How to Recover a Torn Ottoman


Several years ago, a co-worker was moving to another state, and she gave me a small cube ottoman. She didn’t want to move it, and I was happy to have something to prop my legs up with while I sat in my cube at work. It wasn’t much to look at, but my legs felt better after eight hours of sitting all day! After I was laid off, it sat at home. I knew something needed to be done with the way it looked—the vinyl covering was completely torn on the top and you could see the lining and the yellow foam. Regardless of whether I used it at work or in my home, it needed help. We had a limited budget, so we became resourceful.

Before: Torn Vinyl Cover

It would probably not be cost effective to tear off all the vinyl and get someone to completely reupholster it, so we decided to recover it—like a slipcover for an ottoman.

This is a simple way to revive an ottoman that lost a little more than its sparkle.

Materials Needed

  • Sewing machine
  • Thread that coordinates with fabric
  • Pre-washed fabric (amount depends on size of ottoman)
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Fabric marker or other writing utensil for fabric
  • Pins
  • Batting

Sewing the Cover

Here’s what we did:

  1. Wash the fabric.
  2. Iron fabric (if needed).
  3. Measure the top and sides of the ottoman and write down measurements.
  4. Add a ¼  or ½ inch on all sides to allow for seams.
  5. Measure your fabric for each of the 5 sides (top and 4 sides).
  6. Cut the fabric.
  7. Iron seams for each side.
  8. Pin the top piece of fabric to the top of each of the four sides so it looks like this.

    Ottoman Cover Example (1)
    Pin Sides to Top
  9. Sew the sides to the top.
  10. Sew the right and left sides of each side piece to the neighboring side piece.
  11. Cut excess fabric from corners.
  12. Measure and cut batting to the size of the top.
  13. Place batting on top of the ottoman.
  14. Fit the cover over the ottoman.
    It should be a little long.
  15. Pin the bottom sides and remove from ottoman.
  16. Hem the bottom sides.
  17. Add more batting if necessary to get a smooth top or to smooth out any irregularities.
  18. Place the cover on the ottoman and enjoy!
After: Covered Ottoman

That’s it! The great thing about sewing your own ottoman cover is that your fabric choices are only limited to all the fabric out there! Pattern, solid, or texture—the choice is yours! Also, depending on your fabric, you can can machine wash the cover! It’s a great solution for households with kids, pets, or muddy feet (I won’t tell!)!

Feature image: Kris Atomic on Unsplash