How to Re-Cover an Ottoman

Item # X-HT-200664

Does this little black ottoman look familiar to you? Small ottomans like this have been mass-produced by big box stores and are common features of many living rooms. If you have a little worn-out ottoman like this, we’re going to show you how you can reupholster it to give it new life and a more unique look.

Our ottoman before.

Our ottoman before.

A small project like this is a great place to start if you’re interested in learning more about re-upholstery. This project isn’t complicated and really was almost more of a slipcover than upholstery. To re-cover this ottoman we sewed together a cover that would fit snugly around the foam and then stapled it securely to the ottoman’s base. Then we added a custom button to the top to re-create the tuft on the original ottoman.

Finished, reupholstered ottoman.

Our ottoman with new upholstery.

For upholstery projects you’ll want to use a sturdy fabric that can withstand being pulled taut. Pieces that will see a lot of daily use should be upholstered with a fabric that has a high double rub count for the best longevity. You can find the double rubs rating listed on almost every fabric at Sailrite in the ‘features’ on the product page. Since our ottoman was relatively small, we chose a fabric with a small-scale design to better fit the piece.

In this video, you’ll learn how to measure and pattern your new fabric, disassemble the ottoman, sew the cover, install the button, and finally, put it all back together.

Be sure to explore our massive collection of free how-to project videos! We have tutorials on everything from how to sew your own shades and window treatments, how to reupholster chairs and couches, how to sew cushions and so much more. Visit the "How-To" section of our website to get started.

Video Chapters:

  • Measuring & Cutting Fabric to Size – 0:23 min.
  • Dissembling Old Ottoman Cover – 3:07 min.
  • Sewing Side Panels – 4:21 min.
  • Sewing Top – 6:42 min.
  • Fitting & Stapling Fabric – 11:41 min.
  • Installing Button Form – 13:40 min.
  • Stapling Dust Cover – 17:11 min.
  • Materials List – 18:16 min.

Materials List:

  • Home décor fabric (we used P/Kaufmann Fenton Heritage Houndstooth #105175)
  • V-69 nylon thread
  • Black Cambric Dust Cover Fabric #106739
  • 21 Gauge 1/2" (12mm) Staples 10,000/Box (Galvanized) #8012GZ
  • Snap together button form #100194 (optional)
  • Twine #29206 (optional)

Tools List:

  • Multiuse Pins #102985
  • Tack & Staple Remover #104319
  • Sailrite® Long Nose Upholstery Staple Gun #121411
  • Assorted Long Hand Sewing Needles - Item # 100099 (Optional)
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Sewing machine