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March 21, 2024

Breathe new life into a tired piece of furniture with a touch of creativity, beautiful fabric and a DIY ottoman makeover.

Do you have an old ottoman you’re looking to refresh or just found a gem at a thrift store?

This tutorial will walk you through the steps to transform it into a stylish and functional piece for your home.

A few weeks ago while my mom and I were thrifting we spotted a pair of ottomans that I knew would be perfect in my home.

They were marked $10 a piece and when we inquired about them, the clerk informed me they belonged to a set of chairs.

Well I wasn’t interested in reupholstering a chair, I just wanted the ottomans.

And I was so pleased when they said I could purchase the two ottomans for only $10.

What a great deal!

Two red windowpane plaid ottomans before makeover.
Thrifted ottomans before reupholstery.

I quickly made my way to the cash register and packed up my ottomans in the car.

We definitely wanted to keep this project quick and easy, so you’ll find that you won’t need expert sewing skills.

Clearly we want to make this project accessible to everyone eager to add a personal touch to their home decor.

Let’s dive in and discover how to create an upholstered DIY ottoman makeover that reflects your unique style!

This post is sponsored by Fabric 5 and Dime all opinions and thoughts are my own.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links or referral links for your convenience. It is a way for this site to earn advertising commissions by advertising or linking to specific products and/or services at no additional cost to you. By shopping these links you help us to keep bringing you new ideas for your home and life.

What is the Best Fabric to Reupholster an Ottoman?

When considering the best fabric for an upholstered DIY ottoman, durability and style are key factors to keep in mind.

Opting for a durable fabric that can withstand regular use and potential spills is crucial, especially if the ottoman will be placed in a high-traffic area such as a living room or family room.

Fabrics such as cotton, linen, and polyester blends are excellent choices due to their durability and ease of maintenance.

In addition you may want to consider the rub count of the fabric, any fabric with a rating of 20,000 or higher is considered good for high traffic areas.

This will ensure your fabric will stay looking good for years to come.

You’ll also want to consider the style and aesthetic you want for the room.

Textured fabrics like tweed or jacquard can add depth and visual interest, while solid colors or subtle patterns offer versatility and can complement various decor styles.

Ultimately, the best fabric for reupholstering an ottoman depends on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and the overall look you want to achieve in your space.

If you know me, you know I love blue and stripes.

When looking for fabric for my ottomans I made a wish list and then sent for samples from Fabric 5 and Dime.

Ultimately, I chose a textured blue and cream stripe fabric called Ground Rules Tide for the ottoman.

While I was browsing I also fell in love with a blue and white floral called Folk Art Azure which I used to make new pillow covers for my sofa.

Fabric 5 and Dime offers designer fabrics at deeply discounted prices, plus they offer daily deals and remnant pricing.

If you’re looking for fabric for your home, you need to head over to their website and check out all of their beautiful fabrics.

You’ll find options for pillows, drapery, bedding, upholstery and outdoor fabrics too!

How Much Fabric Is Needed to Reupholster an Ottoman?

The amount of fabric needed to reupholster an ottoman can vary depending on the size, shape, and design of the piece.

Generally, for a standard-sized ottoman, you may need around 1 to 4 yards of fabric.

However, you’ll want to measure the dimensions of your ottoman and add a few extra inches for allowances and pattern matching.

If the ottoman has complex details or requires pattern matching, you may need more fabric.

For each of my ottomans I needed a little more than a yard.

I didn’t want to run short, so I ordered 1 1/2 yards for each ottoman.

Ottoman Yardage Chart

StyleYardageLabor Price
ottoman no skirt1-4 yards$295-$350
ottoman with skirt4-6 yards$350-$425
ottoman with tufting4-6 1/2 yards$520-$580

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DIY Ottoman Makover Supplies and Tools

To reupholster an ottoman you’ll need the following supplies:

The following tools will be helpful:

Prep for Ottoman Makeover

Let’s begin this DIY ottoman makeover with a little prep work.

While it’s ideal to remove the old upholstery, it’s not always necessary.

Old red windowpane plaid ottoman with the legs removed.

It’s a tedious job removing all of the staples.

Our goal was to make this project quick and easy.

And desired the ottomans to have clean lines and feel more modern.

So we’re opting to recover the ottomans without removing the old fabric.

To prepare the ottomans, we removed the old wood legs and vacuumed the fabric to remove any dust or debris.

New batting is stapled to the ottoman and corners are whip stitched.

And then covered the existing fabric with new Dacron batting.

When selecting a batting, choose one that’s made for upholstery.

It’s thicker and more durable.

We have a wholesale shop nearby that sells supplies for upholsterers called Furniture and Mattress Supply.

Their prices are much less expensive than your local fabric store and it’s a better quality.

Check around your area and see what you can find or look on Amazon or Etsy.

The batting is secured to the bottom of the ottoman with a few staples and then trimmed at the corners and whipped stitched together.


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Ottoman Legs

To update the look of your ottoman, you may want to consider new legs.

I wanted mine to have a natural coastal feel and found natural wood legs on Amazon.

They were very affordable at $14.99 for 4 legs.

New wood legs for DIY ottoman makeover with white wax applied.

To give the legs a coastal look, I simply applied a white wax, let it dry and then buffed.

They can also be easily stained and protected with a top coat.

The mounting hardware is included with the legs and it’s simple to install.

You’ll want to install the hardware before adding the new fabric to the ottomans.

We learned this the hard way with the first ottoman we upholstered.

A drill is used to make a hole for attaching the new legs for the ottoman.

First decide on the placement of each leg, and drill a hole for the hardware with a 1/2″ wood bit.

Screws are used to attach the leg base to the bottom of the ottoman.

Then attach the mounting plate to the bottom of the ottoman with the included screws.

Cut Fabric

Begin by placing the fabric on a flat, clean surface, ensuring it’s free from wrinkles or creases.

Then place the ottoman, top side down and center it on the fabric.

Pull the fabric up around the ottoman on each side and allow an extra 3″ to 4″ per side.

Cut the fabric for the ottoman, allowing the extra 3″ to 4″ per side.

Using a marker and stitching line is made aligning a ruler with the edge of the ottoman.

Center the ottoman on the fabric, then place a ruler on the fabric aligning it with the edge of the ottoman.

Then mark the stitching line on the fabric, followed with a second line 1″ wider for the cut line.

Repeat at each corner.

New upholstery fabric is cut to fit the ottoman.

Cut the fabric at each corner.

New upholstery fabric is cut to fit the ottoman.

Once all the cuts are made, it will look something like this.

Stitch Ottoman Corners

Now we’re ready to stitch up the corners.

With our fabric, we had a lot of fraying, so before we began to stitch up the corners, we made a zig zag stitch on the cut edges.

Side seams are stitched with a sewing machine. Woman's hands guide blue and white striped fabric.

Place right sides of the fabric together at each corner and stitch along the stitching line.

Once all four corners are stitched, place it on the ottoman for a dry fit.

stitched side seam on fabric for DIY ottoman makeover.

We found that we needed to round the top point of each corner a bit.

So we went back and started about 1/2″ from the stitching line and made a gentle curve into the original stitching line.

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Attach Fabric to Ottoman

The DIY ottoman makeover is coming to the home stretch.

New fabric is placed on ottoman matching the corners.

Take your stitched ottoman fabric and align the corners with each corner of the ottoman.

Stitched fabric is placed over ottoman.

Then pull the fabric down, making sure your seams align with the corner of the ottoman.

A few staples are placed on one side to secure each side of the DIY ottoman makeover. Blue and white striped fabric placed on old ottoman.

Then flip the ottoman upside down, pull the fabric taut and place a staple in the center of each side.

Place another couple of staples about 3″-4″ apart on each side of the center staple, repeat with each side.

A staple gun is used to secure the fabric to the bottom of the ottoman.

Then fill in each side with more staples placed next to each other.

Staples are used to secure the fabric on the corners of the ottoman.

For the corners, you’ll need to trim back the fabric around the base of the leg, then secure the area with more staples.

And finally to make it look neat, we trimmed the fabric about 1″ from the staple line and folded it under and secured it with more staples.

Attaching natural wood leg to blue and white striped upholstered DIY ottoman

The final step is to screw the new legs into the base of the ottoman.

And that’s it!

It goes together fairly quickly and we were able to reupholster both ottomans in an afternoon.

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links or referral links for your convenience. It is a way for this site to earn advertising commissions by advertising or linking to specific products and/or services. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

DIY Ottoman Makeover Reveal

Certainly reupholstering an old ottoman is a rewarding DIY project that can breathe new life into a tired piece of furniture.

Reveal of DIY ottoman makeover with blue and white striped fabric and white washed natural wood legs in living room.

Let’s take a look at the amazing before and after DIY ottoman makeover.

Can you believe the transformation?!

By carefully selecting the right fabric and with a little patience, you can achieve a professional-looking result that enhances the aesthetic appeal of your home.

Reveal of DIY ottoman makeover with blue and white striped fabric and white washed natural wood legs in living room.

And don’t forget to check out all of the amazing home decór fabrics available at Fabric 5 and Dime.

Reveal of DIY ottoman makeover with blue and white striped fabric and white washed natural wood legs in living room.

With patience and a bit of creativity, you can transform your old ottoman into a stylish piece that reflects your personal taste and adds charm to your home décor.

So, roll up your sleeves, gather your materials and transform a worn and dated ottoman this weekend.

What do you think? Is this a project you’d like to try for yourself? 

Love flipping thrifted items? Then take a look at even more ideas:

Thanks for spending some time with us today, we hope you’ve been inspired to repurpose thrift store finds and create your own treasure!

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Pinterest image: DIY Ottoman Makeover, before dated red windowpane plaid, after navy striped modern ottomans with a coastal vibe.

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