How To Recover An Old Outdated Ottoman ~ I had no idea how easy it is to recover an old outdated ottoman! This step-by-step photo tutorial shows you how!
We have a wonderful thrift store in the town I live in that is filled with all kinds of treasures for the home. I like to drop in every so often to see what they have that can be upcycled, updated or repurposed. I love taking something old and making it look new and useful again. Not only do I enjoy it for the creative challenge but it also is a great way to save money.
The last time I dropped by the store I found an interesting looking ottoman. I was keeping an eye out for one as a piece of furniture to add to the basement family room. It already has a sofa, loveseat, a coffee table and end tables. It also has a large dresser that I bought at the same thrift store that I repainted and repurposed into a TV stand. I’ll be sharing that DIY project in a future post very soon. The basement family room area is quite a large space so I thought an ottoman would be a nice cozy and comfy addition to the room.
The good news about this ottoman was that it had ‘good bones’. It was well built and it was quite large. There also was some good news. The previous owner had recovered the ottoman with a good quality fabric. But the bad news is the bold polka dot patterned fabric wasn’t quite my favourite.
I knew this ottoman had lots of potential and it did. I am super happy with how it turned out and how easy it was to recover! I used to think that furniture items with sewn in piping were next to impossible to recover unless you were a professional with the right skills, materials and equipment. I realize now that some furniture items can just be recovered by ignoring the sewn piping and creating a smooth taut surface over top with the fabric.
Here is a before image showing what the ottoman looked like when I bought it…
This is what it looked like underneath. When it was previously recovered it was secured with loads of staples. I used a flat head screw driver and pliers to remove them.
I was very curious and a little worried to see what I would find when I removed the polka dot fabric. I was worried that the original ottoman fabric was too soiled and threadbare and not salvageable. But I have to admit that it wasn’t too bad. The original fabric was definitely old and outdated but as I said before the ottoman itself was well made.
This is a before image of what the ottoman originally looked like and how badly it had become worn and faded…
But before we get started here are some…
Tips For How To Recover An Old Outdated Ottoman
- Take a paint chip with you to the fabric store to use as a reference and to help you narrow down your fabric selection.
- Although not necessary it does help to work with a fabric that has a pattern. The dark blue fabric I chose had a large pattern that I was able to use as a guide to make sure the fabric was on straight. You want the fabric to be as straight as possible so the nap of the fabric drapes evenly over top of the ottoman and down the sides when it is stapled down.
- I measured how much fabric I needed with a measuring tape. I measured the length and width of the fabric including the top and sides as well as a generous 12 inches (30 cm) on either side. I didn’t want to get home and find out I was short of fabric.
- Invest in quality fabric. I bought my fabric at a fabric warehouse in the city where there was lots of selection. I recommend going with a home décor and upholstery type of fabric.
- It is a two-person job so recruit a helper.
Materials For How To Recover An Old Outdated Ottoman
- measuring tape
- quality upholstery fabric
- fabric scissors
- staple gun
- thread the same colour as the fabric
Instructions For How To Recover An Old Outdated Ottoman
Ensure all sides of the fabric are evenly cut.
Lay the fabric with the right side facing out the floor. If the fabric has a pattern you can use it as a guide to make sure the sides of the ottoman are resting evenly with the sides of the fabric. This is to ensure it is not resting in a crooked fashion. Another suggestion is to use a measuring tape to ensure it is the same width on all four sides.
You will be folding in the fabric about one inch underneath the ottoman before stapling the fabric. So you may have to trim the excess fabric. This would be the time to do it.
Start with the longer sides (length) of the ottoman. Working with a partner, pull one side of the fabric underneath the ottoman, turn under about an inch and secure a staple on the middle and on both sides. Do the same thing on the opposite side. Be sure to pull the fabric underneath evenly and tightly. Go back and add new staples evenly in between each of the three staples already attached.
Instructions for securing the ends of the ottoman are a bit different. You will be folding the fabric and securing it underneath as if you wrapping a gift. But the fabric will not meet at a point. Instead you will be tucking it underneath and having the folded fabric run along the edge of the ottoman on a slight angle ending with a straight edge at the end. It is this straight edge that will be folded under and stapled to the ottoman. Again, start with a staple in the middle and then two more staples on either side. Do this on both sides of the ottoman. Then go back and add more staples evenly in between the staples already secured.
It may take a few tries to get both ends even and to ensure that there is as little bulk as possible and that the fabric is pulled tightly.
Here is an image showing how it should look on both ends of the ottoman…
Now go back and add more staples evenly around the bottom of the ottoman to secure the fabric. When you get to the corners you will have to kind of wrap the fabric around the corner and add a few extra staples. I found the fabric was too bulky in some spaces near the corner around the little circular legs of the ottoman and the staples would not take. So I used a needle and thread to sew the fabric together using a blind stitch.
I wanted the fabric on the ottoman to have a more finished look so I stitched the open sides together with matching thread using a blind stitch.
This is an image of what the corners look like not stitched…
…and this is an image of what the ottoman looks like after it was stitched.
Here is the completed transformation! It is a new and updated ottoman and if I might say it turned into quite a stylish piece of furniture. I love it!
It looks even better with some accessories including a wicker ottoman tray, navy blue throw pillow and a plush dusty blue throw!
As I mentioned previously, I can’t believe how to recover an old outdated ottoman is so easy and so doable!
I invite you to go on the hunt in thrift stores and garage sales or maybe you already own one that could use an easy update! I share some other thrift store treasure I found in Decorating The Garden With Thrift Store Finds that you might enjoy reading too!
Here is the Furniture Makeover: Outdated Dresser To New TV Stand I painted the same colour as the fabric I used to cover the ottoman. I love the colour scheme in this room!