My first attempt to recover a piece of furniture was a hot mess. My friend Michelle came over to evaluate my bench. It was all she could do to not haul it into the back of her car. So I focused on how to reupholster an ottoman. This beginner’s guide is for all DIY enthusiasts.
And, why I suggest ottomans.
If a project involves measuring and army-like tight corners I resorted to duct tape. So imagine my surprise when I reupholstered a pair of ottomans.
I found these square ottomans on clearance at Marshall’s. Today I want to share my mistakes and lessons on the power of fabric. Here is a basic beginner’s guide on how to recover an ottoman.
I am so happy with my matching ottomans because my first attempt to reupholster was a bit of a fail. Ask my friend Michelle.
My first attempt to cover a bench lasted maybe a week before the staples busted out like a Jack in the Box filled with Skittles.
The fabric-covered bench was no match for our Elliott.
Those staples never had a chance with Elliott’s weight as he launched into the air with the help of our bench at the end of the bed.
But the covered bench looked nice enough for a hot minute so I wanted a do-over. And then I found these identical square ottomans at Marshall’s days before the Covid shutdown. They were on clearance.
Sidenote: I cannot find the original fabric-covered ottomans. This is the after photo.
The day I purchased these ottomans was the same day I bought this hutch.
These were just before retail stores closed in 2020. In a pandemic panic, I decided these three Marshall’s furniture pieces were more important than a 12-pack of Charmin.
TIPS TO RECOVER OTTOMANS WITH FABRIC
OTTOMANS + BENCHES
I specifically called out ottomans and benches because they typically have 90-degree angles with defined edges.
It is like wrapping a box with legs. Just remove the legs to ensure tight corners.
When I found these matching ottomans on clearance at Marshall’s, I knew I had to step up my fabric and upholstery skills. I consulted with my Tool Man Husband and he suggested I use our air compressor staple gun.
I ditched this handheld staple gun.
Sidenote: I cannot find the original ottomans photos. They were a steel-blue shade of gray but just blended into the walls. And, they would have shown the dirt of puppy paw prints.
I used a navy window treatment that had lost its mate a few seasons back. Not wanting to toss it or donate one treatment I knew it would be the perfect color and weight to cover these matching ottomans.
Tip: Check the clearance bins for upholstery fabrics.
In the end, I used a tape measure before cutting the window treatment. However, I relied heavily on my “gut feeling” on where to cut the fabric.
It took all of my husband’s willpower to stay quiet.
REMOVE SEAT CUSHION FROM FRAME
This is easy peasy! Just make sure your screwdriver has an extended bit to reach the screw.
Also, in both of my reupholstery projects, I used furniture with 90-degree angles.
I am confident around most power tools, but I needed a refresher with this upgrade from my office stapler.
Here is a smaller and less expensive pneumatic stapler if you only need it for upholstery projects.
It took longer to cut the fabric than it did to cover the ottomans.
I nailed the corners! Did you see what I did with that sentence?
The stronger staples held the corners together and gave it a great finished look.
I have one ottoman in my office and my husband has one in his office. Marshall’s may not be your first thought when you think of furniture, but if it has good bones it might be the perfect piece to cover with new fabric.
If you need a more detailed review read this article.
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