Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ottoman Reupholstery: From Tattered to Terrific!

Posted by Devin

A few years back I purchased a dark brown faux leather ottoman for our living room. It looked great and was super functional. But as you all know, I have 4 boys. It didn't take very long before it looked like this:

The ottoman became the boys' launch pad for super hero leaps into the sky, their wrestle mat, their napping spot, their desk for writing on their notepads and coloring in their coloring books, etc., etc.
I couldn't take this shabby look any more. It was time to reupholster.
If you have an ottoman that looks like this at your house, here is my how-to on reupholstering. There were some ups and downs in the process, but I am SO happy I put in the effort to update and fix my ottoman. And no, the boys will not be allowed to continue with the super hero leaps off of it. Atleast not for awhile.

The first thing you need to do is make a run to the store for just a few materials.  Feel free to dance all the way there, knowing you are about to have the world's cutest ottoman instead of your current nasty one. Here I am on my way, doing exactly that!

Materials Needed:
-Fabric (I used 2 yards of printed duck cloth I purchased at Hobby Lobby.)
-Yarn (You can use upholstery thread, but my heaviest thread kept snapping and I finally switched to yarn. Worked like a charm!)
-Long Upholstery Needle (The longer the better in my opinion, makes it easier to get through the foam.)
-Staple Gun & Staples
-Package of Upholstery Buttons (The ones that you can cover with fabric yourself.)
-Tape Measure
-Flathead Screw Driver

Step 1. Remove the current fabric from your ottoman. Prepare yourself, this will be a long process. There were so many staples!!! I used a flathead screw driver to remove the staples, the thinner the tip the better.

Step 2. Press your fabric and lay it out on the floor. Center the uncovered ottoman upside down on the fabric. I actually left more fabric on the right hand side so I could cut that off later and use the leftover fabric to cover my buttons.

Step 3. Begin stapling your fabric. I started with my 2 short ends. I first stapled in the middle and then worked my way out to the corners, making sure the fabric is tight and smooth as I go. When I was done, I trimmed off the excess fabric.

Step 4. Now staple the long ends, again starting in the middle and working your way out to the corners. When you get to the corners, you simply pull and fold the fabric just like you would when you are wrapping a present. Staple into place. (Ok, so you may notice that I didn't follow my own advice and I stapled my corners first. Do as I say and not as I do, lol! Again, we are learning from my mistakes, here.)

Step 5. Once your fabric is completely stapled, turn the ottoman over to prepare for tufting. At this point, you will need to have your upholstery buttons covered in your fabric. (Note: I was having the MOST difficult time getting the buttons to snap together. It REALLY helps if you make sure you are trying to snap them together the RIGHT WAY. Read instructions carefully.)

Step 6. Starting the tufting. This was a little tricky for me. I am going to tell you what I did after much trial and error. First of all, I did not use thread because it kept snapping over and over when I attempted to pull it tight. And I was using my heaviest duty thread. So instead, I opted to use yarn. Take a long piece of your yarn and thread it through your covered button and then put both ends through your needle. The yarn worked well but was difficult to thread through the needle. To make it easier I would snip the thread so it had a fresh, unfrayed end and pinch it tight with my fingers while slipping it through the eye of the needle. The larger the eye of your needle, the easier this will be. Here is what it should look like once it is all threaded correctly.

Step 7: Measure where you would like your tufts to go. This was easy for me as mine had already been tufted and there were holes I could feel in the foam where my buttons should go. Insert your needle and pull it through from the bottom. NOTE: The longer your needle, the better! I was using a 3" needle to go through 6" of foam so I had to use needle nose pliers to pull the needle through. Having a longer needle would have helped A LOT. Don't forget this on your materials list.

Step 8: Pull the thread tight and secure your yarn on the bottom of the ottoman using a button. Again, the yarn was difficult to thread through the button. I made it easier by using the needle to thread one side of the yarn through the button hole and then using a piece of thread to loop through the other button hole and pull the other side of the thread through. Once the button is threaded, pull and tie it tightly to secure.

Once all of the upholstered buttons are secured, your ottoman is ready to go! It may have been a lot of work, but I hope through my mistakes and solutions it will be easier for all of you. And for under $20 in materials I am thrilled with my pretty new ottoman! :)

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At May 15, 2013 at 9:40 AM , Blogger Mandy Hank said...

Great transformation!!!

At May 15, 2013 at 12:02 PM , Anonymous Britany@32turns said...

Super cute, love the fabric choice!

At May 15, 2013 at 12:07 PM , Anonymous Britany@32turns said...

P.S. I think you two ladies are doing a FABULOUS job blogging and I have nominated you for a Liebster Award!!! Check out my post to learn more about it! Congrats, and have fun writing your acceptance post. Keep up the good work and awesome projects, you two are adorable and so fun!

At May 20, 2013 at 9:59 AM , Anonymous Laura @ The Experimental Home said...

Great job fixing up that ottoman! I am a little intimidated by largish upholstery project, but an ottoman isn't so bad. I may have to give it a try... and I will dance all the way to the store!

At May 21, 2013 at 9:38 AM , Blogger Tara and Devin said...

LOL! Yes, dancing is a must! I am a little intimidated by upholstering too, but the ottoman realy was pretty darn easy. Good luck to you! ~Devin


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