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Home » Activity Holidays » Upholstery 2023


Build and upholster your own retro style round footstool from scratch. The class consists of learning to construct, sew, upholster and customize your own footstool to suit you and your home. You will be given plenty of time to master the sewing machine to complete your project. Once completed you will also be able to learn how to make your own buttons and buttoned pinboard which is the basics of how to build your own headboard.

At the end of the holiday will be able to take your completed project home to show off to your friends and family.

To see pictures of the course please visit our gallery

Dates 2023

All of our holidays run for 5-nights from Sunday to Friday and start from £979 per person.
The above is based on single occupancy. A £100 per person discount is applied for art, craft and activity guests on a shared occupancy basis.

March 5th to 10th 2023
July 16th to 21st 2023
October 15th to 20th 2023

If you’re coming on one of our holidays and would like to bring a friend, partner, or member of your family, then we have you (and them!) covered. Accompanying guests will enjoy full board catering and shared accommodation with you. We also have a full programme of day trips and activities on offer for them. Please add them and day trips at the checkout stage.

How to book
To book online, please click on your preferred date above.
For any questions or to book direct please call 01877 382 991 or email mail@gartmorehouse.com
If you have any questions, you may like to take a look at our FAQs but if you have any further queries, please contact our team directly.

Payment, Terms & Conditions
A 25% deposit is required to secure your booking. Full payment is due 3 months prior to arrival. For art, craft & activity holidays booked within 3 months of course start date, full payment is required at the time of booking. Art, craft & activity holidays are subject to availability and subject to change.

Each holiday will loosely be themed as follows:

Spend the day building your footstool before getting to know your sewing machine and practice  sewing.

Spend the morning selecting, preparing and cutting your chosen fabric.
Later, you will sew your first cover and start on your second cover.

Make your own pinboard: Learn the basics of how to make your own buttoned headboard
Chose to partciipate in an extra project: Learn to make a piped, zipped cushion!

Spend the day completeing your footstool covers before fitting and finishing your project!

Check in is from 4pm where you will receive a warm welcome from our team.
Once you are unpacked and settled, we invite you to enjoy some tea or coffee and home baking in the lounge where you can relax after your journey.
If you have never been on a holiday like this before, we understand how anxious you may be. That’s why, come 6pm, everyone will gather in the lounge for the Welcome Talk and Meet & Greet, giving you the chance to meet both your fellow guests and your tutor before the start of the course on Monday. Your tutor will talk you through what to expect from the week, discuss what you would like to achieve during your stay, and answer any questions you may have. 
From there, dinner is served at 6:30pm in the downstairs dining room.

Monday to Thursday
Throughout the week, tuition runs from 10am to 4pm with regular breaks for tea and coffee so you can relax and have a natter with your fellow guests about everything you’ve been up to so far.
All your meals are served in the dining room.
Evening tea and coffee is available in the lounge at 9pm.

Check out by 10am

What’s Included

  • 4 days of specialist tuition from Nicola Williams
  • All materials required for the course
  • Full board catering
  • 5-nights accommodation
  • Complimentary transfers from Stirling train station are available on the arrival and departure days (pick-up from the station at 15:30, departs Gartmore House at 10:00). Transfers from Glasgow or Edinburgh Airports are available at an additional cost.

All materials and tools required are provided by your tutor. You will also be provided with a detailed set of instructions to take home with you.

We kindly ask that participants bring 1m of their chosen final fabric for your footstool project. You will also be provided with a detailed set of instructions to take home with you.

Tutor Nicola Williams

Graduating from the City of Glasgow college in 2013, Nicola Williams, has been working for the past 7 years to develop her business, the Glasgow Furniture Collective, into full time self employment. The aim of Glasgow Furniture Collective is to provide quality and professional services whilst being involved in local community settings as a tutor and volunteer focusing on the idea of sustainability and repair, reuse & recycle in furniture.

Nicola works with Govanhill baths Rags to riches programme as a volunteer and tutor for their upholstery masterclasses. She has worked with the organisation teaching upholstery as part of a variety of schemes including working with vulnerable groups, asylum seekers, employability courses and many more.

This connection has led with further work with upcycling sessions with the programme as part of Zero waste Scotland’s ‘Pass it on week’. She also hosted her own classes as well as experience working with organisations such as The Re:Store, North Glasgow Art and regeneration network’s (NGART) winter coat, South Lanarkshire & East Dumbartonshire council. Currently she also works as an upholstery tutor for the Pollokshields Development agency woman’s group.

She has 9 years of previous experience working with the charity Sense Scotland, supporting people with disabilities and hopes to develop classes to work within an arts therapy setting in the future. 


  • ”I went on one of the weekend courses that Nicola runs, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. The class was small and friendly, and even though I was a complete beginner, I learnt enough in that weekend that I have just completed my first project by myself!”
  • “This course was absolutely fantastic in giving you a very in depth introduction to upholstery and French polishing. The class was very small so everyone got time and attention to create beautiful pieces and everything was provided and all I had to take along was a piece of chosen fabric – this really took the pressure off getting organised for the course.”
  • “Nicola is a great teacher, very patient and knowledgeable. My mum and I had a great time and will definitely be taking our learning further. Inspirational. Thanks!!”
  • “Had such a fun (and educational!) weekend. Learned lots of new skills and so chuffed to come away with our projects. Nicola is a fantastic teacher and lovely person. Would thoroughly recommend it”

Please note: The above reviews come from past workshops and courses run by the tutor out with Gartmore House.

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