Transform an inexpensive craft-store footstool into a tuffet with a pleated skirt and a cushy little pillow.
Rectangular footstool (available at craft and some building supply stores)
Medium-weight upholstery fabric*
24 mm (1-in) diameter button, buttonhole twist and soft sculpture dollmaker's needle (optional)
Scrap of high-loft quilt batting*
Glue gun (optional)
*To determine required amount, see Step 1, below.
1. Measure footstool height and top length and width. From fabric, cut 2 small rectangles, each [length 3 cm/1 1/8 in] x [width 3 cm], for pillow cover top and bottom; 1 large rectangle, [length 10 cm/4 in] x [width 4 cm/1 5/8 in], for footstool top; and 1 strip, [(length x 2) (width x 2) 80 cm/31 1/2 in] x [height 4 cm], for skirt (if desired, add extra to height for puddled skirt). From piping, cut 2 lengths, each [(length x 2) (width x 2) 4 cm). From doubled layer of batting, cut 2 pieces, each length x width.
2. Lay large rectangle, right side down, on work surface; centre batting, then inverted footstool on top. Starting at midpoint of 1 long edge and working toward each corner, wrap fabric around top to underside and staple. Repeat with remaining long, then short edges. Turn footstool right side up.
3. Fold strip so right sides are together and short edges are even; using 1 cm (3/8-in) seam allowance, stitch short edges together to form loop. Machine-zigzag seam allowance to bind. Press under 2 cm (3/4 in) twice around 1 raw edge; edgestitch. Press under 1.5 cm (5/8 in) around remaining (top) edge.
4. Place loop, right side out, around edge of footstool top; pin inverted box pleat, approx 4 cm deep, at each corner to fit snugly. Remove from footstool and baste pressed edges together at pleats. Overlapping ends in seam allowance, pin piping to wrong side around pressed edge; edgestitch and remove basting. Slipstitch or glue skirt in place.
5. With scissors, slightly round corners of pillow cover top and bottom. Overlapping ends in seam allowance, pin piping to right side of cover top around edge; using 1 cm seam allowance, baste. With right sides together, edges even and using 15 mm seam allowance, stitch cover top to bottom, leaving 7.5 cm (3-in) opening centred along 1 edge. Turn right side out. Stuff; slipstitch opening closed.
6. If desired: With buttonhole twist and dollmaker's needle, stitch back and forth through centre of pillow several times, attaching button to top. Slipstitch or glue cover bottom to footstool top, approx 7.5 cm from edges.
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