Upholster an Ottoman With a Vintage Plaid Skirt

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About: 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 long and also te...

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:

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

Step 2:

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:

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

Step 4:

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:

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:

Wow! This looks good.

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    29 Discussions

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    emuñoz6

    4 years ago

    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!!

    1 reply
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    modhomeecteacheremuñoz6

    Reply 1 year ago

    I would never destroy or change a MCM piece that was worth saving. Some just aren't that good. Some are.

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    madzoe

    10 years ago on Step 6

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

    6 replies
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    FMBKmodhomeecteacher

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    modhomeecteacherFMBK

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    FMBKmodhomeecteacher

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    modhomeecteacherFMBK

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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' .

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    FMBKmodhomeecteacher

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

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

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    modhomeecteacherFMBK

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

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

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    FMBKmodhomeecteacher

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

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