About this course

Make your very own upholstered birchwood footstool, using a mix of modern and traditional upholstery techniques. Experience making and doing, and leave with a #putyourfeetup guarantee!

Course Description

In this one-day workshop, make your very own ‘Rounded by’ upholstered modern footstool. In this fun, informal, friendly introduction to upholstery, you will gain experience and confidence with a mix of modern and traditional upholstery tools and principles. With a focus on sustainable design, you will take home a finished piece.

We will work using pre-cut and treated birchwood leg frames and bases.

We will use natural latex, hair and coconut filler, which we will cut to form in the studio.

You will learn how to use traditional tools, including magnetic tack hammers, tack lifters, mallets and regulators.

You will shape the filler, and apply and fix edge rolls.

You will tension the upper upholstered section with the calico and tack. You will cover the upper in top fabric and secure it using electric staple guns.

If using buttons and piping, these will be applied.

You will attach the base and legs to the footstool upper, and we will all stand back and smile.

Dependent on the interests of the group on the day, the tutor will talk through different ways to upholster fabric and material selections, answer general upholstery questions and share details on suppliers.

You will with each element of the process, learn and follow best practice, paying attention to measuring, cutting and placement, and the implications they have for more complicated projects. Consideration will be given to wastage, efficiency and workshop etiquette, and how best to make use of offcuts, imperfections in materials and problem solve.

The skills learnt and confidence gained within this one-day course will equip the novice or improver with the principles and tool experience to tackle a small self-guided modern project at home.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • On this course, the tutor will supply all of the materials.

What students need to bring

  • Wear clothes that you are comfortable in, that you don’t mind getting dirty or catching a thread on. Wear layers as our work is quite physical at times and, if you have an apron, bring one.
  • Essential - wear closed toe shoes with a good sole, as we will be working with metal tacks and hammers, and will be standing most of the day. (The good news is we’re making a footstool, so you are guaranteed to be able to put your feet up when you get home!)
  • We work with 100% recycled wool yarn top cloth and there are a selection of colours available. You can choose to have matching or contrasting piping. To guarantee your colours for the day, you will need to choose these ahead of the course. Please contact the Bookings Team at: [email protected] to make your selection.
  • Optional: If you wish to bring your own fabric for use on your footstool, please note, it must be upholstery weight and no leather please. Stripes, checks and thick pile velvet can be more challenging. If using a pattern, please ensure that the pattern drop repeat is less than 35cm/and or that you are happy with the placement of the pattern on a 48cm circumference – for example, a 55cm parrot would likely end up being headless/footless. The tutor is happy to advise on your fabric choice, but you will need to send a photograph and details through to the Bookings Office.

Additional information

Please note this course uses natural latex, hair and coconut filler, so will not be suitable for those with with allergies or sensitivity to any of these products. Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. There may be restrictions on equipment available to students in tutor’s absence.


Lucy Thomas

Lucy is a designer maker living and working in East Sussex. She produces modern upholstered footstools. Useful objects, made well. Her practice is informed by the idea that “If you can’t fix it, you don’t own it”.

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