Ottoman Makeover: A Weekend Project

Ottoman Makeover: A Weekend Project

How to Reupholster a Storage Ottoman

Reupholster an Ottoman
My parents in-law gave us this ottoman.

It came with their bedding set as packaging and I think they’ve discovered by now that I hate to throw things out so they figured I would want it. They were right, of course.

It was in our living room for a while as extra seating but then our little Bubbs started sleeping in her own room. This meant I would be spending a lot more time in the super comfy armchair (turned rocking chair, a DIY post for another day all on its own) and I needed a footrest. I used the chair solo while I searched on Kijiji for a cute little foot stool but when nothing turned up I decided the boxy brown thing would do. As it turns out it’s the perfect height to rest your legs on while rocking/nursing a baby to sleep and it’s also a great place to store all those baby blankets we rarely use.

The problem: the color is so dark that when you go in the room when the lights are out you are almost guaranteed to knock your shins on it. I’ve done it about a hundred times. 

The solution: recover the top in a light colored fabric!

I promise you, it’s very, very easy. I did this in about an hour and again it could’ve been done with a little more love but I’m happy enough with it. You could also cover the whole thing if you wanted to but I didn’t feel like I needed to. I guess I really just didn’t want to use all that much fabric.

Ok. Less talky talky, more do-y do-y.

What you will need to recover your ottoman:

  • Foam or cotton stuffing
  • Quilt batting
  • Fabric (home decor, preferably)
  • Staple gun and staples

What to do:

  1. Cut a piece of foam just the size of the top of your ottoman cover. Lay it on top. (I used some cotton stuffing I had and just laid out enough to cover the top.)
  2. Cut a piece of batting big enough to cover the whole top and wrap down around and underneath the edges. (If you want to cover a whole ottoman, just apply this step to the whole ottoman and wrap the batting under the edges of the bottom.)
  3. Fasten the batting to the bottom with a few staples starting with the center of the edges and working out to the corners.
  4.  photo 20140506_125248_zpssiqvc276.jpg

  5. Cut a piece of fabric big enough to cover the top (or whole ottoman) and wrap underneath the edges. This piece of fabric will be a bit bigger than the batting. You may want to play it on the safe side and cut more than you need. You can always trim the extra after.
  6. Reupholster an ottoman
    Yes, that is a baby foot at the bottom of the photo. She likes to “help”.
  7. Wrap the fabric around the lid, pulling taut but not so tight that it stretches or twists the pattern, and fasten to the underside at the center points of each edge.
  8. Now this is where it gets a bit tricky: play around with the fabric until you get a neat pleat at each corner. I find it helps to push down on the center of the corner then pull the flaps that are created in toward it, sort of like gift wrap. Make sense?
  9. Reupholster an Ottoman

  10. Staple the whole mess to the underside with as many staples as you need to keep it in place.

 photo 20140506_130802_zpsa0ajuxnc.jpg

If you want it to be fully finished you can cut a piece of fabric to staple to the underside of the lid with the edges folded under but I don’t think it’s necessary.

Optional: Add one centered or two evenly spaced staples to the top to give a tufted look. You could even do a fabric covered button and glue or sew it over the staple as well, if you’re feeling fancy.

And you’re done! Put it back together so your baby can use it to stand up.

Reupholster an ottoman
Reupholster an Ottoman
Did you find this tutorial helpful? We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions and to see your finished projects!


Pillow Cover: A Weekend Project

Pillow Cover: A Weekend Project

How to sew a toss-cushion cover

Skill Level: minimal sewing knowledge

Toss cushions are a great way to add color and style to any space without a whole lot of commitment. You can change them up any time and they really can help to bring an otherwise boring space to life.

This tutorial will show you how to sew a pillow cover with a Velcro closure that you can put over an old pillow or use with a new insert. You can complete this project in just a few hours. You can even make this out of an old pillow case, shirt or blanket if you don’t want to buy new fabric!

What you need (for a 22″ pillow):

  • 1 – 23″ x 23″ piece of material
  • 1 – 23″ x 10″ piece of material (A)
  • 1- 23″ x 17″ piece of material (B)
  • Hook and Loop Tape (Velcro) – 21″ strip
  • Thread in coordinating colors

Making an accent cushion
1. First thing’s first: pick your fabrics. You can use all the same kind of fabric or you can do multiple patterns if you don’t have enough of one type.

2. Using the fabric that you want to be on the “front” of your pillow, cut a piece measuring 23″ x 23″. Depending on how particular you are, you may want to center your pattern (I didn’t). For the “back”, cut one 23″ x 10″ piece and another measuring 23″ x 17″.

3. Measure out a 21″ strip of Velcro (you want it to be slightly shorter than the width of your pillow).

4. Fold down one side of each of the back pieces twice and press to make a double hem.  A 1/2″ hem works well here and will leave you enough fabric to make a 23″ x 23″ square to match up with your front piece.
 photo Pillow-Hems_zps82e25b21.jpg

5. Attach the Velcro to the hem, one piece facing up, the other facing down (so they will be able to attach, obviously!).

6. Attach your now-fastened Velcro strips to each other and make sure they are straight. You should have a nice, even square, no smaller than 23″ x 23″.

7. Draw a centered 22″ x 22″ square around the edges of the wrong side — the side that will be inside of the pillow — of the back square. This will be your sew line.

(Tip: If you make your case a bit smaller than your filler (For example 21.5″ x 21.5″ in this case) you’ll achieve a fuller, firmer result.)
 photo Pillow-SewLine_zps8e73e794.jpg

8. Pin the front piece to the back piece, right sides facing in. Sew along the line you drew in the last step, back-stitching at the beginning and end to secure. There’s no need to leave a gap for turning since you can open the Velcro for that.
 photo Pillow-Pin_zps063b4d72.jpg

9. Take your sewn-together pieces and cut the corners off, being careful not to cut your seams, to reduce bulking.

10. Turn the whole shebang right-side out and poke the corners out using a turning tool.  (I just use a chop stick or a pen with the cap on.) Make sure you don’t push all the way through!

11. Finally, press the finished cover,  insert your filler (or old pillow) and you’re done!

Sew an accent pillow

As always, feel free to ask questions if anything is unclear. We’d love to see photos of your finished project too!

Have fun!

– Tracy

Ps. If you would like me to just make one for you, contact me on Etsy!