Upholstering the Ballard Designs Inspired X-Stool

Here is another “collaboration” with The Design Confidential. This time, it is upholstering the X stool, a design inspired by Ballard Designs.


upholstering x stool


  • Completed bench from the X Stool building plans
  • 3″ foam
  • Spray adhesive
  • Upholstery batting
  • Fabric
  • Staple gun


Step One

I’m trying to use supplies I already have at home which will reduce my “collection” and save more money for more projects… Rather than buy more foam for the seat, I used two narrower pieces, the same thickness, and joined them with duct tape. I then cut it to size using a bread knife and used spray adhesive to attach it to the plywood seat.

upholstering x stool two pieces of foam

 upholstering x stool joining foam with duct tape

Step Two

Cover the foam with upholstery batting and staple the batting to the underside of the plywood seat.

upholstering x stool covering with batting

Step Three

I wanted to use regular cotton fabric so I used a piece of muslin underneath to help beef up the fabric.

upholstering x stool lining the fabric

Step Four

Then, I started folding the fabric over (making a small “hem” so the raw edges were not exposed) and stapled the fabric to the underside of the seat. I like to put one staple in the middle and one at each end, then fill in between.

 upholstering x stool securing fabric to seat

  upholstering x stool staples close up

Step Five

Pull the fabric as tight as possible and repeat for the other side.

upholstering x stool securing the other side

Step Six

Repeat the process again for the other two ends only this time making “hospital corners” when folding the ends of the fabric in and trimming away any bulk as necessary. Staple in place.

 upholstering x stool continue stapling

 upholstering x stool securing the corners

 upholstering x stool completed stapling

Step Seven

I then added a couple of stitches with a needle and thread at each corner to secure the fabric.

 upholstering x stool stitching corners

 upholstering x stool completed seat

Step Eight

Attach the leg assembly with screws through the upper stretchers into the seat. I primed, then painted the frame with Martha Stewart Living in Mushroom (eggshell finish).

upholstering x stool finished project


Yay! Another awesome collaboration with The Design Confidential. Thanks, Rayan, for the opportunity! Have questions about the DIY stool upholstery? Leave a comment below!


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