Introduction: Upholster an Ottoman With a Vintage Plaid Skirt

Picture of Upholster an Ottoman With a Vintage Plaid Skirt

For about $3.99 plus the cost of iron-on interfacing I reupholstered this oval ottoman (which I built and upholstered in the red fabric years ago) with a snazzy, big plaid pleated skirt from Goodwill.
After removing the waistband, the pleated skirt flattened out and became a huge piece of fabric.

Step 1:

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Find an ottoman you want to reupholster that isn't too complicated.

Step 2:

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Make a pattern from the old upholstery pieces. Cut off waistband from big, pleated skirt, press fabric, iron on interfacing to stabilize apparel fabric and cut out pattern pieces.

Step 3:

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Prepare side piece and top piece to sew together, matching plaids. (difficult)

Step 4:

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After cover is sewn, carefully adjust the cover and pull it down over the ottoman. Begin stapling in place by starting on one of the longer sides. With firm smoothing and pulling, add three staples in the center of one side. Move to the opposite side and do the same. Now go to the two ends and do the same. Once the cover is anchored down with all plaids matched and in the right place, begin smoothing the fabric around the oval ottoman to "ease" in any excess fabric so that the bottom edge is smooth and free of gathers. "Easing" is smoothing and spreading out excess fabric in a given measurement so you don't have gathers or pleats.

Step 5:

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To update the clunky wooden legs, stain a sleek set of tapered and angled legs to make this oval ottoman mid-century worthy.

Step 6:

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Wow! This looks good.


emuñoz6 (author)2014-07-30

Great job! I just watch the last 2 projects destroy 2 mid century pices, but now I feel better after seen such a wonderful job, I pick up last saturday a very nice 50's chair and you know what you just inspired me to do the upholstery my self, thank you!!

susanchen2011 (author)2012-06-30

so beautiful.

BriannaSchmall (author)2011-03-28

i love this!!! love the fabric too!

madzoe (author)2009-04-05

really nice!!!! ok, i'd probably choose another fabric pattern, but still, you did fantastic job.! i just love those ottomans!!

modhomeecteacher (author)madzoe2009-05-29

It's mod, hip and really plaid. Plus its made from an old skirt from Goodwill-you gotta love it!! :)

 I totally dig this! I love the chunky plaid and retro legs. Great instructions!

Thanks. I really love how it turned out. I sold it on Etsy to a lady who lives Salem, Mass. I need to make more.
shelly leer

 Where did you purchase the tapered legs? I have such a hard time finding them!

I sell them.

 Do you sell them online?

Weissensteinburg (author)2009-02-22

That turned out really well!

It's for sale!

FMBK (author)modhomeecteacher2009-03-06

Hello. Nice job on your ottoman. I am making one as well. Different style and almost finished. I'm curious about the furniture legs you mentioned. Do you have 4" high "stocky" legs....something that would be about 2" wide (square?) If you do, could you send me a photo and cost? Many thanks. I'm having a difficult time getting legs that are reasonably priced.

modhomeecteacher (author)FMBK2009-03-07

I don't think I have any 2" square in stock. I know they can be hard to find. I can get them if you really need them.

FMBK (author)modhomeecteacher2009-03-07

Thanks for your response. They don't have to be 2" square. Just stocky as opposed to the ones (tapered) you put on your new ottoman. What are the legs like on your red ottoman? They look similar to what I am looking for but it's hard to tell from the photo.

modhomeecteacher (author)FMBK2009-03-07

That's what I was thinking. Those are chunky wedge shapes. They come in all shapes and sizes. I'll see if I can scan some photos and email them to you if you send me your email through 'private message' .

FMBK (author)modhomeecteacher2009-03-07

Hi. I sent you a note via "private message" earlier today with my email address. I hope you got it. Thanks again.

modhomeecteacher (author)FMBK2009-03-07

Yes, thank you. I'll get some photos together tomorrow and scan and email them to you with some dimensions.

FMBK (author)modhomeecteacher2009-03-10

Hi. I didn't receive any photos and just want to make sure you got my email address last time. Thank you.

modhomeecteacher (author)FMBK2009-03-10

You are right. I am going to scan and copy in about an hour. I had to make sure it was o.k. to resell from my wholesaler. Thanks for being so patient. I'll send 4-5 different types.

ginbelle (author)2009-02-24

Which supplier did you use? Those legs are an exact match for on that is missing on a sideboard I have. I'd love to get the contact info for them. Thanks!

Hi! I've got an account with the whoesale supplier, I can sell you one leg if you need it. I've got a supply of them. They are cut angled at the top and at the bottom. If you need a better photo, I can send you one.

artquilter (author)2009-02-23

Cool! I liked the first version too! You should do an instructable on how to make an ottoman. You should be able to get several different sorts of screw in legs at Menards or Home Depot. And different lengths.

Thanks for the comment. I have so many sets of legs in my basement that I've collected from suppliers, Lowes, Ace Hardware and I've even bought OOOGLY furniture with good legs from Goodwill to salvage the legs. I can sure do an ottoman. I have to build one for somebody really soon, I'll photograph it and post it.

ajs1313 (author)2009-02-22

Very nice job.

modhomeecteacher (author)ajs13132009-02-22


canida (author)2009-02-22

Looks great! Where does one find suitable ottoman legs? Or did you make them?

modhomeecteacher (author)canida2009-02-22

Hi! I order the legs from a supplier in California. They're great because the bottoms are angled AND they attach at the top at an angle. You get that MCM look just by attaching them. I'm thinking about doing a larger ottoman with 6 or 8 legs spread around.

About This Instructable




Bio: Furniture, fabric, architecture, building, painting. I specialize in upholstery design, restyling, repurposing and writing all about upholstery. I teach loads of upholstery classes all week ... More »
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