A Footstool Upcycle to Get A Leg Up

by Megan
6 Materials
I transformed an old drawer found curbside into a footstool with storage to give my little dog a little help getting up on the couch!
I have a little dog who likes to pretend she can't jump up on the couch without assistance (she can). So to avoid her theatrics, we keep a little footstool by the side of the couch. The vinyl storage cube stool I had there was looking worse for wear, so I thought it was time to replace it.... A perfect opportunity for me to get creative and put my own spin on things.
While out riding my big tricycle one day, I passed by a pile of drawers. I can always find uses for them, so I picked a few up. As you can see, there was nothing of much interest on the drawer, just holes where the pull was. So I filled the holes and sanded the surface smooth.

This was probably not the best drawer for this project, but it was the best one I had in my drawer pile.... right size and right depth. The only drawback was the back panel and the bottom were made of composite hardboard instead of regular wood. I just picked super-hubby's brain to find a way around those challenges.
I painted the entire drawer with high durability high gloss black. It got about 3 coats because hardboard sucks up paint like a sponge. Then I attached leg hardware to the bottom. We couldn't screw it into the thin hardboard, so instead we bolted it on and used lock nuts.
I also picked up short legs at the hardware store (the cheap $3 ones)... And I painted them in the same black.
I chose this pull because I liked the pattern, but it was the wrong color to match my upholstery plan. So I spray painted it with lavender paint that I had left over from my last drawer project.

At this point, I completely forgot to take pictures of the next steps. Mostly because measuring for the hinges and upholstering was a frustrating undertaking.

I have cats and dogs and kids, so I needed to find something tough to use to make the seat. I came across a 3x5 "dorm room" rag rug at a discount store for $5. It gave me plenty of material plus some to use on a later project. I bought a foam pad at the fabric store and glued it to a cover we cut out of 3/4" plywood from the scrap pile. We made sure to leave room for the upholstery when measuring.

I glued the foam pad to the seat, and upholstered it with the cut up rug. Super hubby attached it to the drawer with hinges so we can use the inside for storage (it is where I keep my slippers so the dog won't chew them!)
As you can see here, I roughed up the paint job on the knob to bring out the pattern, because it so perfectly matched the upholstery. I did clear coat it just to be sure the distressing stayed exactly how I wanted it.
And here it is, in place next to the couch. Wouldn't you know it took forever to get the persnickety little dog to use the new stool? But it also serves as an extra seat for one of the kids, or one of the cats, and a place to put my feet up when I am relaxing between projects. Thankfully the pup eventually figured it out too...
Suggested materials:
  • Drawer   (Curbside)
  • Spray Paint/Wood   (Leftover)
  • Knob   (Hobby Lobby)
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Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Robby Treichel Robby Treichel on Dec 21, 2016
    It looks like the bottom of the cushioned seat rests level with the drawer top. What is it resting on in back and on the sides since they sit lower than the drawer front?

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  • Mary Coakley Mary Coakley on Dec 22, 2016
    I taught it was only English people and dogs now I have found its crossed the pond,way to nice for your doggy.

  • Joan LaSalle Joan LaSalle on Dec 26, 2017
    Just beautiful, so practical, too. ...and our little dog does same thing, so perhaps I'll give this a try.