Vintage French Footstool Makeover With Ticking Fabric

February 20, 2023

Today I'm sharing how I took a vintage footstool from frumpy to French farmhouse with new ticking fabric upholstery. There's also a sneak peek at my early spring primary bedroom decor!

reupholstered French footstool master bedroom wingchair

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The footstool in question is ancient. Well, ancient by my standards at least. My then-boyfriend, now-husband, purchased it for a song back when we were dating. That makes it over 30 years old. Today you can find footstools like this one in thrift stores and at estate sales.

vintage French tapestry upholstered footstool

It served us well over the years, but eventually the fabric and wood just seemed dated. So I decided to rip off the old fabric and reupholster it. But not until I painted the base white first. Not knowing I would eventually blog about it, I didn't take any "before" pictures. But it looked eerily similar to this footstool I found after doing a google search for vintage footstools.

Ironically, all the search results that matched my footstool called it a "French" footstool. I just thought it looked frumpy and old. While you can use any fabric (or even a tea towel) you prefer, I decided to reupholster it with a fabric that I'll call French country -- a tan and white linen ticking fabric. 

Supplies For Reupholstering A Footstool

1. footstool (preferably thrifted)

2. replacement upholstery fabric (your choice)

3. paint and paint brush

4. sand paper

5. staple gun and staples

6. electric screwdriver

7. flat edged screwdriver (to remove staples)

8. pinking shears (optional)

How To Reupholster A Footstool

footstool base without cushion

1. Remove the original upholstered section (along with any wood and/or foam insert) from the base of the footstool by removing the screws on the underside of the footstool. This one has six screws.

wooden footstool base foam cushion wooden board

My footstool consisted of the wooden base, a foam insert, a flat piece of wood (which will give it stability) and the old tapestry-like fabric (not shown, as I removed it a long time ago without taking a picture of it).    

parts of footstool base cushion wheaten terrier living room

Meet my assistant, Riley.

Assuming your original fabric is stapled to the wood base (which it usually is) you'll need to remove the staples with a flat edged screwdriver before you can remove the fabric. Save the old fabric to use as a template. 

jar Dixie Belle 32 oz Fluff Chalk Mineral Paint

2. Paint the footstool base. Let it dry completely.

I painted the footstool base with one of my favorite paints -- Dixie Belle chalk mineral paint in Fluff.  

distressed base of wooden footstool

3. Use sandpaper to distress the areas of the stool that would be naturally worn down from wear and tear over the years. 

4. Using the old fabric as a template, cut out a new piece of fabric to the same dimensions with pinking shears to keep the fabric from fraying. I didn't have the old fabric so I eyeballed it, cutting my fabric approximately 3 inches extra on each of the four sides, ensuring that I would have enough fabric all around to fold and staple. You can always make it smaller.

5. Iron your new fabric, if necessary.

ticking fabric and foam insert for footstool

6. Lay your new fabric face down on the table. Then place the foam on top of it and the wood piece on top of that. 

footstool cushion with ticking fabric staple gun and staples

7. Now attach your new fabric to the wood panel using the staple gun. Begin by stapling the two longer sides first, making sure to pull the fabric taut. 

ticking fabric folded corner footstool cushion

8. Next, staple the corners after folding them in, similar to what some people call "hospital bed" corners as shown above. 

underside of footstool stapled ticking fabric

Here it is after I finished stapling the corners for a second time. Lesson learned: When folding the corner fabric to make those "hospital corners," be sure to make your corner folds two at a time. In other words, fold over two corners at a time as you would when wrapping a gift box. This ensures that the folds turn out consistent and neat.

While you can do this by yourself, it doesn't hurt to have two sets of hands to complete this step.

reupholstered footstool white paint brown white stripe ticking fabric

9. Once all four corners of fabric have been tightly stapled onto the wood, place your newly upholstered cushion on top of the footstool base and re-insert any previously removed screws to secure the newly covered cushion onto the footstool base.

wingback chair white slipcover French farmhouse footstool knit throw tassels

With just a few changes this old footstool has been given new life. It even inspired me to redecorate the primary bedroom with a few spring touches.

faux fireplace mantel wingback chair white slipcover vintage books

I'm loving it in front of the white upholstered wingback chair next to the faux fireplace. This area is my special reading nook. 

leather bound vintage books faux topiary spa candle

This flea market side table (it was was originally light blue) is currently stacked with vintage books, a faux topiary and a heavenly smelling wood wick candle that's just perfect for relaxing and reading before bed.

wooden cathedral arches vintage botanical framed print mantel with candelabra

This entire side of the room is one of my favorite places to decorate. The faux fireplace allows me to implement many of my seasonal decorating ideas. Right now it's post-Christmas but not yet fully spring.  

two wooden cathedral arches mantel decor vintage botanical framed art

This vintage botanical is from Goodwill. It's definitely one of my favorite thrifty art "finds." 

thrifted DIY gilded mirror on mantel

The thrifted DIY gilded mirror  on the right is another one of my DIY projects. 

silver 5 candle candelabra Be Still And Know stamped book bundle

This candelabra is also a Goodwill find from over ten years ago.
And the deconstructed hand-stamped book bundle is one of my favorite DIY projects.

For years this thrifted vintage French basket filled with dried hydrangeas was in the living room. Giving it an update for spring, I moved it to the bedroom and filled it with some of my white birch logs.

I think the birch logs fit perfectly and look right at home in the French basket.

I  love using baskets in my decor because they add warmth and texture to any display. 

painted candle chandelier with crystals

I've fallen in love with this candle chandelier. It's another one of my DIY projects.

One last vestige of winter decor is this vintage ironstone creamer filled with some frosty looking faux greens and winter berries. I'm looking forward to when I can fill it with fresh flowers from the garden!  

white French provincial bed side table white wingback chair vintage books side table

For now I intend to fully enjoy this restful corner of the room, while putting my feet up, of course.

Well, that's it for today, friends!

I hope you've enjoyed reading about my 

Vintage French Footstool Makeover 

With Ticking Fabric And Sneak Peek At Some 

Early Spring Decor In The Bedroom 

and that I've inspired you in some way. 

Don't Forget To Pin It!

reupholstered French footstool master bedroom wingchair

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Leave a Comment!

Junkchiccottage said...

This is so cute. Love easy peasy projects like this. I love your sweet assistant helping you too. Have a great week. Hugs. Kris

Allyson @ Southern Sunflowers said...

Your "new" footstool looks really nice in your reading nook. Great makeover!

Anonymous said...

Love your footstool update. I was given a beat up gliding footstool; this would be a great way to refinish it! Really enjoyed seeing your spring bedroom touches. In Maine, we are still in the throes of winter with lots of snow expected this week. Time to break out the silk daffodils! Kathy A

Colo Junkett said...

Great job with the stool, Your little corner is so nice and cozy.

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