Ottoman Makeover


So, having just finished up my armchair post, I figured I would keep things in the same vein and post about my ottoman makeover. Quite some time ago, I found this boxy, tufted ottoman at the thrift store for $6 or $7. It had a lumpy, uneven top, but it looked promising as an eventual re-upholstery project. 

The color was this nasty mottled tan blend, and I was feeling lazy, so instead of recovering it right away, I thought I would be clever and paint it. I had seen a number of posts like this one that talked about painting upholstery, so I decided to give it a try. I had a test pot of latex paint in Martha Stewart's "Zinc," so I mixed it with some fabric medium and painted it on. It soaked up a fair amount of paint, and took a couple coats. Even though I was happy with the new color, the paint gave the ottoman a decidedly stiff texture, so it became affectionately known as "the crispy ottoman" or "the crunchy ottoman."  I laid a sheepskin rug over it to soften it up, but it certainly wasn't plush. And due to the lumpy top, you couldn't even set a tray down on it without it tipping to one side. At least R liked it :)


The crispy ottoman hung around for a number of months before we decided we were tired of it scraping our legs whenever we walked around. I resolved to give it a makeover.

Some months prior, I found some lovely mid-century wooden legs from my favorite thrift store. Actually it was the same thrift store where I got my chair. The legs were originally attached to a coffee table, but I didn't care for the table, so I just had the guy at the store unscrew them. I didn't want to have to haul the whole table home, so I paid $10 or so for the legs and left the tabletop there. 

I don't have any pictures, but the legs were originally a really pale blonde wood. I had to refinish them to match our floor and other furniture. I sanded the finish off with my Dremel Tool Multi-max, and then restained them with one coat of Minwax Special Walnut (I think). I finished with a couple coats of polyurethane and set them out to dry on the deck.  


Next step was stripping off the old fabric and padding from the ottoman. This didn't take long. What was underneath was a basic plywood frame. I was able to cut the sides down and use those cut pieces to create the top for the new ottoman.   


So basically this created the framework for the top of the new ottoman. I had some foam left over from another project, so I just secured it onto the frame, wrapped it with two different thicknesses of batting, and stapled everything in place. (As you can see, I did this project before our kitchen makeover...)


I don't have pictures of the rest of the process, but after adding the foam, I covered the whole thing with the fabricā€”Cameo Ovals Bleached White by Dwell Studio. Once that was all stapled in place, I made some piping to finish the bottom edge, and hot glued it on.

The part that nearly did me in was attaching the legs. Because I had so many layers of fabric and batting stapled to the bottom of the ottoman, it was nearly impossible to screw the legs on evenly. You would think it would be easy to just drill through the layers of fabric, batting and wood, but my driIl bit got all tangled in the threads. I ended up having to use stacked metal washers between some of the leg brackets and the ottoman base so the legs wouldn't wobble. It was also challenging, because anytime I had the ottoman flipped over to work on the legs, R would climb in and pretend it was his boat. Good thing that kid is so cute.

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We are really happy with how it turned out. I think we ended up spending like $20 on the fabric and $10 on random other supplies like staples and washers. I am not including the cost of the legs because I picked them up some time before when I thought I was using them for another project. Not too bad for a new ottoman...


Joy Lewis1 Comment