Sewing for the Home ~ Easy Stool Slipcovers

on September 9 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 23 Comments

Here’s another option for your stools (Option #1 didn’t require any sewing!). A stool is a great way to begin learning how to make slipcovers.


  • Stool base
  • Wood to cover top of stool base
  • Foam to cover top of stool base
  • Batting
  • Staple gun
  • Muslin or other cheap, light, easy-to-sew fabric
  • Fabric

    To calculate batting/muslin/fabric needs (with my highly technical approach) I figure the area of the top of the stool, then double that total. For example, if your stool top will be 1′ x 1′ I’d buy fabric to cover at least 2′ by 2′. I always tack a little onto that too, just to be safe.

Start with a stool base. This is an old family stool, but these same techniques would work on the stool we used yesterday too.

Step One: Prepare a piece of wood that covers the top of your stool. Big home improvement stores will often cut your wood for free if you ask. Buy and cut foam to fit the wood (the store where you buy the foam will often cut it for free too).

Step Two: Cover the foam with some light batting, using a staple gun to hold the batting in place on the wood. You can skip this part and just use a spray adhesive to get your foam to stick to the wood, but I like the softer corners/edges created when you use the batting.

Step Three: Drape your muslin over the stool so the bottom edge of the fabric on all four sides of the stool is parallel to the ground. Make the fabric hang an inch beyond where you want your final slipcover to fall. Your fabric will bunch out on the corners.

Step Four: Pin the corners so you get the level of “snug” you want for your slipcover.

Step Five: Sew down the corner where I’m pointing. Use a long stitch because you’ll take these stitches out soon. You might want to draw a line like Sarah did for her appliance cover (step two under “Create Box Corners”) but you could also just wing it, removing the pins as you sew. It helps to sew three corners, then place the muslin slipcover back on the stool to see if you need to re-pin the final corner.

It may look like a mess at this point, but don’t worry. Place the slipcover on the stool and make any adjustments you need for a perfect fit. If you want it tighter, sew parallel to your first line away from the point. If you want it looser, sew parallel to your first line closer to the point. Don’t trim the points/triangles away until you’re happy with the fit.

Step Six: Trim the triangles off, then take out your stitches.

Step Seven: Lay the muslin piece (which is now your pattern!) on your good fabric, nice side of the good fabric up and pattern on top. Cut the good fabric (pin first if necessary).

Step Eight: Fold the small sides together and sew each corner, nice side of fabric facing nice side of fabric. Remember to shorten your stitch length.

Step Nine: Don’t clip your corners and don’t trim anything yet. Turn your slipcover right side out and try it on your stool. Adjust the fit as necessary, just like you did for the muslin piece. See how the bottom edges don’t match up on my slipcover yet? That’s OK!

Step Ten: When you have a good fit turn the slipcover so you see the wrong side of the fabric. Trim excess fabric away from the seam and clip the little fold at the top of each corner (but don’t clip too close to the corner or you’ll eventually end up with a hole).

Step Eleven: Place the slipcover on the stool as you will when it’s all done, and fold up the hem to the inside, making sure it’s even on all four sides. I didn’t do a double fold to hide the edge of the fabric because I didn’t want a bulky seam and nobody will see this, ever! Pin and then sew the hem. Trim excess fabric. If you follow my one fold approach be sure to leave a little extra fabric by the seam to accommodate any unraveling threads.

Just a few easy steps and you’re done, right?! Keep (and label, if your memory is anything like mine) the muslin pattern so you can switch up your stool covers on a whim.

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23 Responses to Sewing for the Home ~ Easy Stool Slipcovers

  1. carla says:

    I used the tutorial to rehab a thrift store find & it turned out beautifully…makes me want to slip cover everything!!! Thank you so much!

  2. meg says:

    I have an old ottoman that I’ve been hiding in my office b/c my husband keeps hinting at the need to throw it away. this tutorial is just perfect! my “new” ottoman won’t be getting anymore goodwill threats! thanks!

  3. Genevieve says:

    Love this! Now if I can just get my mom to give me her old stool I’ll be set. And I like that its not permanent so I can swap them/wash them easily.

  4. Blayne says:

    Great idea – thanks for the tutorial! 🙂

  5. ratty says:

    this is one of my very favorite, simple stool changes 🙂

  6. Alisa says:

    This is a very helpful tutorial – thank you.

  7. Amber says:

    Such a great tutorial – thanks!

  8. Katie says:

    Great idea!

  9. Penny says:

    I definitely need to try this, I hate the fabric we have on our footstool at present

  10. Jill says:

    I recently picked up two old footstools from my mom’s basement with a mind to recover them. I like the slipcover idea so I can change it out seasonally.

  11. Amy says:

    Great tutorials (both of them) …. I wish I had an old stool base lying around and I’d start now.

  12. That looks great! Thanks.

  13. This is a superb idea. Thank you. 🙂

  14. Lauren says:

    This looks like it might work for dining room chairs, too. Any tweaking to be done to adapt this project for that?

  15. debra says:

    Well, this looks easy, I hope to recover a foot stool soon so this tutorial helps!!!

  16. Teresa says:

    This makes it so easy. I am definitely going to give this a try.

  17. min says:

    Hmmm…interesting. You make it look so easy. SEW easy, har har.

  18. mj says:

    Such a great resource!

  19. hashi says:

    Great idea!

  20. Carishma says:

    Very useful! Thanks.

  21. Great project! I love how the final cover isn’t stapled down so it can easily be washed or changed.

  22. Troye says:

    Oh oh oh. I’ve been wanting to cover my coffee table to make it like an ottoman. Now I’m going to make a slipcover instead so that I can clean it and change it out. Thanks for the tute!!!!!

  23. BethieB says:

    This is adorable! I need a footstool for my living room and this would be so perfect for bringing in some of my main decorating fabric. Can’t wait to go hit the thrift stores to look for an old stool that needs a new home, and these directions are so clear and easy to understand, even I could do it, lol.

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