Monday, 3 February 2014

Frugal Footstools and Crafty Storage Space

Upcycling, Recycling and Making Creative Storage Furniture

Get the kettle on, pour a cuppa and get comfy. I'll apologise now for doing two posts today (second one to follow) but this is, after all, extremely frugal February and blogging is free.

We are making some progress with the eco-renovations, albeit very slowly. The 'new' living room has now been painted using up what we had available to us: needless to say, it's magnolia walls, white ceiling and white woodwork. I have a few bits and pieces that can be reused, like a curtain rail, curtains, book shelves and a chair rescued before it found its way to the tip, plus I have the £4 mirror I bought from a charity shop last year and a little coffee table that got diverted here rather than being binned.

Ideally, I want a warm comfy room with plenty of storage space so I can sit by the fireside with my feet up, relaxing and reading, knitting, crocheting or rug making. A storage foot stool was definitely on the list of wants, even if it wasn't an absolute necessity.

I now have a storage footstool and I love it!

A few years ago, I invested in several large plastic storage containers. These have been used for dry goods in the kitchen pantry, breakables during house moves and paperwork that now no longer needs to be kept, so I am clearing them out. This afternoon, I managed to empty the first of three. Most of the contents were recycled into fuel for the fire, but I did find a few handy bits and pieces for future use.

The cat found a use for almost everything!
First box emptied and a rummage through my fabric and crafting stash soon netted me enough to complete the project that I have had in mind for some time.

About to tackle the lid
Hot glue guns are fabulous - I've had mine for several years now and still manage to either burn my fingers or stick stuff to my nails but I wouldn't be without it. So, hot glue gun at the ready, along with an old pillow, part of old fleece blanket and some velour/velvety fabric I inherited from my late aunt, who had obviously been curtain making at some point.

The box lid will become the top of my storage foot stool
First, I glues the pillow at each corner and attached it to the lid of my plastic storage container. The overall dimensions of the container are approximately 70cm x 40cm x 40cm, so these are by no means small. The padded lid was then covered in the fleece and glued around the inside rim to hold it all in place.

The only bit of sewing was for the main cover
Next, I measured and cut my brown fabric to fit all the way around the container and then machine stitched it together for quickness. I could easily have hand sewn it but the novelty of having access to my inherited sewing machine hasn't worn off me yet. :)

Adding a decorative finishing touch
After covering the container in the velour, I secured it underneath and inside using glue. Among my stash, I found some braid and stuck that across the top of the lid. I'd have liked it to have gone all the way around the lid, but didn't have enough of it. (Aunt must have made lampshades, as there is a box filled with off cuts of this sort of stuff - it was like a real treasure trove to me when cousin gave me it!)

My crafty storage footstool
The entire project took me less than 3 hours to complete, even allowing time to rummage for fabric, sew the cover and let the glue set before packing all my current crafting projects inside for easy access while sitting with my feet up in front of the fire. There is enough fabric left to make a second one almost identical to this one, barring having to use slightly different braid.

Extremely frugal February is already throwing up some fun activities to help protect the finances.


  1. Oh that is nifty - a similar one already made (looks like a brown leather box with removable lid) sells fro around £19 - £25!!

    1. I looked at several online but most of the cheap ones were half this size. The one I REALLY liked was made by La-Z-Boy but it was hundreds of pounds. LOL It's only for sticking my feet up on it, not for holding the crown jewels, so my homemade ones will suit me just fine. They are strong enough to sit on them, too. :)

  2. What a great idea. Much cheaper than the ones you can buy

    1. I can highly recommend it for any size of strong box. It's a bit like a mini ottoman, so I'm thinking a large sturdy cardboard box could easily be reinforced and sat at the foot of a bed, although I wouldn't risk sitting on that. LOL

  3. Absolutely fabulous! I could see myself doing this - and I'm not creative! ~ Pru

    1. It was really easy, Pru, I didn't even need to sew on the braid, it's self-adhesive. LOL

  4. What a brilliant idea. :-)

    1. So simple that it's almost ingenious. I'm sure it's been done before but I hadn't seen it anywhere previously; it just came to me when I happened to sit an old pillows on top of a tub to put my feet up, get some knitting done and wait for my swollen ankles to go down. :)


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