A few months ago my friend Terese gave me this nasty old raggedy storage ottoman. Apparently she saw potential in it and potential in myself to do something with it.
I let it sit in my garage for awhile because I really didn’t know what to do. I had never reupholstered/recovered anything and I figured the first time I did would be on something flat and square. But last Monday I got an itch to check it out. I had just bought this gorgeous fabric I was originally going to use to recover some pillows, but I thought it would look great on an ottoman and perfect in our master bedroom.
The first thing I did was take off the zipper it came with. Then I cleaned it up.
Then I sat for a while and thought about how I was going to recover it. I think I had imagined that I would just cut out a piece a fabric and staple. But then I realized if I did that there would be so many wrinkles. So then a light bulb went off in my head and I realized I would have to sew. I would have to go outside of my sewing comfort zone and sew something other than napkins and pillows.
It was with this project that I realized sewing involves so much math and a lot of guess and check. I couldn’t find a tutorial on an ottoman like this so if you think there is a better way to do it, or have any suggestions, please let me know.
The first thing I did was measure the circumference of the ottoman, 56 inches, and the length, 14.5 inches . I added one inch to the circumference for seam allowance, 57 inches, and 4 inches to the length to be able to staple it at the top and bottom, 18.5 inches. I made my cuts, sewed the seam and placed it over the ottoman with 2 inches of overhang on the top and bottom.
At first the fit was pretty snug but it definitely loosened up so much that I should’ve taken the seam in a little. But I didn’t. Maybe with the next on I will.
Then it was time for me to move on to the lid or top of the ottoman. I measured the top which was 17.5 inches in diameter. I added an inch to that for a half inch seam allowance and cut an 18.5 inch circle.
Then I measured the height of the side of the lid which was 2 inches. I added 2 inches to that so I would be able to fold the fabric under the lid a staple. So I cut a strip of fabric that was the circumference of the ottoman plus one inch (57 inches) by 4 inches. I then sewed that piece together to create a band around the lid.
Then I took the finished band and pinned it to the circle and sewed it with a half inch seam allowance.
By the time I was this far, my staple gun arrived. Yes, I started this project without a staple gun.
I started with the lid, folding the fabric under and placing a staple every couple inches.
Then I repeated that same process for the bottom of the ottoman and this is how it turned out.
Not bad I think. And now I love where it sits in our master bedroom. There’s a little corner in our room that I’ve been meaning to turn into a reading nook with a gallery wall. My intentions have been great but for months that corner has looked like this – a big blue chair with a random pillow and a bunch of frames that will eventually be used to make a gallery wall.
And now that corner of the room looks like this – new ottoman and a new pillow. The frames still aren’t up but it already looks so much better.