Friday, June 24, 2011

Tutorial: Toadstool stool covers...

Every year I make decorations for my kids' birthday parties, and where possible I like these decorations to be a little more "permanent" - ie:  made from fabric and usable as decor for their rooms afterwards.

I had this idea months ago to make these Ikea stools we had into little toadstools for the party goers to sit on.  My kids could then have a couple each in their rooms (and *sigh*, who knows, maybe one day we will have a dedicated playroom where they could live).

They are fairly simple to make.  I managed to make four of them entirely from fabric (an old red tablecloth) and scraps I already had, which pleased me no end!

To make a toadstool stool cover you will need:

* A stool (the Ikea kid's ones are ideal, but I know that my NZ readers don't have Ikea, so any round- topped stool will do)
* 60 x 60cm piece of red fabric (like thick cotton drill)
* Scraps of white fabric (thick enough to not be see-through, so again, cotton drill works well)
* White and red thread
* Cardboard (to make dot templates)
* Vliesofix tape or scraps of Vliesofix fusible web (this is the iron-on stuff that sticks fabric to fabric with just the heat from your iron)
* 70cm of 5mm wide elastic
* Fibre-fill

Measure the top of your stool.  Cut a circle from your red fabric that is 12cm wider than your stool's diameter.  I used the base of a pedestal fan to draw around :).  If the top of your stool is particularly thick, you may have to add some width to accomodate this.  Stretch your fabric over the stool top to check it tucks under nicely.

Onto some cardboard, draw about seven circles.  I didn't want mine to be too perfect so I drew them free-hand, but if you like proper circles you could draw around some circular objects.

Laying the cardboard circles out to check if they look alright...

Cut the cardboard "dots" out and arrange them on the red circle (leaving about a 5cm border around as shown).  Rearrange until you are happy with how they look.  I numbered my circles as I was going to make four of these stools so I wanted each one to look similar, but if you are only going to make one, you could even skip the cardboard template stage and just go straight to freehand cutting out the circles out of your white fabric.

Once you are happy with the look of your dots, secure them to the red circle using some pieces of Vliesofix tape or web.  This will hold them in place nicely as you sew.  If you don't have any Vliesofix you could pin the circles down.  I also gave mine a good blast of spray starch at this point, which also helps the dots to stay in place.

Using your machine and white thread, applique the dots to the red circle.  You could use any stitch you want - a tight zig-zag or in my case I used a kind of blanket stitch.

Change to red thread.  Zig-zag (or overlock) your red circle all the way around the edge.  You could do this first if your fabric is particularly fray-prone.

Start sewing the elastic on.  Sew it about 5-7mm in from the edge, and on the reverse side.  Use a zig-zag stitch that is slightly narrower than your elastic.  Start by anchoring the elastic in place by going back and forth a few times with your machine.

Now pull the elastic as you sew, keeping it as taut as possible.  You will probably need to grab the red fabric in front of you and behind the machine's foot as you go.  This can be a bit tricky, but as it can't be seen at the end, don't worry too much if it's a bit wonky!

That's the cover all done.

Now turn it upside-down and fill it with fibre fill.  Tease the fibre fill out so it is as lump-free as possible.  If you have concerns that a young child may take the cover off and get in to the fibre fill you could make a little round cushion to go under the cover or just leave it flat.

Flip it over and stretch it over your stool.  All done.

Find a little woodland fairy or garden gnome and make their day!


  1. Oh my goodness..such a clever lady you are!
    I would like to see you collaborate with my sister-in-law..for my niece's 3rd birthday, the theme was fairy wonderland ..she had found cement toadstools and put them in the back yard.
    She also is an amazing source of creativity..from monster cakes to halloween themed decorations throughout her home!

  2. Those are awesome! My boys would love these because they are huge Super Mario Bros fans and they look like that toadstool guy on that game. I am new to sewing so I really appreciate the tutorial!

    Love your blog and all your ideas. I'm on my way to check out your felt project. New follower from For the Kids Fridays blog hop. Hope you'll stop by my blog to say hello and follow back if you'd like. :)

  3. would like to add simply pinning something on to applique can sometimes not work & make it look messy. its worth getting something to stick it down with . you could even use masking tape (the papery one) putting it against old fabric first so doesnt leave sticky residue or leave your needle gummy or you can use pritt stick & also iron so doesnt make your needle gummy

  4. Adorable! I'm going to attempt these for my nieces' garden-themed-bedroom-to-be, but I'm thinking I'll do a channel for the elastic, since I don't trust myself to sew it right onto the fabric. I'll be using fleece (no fray!) & 3" thick foam underneath for the pouf effect.
    Fingers crossed!!



Thanks so much for your comments - I really appreciate them!

Related Posts with Thumbnails