut to size, it’s time to box the corners. This is where you will remove some of the bulk to make the corners lay flat. It’s the same methodology you use when boxing corners for purses, bags, pillows, etc. My video explains it in detail.

How to Create Boxed Corners in Upholstery by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Next, attach the upholstery to the footstool using a stapler. I prefer my crown stapler as it’s battery operated, easy to use, and easy on my wrist and hand. I demonstrate the process in my video from working side to side to ensure even distribution of fabric.

Stapling Felted Wool Upholstery to Footstool with Ryobi Stapler by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

The first of my felted wool footstools is complete. Isn’t it cute? I left the base as-is since I love the dark wood contrast with the white sweater.

White Felted Wool Footstool Created from Thrift Store Sweater for a Nordic Style | Video Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #nordic #diy #farmhouse #furniture #home #homedecor #homedecorideas #shopping

Nordic Farmhouse Style Felted Wool Footstool with Video Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #vintage #handmade #farmhouse #furniture #home #homedecor #homedecorideas #shopping

Time for my other footstool cutie to get a new look. I chose to use the gray sweater for this one. I pulled off the old upholstery and found the original. I’m sure it was pretty back in the day!

Old Upholstery on Vintage Footstool | prodigalpieces.com

The base, however, needed to be relieved of that honey oak stain. ugh. I used my sander to take it all off. I do believe I can hear a sigh of relief from it. Just look at that beautiful maple glowing in the raw.

Sanded Footstool Base by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

I’m leaving it unfinished because it will get much love over time and a gorgeous patina will form. I used the same steps to recover the top and we’re done!

Nordic Farmhouse Style Footstool Created Using a Felted Wool Sweater | Video Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #nordic #handmade #furniture #farmhouse #diy #videos #shopping #home #homedecor #homedecorideas

Felted Wool Footstool Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Now we have a tight knit coverage that is totally begging my tired dogs to take a rest (aka. my feet…ahem) Oh, and a few years ago I recovered that channel back chair too. I know YOU can do upholstery too!

Subscribe to Prodigal Pieces on YouTube for DIY video tutorials and a whole lotta fun | prodigalpieces.com

Nordic Style Farmhouse Footstool with Gray Felted Wool Sweater by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #furniture #diy #shopping #farmhouse #vintage #home #homedecor #homedecorideas

Farmhouse Style Upholstered Footstool with Felted Wool by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Video Tutorial at prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #furniture #home #shopping #homedecor #homedecorideas

Don’t forget the scraps! Certainly they totally have a purpose to make whatever your imagination can fathom. Here are a few of mine…

Felted Wool Birds with Wire Legs by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #handmade #diy #toys

A few years ago I made these for my kids and had them sitting by their breakfast plate one morning. What fun it is to surprise them like that. As you can imagine, we love birds! Tutorial here at Myrtle & Eunice.

For fun, you can see all my wool affinities pinned on my Pinterest board over HERE. I also make snakes with the sleeves, quilts from cut squares (super easy  – a tutorial you can use HERE), purses, bags,…you get the idea.

Handmade Felted Wool Sweater Projects ~ Toys, Quilts, Upholstery, and so much more | by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #home #homedecor #homedecorideas #toys

Larissa of Prodigal Pieces Cuddles Up in a Felted Wool Blanket from Thrifted Sweaters | DIY at prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #home #homedecor #homedecorideas

So…which of my felted wool footstools is your favorite?

Nordic Farmhouse Style Felted Footstools Created by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces using Thrifted Sweaters | Video Tutorial at prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #shopping #farmhouse #home #handmade #homedecorideas #homedecor #vintage

Both are available in my online shop along with many other handmade goods, furniture, and vintage finds.

Shop Prodigal Pieces | shop.prodigalpieces.com

I encourage you to pin and share this felted wool footstool fun to inspire others to give DIY a try.

Grab those wool sweaters and give your footstool a cute and cozy update. These felted wool footstools are sure to be favorite. Full of Nordic farmhouse style and easy to do with the step-by-step video tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Head to prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #furniture #shopping #vintage #home #homedecorideas #homedecor

Up next, this thrifted shelf is going to get a new look and function. See the makeover HERE.

Upcycled Thrift Store Shelf Before | prodigalpieces.com

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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Time to see what the Furniture Fixer Upper girls have for you:

Furniture Fixer Uppers January 2019 | prodigalpieces.com

  1. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
  2. Just the Woods
  3. The Interior Frugalista
  4. Petticoat Junktion
  5. Girl in the Garage

Also, more upholstery projects like these felted wool footstools:

Vintage Chair Gets Feed Sack Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comOutdated Bentwood Rocking Chair Gets Embroidered Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com


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24 Comments

  • Rebecca - Knoxville, TN

    So practical and pretty, I love it!

    January 24, 2019 at 9:30 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! They are super cozy.

      January 24, 2019 at 10:46 am Reply
  • Patty Soriano

    I’m Funny for Footstools ! So, I love them both. They look great! And those little birdies….oh my goodness! SO sweet!

    January 24, 2019 at 9:41 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You and me both! I think I’m addicted…haha.

      January 24, 2019 at 10:46 am Reply
  • Christy James

    You are so cute…love the gif at the end! These stools were so lucky you came along and took pity on them. The taller one is my favorite, and I think those chicks are just the cutest! XOXO

    January 24, 2019 at 10:23 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You deserve an award for that statement. Hugs!! I like the taller one for practicality too, but both so fuzzy fun. Thanks!

      January 24, 2019 at 10:47 am Reply
  • Kaycee

    Larissa, what a difference a new sweater makes! Both of these foot stools are so cozy now. I love how you left the sanded raw maple on on the grey stool, a very pretty combination.

    January 24, 2019 at 10:31 am Reply
    • Larissa

      So many uses for wool. I think I need my own flock of sheep. eep! 😀

      January 24, 2019 at 10:47 am Reply
  • Robyn Wright

    So pretty and cozy!

    January 24, 2019 at 11:24 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I’m tellin’ ya, they really are. 🙂 Thanks!

      January 24, 2019 at 9:15 pm Reply
  • Marie Blackburn

    I like them both but the little one would be perfect for my office chair (I’m vertically challenged). The little birds are adorable too.

    January 24, 2019 at 11:37 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Isn’t it cute? It’s a fun one for sure. My littlest love to sit on the bigger one and put her feet on the smaller one. haha.

      January 24, 2019 at 9:25 pm Reply
  • Claire

    I love felting old wool sweaters and repurposing them. Your stools are lovely, I love the sweaters you chose and they look so cozy.

    January 24, 2019 at 11:43 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Awesome to hear. It’s such a fun medium to work with.

      January 24, 2019 at 9:26 pm Reply
  • kandice kullmann

    how stinking cute are these! what a great idea!

    January 24, 2019 at 12:03 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Woot! Thank you, Kandice.

      January 24, 2019 at 9:26 pm Reply
  • Ann Trippy

    I like them both but I like the taller one with the gray sweater. So practical and great decision on leave the wood natural.

    January 24, 2019 at 3:06 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! I just love the woods showing their true colors.

      January 24, 2019 at 9:27 pm Reply
  • Debra A Wise

    Both of the stools are so cute but I think the taller one is my favorite. Absolutely love your little birds!! Thanks for sharing.

    January 24, 2019 at 5:35 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Such fun to hear. I have a blast! 😀

      January 24, 2019 at 9:27 pm Reply
  • Paula

    Both are cute, fun and cozy. But I’m sighing relief along with the tall one that the 80s honey stain is gone! LOVE the wood underneath and looks so smart wearing the grey sweater.

    January 24, 2019 at 7:51 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      haha…you made me LOL!! 😀 Thank you for the smile, Paula.

      January 24, 2019 at 9:28 pm Reply
  • Jen @ Girl in the Garage

    I just love the look of fair isle sweaters, and they look so cozy on these footstools. Leaving the wood bare on the bigger one was a smart idea! xo

    January 30, 2019 at 1:47 pm Reply
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