Decorating & Design

January 22, 2016

DIY: Patterned Step Stool

Senior editor Morgan Michener transforms a simple wooden step stool into an eye-catching accessory. 


You’ll need a wooden step stool, 1 yd. lightweight cotton, shirting fabric, Matte Mod Podge (approx. 236 mL for a small stool), foam paintbrush, and sharp scissors.

diy step stool

Step 1: Cut Fabric To Size

Measure pieces of fabric large enough to envelop each leg and tread on the stool. Leave extra length for error; you can always trim any excess later. When cutting the pieces, I lined up the pattern so it would flow seamlessly over the step stool.

Step 2: Apply Fabric

Work piece-by-piece coating each section of wood with Mod Podge, and smoothing the fabric using the small foam paintbrush as you go. I pasted fabric around the legs first, so I could overlap them with the larger tread pieces and line up the pattern properly. You have a few minutes to play with alignment and smooth out air bubbles before the adhesive hardens, but a busy pattern like this tends to be forgiving. Let the covered stool dry for 2 hours.

Step 3: Brush On Topcoat

Apply a final layer of Mod Podge using the foam paintbrush to seal the fabric and make it water-resistant. The adhesive will go on white, but dry clear. Allow the step stool to dry overnight before using it.

Author: Morgan Michener

Angus Fergusson


Stool, Ikea; Caesar fabric by Liberty of London, The Workroom; Mod Podge, DeSerres.


House & Home Kitchens & Bath 2013 Special Issue