Need to recover an ottoman? Here’s the DIY on how I updated ours.

A babysitter brought clay to share with Jack, and it gave me a DIY project: recover an ottoman.

Ottoman before after Theresa MyFixitUpLife reupholster denim

I’ve noticed that I have strong attraction to tufted furniture. (And it the tufted furniture has nail-head trim in a classic fabric and turned legs, well, that’s all I need to know.)

After a search, I found this ottoman with a storage shelf. It has the wood features that Mark is into, and the turned legs and tufting that I’m into. So when shortly after buying it, I came home to find the babysitter and Jack playing with clay on the ottoman, my heart sank.

I didn’t let on how furniturely-devastated I was on the inside when I saw the evidence of the clay fun all over the ottoman.

1 myfixituplife theresa Ottoman before

It’s been on my list for several years to recover the ottoman, and it makes me a little sad everyday to see the trays that cover the worst of the stains.

Recovering an ottoman is a fairly easy DIY project. It takes a long afternoon, if you have all of the supplies on hand and uninterrupted time from other responsibilities.

Supplies needed to recover an ottoman, like this one, include:

Fabric. Buy enough fabric to cover the ottoman on top and around the sides in one piece. You’ll need an additional square foot of fabric for the buttons. Plus it might be nice to buy an extra 1/2 yard to make a few matching pillows for the sofa or chairs in the room, or adjoining room to pull the color through your home. Also, I used muslin for the interior backing.

Tools. Scissors, fabric button kit, multi-tool, pliers, upholstery (long) needle, twine, upholstery stapler, screwdriver.

The DIY project is fairly straightforward. Take the fabric top off of the bottom ottoman frame, remove the buttons, and then recover and reattach the buttons and the top to the frame.

Here’s how I updated our ottoman in denim fabric. 

2 myfixituplife theresa ottoman remove the top from base screwdriver

The first step to recover an ottoman is to remove the fabric-covered top of the ottoman.

2 myfixituplife theresa ottoman view inside screw locations

This is the inside view of the ottoman, looking up toward where the fasteners are found.

3 myfixituplife theresaottoman view inside screw locations ottoman remove backing

After taking the top off of the ottoman, I flipped it over to remove the backing fabric.

4 myfixituplife theresa ottoman before inside view

The inside of the ottoman is an organized web of string. Each string is attached to one button on the top.

5 myfixituplife theresa ottoman fiskars scissors cutting tufted buttons

Every string was cut and pulled through to remove every button.

6 myfixituplife theresa ottoman HYDE multitool remove staples

After the buttons were removed, I cleaned up the frame by removing the staples that were proud. I used my handy HYDE multi-tool.

7 myfixituplife theresa ottoman pliers remove staples

After getting the staples popped up, I used pliers to get the staples the rest of the way out.

8 myfixituplife theresa ottoman cover denim fabric

I chose a dark denim fabric to cover the ottoman. Not only is it durable, it’s dark so it won’t reveal messes as quickly. I started stapling from the center of the long edge, pulling it taught.

9 myfixituplife theresa ottoman covered inside view

After stapling the long sides, I started stapling from the center of a short side. It’s important to make sure the fabric is as flat and tight as it can be.

13 myfixituplife theresa ottoman cutting backing fiskars

10 myfixituplife theresa ottoman fabric cover buttons supplies

Now comes the small work of covering buttons. This is what comes in a button covering kit. It’s fairly easy to use.

11 myfixituplife theresa Ottoman buttons fabric trace

I used the clear template to mark 28 circles, one for each button, on the back-side of the fabric.

12 myfixituplife theresa Ottoman tufting Fiskars scissors stanley stapler

With the buttons ready, I used an upholstery needle and twine to attach each button through the top of the ottoman. I stapled the twine on the back frame, just like it looked before I cut the strings for the old buttons.

Ottoman before after upholstery denim THeresa MyFixitUpLife top view (1)

Thinking about how the ottoman looked before the new denim fabric… I can’t believe I waited even a week to do this makeover.

14 ottoman after room myfixituplife theresa

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