M's June DIY: The Ottoman Empire



8 comments
Okay, so technically this was less of a "DIY" and more of a "watch my awesome mom do a project and try to learn so next time I can DIY!"  This is her ottoman:

It's pretty, but also pretty traditional {as is her lovely rug, which you can see}.  And, the leather could use a treatment, but the color kind of lends to the rustic, worn-in thing. 

However, both my mom and I have sort of changed our styles over the last few years, from very traditional to mostly modern.  So, mom was wanting to do something cool with her ottoman.  She considered covering it with her sweet cow hide rug, since she hasn't been able to find a place for it {but I think it pained her to think about cutting up the cow hide, which I totally understand.  That would be a no-going-back type situation}. 

{This one is similar in color to hers, although I think mom's has more black.  You will see hers in one of the photos on the banister.  It truly has no home right now.}

She also considered buying some metallic leather paint and treating it with that, which would have been pretty cool. 

Ultimately, she found some funky fabric and decided to cover the leather, therefore leaving the option of leather open for later.  We didn't really cause any harm to the leather in the re-covering of the ottoman, so later, she would have an out, if she changed her mind!  The fabric she chose is a traditional style, however, the scale of the repeat and color combo update it dramatically.
Mom's fabric, in grandmom's living room!
Aside from the fabric, we needed upholstery tacks & tack hammer, a staple gun & staples, upholstery thread, and a round needle.  We also used a cheap IKEA comforter as padding.  We wanted to just smooth things out, without adding any height to the ottoman {originally, we planned to use memory foam, but it was a lot taller than the blanket}. 

First, we filled the tufts with cotton.  We thinned out the edges so that there wouldn't be any lumps or anything.  Next, we cut up the comforter to cover the top and sides.  {One long, thick strip for the top hung over two of the ends, and we cut two skinny strips for the other two sides.}  We put stitches every 6 inches or so, in order to hold the pieces together as we covered them with fabric.  
 We draped the fabric over the ottoman, centering the pattern where we wanted it.  Then, mom tacked one tack in the center of each side, pulling the fabric tight, to make sure it stays put.  She didn't hammer the tacks in very far, since some re-adjusting was almost certain.  After making sure each tack was in the right place {using the pattern of the fabric and the edges of the ottoman to make sure each side was the same}, she put two more tacks on each side, leaving some space in between.  None of the tacks are hammered all the way in, since we eventually removed them after stapling the fabric to the ottoman.  The tacks helped us keep the pattern in the right place for stapling.  {Make sure to pull the fabric tight when placing these original tacks, so that the upholstery isn't loose, misplaced, or shifty.}  Picture #7 is supposed to show the tacked middles of the sides.


We then turned the ottoman upside down, and used the original tacks to place staples, starting in the center of each side and working the way out toward the ends.  Then we cut off the excess fabric around the sides of the ottoman and the legs.  {I apologize for the quality of the photos!}

The corners could be done either with a pleat on either side {left} or, with a straight seam {right}.  Mom chose the straight seam {rightly so, it's much more streamlined}.

Mom held the fabric where she wanted it, and put in a couple of tacks to hold it in place.  She cut the fabric in an angle up to the top of the leg {pic 14, the scissors are hard to see, as they are in motion}, where it would need to be split to be stapled under the ottoman, and folded over the legs.  This cut is really important, because if it is too long, whatever is under the fabric will show!  She folded the fabric around the leg as she wanted it and put in a tack.

Then I stapled the fabric under the ottoman on either side of the leg, to keep it in place while she sewed a hidden seam, using the round needle. 

For this, you tie a knot in the thread {which mom made about 4 times as long as the seam would end up being} and start with a stitch that will hide the knot {from the inside out}.  You then make a stitch exactly across from the original, and bring the thread back out, using the round needle to create the stich size you want.  Make sure to keep going directly across from the stitch you just came out of to begin the next one, and stay on the edges where you want the fabric to meet up.  Hopefully that makes sense!  It's kind of hard to describe...
She then added some plain fabric to the bottom, to tuck away the edges of the upholstery and add the finishing touch.  Here it is in mom's living room:

I think it looks so pretty and sassy! 

Sorry this post is so long!  There were just sooo many steps! 

What skills does your mom have that you want to learn?

8 comments:

Kerry at: July 1, 2012 at 7:21 PM said...

Your mom is SO TALENTED! I love it!!! That fabric is fantastic!

Do you think she'll help me cover my upstairs ottoman once I find the perfect fabric?

Maigen at: July 1, 2012 at 10:45 PM said...

Thanks, yeah, she's amazing! She probably would help, plus then I could come watch again and learn more!! I'll run it past her :)

Maigen at: July 1, 2012 at 10:45 PM said...

Thanks, yeah, she's amazing! She probably would help, plus then I could come watch again and learn more!! I'll run it past her :)

Maigen at: July 1, 2012 at 10:45 PM said...

Thanks, yeah, she's amazing! She probably would help, plus then I could come watch again and learn more!! I'll run it past her :)

Maigen at: July 1, 2012 at 10:45 PM said...

Thanks, yeah, she's amazing! She probably would help, plus then I could come watch again and learn more!! I'll run it past her :)

Maigen at: July 1, 2012 at 10:45 PM said...

Thanks, yeah, she's amazing! She probably would help, plus then I could come watch again and learn more!! I'll run it past her :)

Isabel at: July 9, 2012 at 2:17 PM said...

wow, I learned so much from her! Thanks for sharing your mom's wisdom!

She is really thorough with the way she addressed the corners/legs! I would've been stumped! She gave me an "oooh, THAT"S how" moment when she sewed those hidden seams in the corners. I've gotta see that in person!

Leather Armchair at: October 1, 2012 at 8:04 AM said...

yeah, exactly..she is so creative..! i really love her work and learned a lot from her..thanks for sharing such a inspirational post..

Wing Chair

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