How to Reupholster an Ottoman: Step by Step

The idea of reupholstering furniture might seem like a challenging task that is meant for experts, but it’sactually way easier than it appears, especially when dealing with smaller items like ottomans. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to reupholster an ottoman and turn it into a great piece of home décor.

What is an ottoman?

An ottoman is a comfy piece of furniture without arms that is covered in fabric. It sits close to the floor and can be used for different things.

For instance, you can rest your feet on it, sit on it like a stool or bench, or use it as a coffee table if it’s big enough and made of the right material.

Some ottomans also have a top that you can lift off or open with hinges, and there’s space inside to store things, which makes them even more useful.

What fabric should I use?

The choice of fabric for reupholstering an ottoman depends on a number of factors, including your personal preferences, how frequently you use your ottoman, and the overall decor of your living space.

For instance, velvet provides luxury, however, it requires more care while polyester blends are versatile and durable. So take these aspects into consideration so as to select a fabric that aligns with your ottoman’s purpose and your room’s décor.

How much fabric is needed to reupholster an ottoman

This DIY project is fairly straightforward.The amount of fabric required depends on the size of your ottoman. It’s crucial to measure your old ottoman so as todetermine the exact fabric quantity needed and keep in mind to account for the fabric covering the sides of the ottoman as well, if applicable.

If you’re new to reupholstering, it would be a wise choice to obtain a significant surplus of fabric. And why so? Having extra fabric on hand is advisable in case you encounter any errors during the process and this precaution can save you from potential setbacks and guarantee a smoother reupholstering experience, especially if it’s your first time tackling such a project.

How to Reupholster an Ottoman

Starting to learn upholstery skills can feel a bit overwhelming. But don’t worry, because once you know where to begin and what tools you will need, you’ll be on your way to becoming an upholstery pro. Choosing the right project, getting the right tools and supplies, and understanding how to use them can make a huge difference in your upholstery journey.

Before getting started with your reupholstering project, take a moment to detach any hardware from the ottoman. This way, you will ensure that the process goes smoothly and that these components are not accidentally damaged or obstructive during the reupholstering process.

1. Choose your fabric

The first and probably the most important choice you will have to deal with during the process of reupholstering your ottoman will be about selecting the right fabric.

Making this decision depends on a variety of factors including the visual appeal, practicality, and durability of the material you pick.

If your ottoman will mainly serve a decorative purpose where it will occupy a quiet corner with infrequent use, opting for a lighter and more delicate fabric would be suitable.

On the other hand, if your ottoman will be frequently used and expected to endure regular usage and the associated wear and tear, then it’s advisable to go for a fabric that is darker or features patterns.

Your choice is the one that will ensure greater resilience against pilling and fading. Moreover, take into consideration the color scheme of the room.

You can decide whether the ottoman should go together with the existing furniture. Or if it could be a chance to introduce a vibrant and lively tone to your space.

As you prepare to buy the fabric, it’s important to accurately measure the surface area that needs to be covered. You may also get some extra fabric as a precautionary measure.

This way, you’ll be well-equipped to take up your reupholstering project with confidence.

2. Disassemble the ottoman

Once the fabric selection is sorted out, it’s time to delve into the ottoman refurbishment process. The top of the ottoman is the easiest part.

First, start by taking off the lid, then carefully invert the ottoman to expose its underside. If your ottoman has got legs, proceed by unscrewing them from their attachments so as to make the reupholstering process easier.

In case the current fabric on the ottoman is secured with staples, use a staple puller or a flat-headed tool to remove these fasteners.

Besides, use scissors as necessary in order to detach the fabric and trim it away.

When the fabric has been successfully removed, turn your attention to both the outer and the inner surfaces of both the ottoman frame and the lid.

Using a vacuum cleaner, remove any accumulated dust and dirt. Make sure that the ottoman’s interior and exterior are impeccably clean and ready for the next steps of the reupholstering process.

3. Measure and cut

Get started with your reupholstering journey by throwing your attention on the ottoman lid.

First, begin by carefully measuring the precise surface area that needs to be covered. Then transfer the measurements you have taken onto the chosen fabric using fabric chalk and make sure that your markings are accurate.

Following this, use fabric scissors to cut along the lines you marked. In this regard, it’s advisable to incorporate a slight overhang to allow for folding the fabric neatly on the underside of the lid during this process.

As you proceed, you should take into consideration the level of comfort you desire for the ottoman’s top surface. For instance, if you want an extra layer of cushioning to enhance the plushness and coziness, measure the dimensions of the square area needing padding.

Next, accurately measure and trim a piece of padding material to match the size specified. When you incorporate all these details, you’re not only ensuring a well-fitted and visually appealing reupholstering outcome, but you will also elevate the tactile experience of your ottoman.

4. Reupholster the ottoman lid

Prepare a suitable work area by placing the ottoman lid on a clean, level surface. Start the reupholstering process by laying down a layer of padding over the lid. Make sure that it covers the surface evenly.

Following this, place the chosen fabric piece, right side up, over the padding and with all the components brough together in place, be careful as you gather them together and execute a careful flipso that the fabric now rests on the bottom, with the face-side down.

Start with the top part and pull the fabric tightly toward the center of the lid, securing it with numerous staples as this step guatantees a taut and snug fit for a professional appearance.

Repeat the same procedure for the opposing side of the fabric, matching the secure stapling process. Then, proceed and work on each side of the lid. As you progress, tuck in the corners for a crisp and neat finish and continue to pull the fabric firmly in order tomaintain the plush and cushioned effect you desire.

You can trim away with scissors any excess fabric that compromises the clean aesthetic, which will give the finished product a polished appearance.

This way of reupholstering the ottoman lid will guarantee a well-fitted, comfortable, and visually appealing result that seamlessly integrates into your living space.

5. Reupholster the base

In order to reupholster the base of your ottoman, start by measuring the precise area that needs to be covered. To do this, incorporate an excess on both sides and an additional two inches in length when you cut the fabric to ensure a snug fit.

Begin the reupholstering process by aligning one edge of the fabric with a corresponding edge of the ottoman base and securing it firmly using staples.

Progressively fold the entire ottoman base with the fabric to ensure a snug fit. When you reach the same edge, fold the fabric’s end (thanks to the extra two inches added) and secure it in place with fabric glue.

Then, commence the process of meticulously folding the fabric inward, and secure it diligently with staples as you progress. Once you’ve completed this wrapping process on both the upper and lower sections of the base, put the ottoman lid back in place. Last but not least, your reupholstered ottoman is finished, and ready to add style and comfort to your home.

How to reupholster an ottoman without sewing?

Reupholstering an ottoman without sewing is a great way to give a new look to your old ottoman. This method provides a good and practical alternative for those who may not have sewing skills or equipment.

Before you get started, if your ottoman has any hardware, gather the necessary materials which may include fabric, adhesive, a staple gun, scissors, and a screwdriver.

Remove any hardware from the ottoman and clean the ottoman’s surface so as to ensure a smooth and even application of adhesive.

Measure the ottoman’s dimensions, adding extra for overhang and tucking and cut the fabric accordingly.

Then, apply fabric glue to the ottoman’s surface and press the fabric onto it. Start with one side and work your way around.

Use a staple gun to secure the fabric in place along the edges and corners while making sure that the fabric is taut and smooth as you staple. Fold and tuck the fabric’s edges under the ottoman and secure it with staples.

If you removed any hardware at the start, reattach it once the adhesive is fully dry and trim any excess fabric to create a clean look and now your project is complete.

Laura from Couchtips
Laura from Couchtips
We are passionate about furniture and love to share everything that has to do with the furniture industry. We are your ultimate resource for learning everything about furniture, and your guide to choose the ideal home decor.


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