Reupholster an Ottoman

l love giving things a make over, it’s such a sense of accomplishment when it all works out! We inherited this little ottoman. While I wasn’t in love with it’s looks, I figured it was worth taking because it doubles as storage and I love creating the illusion of a clutter free house. Just don’t open any closets, cabinets or ottomans. Reupholstering a piece like this is pretty simple….

ottoman tools

After hunting for the right fabric I finally found this cozy, woven gray and white woven fabric on clearance for $6/yard. I needed less than a yard for this project, so naturally, I bought three yards. Here’s the materials I used:

What You Need:

  • Fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Screwdriver and needle nosed pliers (didn’t make it in pic)
  • Staple gun

Here’s the little ottoman before, totally not fitting in with the decor.

ottoman before

What You do:

1) From my experience, there’s always a way to take something apart so you can reupholster properly. I looked at the underside of the ottoman top that comes off and discovered these screws in the corners…

Ottoman top

I unscrewed them to remove the wood part. I could have removed the brown fabric. But, because my new fabric is thick, I decided to make things easy for myself and just cover right over.

I admit, depending on your piece of furniture, this dis-assembly step might not always be this easy.  But, my point is, look for a way, because there’s usually a way.

Oh, and I recommend putting your screws in a little dish…they’ll be much easier to find later.


2) Measure and cut your fabric. I like to have 3 extra inches to work with, so I placed the ottoman top on the fabric and cut a square around, accounting for a 3″ overlap.

measure edge

3) Choose a side, and start stapling in a row. Don’t go all the way to the two corners, leave about an inch and save those for later.

When you finish the first side, do the same on the OPPOSITE side. Pull the fabric tightly as you go. Pulling the fabric tight is key for a clean look so you don’t have bulges. Leave the same inch allowance at the corners.

staple gun

4) Now that you have two opposite sides stapled, choose a corner to start with. My technique is to fold the corner like you’re wrapping a present. As you can see below, I folded the end from the stapled side under first, then the end from the un-stapled side over. It might take a little adjusting, but be patient and you’ll get it.

Once you have it the way you like, staple it down. Quick, before it moves! Then, continue stapling in a line up that side. Do the same present wrapping technique when you encounter the next corner.

You’ll be left with the opposite (and last side) to secure. Start in the middle, pull tightly, staple and leave the allowance at the corners. Do the corners last. This is your last side, so be sure to pull the fabric tight, it’s your last chance!


5) Once done stapling, put the piece back together, this will usually hide the raw fabric edges.

furniture rehab

And here’s the little ottoman finally looking like it fits in!

ottoman finished


2 thoughts on “Reupholster an Ottoman”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s