Monday, April 7, 2014

Up-cycled Upholstered Ottoman

During the recent Spring Fever Event, our friend Susan Woodcock, owner of, was in the store sharing how-to make a variety of upholstery projects including a pretty headboard, updated dining chair seats and a fun ottoman made from cardboard storage tubes.  

The ottoman project was a big hit with our customers!  You can make one too, following the instructions below. 

Upholstered Ottoman Step-by-Step

*Note: Cardboard tubes are available from Mary Jo’s Cloth store.  Ask at the front counter for sizes available.  They are not stored on the main floor.

  1. Cut the cardboard tube 3 inches less than the finished height.  Cut a circle to fit the top out of ½ or ¾-inch plywood.  Cut four support pieces from 2 x 2 inch lumber the same as the height of the tubeAssemble the pieces by placing the supports upright, inside the tube and screwing through the tube from the outside.  Space the four supports evenly around the inside of the tube. Attach the top by screwing through the circle piece and into the supports.
  1. Cut a piece of 2-inch foam the same diameter as the ottoman.  Attach the foam to the top of the ottoman using spray adhesive.  Wrap the ottoman top and sides with two layers of polyester batting, using spray adhesive to hold the batting to the ottoman base.  Add a little extra batting on the top for a softer “crown” on the seat.

  1. Cut a circle of fabric for the top 1” larger than the top diameter (before adding batting).  Cover welt cord using strips of fabric cut on the bias and sew around the top circle piece, clipping the seam allowance to ease around the curve.

  1. Measure around the diameter of the ottoman and cut a piece of fabric wide enough to wrap around plus 1 to 2 inches extra, and tall enough to wrap under the bottom several inches.  Sew the base piece to the top circle piece, lining up the pattern if you are using a patterned fabric like this.  Sew close to the welt cord so that no stitching shows.

  1. As you sew around the top, stop a few inches from where the fabric meets together.  Line up the edges to fit, pinning the fabrics together and sewing down the length to join the fabrics.  Trim excess fabric leaving a ½’inch seam allowance.  After the seam is completed, finish sewing to the top piece.

  1. Press the seam open.  Turn the ottoman cover right-side-out and iron out any wrinkles if needed.

  1. It is time to pull the cover over the base.  It will be very tight!  Slowly work the fabric cover over the top, going around and pulling a little at a time.  Wearing gloves is a great idea! Gloves with a rubber texture work great for this.  Continue pulling and smoothing the fabric towards the bottom.  As you pull, check the top to make sure the welt cord is even around the edges.

  1. Turn the excess fabric under the bottom, pulling taut and stapling to the inside of the base in the center between the support pieces.  Then continue adding staples, working towards the support pieces.

  1. Cut away excess fabric at each support piece, leaving about ¾-inch to turn under.  Tuck the raw edges in, and staple in place.

  1. Continue stapling the fabric under the edges around the entire ottoman.  At this point, a piece of fabric can be stretched and stapled over the bottom for a more finished look.  Or, you can leave it open.

  1. Attach feet or casters to the bottom.  For this ottoman, end caps from the drapery hardware department were chosen for a clean look.  Tip: Choose the leg or foot and measure the size before cutting the cardboard tube.
  1. Your ottoman is finished!  Upholstered ottomans can be used as side tables and for additional seating.  Made shorter, they can be used as a footstool.


sophie said...

What a wonderful up-cyling project. For those of us who are too far away to come to Mary Jo's for the cardboard tubes, could you suggest what I should be looking for ... and in what kind of store I might find it locally?

Tonya Faulkner said...

Lowes Or Home Depot .. Looks Like The Cardboard Tubes Used For Pouring Cement pillars