A tabouret is a square stool, tall enough for a grown person to sit on, and about the usual height of a chair. Get a carpenter to make a strong square box of well-seasoned wood, planed smooth both inside and out. Instead of having the lid or cover-piece exactly at the top, it should be placed below it, four or five inches down the inside, so as to leave a vacant space between itself and the upper edges of the box; to the sides of which it must be well secured, either with glue, or with small headless tack-nails. The wooden bottom of the box must be placed two or three inches up, so as to leave a space at each end of the lower corners for concealed castors, that will cause the tabouret to be moved easily on the carpet.
The carpenters part of the work being thus accomplished, the remainder of the tabouret can be easily completed by the ladies of the family, and at far less cost than if done by an upholsterer. We have seen beautiful tabourets made in this manner, and looking as if made entirely at a shop.
Get about seven or eight yards of strong, broad, very stout webbing, such as is used by saddlers or trunk-makers. You may either procure it of them, or at one of the large fringe stores. Nail the webbing to the upper edges of the box, across the vacant top, so as to interlace in small open squares. This is to give elasticity to the seat when finished. Make a square cushion of thick, strong brown linen; allowing it, each way, three or four inches larger than the top of the box; as the linen will take up that much, at least, in sewing and stuffing. Sew the linen strongly round three sides, and leave the fourth open, for putting in the stuffing. Then stuff it, hard and evenly, with curled horse-hair, which you may obtain at a cabinet-maker's or an upholsterer's. Afterwards, cover this cushion with damask, cloth, velvet, or some other handsome and durable article, and bind the edges all round. Next cover the four sides of the exterior of the box with the same material as the outside covering of the cushion; stretching it on very tightly and smoothy, and securing: it to the wood with small tack-nails. While one person is driving in the nails, another must hold the box fast, and stretch and smooth the covering. When this has been neatly accomplished, nail on the cushion to the top edge of the box, above the webbing; hammering the tacks into the binding. Finish by tacking a handsome fringe all round the cushion, so as to conceal the binding. If you cannot get a fringe exactly the colour of the outside cover, choose one that is a good contrast, - either much darker or much lighter. A light blue tabouret may have purple, brown, black, or deep orange-coloured fringe. One of crimson or scarlet may have a fringe of black, dark green, or gold-colour. For a green tabouret, the fringe may be black, purple, or lilac. A brown or purple tabouret may have a light blue or gold-coloured fringe. A gray one may be fringed with dark brown, dark green, or purple. Light blue may be fringed with a very dark blue; light green with a very dark green; pink with crimson; light brown with a very dark brown; and bright scarlet with very deep crimson. You may suspend, all round, deep festoons of thick, rich cord, corresponding with the fringe; one festoon to hang at each of the four sides. The corners may be finished with long tassels.
In a similar manner, you can make an excellent and handsome footstool, employing a carpenter to construct the frame or box.
The footstool may be covered with rich carpeting, trimmed with worsted fringe.