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Daydreams of Natural Spaces Part Three

| 4/27/2009 4:16:25 PM

Living with minimal furniture has proven difficult in this past week. Although I have a dinning room table and chairs, my living room is empty with the exception of the end table I made last week. Two weekends ago my search for the right couch started. I visited furniture stores, the Goodwill, the Arc and spent more time than I should have on Craigslist looking for a good size and shape couch. I found a great loveseat and ottoman on Craigslist for a fantastic price.

The only problem was the color didn’t match what I had envisioned for my natural space.  The prior owner of the loveseat and ottoman duo was a bachelor in his late 30s; let’s just say our tastes slightly diverged. The shape worked well with my living room, so I decided that I would make a slipcover for the loveseat and reupholster the ottoman.  Having no prior experience covering furniture, I recruited my good friend Rachel and we started stapling and sewing.

I wanted the furniture to be playful and capture the colors of the ocean. I found 2 1/2 yards of a light teal, velvet material at Goodwill and used it to cover the ottoman. I found a navy blue organic canvas material at the local fabric store to cover the loveseat. Because they are different colors and materials, I tied them together with a white ruffle skirt and grey ribbon. I found the white fabric at the Arc; it used to be a crib bed skirt.
ottoman 1 
Here are the instructions for covering the ottoman. I haven’t finished the couch yet, but the steps are very similar to covering the ottoman.

Reupholstering an ottoman

Estimated time: 1 to 2 hours depending on size and added details like the ruffle skirt.
Materials: 2 1/2 yards of sturdy fabric, heavy-duty staple gun (light-duty will work depending on what you’re covering), ribbon and baby crib bed skirt (optional)

I left the original fabric on the ottoman just in case I want to do something with it in the future. You can take the fabric off of the ottoman if you want a clean finish; if you decide to do this, remove the nails and staples from the fabric.

Lay the new fabric over the ottoman. Carefully flip the ottoman on its side and staple one longer-sided edge of fabric to the frame. In order to keep the fabric from moving, you may need another person to help you.

Flip the ottoman back on all four legs and pull the fabric firmly to the side opposite the stapled side. Don’t pull the fabric to the extent that ripples show, but make sure it is tight enough so there are no baggy areas. Staple the fabric to the frame.

For the two shorter sides, there are many options for the different look you are trying to achieve. You can make a strait seam where the two sides meet or you can fold them towards each other. The folds of an envelope inspired me so I stapled all the sides of the ottoman to the frame and left the corner flaps. Next I folded the corner flaps towards each other on the smaller end of the ottoman. I stapled the bottom of the flaps to the frame.    

If you want to make a ruffled skirt, cut the ruffles off of a baby crib bed skirt.  Any size bed skirt will do. I used a baby crib skirt because it was a similar size to the ottoman. Cut just above the seam of the ruffles and the sheet like fabric, and you’ll save time by not having to pin the fabric. Sew a colored ribbon to the seam of the ruffled fabric.

Place the ruffled fabric on ottoman and sew or tack it to the upholstered fabric. I sewed the ruffles to the fabric; it was a little tricky in some areas.

Do you have any ideas for my empty space? Share your ideas and thoughts by leaving me a comment or sending me an email (snelson[at]

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