Little Miss Tuffet

Carol Zentgraf
Little Miss Tuffet

Put your feet up on a stylish tufted footstool customized to match your décor.

Download the matching Velvet Throw project here.


Supplies listed are enough for a 10"x13"x10 1/2" rectangular footstool.

  • Wooden footstool (see "Sources.")
  • 1 yard of 54"-wide home-décor fabric (see "Sources.")
  • 1/2 yard of heavyweight 100% cotton velvet
  • 2"-wide polyester foam-alternative cushioning (see "Sources.")
  • Low-loft batting (see "Sources.")
  • 1 1/2"-diameter covered button kit (see "Sources.")
  • 2-hole metal button
  • 6" upholstery needle (see "Sources.")
  • Thread: all-purpose, 12-wt. cotton & waxed button (see "Sources.")
  • Permanent fabric adhesive
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Medium-tip permanent marker
  • Drill with 1/4" bit

Note: Use 1/2" seam allowances unless otherwise noted.


Measure the footstool seat length and width. From the batting, cut a rectangle 3" larger on each side than the seat. For a 10"x13" seat, cut a 16"x19" batting rectangle.

Measure from the footstool upper edge to the floor and add 1/2" to determine the skirt cutting length. For a 10 1/2" tall stool, the skirt length is 11".

Measure the footstool seat perimeter. Double the perimeter measurement to determine the skirt width. For a 46" perimeter, the skirt width is 92".  

From the fabric, cut a rectangle the same dimensions as the batting rectangle. Cut as many rectangles as necessary that are the skirt length x the fabric width to complete the total skirt width measurement. For example, a skirt width of 92" requires two 47"-wide rectangles including the seam allowance.


To find the seat center, draw a diagonal line from one seat corner to the opposite corner. Repeat to draw a diagonal line connecting the remaining corners. Drill a hole at the line intersection (1).

Position the seat right side down on the foam-alternative cushioning. Trace the seat perimeter using the permanent marker. Cut the foam along the marked line. Adhere the foam to the seat right side using fabric adhesive.

Center the batting rectangle over the foam. Tautly pull the batting edges to the seat underside, and then staple in place using the staple gun. Make sure that the foam shape is even along all edges. Trim the excess batting beyond the staples (2).

Center the fabric right side up over the batting. Wrap the fabric edges to the seat underside. Anchor the fabric rectangle by stapling at each edge center, and then continue stapling toward the seat corners. Evenly distribute the fabric around the seat corners; staple. Trim the excess fabric.

With right sides together, stitch the skirt rectangle short edges. Serge- or zigzag-finish one skirt long edge, and then fold the finished edge 1/2" toward the wrong side; topstitch.

Set the machine to a long stitch length, and then stitch along the skirt raw edge, leaving long thread tails. Position the skirt raw edge around the seat edge, pulling the thread tails to gather the skirt until it securely fits the seat. Evenly distribute the skirt gathers, and then staple the gathered fabric edge in place along the seat edge. 


Measure the seat rectangle perimeter and double it; record.

From the velvet, cut enough 6 1/2"-wide strips to achieve the recorded length, piecing as necessary to form one long strip. Press open each piecing seam.

Fold one strip end 1/2" to the wrong side; press. Fold the strip in half lengthwise with right sides together. Stitch the long edge. Turn the strip right side out using a tube turning tool or large knitting needle. Press the seam to the center along the strip backside.

Set the machine for a 5mm-long basting stitch or gathering stitch. Stitch down the center of the tube from the right side, using 12-wt. thread in the bobbin. Leave long thread tails at the beginning and end of the stitching.

Gently pull the bobbin thread to gather the strip to fit the seat perimeter, leaving 1" free of gathers at each raw end.

Push the raw end 1" into the folded strip end, aligning the seams and making sure the strip isn't twisted.

Position the strip around the seat upper edge, concealing the skirt raw upper edge. Pin generously. Hand stitch the ruffle in place. Or use a glue gun and run a bead of glue down the strip wrong side seam; using your hand, press the ruffle to the seat upper edge to adhere.


Follow the manufacturer's instructions to cover the 1 1/2"-diameter button with fabric.

Cut a length of waxed button thread. Insert the thread through the covered button shank and slide the button to the thread center.

Insert the upholstery needle through the seat hole, extending the needle eye beyond the cushion center. Thread both thread ends through the needle eye (3). Pull the needle and thread downward through the seat hole. Remove the needle.

Insert one thread end through each metal button hole along the seat underside. Tightly pull the thread ends to tuft the seat center. Knot the thread ends on the seat underside several times to secure (4).

TIP: For a two-tone look, use two coordinating fabrics for the seat and skirt.


Beacon Adhesives provided the Fabri-Tac permanent fabric adhesive: (914) 699-3405,

Expo International, Inc. provided the chenille gimp trim: (800) 542-4367,

Fairfield Processing Corp. provided the Nu-Foam upholstery foam alternative: (800) 980-8000,

Hobby Lobby carries unfinished wooden stepstools: (800) 888-0321,

Prym Consumer USA provided the covered button kit, waxed button thread and upholstery needle:

Westminster Fibers provided the Amy Butler Love fabric: (866) 907-3305,


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