How to Make a Vanity Stool Slipcover with Ruffle - dummies

How to Make a Vanity Stool Slipcover with Ruffle

By Mark Montano, Carly Sommerstein

This project is an adorable vanity stool slipcover for a bathroom, changing room, little girl’s room, or cabana. The ruffles are worth the extra time and effort. Try a fabric that keeps its shape, such as the nonshiny version of chintz called cretonne, lace, silk shantung, or any kind of heavier cotton. Avoid any fabric that is too slippery, such as satin or charmeuse, because even people with buns of steel might slide right off!

To figure out your seat pattern measurements, start underneath your seat cushion, where it meets the wood or metal underside, and go across the diameter to the same point on the opposite side. Add 1 inch for your 1/2-inch seam allowance.

To get the skirt measurement, follow these two steps:

  1. Measure your stool from the floor to the bottom edge of the stool’s cushion.

  2. Measure the skirt circumference and double it.

This example skirt pattern measures 17 x 67.

Here, you need less than a full yard of 45- or 60-inch-wide fabric for your seat and about another 1-1/2 yards for the skirt, for a total of approximately 2-1/2 yards of 45- or 60-inch-wide fabric. You also need 1 yard of 1/4-inch-wide elastic. To determine how much elastic you need, simply measure the circumference of your seat and add a few inches.

Follow these easy steps to dress up your vanity stool in no time:

  1. Create your cushion and skirt patterns, if you want to make a pattern, and cut all your fabric. For your cushion, draw a large circle on your butcher paper that is the exact diameter of your stool seat, then draw a 1-inch circle around that, to allow a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

    Your skirt pattern will be a large triangle.

  2. Place your skirt fabric right sides together so that the fabric is facing inside out (be sure to join the two smaller sides). Sew your skirt fabric into a tube, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

  3. Working on the stool, you’ll be gathering the fabric to the stool’s circumference. With fabrics face-to-face and raw edges aligned, pin your gathered skirt to the fabric circle using a 1/2-inch seam allowance.


  4. Take the fabric off the stool and stitch the two pieces together using a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

    You can use the long stitch of your sewing machine or the gathering foot.

  5. Stretch your elastic around the seat cushion like a large rubber band and see how long it needs to be to comfortably slip on and off your stool.

    Holding the two ends together to get an approximate length and then pinning the elastic ends with a safety pin will help.

  6. Cut your elastic to the appropriate size and, with chalk or a marker, mark your elastic evenly in quarters and pin the elastic to the corresponding quarters of the fabric circle.

  7. Sew the elastic around your circle on the seam you created when you sewed the skirt to the cushion fabric, pinning and stretching the elastic to accommodate the length as you sew.


    To finish the elastic ends, overlap the elastic 1/2 inch and use a zigzag stitch to sew it together so that it looks like a large rubber band.

  8. Hem your ruffle at the bottom using a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

    Turn inside out and slip it on your stool!