Upcycling for home furnishings: recovering an ottoman

recovering an ottoman

Lately dressmaking has taken a back seat and I've been putting my machine to use for home furnishings. Mostly these projects came about whilst looking for specific items and uttering those words that many of you are probably familiar with...."I'm sure I can make that". In this case, it was sort of an experiment that I wouldn't be too upset about going wrong. I have to say the stitching skills required were minimal, but I did have to use a bit of my knowledge of working with fabric and cutting to get to a finished point.

recovering an ottoman

This Ottoman originally came from Next and had a mink faux velvet style finish. It was completely ruined whilst we moved house in the pouring rain. A new similar one would cost over £100, so I decided to recover it instead. I picked up this lovely grey upholstery fabric from Falcon Fabrics. I bought 3m and paid about £30 for it. It is study and will hold up to furniture usage, plus has a lovely texture to it as well. I used pinking shears for cutting in case any of the fabric was going to be exposed and this would reduce fraying. 

recovering an ottoman

I took apart the ottoman, removing the lid and spring mechanisms. I used the ottoman as a template to measure new fabric panels for the sides, copying the same measurements with a 1cm seam allowance. I also left enough fabric to wrap over at the top and bottom. These panels were then stitched together and slipped around the sides of the box. I carefully folded the excess at the top and bottom over and used a staple gun to hold it in place. 

recovering an ottoman

The ottoman I have had a black trim that I could tuck the bottom fabric under for a neat finish. For the lid, I again used the original as a template with enough to wrap around the sides and tuck neatly under, stapling in place. I stitched a tab to make lifting the lid easier and stapled that in as well. Then it was just a case of putting it back together with the springs again. 

recovering an ottoman

It was quite hard to get the fabric to fold neatly at the corners, and there are points that are far from perfect. There probably is a way of cutting that makes them a lot neater, but I was largely improvising as it went along and wasn't too fussed about perfection. (Given the amount of DIY we've had lately, done being better than perfect was the motto of the day). It was also hard to get corners underneath the black trim due to the way it was attached in the first place. Generally though, successful enough to keep!

recovering an ottoman


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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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