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  • Writer's pictureLucy Duffy

Upcycling an old footstool

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

The first crochet pattern I ever formally designed was for this crochet footstool cover. I had been gifted an old footstool & wanted to make a removable crocheted cover for it but found it really hard to find one that was the right dimensions & when I did, I felt they were over-priced. So I decided to design my own.

In this post I will detail the steps I took to transform this battered old footstool, which literally had the inner foam showing through, into a modern crocheted footstool that would look great in anyone's home.

This picture shows the before & after photos of an old PU leather footstool that is scuffed & worn & then of the finished, upcycled version in Crochet.
Shabby old footstool into Trendy Crocheted footstool

In this post I will show you:

If you would prefer a downloadable PDF version of the crocheted footstool cover only, it is available in my Ravelry, Etsy or Ribblr stores for a small fee.

This post may contain affiliate links. As a Lovecrafts Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you make a purchase from those links, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support!

The Items that I used for this upcycling project.

How I made good the worn & torn areas.

So the first thing I had to do was stop the damaged areas of the footstool form getting any worse. Some of the foam inside was showing through & the last thing I wanted was that foam working it's way out underneath the new cover!

A picture showing the worn areas on top of the footstool.
The worn area on the top

A picture showing the worn area's on the sides of the original footstool.
The worn area's on the sides.

As you can see, the original footstool was in a sorry state & some people may have felt it was ready to be skipped.

That's the whole point of upcycling though - if there was no damage, it wouldn't need to be done! I had faith that it could be transformed & made useful again.

The first thing I did was raid my husbands shed for Duct tape. I covered all of the damaged areas with the tape to seal in the inner foam & prevent the original cover from deteriorating further.

A picture of the footstool after the worn areas were covered with tape.
The footstool after being taped

So, at this point you might be thinking that the footstool looks worse than it did to start with but trust me, it does get better!

If you're wondering why I'm making a fabric cover when I'm supposed to be making a crocheted cover, the answer is simple.

Crochet can create a reasonably dense fabric but the reality is that you're almost certainly going to be able to see through it in some areas - and I definitely did not want that duct tape to be visible & ruin the final effect!


So I would definitely recommend making a fabric cover first in a similar colour to the yarn that you will be using for the removable crochet cover.

How I worked out the measurements for making the new cover.

I started by measuring the height, depth & width of the footstool. Mine measured 38cm high by 43cm wide & long (it's square at the top).

I added 2 times the height & 1 times the width/depth which equalled 119cm. This was the measurement I would need for the width/depth of my fabric & I added 5.5cm all the way around to account for folding under the footstool (more on that later).

So my total measurement was 130cm x 130 cm. If the top of your footstool is rectangular rather than square, your width & depth measurements will differ & you will need to do this measurement twice. Once for the width & once for the depth.

Next I measured my fabric.

A picture of the fabric being measured.
Measuring the fabric

You'll notice I didn't iron mine first, that's because I knew that I was giving myself a generous allowance & that it would end up covered in lovely squishy yarn anyway. If, however I had been planning to make the fabric cover my final cover or I didn't have a generous allowance for tucking under at the end, I would definitely have ironed the fabric before measuring & cutting.

Next I marked my measurement at several points across the fabric with tailors chalk (You could also use a fabric pen) before joining the marks using a ruler. I did this for both the width & the depth measurements.

A picture showing fabric being marked up using tailors chalk & a ruler.
Marking out the measurements on the fabric

How I made a fitted fabric cover for the footstool.

Once I had my measurements marked out, I cut my fabric using tailors shears (You could also use a sharp pair of scissors), being careful to stick to the line I had marked out.

A picture showing the fabric being cut along a faint blue line.
Cutting the fabric.

Once my fabric was cut, I placed it over the footstool with the right side (the final outer side of the fabric) face down. I tried to get it as evenly placed as possible so that the amount it hangs over by, was roughly the same on all four sides.

Next, I tucked the excess fabric underneath the stool on each side.

A picture showing the excess fabric being tucked underneath the stool
Tucking the excess fabric under the stool.

This left me with excess fabric on each corner like this ....

A picture showing the excess fabric left at the corners of the stool after tucking in underneath at the sides.
Excess fabric at the corners.

This excess at the corners is what I worked with to create my seams. First I held the fabric at one of the corners at the point that it meets the top corner of the footstool & inserted a pin.

A picture showing the first pin being placed into the excess fabric at one corner of the footstool.
Inserting first pin.

I continued pinning down the edge of this corner & repeated for each of the four corners, being careful not to pin too tightly against the footstool or I would never get it back off to sew it up!

A picture showing the excess fabric at the corners pinned all the way down each corner of the footstool.
Each corner pinned all the way down.

Now I removed the fabric from the footstool by lifting it straight up & being careful not to knock out any of the pins in the process.

Next I baste stitched those corners. I did this by machine but you could also do it by hand. If you aren't sure what baste stitching is, then I would definitely recommend having a look on I'm not affiliated in any way with Lisa, I just think it's a great site & she also provides some great up-cycling ideas.

After baste-stitching I tried the cover on the footstool (still inside out) & checked the fit. This is how my cover started to take shape after baste-stitching...

A picture showing the fabric cover taking shape after baste-stitching.
After baste-stitching

I wasn't completely happy with the fit, it needed to be a little tighter. So I re-pinned in the area's that needed tightening & removed the baste-stitching before repeating re-basting & trying the cover for fit again.

This time I was happy! So I cut some of the excess away to make it easier for sewing, re-pinned, removed the baste-stitching again & did my final stitching using a straight stitch with a length of 2.5mm.

A picture showing the fabric being machine stitched.
Final stitching of corners.

I now tried the cover on the footstool inside out, one last time. It was perfect so I was able to trim the seam allowance down to around 1cm. I then ironed the seam allowance flat so that the corners wouldn't be bulky. I then turned the cover the right side out & fitted it onto the footstool.

Now, my footstool has a metal base which meant I couldn't just fix the bottom of the fabric in place at this point. This was simple to remove though. With the cover in place, I turned the footstool upside down & used a screwdriver to remove the base.

A picture showing how a screwdriver was used to remove the metal base from the footstool.
Removing the metal base.

After removing the base I was able to fold over the excess fabric from the bottom of the new cover. I did each side in turn. For each side, I first turned the excess under by about 1cm, next I pinned it down onto the base of the footstool, making sure to also turn in the corners so that they didn't become too bulky.

A picture showing the excess fabric being turned under & pinned to the bottom of the footstool.
Pinning the excess fabric under the footstool.

Once all four sides were pinned, I used upholstery thread & an upholstery needle to secure the fabric in place. I wasn't overly concerned about how neat this looked as it's only going to be seen by the carpet!

A picture showing how the base of the footstool looks after sewing the fabric into place.
Base after sewing the fabric in place.

You could also use a staple gun for this part if you have one. I then replaced the metal base & the fitted cover was complete.


A picture showing the completed fitted fabric cover.
The fitted fabric cover.

How I made the removable, washable crocheted footstool cover.

For the crochet cover, I will be using UK terms throughout.

Abbreviations & stitches that I used:

  • st - stitch(es)

  • ch - Chain

  • dc - double crochet

  • tr - treble crochet

  • dtr - double treble crochet


14 stitches x 4 rows equals 10 cm x 10cm.


I decided to use treble crochet stitches for the main part as I like the simple, clean lines that I knew this would give.

Top panel.

Foundation Row: I made a slip knot & then ch62.

Row 1 – 1tr in 2nd ch from hook. 1tr in each ch to end. Ch2. Turn. (60 st’s).

Row’s 2 – 32 – 1tr in same st as ch2. 1tr in each st to end. Ch2. Turn. (60 st’s).

Row 33 – 1tr in same st as ch2. 1tr in each st across. (60 st’s).

I then fastened off & weaved in the ends.

I placed this to one side until all of the panels were completed.

Side panels.

Foundation Row: I made a slip knot & then ch60

Row 1 – 1tr in 2nd ch from hook. 1tr in each ch to end. Ch2. Turn. (58 st’s).

Row’s 2 – 28 – 1tr in same st as ch2. 1tr in each st to end. Ch2. Turn. (58 st’s).

Row 29 – Skip 1st & 2nd st. 1tr in 3rd st & each st across until you have 2 st’s remaining. Ch2. Turn. (54 st’s).

Row 30 - 1tr in same st as ch2. 1tr in each st across. (54 st’s).

I then fastened off & weaved in the ends.

I placed this to one side & made three more, exactly the same.

Making Up.

Once all panels were completed, In took each side panel in turn, & used the foundation row edge to join to the top panel. Holding the wrong sides together I used 60dc st’s evenly spaced along the edge to join (1tr, 1ch, 1dtr, 1ch, 1tr in each corner). The picture below shows how I placed stitch markers to hold each piece in place & also to divide up each panel for picking up stitches.

A picture showing how to use stitch markers to hold the side panels in place when attaching them to the top panel.
Joining the side panels to the top panel.

Once all of the side panels had been attached to the top, I used the same method to join each side panel to the one next to it, working from top to bottom & using 54dc st’s.

A picture of the corner join of the crocheted footstool cover.
Corner join of crochet footstool cover

Finishing off.

Once all of the side panels had been joined to each other, I finished off by fastening off & weaving in all of the ends. All that was left to do was to place it over the footstool. I didn't fasten it in place, it just sits over it so that it can easily be removed for washing.

A final note!

I really hope you've found this free tutorial useful. If you use it to make your own version of a crocheted footstool cover l would love to see it.. You can comment below to let me know how you found it or you can tag me on your favourite social media channel using the links below.

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