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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

DIY DECOR: A Dark & Dated Ottoman Gets a Bright Update

Just like my trash to treasure cabinet, there's nothing better than taking a "seen-better-days" piece and transforming it into something beautiful.  This ottoman is no exception.  Plus, this had to be the one of the easiest upholstery projects in history - right up there with my chair cushion upholstery project!  If you can cut fabric and wield a staple gun then you can upholster a cushion.

I grabbed the piece from our local thrift shop for $3.99.  The floral needlepoint top was a little too traditional and dated for our home, but I knew with a little cleanup and update it could be a cool addition to our living room decor.

While the needlepoint cushion isn't my style, I absolutely love the carved silhouette of the legs.

Like I said, transforming this ottoman was easy.  First I flipped the ottoman upside down and detached the cushion from the base.

Once I had the cushion and base separated, I began cleaning up and fixing the base.  The decades of dust and dirt came off easily with a quick wash of soap and water.  Plus, the only repair that was needed was tightening up a screw on one wobbly leg. 

After the base was dry and all screws were tightened, I sprayed it with three coats of Rustoleum's Ultra Cover Gloss spray paint in Key Lime.

Between coats of paint, I started work on the upholstered cushion.   I used pliers to remove all of the original staples (needle-nose are easiest, but anything you have handy should work.)

With the needlepoint cover removed, I inspected the base layer and the foam cushion.

Normally, I'd continue removing layers and replacing them with fresh foam and so on, but since everything was in pretty good shape I left it alone and moved on to recovering the cushion.  I used some of of my Covington Wilmington Multi fabric that I scored from Online Fabric Store, which was leftover from my sag-top drapes project and my easy sew pillow cover project.  This fabric has a vibrant multi-colored paisley pattern and goes perfectly with the key lime color.

Whenever I'm recovering a piece of furniture or a cushion, I lay out the fabric and get a good look at what I have to work with.  Since I painted the base in a bright chartreuse I wanted to highlight that same color in the fabric pattern.  I found the best section with pops of bright chartreuse and used the cushion as a template to cut the cover piece - making sure to cut 1 1/2 to 2 inches larger on all sides.

Once the fabric piece was cut to size, I laid the fabric on a table face down and centered the cushion face down on top of the fabric.

To attach the fabric to the cushion, I tightly pulled the sides over and stapled three times into the underside of the cushion (once at the top, once in the middle and once at the bottom).  Then I moved over to the opposite side and repeated the process.  Once the two sides were secured I went back around to add more staples to give it a bit more strength - stopping about an inch from each corner.

For the ends, I pulled the fabric up, tucked it into the corner and put a few staples into the side.

The corners are easier than they seem.  With the side tucked into the corner, I fold it over on top of itself to create a nice, smooth triangle shaped flap and staple it into place.  Repeat on the opposite end.

With the cushion updated, reattach it to the base.

I love how the base really makes the colors in the fabric pop against the white background of the fabric.

These quick and easy transformations are always my favorite and I can't help looking back and forth from the Before and After photos.

What about you guys?  Have any upholstering tips you'd like to share?  Is there a piece of furniture that you've redone and are proud of? 



  1. I really like what you've done. I'm pinning for future reference, since I'm currently on the hunt for an ottoman. :)

    1. Thanks, Janelle! Good luck on your ottoman hunt!

  2. Looks great! The limey green makes it so cheery!

    I gotta saythough, I am really crushing on that print of the throw pillow on your awesome orange chair! Was that a fabric you found?

    1. Oh this pillow...It's a cool raised embroidered print and I love it! I found it at goodwill but it's from target's RE brand. I just can't seem to find another one!

  3. I love the green! Everything looks amazing.

  4. I need help redoing my dining room chairs! Great job!

  5. I love it! I'm a huge fan of lime green. You make it look so simple! I'm going to have to keep my eye open on thrift stores for an easy project I can tackle.


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