Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The making of a footstool

I've been on the hunt for a footstool for the nursery for quite awhile now.  We received a family rocking chair from my Grandma, so there was no cozy footstool to go with it.  Origionally, I had planned on finding a small table at a thrift store, shortening the legs, upholstering the top, and calling it perfect; but the hunt for the perfect size table was pretty fruitless.

Instead, I found these poufs from Kohls that I really liked.  But they were $80 a pop.  Ain't nobody got money for that, Kohls!  So I decided to make my own instead.  It was surprisingly difficult to find bean bag filler at any store, so I ordered it from *gasp* Walmart.  It totaled $13.50 for a huge bag; 3.5 cubic feet was just about perfect..  (After I ordered it, I discovered that they sell this stuff for cheaper at Shopko).

I modeled my pouf after the ones at Kohls, so I was aiming for about 12" high and 23" across.  My greatest fear with this pouf was that someone will "plop" down on it hard and it will explode in a snowstorm of static filled polystyrene beads.  So I decided to make two layers just to give it extra durability.  The first layer I made was with an old white bedsheet that I've been cutting up and using for projects for a long long time (thanks, Grandma Z!). I also used a very short zig zag stitch on my machine (I don't have a surger but that would have worked better) to give it as much strength as possible. 
Making a circle with a pin in the center and pen on the end.  Fabric is wrinkly.

I made a circle on my fabric by tying the perfect length string to a pin and a pen, and then making a circle.  Do not follow my example: be a good seamstress and IRON YOUR FABRIC.  My circles were 23.5", so 11 3/4" long string. I also made a long rectangle that was 12.5" high and 72.75" long.  Don't follow my example because this is what happened:

Weirdly crooked seam and patch.  Oh well, at least it's not visible!
The long rectangle was too short.  And oddly crooked, too.  I don't know what happened.  So I just sewed on another little piece to fill in the gap.  Then came the stuffing.  I used a pitcher and slowly filled up the whole thing as full as I could get it.  I was worried that the beads will compress over time, so I added as much filling as I possibly could before hand sewing it up.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat for the outer covering, except that I made the rectangle 12.5" x 90+".  That way, it would be long enough and just cut the excess off at the end.  I had been hoping to find a tablecloth or curtain or equally durable fabric for the outside, but was unsuccessful at thrifting for that.  So I got another old sheet from St. Vinny's in town and used that instead.  Someday when it starts to look dirty and gross I can continue the hunt for more durable fabric and make another quick cover (this time with a zipper so it can be washed).
The end of my handle, the box with the square in the center similar to how someone would sew on velcro

I also made a handle by using iron on stabilizer on a 10"x6" piece and sewing it securely (with a square and an X in the middle of it) over the top of the seam.  I love that it has a handle even though it's very lightweight.

It turned out beautifully, the height is perfect and it has a great amount of stuffing in it.  Very comfy.  Doesn't it look lovely in the nursery?  and the grand total was $15 even.  (count on more if you need a white sheet and basic sewing supplies like thread).  Much more comfortable than the $80 price tag at Kohls.

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