As I cannot sew very well, all of my previous furniture has had their fabrics made by someone else, and to a very high standard, but knowing I wanted to make a modular 3-piece sofa set this would soon prove very expensive, so with that in mind I used this footstool / pouffe as a test to see what could be done just by folding and glueing, treating fabric just like paper or thin card.

The actual frame of the stool was made from off-cuts of wood, with four small tinted cupboard knobs on the bottom to simulate bun-feet, but anything of the appropriate dimensions can be used, and as with my other projects the sizes and proportions can be amended to suite, as all that matters is the principle.

Fig 1 : Main frame.

Having chosen suitable fabric, four pieces were cut whose length was about 1½ times the width of the frame; each piece was then folded in half lengthwise and a strip of hemming-tape placed inside the fold, and ironed so it bonded the fabric.

A second piece of tape was then ironed into place at one end, and the fabric cut to make a clean edge.

Fig 2a : Side - first fold & cut. (Note that the two pieces of tape are between the folded fabric, not on top of or beneath it.)

Still working on the same end, it was folded over and ironed onto a third piece of tape placed on top of the fabric.

Fig 2b : Side - second fold.

Having determined the length of the fabric by placing it against the frame, and taking into account that extra material would be needed to allow for the other end to be sealed and folded, the process was repeated at the other end.

Fig 2c : Side - third fold.

The remaining three sides were treated the same way.

Before fixing any of the sides pieces, the frame needs to have its corners hidden with offcuts that have a simple taped hem at the bottom to create a clean edge.

Fig 3 : Corner covers. (Note the glue is only dark because it’s fresh and wet.)

Now attach each side in place, being careful not to use so much glue that it soaks through to the outside, and leaving the bottom edges a bit loose. If any of the sides are fractionally shorter than they need to be, then glue one end first, and once that has dried glue and temporarily pin the other end until it’s set.

Fig 4 : Attaching sides.

Once all four sides have been added, fold over their tops and glue in place, cutting the corners at 45° so they butt against one another.

Fig 5a : Folding over the sides.

Now place a square piece across the top, sized so it only just reaches the rounded edges where the sides fold over.

Fig 5b : Adding the top.

Then to finish the base, carefully glue a strip of ornamental cording around the edges, thus hiding all the joins. The cord will have its own join, however, and rather than have that on the corner where it could be seen from two directions, I placed it mid-way along one side and tried my best to weave together the exposed ends.

Note that for the cording, superglue rather than normal craft glue was used, in small runs of about 3cm, to ensure everything set in its correct place.

Fig 5c : Base cording.

Now for the cushion, and rather than have pieces for the top and bottom, with a third running around the sides that would have an edge to hide, I used two pieces in such a way that each covered two opposite sides, and the top or bottom, so they were very flat ‘U’ shapes, placed opposite one another and turned 90°.

Fig 6a : First cover.

Then, as with the base, the exposed edges were concealed beneath cording.

Fig 6b : Final cover & cording.

Two images of the completed project shown in context with two different sized dolls. Note that in the first image I haven’t covered the cushion yet.

Fig 7a : 60cm doll Amar (Luts Moon).

Fig 7b : 40 cm doll Æveáine (Dollzone Mo).