Fancy Fringed Footstool

This past weekend was a whirlwind of events including a surprise birthday fiesta for our beautiful daughter,


followed the next day by a “leftover” enchilada party featuring our favorite legendary local sports heroes,

Illustration by  Larry Johnson

Illustration by
Larry Johnson

followed by yet another birthday party (we do have a lot of family birthdays in October!) PLUS the 4 day  Vintage Thymes Monthly Market-whew! Didn’t leave any time for DIY’ing or blogging, but I am slowly cleaning up the final messes and getting back on the blogging bus. Sort of. This was the actual party bus we hired to move the party to Boston- fun!

Bus Ride to Boston

Today I am featuring this little project, a before and after of a footstool that I picked up in a thrift shop for a couple of bucks. It was very outdated but pretty sturdy, even though the middle was sort of sunken in.

Original Footstool

Here’s the how-I-did-it:  Pulled off the old, tattered dirty fringe, but left the rest intact, since I was just going to cover it anyway. Piled some batting on top of the sunken middle, as I wanted it to have more of a “poof” appearance than a flat top.

Adding Batting to top

I recently heard the name “gout stool” for the first time, which was apparently a term used in the Victorian era regarding footstools for people to rest their feet on while suffering from gout. So I thought that a poufier cushion might be a bit more comfy for any sore feet-this poor guy has two!

Gout Illustration

Cut the top fabric to fit over the new poufy top.

Cutting Top Fabric to Fit

Stapled it all the way around,

Stapling Top Fabric in Place

folding the corners down, but leaving the rest kind of casually creased.

Stapling Top Fabric 1

Measured the height of the bottom fabric- there was already a dividing line in the stool where the seam was, so I just used that. I had already finished off the top edge with a buttonhole stitch on my sewing machine, but  you can just fold it over and press if you don’t have a machine. Measuring Base Height

I glued it around the edges overlapping the floral fabric, then flipped it over and stapled it to the bottom.

Stapling Fabric to Base

Since it just looked like a big lumpy pouf, I decided to add the covered button, with one large stitch that pulled through all the foam and batting into the bottom, which tucked the middle down to create a tufting effect.

Center Covered Button

The feet were just simple cylinders, but they had the nice metal sliders on the bottoms, so I simply painted them.


The easiest way to paint anything mounted on a screw is to stand it up, so I put them into place in their existing corner brackets,  but screwed them in just enough to hold them upright, then added some wax paper to mask the fabric.

Masking with Wax Paper

Painted two coats of Behr Stealth Gray,

Painting Footstool Feet

allowed to dry and then pulled away the wax paper. Before I securely tightened the feet, I glued down a piece of burlap I had handy just to finish the base.

Burlap Base Cover

Added the fringe with a hot glue gun.

New Fringe

This is the finished “gout stool” that co-ordinates with an antique oak chair that I had already recovered with the matching Waverly Fabric. Which creates a lovely fireside vignette.

Footstool and Chair Completed

Both will be available at next month’s Vintage Thymes Market. In the meantime, I think I might use that stool to rest my weary feet while I watch the game today. Go Sox! Susan

Bench Dressing

Not to be confused with ranch dressing,

Bench Ranch Dressing

which has much more white than this restyled country bench does! So the bench is finally done and done. From the painting poll that I took on a recent blog post, the colors that won were distressed aqua/blue/gray/mint.

Behr Paint Palette

I have to admit, I tried the mint and it didn’t really work with my nautical vision, so I stuck with the blues and grays. Before I committed to the final colors, I wanted to find the co-ordinating fabrics I was planning to use for the cushions and pillows. Made a trip to my local Joann’s and-go figure-I fell in love with these lobsters.

Bench Fabrics

(Folks that know me realize that this is rather puzzling, as I think that the best part of any lobster is the melted butter : ). Fanciful fellows, bright reds on a background of dark teal. Perfect! Had some difficulty choosing the cushion fabric, but then discovered 1.this gorgeous aqua and navy block fabric that looked to me like nautical flags

Bench HGTV Fabric

2. and then discovered that, of course, it’s from HGTV-sold! So starting with the old worn bench,

Bench Pediment Detail

I added a layer of Annie Sloan French Linen, mixed with water to give it a washed look.

Bench Annie Sloan French Linen

Then I added on layers of Behr’s Gulf Wind Blue, Peaceful Night, Battleship Gray and Gray Morning

Bench Annie Sloan Gray Wash

by dry-brushing to allow the lower layers of paints to be more transparent and add another dimension to the finished product. To enhance the spiral detail at the bottom, I added a touch of dark blue.

Bench Painted

Time to dress the bench! We all know that any delicious salad is just a bunch of veggies in a bowl until you add the spice and flavor with the dressing. Same holds true with decorating-it’s the finishing touches that define the piece. I love layering mis-matched co-ordinating pillows to achieve a casual, comfortable effect. So I started with the HGTV Home nautical flag cushion.

Bench Cushion

Added a large middle pillow-soft and sinkable for maximum comfort, created with two cotton kitchen towels from HomeGoods).

Bench Towel Cushion

The sailboat pillow came next-again, created with an embroidered kitchen towel (also thank you HomeGoods!) that I added the “SAIL” to.

Bench Sail Pillow

The next pillow was lobsters and sailboats with star buttons, both of those from Joann’s Fabrics.

Bench Three Pillows

When I stepped back to admire the bench, utilizing the squint test, I realized it needed one red item in the center. One more nautical towel, surrounded by the flag fabic, completed the vignette.

Bench Completed

The finally finished, decorated bench is now sitting proudly in the perfect spot on my country styled summer porch that is now patiently awaiting spring. Which cannot come soon enough! Susan



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