From yeuch to yay! A Foot Buddie facelift.

For some time now I have been seeing advertisements for the Foot Buddie™, a small rocking footstool for use when hand quilting or sewing for a long period of time: because of the rocking motion your legs are kept ‘active’, but are also supported.

The Foot Buddie as seen on the Nancy's Notions website. Not my own feet!

The Foot Buddie as seen on the Nancy’s Notions website. Not my own feet!

It seemed like just the thing, also because the daybed in my studio is a little too high for sitting upright comfortably whilst hand sewing: my feet only just reach the ground. The footstool has a stained walnut base and a padded top. There is a semicircular opening in the wooden base that works as a carry handle. 

The footstool from the front, showing the carrying handle underneath.

My footstool from the front, showing the carrying handle underneath.

All very nifty, but, there was a but: in all the photo’s I came across the Foot Buddie™ was upholstered with a beige-brown nubby looking fabric that wasn’t to my taste at all and certainly wouldn’t fit in in my studio, so I hesitated to make the purchase.  I couldn’t tell if it was constructed in a way that would be easy to reupholster. The I came across a photo of the underside of the footstool and what could I see: four screws! Aha! If I could unscrew the base then in all probability I could reupholster the top. I ordered one immediately.

The Foot Buddie™ arrived, and the fabric was as unattractive to me as I had anticipated (surprising for an otherwise great little product, but everyone’s taste is different!).

The Foot Buddie in the studio, prior to reupholstering.

The Foot Buddie in the studio, prior to reupholstering.

I had already had a hunt though my stash and had found a faux tapestry fabric that I thought would suit the slightly old fashioned style of the footstool. The first thing was to turn the stool over and locate and remove the screws.

The underside of the Foot Buddy showing the four screws that hold the top on.

The underside of the Foot Buddy showing the four screws that hold the top on.

Removing them was straightforward: I thought it was a nice touch that they had been painted to match the wood stain. Once I had the base off, the underside of the padded top came into view: a piece of ozb with the fabric stapled to it.

The underside of the padded top section of the footstool.

The underside of the padded top section of the footstool.

I tore the fabric lose from the staples, and that revealed a layer of pink foam under the upholstery fabric. I then removed the staples with the help of a pair of pliers and an awl (safety goggles on!).

The pink foam under the fabric, now loosened form the backing board.

The pink foam under the fabric, now loosened form the backing board.

Because my fabric wasn’t an upholstery weight cotton and because the pink foam was very pink, I used a layer of Hobbs 80/20 black cotton batting between the foam and my fabric, so that the foam wouldn’t show through and to give the upholstery a bit more ‘body’.

The black Hobbs batting and my faux tapestry cover fabric.

The black Hobbs batting and my faux tapestry cover fabric.

Then I made a sandwich with my fabric, the batting and the foam (having shifted the foam a little as it hadn’t been centred properly before, and got to work with my staple gun.

The foam, batting, fabric sandwich, ready for stapling.

The foam, batting, fabric sandwich, ready for stapling.

It was actually trickier than I had anticipated to get the tension correct: I think an upholstery grade fabric would have worked better (next time!) in terms of being able to even out the tension along the sides. It also was a bit of a challenge getting the rounded three-dimensional corners neat, as they couldn’t just be tucked in like a parcel, but eventually I had everything stapled down without too many lumps and bumps.

Stapled in position and ready for the base to be screwed back on.

Stapled in position and ready for the base to be screwed back on.

Then I lined up the holes in the ozb with the base and screwed the top back on. 

The bottom part of the footstool is screwed back on.

The bottom part of the footstool is screwed back on.

Ta daa! Once face-lifted footstool and I know that I can easily replace the fabric as it becomes worn. The Foot Buddie™ is very comfortable to use: I am enjoying having it immensely and can thoroughly recommend it to hand sewers and quilters.

The reupholstered Foot Buddie.

The reupholstered Foot Buddie.

The Foot Buddie™ is available from, amongst others http://www.nancysnotions.com and http://www.keepsakequilting.com. Both retailers ship internationally.

The front view of the end product.

The front view of the end product.

 

 

 

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