Ottoman Adoration (Volume 3 of 3)

October 13, 2011   //  Posted in: Decor, DIY, Living Room, Tools   //  By: Emily   //  16 responses

The votes rolled in, were tallied, and… I still went with my gut.

When I started looking online for fabrics to cover the ottomans, I fell in love with this pretty, watercolor-esque Marimekko fabric and as much as I also liked the cocoa bean print that won out in the polls, this took the cake. And arrived in the mail earlier this week.

Fabric option #3. Marimekko! From reedrights on Etsy. Listed at $13.50 a yard, it was more expensive than most fabrics I browsed through, but the shipping prices were great and what can I say: I was thoroughly obsessed and dying to see it in person.

I actually expected it to be lightweight, like a quilting fabric, but when it arrived I was pleased to see that it was actually heavier; not quite a canvas, but definitely something worthy of being made into an ottoman cushion.

Oh, Insta-love with Marimekko.

I fashioned this second ottoman cover exactly the same way that I made my first (the one from IKEA fabric that you can read about over here), which was pretty much a glorified pillow case but custom tailored to fit really, really snugly on the ottoman frame and over the batting that I had wrapped around it.

Best fabric ever with the previously finished ottoman looking on. It was easier to assemble this second time around; I made the same 20″x20″ squares that I did the first time and pieced them together one-by-one.

Marimekko ottoman pieces. Coming together. Loving those colors. Before I show you how my new Marimekko-slipcovered ottoman turned out, check out the fabric that I chose for the third and final ottoman frame:

Gray felt. Can you believe it? Oh yes, you’re seeing that right. It’s sale-priced $2.99 plain gray felt.

Felt is the kind of inexpensive, sometimes over-starched fabric that I haven’t used since my days in Brownie Troop 748. But it’s back. Prepare to be wowed.

Inspiration struck when I was perusing Better Homes & Garden’s October 2011 issue and saw this amazing slipcover fashioned from a vintage Swiss Army blanket. The idea of a heavy, durable, and soft material won me over (perfect for wintertime).

Ottoman slipcover made from a vintage swiss army blanket. Not sure where to go about getting a similar blanket that didn’t cost a lot, and not wanting to chop apart my own Pendleton wool blanket, I searched on etsy and in stores for a heavy-weight wool alternative. Many searches yielded 5mm wool felt as a viable alternative, although it was pricy. At JoAnn’s, I found regular craft felt that was surprisingly soft (as I mentioned, I usually find felts too starched), and while it was nowhere near 5mm (probably just 1.5-2mm if I had to guess), I considered that doubling it up would be a good solution, because it would make the exposed seams 4x thicker than a single piece of felt, giving the illusion that I used a heavier piece of fabric to do the slip cover. Also, the price was great. Originally $4.99 and chopped to $2.99, I couldn’t say no for spending $6 on two yards of fabric (a price you can have too if you look for one of those 40-50% off coupons). At 72″ wide on the bolt, I had a lot of fabric to work with.

I cut the folded fabric into squares so that it was immediately doubled up, and began to sew it together. I’m happy to report that four layers of felt will fit easily through the sewing machine. Because I was tailoring and pulling the fabric as I fitted each piece, some edges ended up with a lot of overhang. On the other ottomans, the overhang wasn’t an issue because it was flipped to the inside edge of the slipcover, but here, it was going to remain exposed.

An assembled third ottoman cover. Enter the Husky 9.5″ Multi-Purpose Utility Scissors.

These babies were another birthday gift that found an immediate purpose in life, as my new heavy-fabric cutting shears. My previously best scissors were perfectly suited for cutting the 20″x20″ squares of fabric, but when it came time to make the outer facing seams consistent, the Husky scissors outperformed by cutting all four exposed pieces of fabric. At. The. Same. Time.

Evened seamed, thanks to my new awesome Husky utility scissors. It was stunning.

Evened seamed, thanks to my new awesome Husky utility scissors. The new trio of ottomans was looking pretty slick as a set, even though I’m not committed to them staying in the same room as a married group; I fully expect them to move around the house as I need them to.

Ottomans. And a dog who looks like he's about to howl. If I were to keep them lined up in front of the couch, for instance, they’d look something like this:

If we were to keep the ottomans right in front of the couch...

But because we decided that all three lined in front of the couch was a little too much ottoman and pattern in one single place, we divided them up throughout the room for now. In this more aerial view, check out the first one tucked alongside the fireplace, the felt one to left of the reclaimed trunk coffee table, but still usable from the couch, and the third Marimekko-covered one, to the right of the couch ready to be pulled into action in front of the wicker chair as extra seating or another couch footrest.

All three ottomans. At home. Three ottomans in three posts. How about that?

Anyone going to try making one at home? Anyone daring enough to try one with storage functionality? Because that’s what we’re eyeing next, and need some moral support.

  • Staci @ My Friend Staci
    6 years ago - Reply

    Love them. Totally go together without being matchy matchy, and if you spread them throughout the house, it will bring a thread of continuity throughout your rooms!

    • Emily
      6 years ago -

      Thanks Staci! Glad you like!

  • rach-dawgg
    6 years ago - Reply

    i still can’t believe you made those either! brilliant! love ’em!

    • Emily
      6 years ago -

      Thanks Rach!

  • Jami Graham
    6 years ago - Reply

    LOVE them!! They look amazing!!

    • Emily
      6 years ago -

      Thanks Jami!

  • miles
    6 years ago - Reply

    these look great. roughly how much did it end up costing? was it cheaper than the one you saw in that shop? (written with feet up on a kids chair)

    • Emily
      6 years ago -

      As a trio, it totally came in under $198 (which is the cost of the one I saw at Anthropologie).

      To break it down:
      1) I’d estimate that the 3 frames cost about $25 depending on what kind of OSB or backer board you used to cover the 2×2 structure (I worked with scrap OSB and backer board that I had from making picture frames, so I only spent about $10 on the 2×2 boards).
      2) The padding to wrap the frame was $20 and at a “king size” sheet, was enough for all 3.
      3) The fabric was where I encountered most variance. The felt was $6, the marimekko was $20, the IKEA canvas was about $13.

      So, ballparking some numbers and not accounting for local taxes, I think that a trio could be made for as little as $70, or a singleton for as little as $20.

      Hope that helps, Miles!

  • Miles
    6 years ago - Reply

    Thanks for the response. That’s only £13 here in blighty so I think I’ll add this to my post-xmas jobs list.

    • Emily
      6 years ago -

      We were also thinking they’d be easy gifts to make for people if you know their style!

  • juli
    6 years ago - Reply

    Great source of Marimekko fabric scraps

    • Emily
      6 years ago -

      True story, even though I thought you were a spammer at first. I really love what you have available!

  • Jeff
    5 years ago - Reply

    For storage functionality, you can just move the top horizontal frame down 1.5″, trim the excess from the vertical frame pieces, make a cover that is 1.5″ tall (to make up for the lost height) maybe add some cross supports inside the frame so people can sit, and add a flat piece like you have on the walls and add some cushion. To keep the cover in place on the ottoman, add an inner frame that fits the inner dimensions of the box so that when the cover is down, it will not move. Upholster as needed of course.

    I had a cheap ottoman from Walmart that broke and that’s how the cover functioned to allow for storage.
    If you decide to do this, please take pictures and let me know how it turns out.

    I will be trying to construct this myself soon enough.

    • Emily
      5 years ago -

      Great idea – I’ve seen and admired functional storage ottomans like that too.

  • Tina
    2 years ago - Reply

    Approximately how many yards do I need for a 20×20 ottoman. I’m using the home decor fabric which is about 4 ‘ long.

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