How to cover a footstool with curtains

Try upholstery and give unloved curtains a new lease of life

This simple upholstery footstool project is perfect for beginners and
great for using up old fabric, and even better for repurposing vintage
curtains. Plus, if you've got some material left over then use it to
cover plain notebooks and create a gorgeous gift, perfect for a friend or
loved one.


fabric footstool with shoes and biscuit on plate

(Image credit: future PLC/David Giles)

Fabric footstool

Charity shops and boot sales are great places to search for unloved upholstered furniture - you can usually pick up a footstool like this for less than £5. It's a great project if you're totally new to upholstery, and if you want to take it a step further then you could add upholstery studs for a professional-looking finish.

You will need:

Old footstool Sandpaper Cloth White satinwood paint Paintbrush Vintage curtain fabric Scissors Pin Staple gun

1. Lightly sand the feet of the footstool, then clean with a dry cloth. Paint with white satinwood and leave to dry before painting a second coat.
2. Lay the curtain fabric out on the floor and place the footstool upside down on top. Cut out a piece of fabric, about 15cm larger than the footstool, all the way around. Turn the footstool up, drape the fabric over and pin to hold in place.
3. Turn the footstool upside down and, starting in the middle of the sides, staple the fabric to the underside of the footstool. Pull taut as you go and continue stapling until the footstool is completely covered.

fabric with notebook and pencil

(Image credit: future PLC/David Giles)

Fabric notebooks

If you've got some leftover fabric, use it to transform plain notebooks into pretty patterned keepsakes to give as a gift to family or friends.

You will need:

Vintage curtain fabric Notebooks Wadding Double-sided tape Elastic Needle and thread

1. Place an open notebook on top of your fabric and cut it to 3cm larger than the pad, all the way around. Cut two slits to meet the spine on either side. Trim two pieces of wadding to fit the cover exactly, and stick to the front and back using double-sided tape.
2. Fix strips of tape inside the covers along the three outside edges. Hold half the notebook upright, then pull the fabric taut over the edges and secure in place. Neatly fold down the corners, trimming if necessary, and push the slits inside the spine.
3. To finish, cut a length of elastic to go around the notebook and sew in place at the two ends, on the back cover.