How To Reupholster An ottoman In 5 Easy Steps!

Good Morning, can you believe it's already the last day of June!  Last week I shared the makeover I gave a pair of Queen Anne Armchairs. The large ottoman we built several years ago looked terrible paired with the chairs. Instead of replacing it, I gave our DIY Custom Upholstered Ottomans a fresh new look.

Upholstered Ottoman After Makeover

Mr. Frugalista and I built this DIY Ottoman a few years ago. This is what the upholstered looked like before the refresh...

DIY Upholstered Ottoman Before

As what oftentimes happens when redecorating, what used to work well in a room may no longer. That was the case with our ottoman. In our brown-on-brown living room, the red and gold stripes played well off the colors in the area rug and tan color of the sofas. With our new white and green casual living room makeover, the rug and the ottoman upholstery no longer worked.

When I saw the Mayer French Ticking fabric at Fabricland (Canadian retailer) I knew it would be perfect. The green stripes pair well with our refreshed Queen Anne Armchairs and the brown stripes tie the brown leather of our new sofa together. The bonus, I received a 50% discount with my membership.

DIY Ottoman reupholstered

Refreshing the look of the ottoman was super quick.  I'm a novice at upholstery and don't claim to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination so I may not have done this according to the rules of professional upholstery.  I think it looks pretty darn good and so for whatever it's worth, here is how I did it...


Five easy steps to reupholster an ottoman

Step 1- Pinning the corners on one side of the ottoman

  • Normally I would recommend you remove the old fabric first. Because my new fabric is heavy enough that the old fabric wouldn't show through, I upholstered right over it.
  • Place the fabric over the ottoman with the wrong side facing up.  Make sure the stripes are nice and straight and then pin each corner on one side of the ottoman ONLY.
Pinning corners of reupholstered ottoman

Step 2 Sewing the corners of the ottoman

Sewing the corners of reupholstered ottoman

  • Remove the fabric and sew a straight line where you pinned.
  • Place it back on the ottoman to ensure a good fit.
  • Adjust the seams accordingly if required.
  • Cut the excess fabric about an inch away from each seam.

Step 3 - Sewing the corners on the opposite side

  • Place the fabric back onto the ottoman and repeat Steps 1 and 2 for the opposite corner seams.
  • Turn the fabric right side out and place it over the ottoman to ensure a good fit.
  • Adjust your seams accordingly.
  • Once you're satisfied turn it inside out again and cut off the excess fabric about an inch from your seams.

Sewing the corners of reupholstered ottoman

Step 4 - Attach the fabric to the ottoman

Using a staple gun and pulling the fabric taut (not too tight where it distorts the stripes) staple it onto the wood frame, starting from the center and working outwards to each corner.

Attaching the fabric cover to the ottoman

Step 5 - Adding Double Welting 

  • Cut off the excess fabric.
  • Using a hot glue gun attach either Decorative Gimp Trim, Single or Double Welting to cover the staples.  You can see on mine I made double welting using the same fabric and clothesline cord that I did on the Queen Anne Armchair makeover

Double Welting added to upholstered ottoman

If I had a do-over I would stagger the stripes rather than trying to line them up - just adds a little more interest.

Double welting hot glued onto upholstered ottoman

That's it! I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Refreshed upholstered ottoman

Here is a closer look at the green and red ticking striped fabric.

Close up of ticking stripe fabric on reupholstered ottoman

If you found my tutorial on How To Reupolster An Ottoman In 5-Easy Steps helpful, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

How to reupholstered an ottoman before and after

So what do you think - did I make the right choice? Do you have an ottoman that you would like to refresh? I'd love to hear about it!

Thank you to the following bloggers for featuring this project:


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DIY Sunday Showcase Party and Features {June 27, 2015}

Hi Everyone,
Oh my gosh was it hard to pick a favorite this week!  If yours wasn't chosen by me head over to our DIY Sunday Showcase Board on Pinterest because it just might be featured there.  I posted six of my absolute  favorites.  Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us again this week!

Bloggers this is a great link up to showcase your work because not only will it appear on this blog but on the blogs of five of my friends.  That's six opportunities to have your work featured!

If you are not one of the six featured here today you may have been featured at our DIY SUNDAY SHOWCASE TALENT BOARD on Pinterest so be sure to hop over there as well!

So without further adieu
it's time to get this DIY Sunday Showcase Party started!
The party goes Live every Saturday at 5:00pm CST and runs until the following Wednesday.





Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring (Tutorial)
Rena makes the most beautiful and unique jewelry and this ring is no exception - just love the rustic patina on this ring!


kid-friendly patriotic punch


DIY Pastel Painted Pillow Cover, Delineateyourdwelling.com
DIY PAINTED PILLOW COVER by Delineate Your Dwelling


Pallet turned planter to attract butterflies.




Pottery Barn Weathered Oar Copy DIY $200 or $2? by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

If you've been featured here today copy our Feature Button!


  1. Follow your party hosts.
  2. Post a maximum of 3 of your newest DIY's.
  3. Linking to the party allows the hosts to possibly PIN your project to our DIY Showcase Pinterest Board, use your project in a round-up post (with direct links to your post), as well as Feature your project in the next DIY Sunday Showcase!
  4. Please Do Not Pin from the party, instead go to the original blog post.
  5. In order to be featured you need to grab the button or link and copy it onto your post or in your link party page!
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Queen Anne Armchairs get a fresh new look!

Hello friends, those of you who have been following my blog have heard me talk about a pair of Queen Anne Armchairs that we picked up for a song on Kijiji, a Canadian buy & sell site.  At long last, they FINALLY got a fresh new look and I'm thrilled with how good they look in front of our living room window.

Queen Anne Armchair Makeover

Here is what they looked like when we brought them home...

Queen Anne Armchairs before makeover

Did I mention we only paid $60.00 a piece?  Not bad considering they were in really good condition, other than a few scratches and dated upholstery.

Queen Anne Armchair painted and reupholstered
*affiliate links included in this post so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project.

During this makeover, there was nasty bleed through, a gazillion old staples to remove, a botched attempt at double welting, and multiple trips to the fabric store because I was being so indecisive. Keep'n it real and more about that later...

It took four hours per chair and a few puncture wounds to show for it, to remove all the tiny little staples. I was excited to get on to the next step, adding the pretty but first I had to rough up the wood using a sanding block so the paint has some bite.

Knowing I was bound to get paint bleed from the tannins in the dark wood, I gave the chair a coat of (affiliate link) shellac. Next, I painted a thin layer of white chalk paint in a 50:50 ratio of Old White and Pure White. Painting in thin layers gives a nice smooth finish.

Queen Anne Armchair chalk painted white

There was still bleed through after the first coat so I applied a second coat of Shellac and that did the trick.  It took a total of four coats of chalk paint to hide the dark wood, but that's not uncommon when you're doing thin layers.

Queen Anne Armchair painted and distressed

Using a sanding block with 220 grit sandpaper I distressed the chair along the edges as well as around the details so they would pop.  Another option would have been not to distress the details and apply dark wax into the grooves for an aged appearance. I wanted a clean look.

Distressing painted details on Queen Anne Armchair

Last but not least the chair was protected with (affiliate link) clear wax and buffed to a matte finish.

Clear wax protected this Queen Anne Armchair

I fell in love with this très chic Parisian Rosedale Meadowland upholstery fabric, purchased at Fabricland (Canadian retailer).

Queen Anne Armchairs reupholstered

The plan was to upholster the entire chair with it, but I changed my mind at the last minute.  Back to Fabricland to find a complimentary fabric for the back of each chair.

Queen Anne Armchair upholstered back

I liked the fabric so much I went back to buy more to reupholster our ottoman.  No such luck, someone else liked it as much as I did and they were all out (insert sad face here).

Queen Anne Armchair makeover with contrasting fabric backs

I wanted to add double welting along the top and bottom of the chair. While I've sewed a lot of single welting before, I'd never made double welting.  I figured how hard can it be to add one more strand of piping. Ha! Two attempts later and a lot of wasted fabric and (affiliate link) clothesline cord, I finally figured it out.

Sorry, but my brain was in overdrive so I didn't stop to take pictures of the process. My friend Christy from Confessions Of A Serial DIYer has a great double welting tutorial that you may find helpful.

Queen Anne Armchair makeover with double welting

I'm really pleased with how the chairs turned out considering Mr. Frugalista and I are teaching ourselves, with the guidance of a good book, how to upholster furniture.

Queen Anne Armchair makeover

Which brings me to the final phase of this makeover...sewing pocket lumbar pillows. Being vertically challenged I felt like Edith Ann in her rocking chair (now I'm dating myself). Remember the show Laugh In with Lily Tomlin? It was my Saturday night entertainment staple during my babysitting days.  "And That's The Truth" (insert tongue sticking out here).

Ahem, back to the chairs...

I've made simple pocket pillows before but never have I made them with piping which requires a lot more cutting and sewing.

Queen Anne Armchairs with DIY Lumbar Pillows

Deciding to free fall my way through making these (like upholstery I'm also a novice, self-taught sewer) I figured it out but not without spewing a few colorful words.  Normally this is where I'd provide another tutorial but until I perfect my skills, I'll keep the nitty gritty to myself.

Queen Anne Armchair Makeover with lumbar pillows

I thought about using a contrasting fabric for the piping or a contrasting fabric for the pillow, but I wanted the chairs to be the focal point and not the pillows so I changed my mind.

If you like my Queen Anne Armchair makeover, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

Two Queen Anne Armchairs Before and After

I'm thrilled with how they turned out and don't you think the chairs look fabulous paired with the Swan Table?

A BIG Thank You to the following for featuring this project...

Friday's Furniture Fix                    The Pin Junkie              

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