How To Upholster An Ottoman In 5 Easy Steps!

What to do when you replace your old sofa and now the ottoman looks like crap. Instead of spending the big bucks to replace it, why not give it a fresh new look for a fraction of the cost? I did and it wasn't very difficult and so I'm sharing a tutorial on how to upholster an ottoman in 5 easy steps so you can too.

Upholstered Ottoman In 5 Easy Steps

How To Upholster An Ottoman In 5 Easy Steps

DIY Upholstered Ottoman

Recently we replaced our sofas and updated a pair of Queen Anne armchairs for our living room but our large DIY ottoman no longer worked with the new furniture. Getting rid of it wasn't an option for a few reasons; a) it has sentimental value because we built it ourselves, b) it's large custom size is a perfect coffee table for entertaining and c) it serves as a footstool for all the seating around it.

This is what the ottoman used to look like when we had a lot of brown and red in this space. Like I mentioned above, Mr. Frugalista and I built this ottoman after I watched an episode of Steven & Chris, a popular Canadian lifestyle show.

Here is a link to their DIY Ottoman Building Plans but you can see that we altered the plans somewhat by nailing wood trim along the base.

DIY Upholstered Ottoman Before

During a shopping trip to Fabricland, a Canadian fabric retailer, I was thrilled when I came across the green, brown, and white Mayer French Ticking fabric. With my membership, I received a discount of 50% off per meter.

DIY Upholstered OttomanTicking Stripe Fabric

Refreshing the look of our ottoman was super easy and being a novice at upholstery if I could do it, you certainly can. I don't claim to be an expert and may not have done this according to the rules of professional upholstery but I think it looks pretty darn good.

DIY Upholstered Ottoman with these five easy steps

Step 1- Pin the corners

  • Normally I would recommend you remove the old fabric first but because my new fabric is a heavyweight cotton, the old fabric doesn't show through.
  • Place the fabric over the ottoman with the wrong side facing up. 
  • Line up the stripes nice and straight.
  • Pin the corners on one side ONLY as pictured below.
DIY Upholstered Ottoman Pinned Corners

Step 2 - Sew the corners

  • Remove the fabric and sew a straight stitch along where you pinned.
  • Place it back on the ottoman to ensure it fits well and adjust the seams accordingly, if necessary.
DIY Upholstered Ottoman Sewing Corners

Step 3 - Sew the corners on the opposite side

  • Place the fabric back onto the ottoman wrong side facing up and pin the opposite two corners.
  • You want a tight fit but not too tight that it compresses the foam or distorts the stripes.
  • Sew the corners with a straight stitch like in steps 1 & 2.
  • Turn the fabric right side out and place it over the ottoman to ensure a good fit.
  • Adjust your seams accordingly.
  • Once you are satisfied with the fit, turn it inside out again and cut off the excess fabric, leaving about a 1-inch seam allowance.
DIY Upholstered Ottoman Sewing Remaining Corners

Step 4 - Attach fabric to the ottoman

  • Slip the fabric cover over the ottoman.
  • With an upholstery staple gun, staple the fabric onto the wood frame. 
  • Start from the center on one side and work your way outwards.
  • Repeat on the opposite side, checking to make sure the fabric is not being pulled too tight where it distorts the stripes.
  • Repeat for the opposite sides.

DIY Upholstered Ottoman Attaching Fabric

Step 5 - Trim with double welting 

  • Cut off the excess fabric.
  • Cover the staples with either decorative gimp trim or single/double welting also known as piping.
  • Hot glue the trim onto the fabric.
  • I chose double welting using the same fabric and inexpensive clothesline cord from Home Depot.
  • Here is a link to a detailed tutorial on how to make welting from my friend Christy's blog.

DIY Upholstered Ottoman Decorative Trim

Helpful Tip

If I had a do-over I would stagger the stripes on the piping with the stripes on the ottoman to add more interest. Lining the stripes up perfectly, like I tried to do, is impossible.

DIY Upholstered Ottoman Double Piping Trim

That's it, five simple steps to upholster an ottoman and I'm pleased with how it turned out.

DIY Upholstered Ottoman Finished

For tutorials on how to upholster a bench, see my posts Queen Anne Coffee Table Turned Upholstered Bench and 70's Coffee Table Transformed Into Upholstered Bench.

So what do you think - did I make the right choice? Is this something you think you could give a try after reading this tutorial? Perhaps you already have. I'd love to hear about in the comment section below.

How To Upholster An Ottoman

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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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Plastic Tray Gets Chalk Painted Bliss

I've had this dark and dated plastic tray in our basement media room for years. The only time it was used was on movie night to serve popcorn and drinks. Not a very fitting style for a media room but it didn't work in any other room in our house and so downstairs it went.

Not being one to get rid of something when it's still in perfectly good condition, I decided to give it a refresh new Summer inspired makeover that looks perfect in the master bedroom.
Plastic Tray Makeover using chalk paint

This is what the plastic tray looked like before the makeover...
Plastic Tray Before Makeover

How To Refresh A Plastic Tray With Chalk Paint

In order to give the paint some bite, I gave it a coat of shellac. The entire tray was painted with two coats of chalk paint in the color Bliss by Country Chic Paint.  Isn't it just the perfect color for Summer?

Chalk Painted Plastic Tray in Bliss

To add visual interest and texture, I dry brushed long random strokes of Simplicity White and Vanilla Frosting, also from Country Chic paint, onto the sides.

Dry Brush Paint Technique on Plastic Serving Tray

Dry Brush Technique

Dip just the tips of an inexpensive chip brush into the paint and wipe the excess off with a paper towel. The trick is having very little paint on the brush, hence the name dry brush. Hit the surface lightly with the brush using long and random brush strokes.

Plastic Serving Tray dry brushed with white chalk paint

With an art brush and the Simplicity White chalk paint I carefully painted the raised pattern. After it dried I protected the tray with two layers of clear Tough Coat, also by Country Chic Paint.

Raised Pattern Pops on Plastic Tray Makeover

The tray is perfect beside the window seat in our master bedroom - my favorite spot to read on a rainy day.
Plastic Tray Makeover Inspired by Summer

Our peonies, one of my favorite flowers in the garden, have just started to bloom and I couldn't resist adding a stem on this tray.
Refreshed Plastic Tray with peonies and ice cream

Ice cream, a good book and an afternoon spent relaxing on the window seat.

Plastic Tray Makeover for Summer

If you enjoyed this plastic tray makeover, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

Plastic Tray Makeover Before and After

Do you have a tray that could use a fresh new look for Summer?

Who couldn't use more trays around the house and why not breath new life into the old ones you already have. It never ceases to amaze me how they can be dramatically transformed with paint. Like this Rustic Homestead Blend Coffee Tray or this Large Thrift Store Wooden Tray . I also turned a photograph tray Into A Rustic Serving Tray.

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There's a whole lot of painting going on!

Hi guys, I'm a little late with my post today.  That's because I've been painting up a storm the last couple of days.  I mentioned in the post Doin The Side Table Shuffle that I would be giving a couple of gorgeous armchairs we picked up for a song a makeover.   I'm at the upholstery stage on those but while waiting for paint to dry between coats I grabbed a few home décor items kicking around the workshop and gave them fresh new looks.

Four Home Decor Makeovers between coats of paint drying

Being in the heat of moment I didn't take the time to run upstairs for my camera to take before pictures.  What can I say, the paint cans were open and the brushes already loaded with paint so I decided to rock 'n roll.

Lets start with this interesting sculpture that I purchased at an online auction site.

Teal and Silver Leaf Contemporary Sculpture

It was dark bronze with silver and gold leafing.  As soon as I set eyes on it I knew it would look fabulous with a hit of Provence chalk paint. It's hard to tell in the pictures but I applied a coat of Pearl White wax in the crevices.

Close up of Teal and Silver Leaf Sculpture

This would look fabulous in a modern contemporary space don't you think! 

I had a couple of Wood Sconce Plate Shelves collecting dust and I contemplated donating them back to Goodwill.  They were a plain Jane run-of-the-mill Golden Oak shelves with zero personality.  I had a little bit of Old White/Pure White chalk paint leftover and not wanting to waste a drop I dry brushed it over the shelves.

Wood Sconce Plate Shelf dry brushed with white chalk paint

Wowsers, now I want to keep them!  

A pair of wood sconce plate shelves after dry brushed with white chalk paint

Several years ago I received a floral arrangement in a pretty mint green tin. I loved the vase but the color didn't work so I put it in a cupboard where it's remained. Needing a vessel to house my kitchen cooking utensils I pulled it out of storage and freshened it up.

DIY Kitchen Utensil Holder

First I gave it two coats of Rustoleum Spray Paint in Heirloom White. Then I dry brushed a custom mix of Country Chic Chalk Paint in the colors Simplicity and Luscious Lime. To protect the finish from scratches I applied a layer of Tough Coat. Pretty but I wanted more personality.

I wrapped thick jute along the top of the vase and hot glued it in place. Afterwards I dry brushed some white and graphite color chalk paint over the jute. Then I found the perfect peel & stick French decals in my stash and stuck one onto the front.  It looked too stark and well stickerish so I rubbed some Graphite chalk paint over the decal along with around the edges to mute it.

DIY Kitchen Utensil Holder chalk painted and jute trim with French graphic

Perfect pop of color and French goodness in the kitchen!

The last item I made didn't involve paint...well it did but I had already dry brushed paint over these small terracotta pots last Spring.  Wanting a couple of cute topiaries in the kitchen window I simply filled each pot with some florist foam and poked a dry tree branch into each one (I stole a dogwood branch from a vase in the family room).  Next I pierced faux boxwood balls onto each branch and laid moss over top the florist foam.

DIY Faux Boxwood Topiary

Easy peasy Boxwood Topiaries!

DIY Faux Boxwood Topiaries with green chalk painted terracotta pots

Now it's time I best get back to those gorgeous chairs.  I'll be sharing them with you guys next week if all goes well.

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