I love giving a modern twist to something old-fashioned, and a good example of this type of hacking is this footstool. It looked tatty and unloved, but changing its seat from the old rattan to a brightly coloured chunky yarn gave the stool a new lease of life. Any footstool with a fabric or rattan seat can be given a makeover—you might have a similar piece of furniture in your attic or you can pick them up for next to nothing in second hand furniture stores or on eBay, which is where I found mine.
You will need:
An old footstool
Paint and paintbrush (optional)
Chunky yarn (I used Zpagetti yarn, and this footstool required approximately 55 yards/50m)
1. Cut away the stool’s original seating. I tried to keep as much of the twine intact as possible because I intended to use it for another project (see Updated drawer handles, page 60). There’s no need to clean the footstool as the wood will be sanded later.
2. Continue removing all the twine or rattan until you are left with just the wooden frame.
3. Sand the wood down to remove any old varnish or paint. After sanding, I liked the colour of the wood so much that I decided to leave it in its natural state, but at this stage you could paint the frame any colour you like.
4. Take your ball of Zpagetti or other strong yarn. Tie the end of the yarn securely to one of the upper side bars of the stool.
5. Wrap the yarn across the seat, from one side to the other, taking it over the top of the frame and then across the underside. The yarn needs to be pulled taut.
6. Keep wrapping until you have covered the whole width of the seat. Make sure that the total number of wraps is a multiple of ﬁve, e.g. 50, 55, or 60 wraps, depending on the size of the stool frame.
7. Move the ball of yarn over to one of the side bars, and wrap it once around the bar to secure it in place.
8. Now weave the yarn up and over every ﬁve strands. To start, go under the ﬁrst ﬁve strands, then up and over the next ﬁve strands. Continue this under/over process until you reach the other side of the frame. Go back in the opposite direction, so over where you went under, and under where you went over. Push the wraps of yarn up close together to create a stronger seat, and remember to keep the yarn pulled taut.
9. Keep going until you have woven the whole stool seating. It’s better to work with a small ball of yarn as this is easier to push through the strands—I cut a length of around 11 yards (10m) and rolled it into a small ball.
10. If you run out of yarn, simply tie the end of the old piece securely to the new length of yarn and keep weaving. Any knots or loose ends can be pushed through to the underside.
11. When you have ﬁnished, cut the yarn and tie it securely to a side post. Tuck the tail end to the underside.
Tip: As you weave the yarn up and over, if you wish you can create a pattern—instead of alternating every under/over wrap, you can have several rows of the same direction next to each other.
Discover more updating and repurposing ideas with Wooden Furniture Hacks by Hester Van Overbeek.