Put your feet up…

Pouffe, tuffet, footstool, hassock, ottoman… a thing to put your feet on, which also serves as extra seating.

finishedChoose which one you prefer. I don’t like pouffe, stools have legs, hassocks are for kneeling on and ottomans are rectangular and have lids (or at least that’s my opinion). So I’m inclining towards tuffet*. It’s almost onomatopoeic, the thing makes a sort of soft ‘pfluff’ noise when you sit on it…

Easy, easy project.  It took me an hour, tops. Here’s how:

draft pattern1. Decide how wide you want the top and how tall you want the tuffet to be. Remember your school math? The circumference of a circle is 2∏R (2 x 3.14 x radius). The radius is half the diameter. Once you have the circumference, divide it into 8 equal segments. (Click on the photo for detail).

2. Draw a line the length of the segment across the bottom of a piece of paper. Divide it in half. Perpendicular to this line, and at the halfway point, draw a line the length of the radius, up towards the top of the paper. From the top of this line draw two more lines, down to each end of the original line across the bottom. Copy this on another piece of paper. If you’re going for a huge one, you’ll probably need to join several sheets of paper.

3. Draw a rectangle where one side is the length of the segment and the other end is half the height of the finished tuffet. Draw another one and join them together along the length dimension (or use a larger piece of paper and draw just one the full height. I’m lazy, so…). Onto this side panel stick one triangle at one end and one at the other, joining segment length to segment length. Cut out.

4. Where the triangle joins the rectangle, there’ll be an angle. Smooth this out into a curve with your pencil, the same on all 4 corners, and trim off the excess. That’s the pattern done.

cut out5. You’ll need to add whatever seam allowance you prefer. Cut 8 sections from your preferred fabric; a heavier weight upholstery or curtain fabric will stand up best to use. If you want the design to line up (as I did), be careful with pattern placement when pinning and cutting.

assemble6. Sew two sets of 4 units together so you have two halves of a hollow globe, pressing as you go.

7. Place one half inside the other, right sides together on the inside. Stitch up one side fully, press, and then the other half leaving a 4″ gap to allow you to turn it inside out and then fill it. Press, including flattening the seam allowance around the gap.

fill8. Turn right side out. Using a wide-mouth funnel (or paper cone with the end cut off), fill with polystyrene beads/packing peanuts, or you can stuff with fibrefill, but it’ll need loads. Either way, be generous with the filling or your tuffet will be sad and saggy. This one took 80 litres/1 kilo/21 gallons/2.2 pounds of fill, which looks a lot in the bag, but is just enough.

close9. Stitch the opening closed by hand, using whip or ladder stitch –the latter gives the most invisible result. I added a button to the centre top, just for pretty.


Sit smugly back with your feet up and admire.




50 thoughts on “Put your feet up…

  1. Your bravery in choosing a striped fabric matches your skill in costruction: this is a masterpiece of both! The word tuffet makes me think of Miss Muffet and spiders…..

    • katechiconi says:

      Viv, I swear this is the easiest thing I’ve made in years! The stripes actually make it easier to line things up. I wasn’t exaggerating when I said it took me an hour. The longest part of the whole job was putting the filling in without spreading polystyrene beads everywhere. What was it with Miss Muffet, anyway? Curds and whey? Yuck!

  2. tialys says:

    You are becoming the queen of the tutorials!
    I have made these before but, because I’m not gifted in the maths department, I used a pattern – I think it was an Amy Butler one – and they are squatter than yours, a bit like Moroccan style ones. I made a couple then adapted the pattern to make mini poufs (sorry!) which can be used as a hefty cushion to put your feet up on the sofa. Another way to finish off the top – if you don’t want a button – is to cut an octagon and sew it on so all the points meet the seams of the panels and hide any ‘inexactness’ where they all meet. As if 😉
    Trust you to choose a pattern you had to match and it still only took you one hour!! It took me at least that long to stuff the things. Mind you, I didn’t use the polystyrene beads but fibrefill and I couldn’t believe how much disappeared inside.
    Thanks again for sharing Kate.

    • katechiconi says:

      I had a look at the Amy Butler pattern but it wasn’t tall enough for me, and then I thought, “well, how hard can it be?” and of course, it wasn’t hard at all. I’m quite proud of my matched stripes, and the seams do match up, but the button just adds a finishing touch to make it less utilitarian. Seriously, with stripes, just lay the pattern piece on the same part of the fabric, and the matching virtually happens by itself…

  3. claire93 says:

    lol I too am thinking of little Miss Muffett ^^ well done Kate!

  4. I have never made a pouffe/footstool/tuffety thingamabob because of the amount of stuffing needed. Stupidly, I never thought of beanbag beans!
    Great work on the stripe matching.

  5. I made something similar (although not remotely as attractive) designed so a child can use it to store stuffed. There’s a zipper at the bottom and, when fully plumped up with soft toys it’s like a somewhat bumpy pouffe, tuffet, footstool, hassock, ottoman, whatever.

    Here’s a link to the instructions. They were a bit vague in some spots but what’s sewing without a few swear words? http://www.threadridinghood.com/wordpress/made-by-me-monday-googiemomma-s-a-c-discount-code-review-printable-pattern-pieces-whew/

    Now I’m pinning your instructions for a future project!

  6. Really nice 🙂 My mother has just made seven tuffets (that was the name we settled on, too!) using recycled plastic bottles. I must get some photos for you 🙂

  7. knettycraft says:

    Love it!!!! I made one too a while ago and the cats love it!

  8. dayphoto says:

    Look at what you did! COOL!


  9. Absolutely gorgeous – I need a tuffet in my life!

  10. Clare says:

    You make it look so easy! Whew. That’s a lot of math. But I most certainly need one or two or ten of these to sprinkle around the house. There never seems to be a good place to plop down when you need it!

    • katechiconi says:

      As someone who consistently failed math exams all her life (but then went on to manage million dollar budgets, go figure), I can promise there’s nothing more taxing than a bit of multiplication, for which calculators, duh. I promise this makes an excellent plop spot, and because it’s filled with styrene beads, it weighs nothing and can be squished into weird shapes for easier storage. Holiday seating!

  11. We had hassocks! I don’t think I could say tuffet with a straight face. Pouffe… Yeah, it’s got bad associations these days, doesn’t it?
    It’s lovely, well done!

  12. Lorij says:

    Very pretty. Are you finished your Christmas shopping ?

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you!
      I don’t Christmas shop, so am spared that particular form of torture. We don’t give gifts, we make donations to charity on behalf of our friends and family – giving the gift of giving, if you like. I’ve done it for the past 5 years, and the Husband has now joined me. We don’t endorse the rampant consumerism, we do some good, and we are saved the agony of the shopping! Our friends and family are now starting to do the same… I do hand make one or two things, the Dowager’s sewing box, for example.

  13. Lynda says:

    Perfect! Kate, you’ve made it look so easy that I want to try it. 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I sort of stunned myself at how quickly and easily it came together once I got off my backside… And I am *loving* the finished thing, which is much more comfortable than any other footstool type object we own!

  14. What a lovely object, whatever these are called. We say Poef in Dutch, as you will probably know! 😍
    I will make one of them some day… First to finish some of these wips…

  15. Kirsten says:

    I am with you, it is most definitely a tuffet!

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, isn’t it? I’m totally in love with it just now, it’s so much more comfortable than the small ottoman I had before – it conforms to my legs, there’s no edges to dig in, it’s light, so I can shove it around…

  16. EllaDee says:

    Your talents, as always, amaze me 🙂 The green stripe fabric is perfect, and the finished product is very stylish as well as looking very comfy.

  17. […] Octagonal sewing box tested for Tialys, same box made for the Dowager Gerbera bag AHQ laundry bag Striped tuffet Paper pieced tea pot and cups heat pad and mug […]

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