Hi! Mandi here, from Making Nice in the Midwest, to share a fun little home decor project with you. Lately on Pinterest, I’ve been adding a lot of living room images to my home inspiration board and noticed a trend of fluffy white fur in a lot of the homes I like. I thought a fun way to incorporate this look into my own home would be to make a fluffy faux fur footstool to use with my favorite bright orange chair. Making this little round ottoman was pretty easy, but there were some tricks I figured out along the way. Now that I’ve learned a thing or two, I might make one of these as a gift for someone in my family!
- 15″ round piece of wood (I found mine pre-cut at Lowes.)
- 2 pieces of 2-3″ thick slabs of high density foam (I found two 15×18″ pieces at the craft store.)
- staple gun + 1/2″ staples (I tried using 1/4″ staples and they were a bit too short.)
- 4 short legs
- 4 leg mounting plates (not shown)
- Stain + brush (If the legs need stained, plus mineral spirits for cleanup)
- Drill + drill bit slightly smaller than the diameter of the screw on the table legs
- 1/2 yard of faux fur fabric
- Fabric scissors
Optional finishing materials:
- 15″ round piece of muslin fabric
- 1 pack of nailheads
- glue gun
Step 1: Stain the legs. I used one coat of Early American Miniwax stain and wiped it off with a paper towel. You might want to wait a few hours to let the stain set up, but if you’re impatient like me, you can just let the stain dry completely after attaching them to the chair. Just beware of staining the fabric if you go that route! When you’re done staining, clean out the brush with mineral spirits, or if you happen to have it on hand and aren’t worried about the fumes- paint thinner. Chemical soaked rags are highly combustible, though, so let them dry out before you even enclose them into a trash can or anything like that.
Step 2: Cut out the foam. Lay the round piece of wood over each slab of foam and trace around it with a marker. I used a large serrated knife to cut out the foam, but it was trickier than I thought it would be. Your foam doesn’t need to be perfectly cut, but it should definitely be a 15″ circle when you’re done! So, to keep the shape you drew, it’s helpful to drag the knife along the line, just cutting a little bit into the foam. Do several more drags of the knife over the same spot until the foam is completely cut. Do this all the way around the foam until the circles are cut.
Step 3: Stack the two pieces of foam on top of the batting, and lay the wood piece on top. Gently pull the batting around the foam and staple it to the face of the wood circle, just at the edge. I wish I would have stapled my batting closer to the edge than I did. Because there was so much batting and fabric bunched up along the edge of the wood, attaching the legs later was more difficult than it could have been.
Step 4: Trim the overhang batting really close to the staples. This part’s pretty simple.
Step 5: Lay the batting covered circle foam-side-down onto the back side of the faux fur fabric. You can cut the fabric into a circle first, but I didn’t want to risk cutting away too much fabric, so I made it a square instead. Staple the four sides of the square of fabric onto the wood, just past where the batting ended. Like I said before, it’s better to keep your fabric close to the edge of the wood so attaching the legs later isn’t a real pain in the you-know-what. After you have four staples in, pull in the corners of the fabric and staple those. The remaining bunches of fabric should be pulled into a big pleat and stapled too. Leave a 1 1/5″ unstapled area of fabric where you will be attaching the legs. These will be in four equidistant spots around the edge of the circle, and I found the middle of pleats an easy place to leave unstapled. After stapling all of the fabric, trim the excess really close to the edge of the staple. If you have stapled your fabric really close to the edge of the wood, you don’t need to worry about trimming away any fabric where you will attach the legs, so don’t leave any areas unstapled.
Step 6: UPDATED: When I first created this project, I didn’t realize you need leg plates to secure the legs. I’ve since updates the legs because they were coming loose without them. Now cut away a 1″ square of fabric in those spaces where you left out the staples. Remember, they should be equally spaced around the edge of the circle, because this is where you are attaching the legs. If your fabric is already close to the edge of the wood, don’t worry about cutting away any of the fabric. Drill a pilot hole a bit smaller than the screw mount of your legs in the 4 equidistant spaces. Be careful to keep the drill perpendicular to the wooden circle, or your legs will be tilted.
Step 7: Screw in the legs, being careful to keep them straight as you gently screw them in. I didn’t love the screw mount of my legs, because the mounts weren’t really long enough. If I were to do this project again, I would look for legs that have longer screwmounts, or use a nice set of hairpin legs.
Since I made this stool for our own home, and not to give as a gift, I had planned on being finished after step seven. But then I kept glancing at the stool every time I walked by it, knowing what was on the underside, and became increasingly agitated at knowing how unfinished it looked. It was driving me crazy, so I decided to remove the legs and make it look prettier on the bottom!
I also mentioned that I didn’t attach my fabric close enough to the edge of the circle, so I took this opportunity to staple the fabric closer to the edge and cut away the excess fabric and batting that was left over from before.
Attaching the backing fabric: I had some nailheads from a previous project that I found, and I also pulled a scrap of muslin from my fabric scrap stash to cover the wood and nicely hide the edge of the stapled furry fabric. I traced the stool on top of the muslin and trimmed out the circle. Then I laid it over the back of the stool, and began attaching it with the nailheads by tucking under the edge of the muslin and hammering it through the layers of furry fabric and into the wood. After hammering in one nailhead, I did the second one on the opposite side. I did the first four nailheads on opposite points from each other to make sure the fabric would be stretched out properly before adding the rest of the nailheads.
Attaching the legs: To attach the legs, I cut out 4 little holes in the muslin, equally distant from each other. Then I drilled new holes in these spaces (these ones were closer to the edge of the stool than the first time I attached the legs) and screwed in the legs. Because I messed up the fabric around one of the legs, I decided to use hot glue to attach some rope around the leg to hide the mistake. Once I put rope around one leg, I figured I should do it to all of them.
Now the bottom of the stool looks much prettier. I think it was worth the extra effort to finish the back of the stool, but it would have been a lot easier if I had planned on doing that to begin with!
Right now this furry little ottoman is sitting happily in our living room, but wouldn’t it be perfect as a footstool in a nursery? I would use shorter legs and only one layer of foam if I were to make this for a nursing footstool, though. It would be a great gift idea for a stylish new momma!
Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson