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…
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
Don’t forget the scraps! Certainly they totally have a purpose to make whatever your imagination can fathom. Here are a few of mine…
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.
So…which of my felted wool footstools is your favorite?
Likewise, both are available in my online shop along with many other handmade goods, furniture, and vintage finds.
In addition, I encourage you to pin and share this felted wool footstool fun to inspire others to give DIY a try.
Up next, this thrifted shelf is going to get a new look and function. See the makeover HERE.
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Time to see what the Furniture Fixer Upper girls have for you:
- Confessions of a Serial DIYer
- Just the Woods
- The Interior Frugalista
- Petticoat Junktion
- Girl in the Garage