Here’s the guest tutorial I mentioned yesterday: a DIY folding stool made from scratch! This project uses more of my new Arrow fabric and makes a great side table, footrest, or portable seat. Here’s LiEr to tell you how to make them.
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Hello! I am LiEr and I write a craft blog ikatbag that is part fabric, part cardboard and, occasionally, wood. Today, Iam happy to be here sharing how to make these little wooden fold-upstools.
I made these stools in Jessica’s new Arrow fabric for my three girls, in two sizes. The smaller one is for my 6-year-old and the two larger ones are for my almost-8 and almost-10-year old.
They also make good footrests for the director’s chair in yesterday’s post.
Though they are meant for kids, they can easily be sized up for adults,too. The dimensions in this tutorial are for the larger stool;
to make the smaller one,
follow the dimensions in the diagram below. The hardware for both stools are the same.
Part I: The Wooden Frame
I used lumber in two sizes – 2X2 for the side beams and 1×2 for the legs and cross bars. The thicker wood is sturdier, but the thinner legsfolded more compactly for the kid-sized chairs. If I were making this in a larger size for an adult, I’d use 2X2 lumber for the entire frame.
This is the hardware I used:
(Note: you can just as well use skinny screws in place of the nails, but I didn’t have those on hand.)
along with the associated tools:
- Saw (hand or electric)
- Drill, with the relevant drill bits
- Wrench/spanner for the hex bolts
- Heavy-duty staple gun
- Wood glue
- Ruler, T-square, pencil
Step 1: Cut
Cut and sand lumber in the following lengths –
Of the 2×2:
- Two 14″ lengths for side beams
Of the 1×2:
- Four 19″ lengths for legs
- One 11 3/8″ length for cross bar
- One 9 3/4″ length for cross bar
Step 2: Drill
Drill holes in the legs as shown –
first, holes for the bolts, 9″ from the flat ends.
Next, pre-drill holes for the screws, centrally (or as best you can) through the flat ends.
Also, pre-drill matching holes for the screws in the 14″ side beams, as shown:
Step 3: Assemble the wider legs
Gather two legs, the 11 3/8″ cross bar and the 14″ side beam with the 12″ screw spacing.
I also found it helpful to attach the cross bar first (the one with nails),
Step 4: Assemble the narrower legs
Gather the remaining pieces of lumber: two legs, the 9 3/4″ cross barand the 14″ side beam with the 10.5″ screw spacing. Assemble thenarrower leg system in the same way as the wider one, noting that thecross bar is now 4″ (not 3″) above the pointed ends of the legs. This is to allow the two leg systems to nest within each other when the stoolis folded closed.
Step 5: Assemble the frame
Nest the narrow set of legs in the wider, with the pointed ends in thecorrect configuration for the stool to stand squarely on the ground.
On each side, line up the bolt holes and insert bolt, washers and nut in the following sequence: (from top to bottom): bolt, washer, wider leg,washer, narrower leg, washer, nut.
Secure tightly with the nut on the bottom.
Part II: The Fabric Seat
Step 1: Cut
Cut out fabric as follows:
- Top fabric: one rectangle 19.5″ x 14.5″ (mine was Arrow)
- Bottom fabric: one rectangle 19.5″ x 14.5″(mine was navy twill)
- Inner canvas stabilizer: one rectangle 18.5″ x 13.5″ (mine was natural duckcloth/canvas)
Step 2: Pin and Sew
Assemble and pin a fabric sandwich as shown in the photo below.
First, centralize and pin the stabilizer to the WS of the top fabric so that there is a uniform 1/2″ border all around.
Next, pin the bottom fabric to the top fabric so that their RS are together and their edges are aligned.
Using a 1/2″ seam allowance, sew around the edge of (but not on) thecanvas stabilizer, through both the top and bottom fabrics (red dashedline). Leave a large opening (about 10″) along one of the long sides,for turning out.
Clip the corners and turn the entire fabric sandwich RS out so that thecanvas stabilizer is entirely enclosed. Manipulate its corners withinthe sandwich, if necessary, so that it lies flat and does not bunch up.Press all seams. Edge-stitch around (i.e. sew about 1/8″ away from) theedge of the sandwich to flatten the seam. Topstitch an additional lineabout 1/4″-1/2″ from the edgestitching, to securely “catch” the layer of stabilizer between the two outer fabrics.
The fabric seat is finished and ready for the frame. Note fornon-sewers: if you had sized your frame accordingly, you could even skip the sewing altogether by using store-bought placemats!
With a heavy-duty staple gun, wrap the shorter side of the fabric seatover the side beams of the frame and staple the fabric to the wood.