Reupholster a tufted ottoman

I tackled my first re-upholstery job with this Wingback Chair last year.  It turned out to be a lot easier than it looked, but also incredibly time consuming.  When I reupholstered the ottoman to go with it, I ran out of steam in taking pictures and documenting the process– I was so ready to just be done with it.

So, I actually tackled another ottoman (with tufting) and took more pictures this time.

For the list of what you’ll need, see my Wingback Chair tutorial, we’ll be using all the same things, PLUS

  • Embroidery thread
  • Upholstery needle (much longer than standard needles)

What to do:

1. If your ottoman has removable legs (like mine, twist them off)

2. Flip the ottoman so the underside is facing up.

2. With your screwdriver (or other small, flat object to pry out staples), remove all the staples holding the black mesh covering.

3. You’ll likely find piping next, remove that as well.  In fact, remove all the staples you see.  And just keep doing that.  This is the hardest part of the process, I promise!

4. Pull the bottom fabric backwards towards the top of the ottoman to see the staples hidden underneath it. (The picture does a much better job of showing what I mean).

5. Keep removing staples until the whole piece is naked.

6. Use the original fabric pieces to trace your new fabric.

7. Start by putting the top piece on and stapling it back in place.  Use the reverse direction that you took things off to put them back on.

8. Take out the old piping from the old fabric and sew it into the new fabric.  Using the old piping innards makes it really easy– no measurements.

8. But before you put the lower piece of fabric (that goes all the way around your ottoman and has a seam), sew the seam and then slide the fabric on inside out starting at the top of the ottoman.  We’re recreating those hidden staples.  Once you get the fabric in place and staple it down, you can flip the fabric over itself, stretch it down to the bottom of the ottoman and staple it down completely.

9. Now that you have all the fabric on you can start on the tufting piece.  I chose to reuse the buttons my ottoman came with and just cut out small circles (about twice as big of my button) of my fabric.  Then I placed the button in the middle of the fabric and hand stitched the fabric around it at the back.  You can buy new buttons, OR you can buy a kit to create your own buttons.  I didn’t want to spend the money, so I just DIYed them to work.

10. Using the long upholstering needle and embroidery thread, pull the button through the hole and hold it taut.  Then, with your other hand, staple twice.  Then, pull the thread over the staples in the opposite direction and staple once more.

11.  Once you’re done with the buttons, staple the black mesh back on and screw the legs on.

Ta da!

And here is a view of the top with the tufting.

Have you been working on any upholstery projects lately?  I’d love to see your pictures!


4 responses

  1. Pingback: How to reupholster a wingback chair | DIY Project-aholic

  2. Pingback: House Tour: Dressing Room | DIY Project-aholic

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