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Put your feet up...

With ever changing trends it can be hard to not feel the pressure to buy new items for your home on a regular basis. Maybe you have had a piece of furniture for a while and you are bored of it or maybe you chose something that was a passing trend and now feel it is no longer right for your home. Rather than heading straight out to buy something new, why not try to reuse what you already have. Not only is it more environmentally friendly but you will end up with a more unique item for your home.

My Mum started to re-cover an old footstool but realised that it was actually too big for her cottage so she offered it to me and as I have recently moved to a house with a bit more space I thought it would be a fun project. This isn't really a "how-to" blog, it's more just to show you what I managed to achieve with a few materials and a little time. Hopefully it will make you realise that instead of throwing away a perfectly good piece of furniture and buying a new one, perhaps all you need to do is see the potential in what you already have.

This is what I started with, as you can see, my Mum had already begun adding some wadding to the top after removing the original, bulky cushion top. I chose this lovely "Corfu Stripe" fabric from Textile Express (gold/blue £10.00/m). As it was quite a big footstool, I did have an extra pair of hands to assist! The process was fairly simple, the trickiest part was the hand sewing and the fact I had chosen a striped fabric, a plain one would be much easier. To begin with, more wadding was added to the outside edge of the footstool and then padded out slightly and stapled into place.

Next, a covering of fire retardant calico, to give a nice smooth surface layer for the outer fabric. It was especially important to fold the corners in neatly and staple securely into place on the underneath of the stool. These will be the areas with the most bulk of fabric once finished so they need to be as smooth as possible at this stage.

The covering process was then repeated with the final fabric. It was wrapped a little like a present this time, with the fabric from the short sides tucking under the long sides so that the stripe of the fabric was used to create an interesting change of pattern. Once again everything was stapled securely. The corners were pinned into place and then hand sewn with a curved needle to give a neat, flat finish. Some hessian was added to tidy up the base. Finally I got these wooden feet off eBay which I chose so they would complement the stripes on the fabric which just screw easily into place.

And here is the finished footstool!

Totally different from the original piece and much more in-keeping with my style and decor but still the same footstool underneath. Before replacing something in your home that is no longer working, have a think about whether you can first try changing it a little to make it more how you want. A can of spray paint and quickly change silver to gold, a bit of fabric and a staple gun can give an old dining room chair a more modern look and if you don't want to take on a full re-cover project like this, perhaps changing or painting the feet or legs on a stool or sofa can give it a new life. It will most likely be a lot cheaper than buying something new and you might also have a bit of fun doing it!

R x


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