Last fall, I spent several days making a trio of ottomans to accent the living room. They’ve been a perfect foot rest when seated at the couch, the perfect extra seat when company’s over, and the perfect place to stack the 14 magazines that I’m behind on browsing. If you haven’t read the tutorial and you want to make one yourself, read the series in this sequence: first, second, third.
Truth: I’ve really (really, really) come to love these ottomans. They’re versatile, they’re as practical and proportional and functional as can be, but considering that spring springs tomorrow, I’m ready to make some updates because cozy gray felt curtains, pillows, and ottomans don’t scream “Let’s put on some SPF and open all of the windows” as they mutter under chilled breath something about staying indoors wearing slippers. I’ve started my little springtime overhaul with the ottoman because 1) it was the first piece I found favorable upholstery fabric for, and 2) the gray felt was in the worst physical condition in the world of gray felt upholstery.
Already discounted 40% at JoAnn’s, I had an extra coupon for 20% off my total purchase (thank you, bonus app coupons), bringing 1.5 yards of this 54″ upholstery pleather from $90.00 (that’s $59.99/yard, whoa) to a total cost of $35.99. Still more than I’ve spent on any of the slip covers to date, but what can I say, the look and feel of the fabric really got the best of me.
It really is pleather in the truest sense of the term, the stuff that you overlook most of the time because it reminds you of cheap pleather boots that you never much liked but bought anyways because they were only $14.99 at Forever 21. It’s heavier than the cotton and canvas fabrics that still adorn the other two ottomans, but I think its texture and neutrality will continue to keep the trio anchored. The outer facing faux-leather fabric looks great up close and from afar, and even feels nice to the touch, although it’s obviously not real leather when you see the underside. Hopefully it’ll be durable enough to last into the fall and not show outward signs of wear. Natural leather wear = good. Pleather wear = question mark?
The design and assembly of the ottoman cover itself is really simple. The old one slipped right off (it was only pinned in place at the underside with push pins and sliding floor tacks). To prep for the new cover, I chopped the piece of pleather into five 20″x20″ pieces. The rippling in that piece on the lower left is much less obvious when sewn and taut on the frame.
My only real tip in creating a DIY ottoman slip cover is to sew one edge at a time, and constantly reposition the fabric back on the frame as you go to ensure that it’s fitted straight. I really found no need to pin the fabric in place and sew along specific lines, I just went square by square, sewing the edges together inside out and then flipping and refitting it onto the frame with every seam. Note: That gray felty blob is the old slip cover. I left it there so you could see it’s wear, compared to the smooth new pleather. Kind of deflated. Kind of pilly. Pretty dirty from resting our shoes on it.
I reused the same thumb tacks and furniture floor sliders to lock the fabric around the base and to the wooden frame, they’ve worked like a charm – absolutely no poppage, and no floor damage either.
Because I was reusing both the frame and the pins to anchor the slip cover in place, the only cost to upgrade was the $36 fabric. A small price to pay considering that the original ottoman that inspired me was priced at almost $200. And I think it looks great. Much richer in person than the felt ottoman was, doesn’t come across as chincy pleather at a glance, and it really nicely complements the other two yellowy-gold ottomans and other shades of brown in the room. Dare I say that Cody approves. Not really, don’t think he’s noticed.