From Retro to Fab – DIY Ottoman Makeover

Hey there friend!! Today, I am bringing you a much anticipated DIY! Well, maybe much anticipated by me and maybe even my family, but I’m sure you will enjoy it as well! A while back a friend gifted me with these lovely ottomans. I knew from the start that I would recover them, but at the time I didn’t have a place to put them.

Retro Ottomans before makeover

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Then, I purchased these chairs, and for months hubby complained about not having anywhere to put his feet. We are a foot rest kind of family. Feet on the coffee table is just a thing. Maybe because we had a large ottoman there for a long time. Who knows?? Anyway, back to the complaining. (ha) One day I remembered these ottomans that had been collecting dust in my garage and I decided to dust them off and bring them inside just to see how they worked.

They were great! Ugly, but great. 🙂 I have to be honest and tell you that they sat in my family room, being used, as is for SEVERAL months. One night I finally got the itch to start work on them!

I started by removing the vinyl covers. Which meant pulling all those staples. Yuck. Not a fun job and really no easy way to do it that I’m aware of. Although while I was looking for the stapler link I found this tool which would probably make the job a LOT easier. Who knew!

The base and foam underneath were still in pretty good shape. But, I decided to all a thin layer of new foam (1″ foam cut to size), and a layer of batting just to soften and fill in anywhere that was needed. I secured all of that by stapling the batting to the bottom board. Here are pictures that basically show the process. First I traced the shape of the ottoman – using the wood bottom – onto the foam.
Tracing the new foam
New foam traced for the top
Layers of reupholstering an ottoman
Batting as the final layer of reupholstering
When you are ready to secure all you layers, you will want to turn everything upside down where the wood bottom is facing up.
Reupholstering an ottoman
Securing all the layers with staples
I decided to create a slipcover for these instead of just straight covering them. I’m not the best at reupholstering, so this would allow for some imperfections. So, for this first part I just used some dropcloth canvas that I had on hand to cover the foam and such. Stapling all that to the bottom board as well. This is the staple gun I have.

Canvas dropcloth upholstery

Canvas dropcloth reupholstery

When I finished that step, this is what they looked like.

Ottoman reupholstered with dropcloth canvas

Ottoman reupholstered with dropcloth canvas

I have to be honest again and say that they sat in the living room, being used, just like this for about another month. I finally decided to make the slipcover (I even shared some of the process on Insta stories – saved in my highlights under “Ottomans”). And, I LOVE how they came out. Exactly as I envisioned or maybe a little better even!! You may have noticed that I also redid the legs on the round ottoman. My friend had chalk-painted them so I just sanded that off and stained them to match the legs on the other ottoman!

Slipcovered Ottoman makeover

Slipcovered ottoman makeover

I love that it’s a slipcover because they’ll be easy to clean, and easy to change out if I get tired of these.

The trim came from Hobby Lobby, and I think it’s just enough to dress them up and make them fun!
Hope this photo-loaded post was helpful!! Have a great day!!

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