How to Turn an Ugly Thrift Store Ottoman into a Statement Piece
As you might know, thrift stores are wonderful emporiums for DIY projects. A couple weeks ago we brought you a four-step thrift store hack on how to reupholster a chair and a simple tutorial on how to turn a drab dress into a fab two-piece set. Now we’re back with a $12.99 ottoman that was a disgusting green/brown color. Let’s just say I was embarrassed to carry it to the check out counter and then into the colorful world of Brit HQ. However, as with many thrift store finds, I just needed to squint my eyes and imagine what it could be! Follow below to learn how to create a perfectly fitted slip cover for a not-so-pretty ottoman.
– staple gun
– sewing machine
– measuring tape
- spray paint
- old ottoman
We found this ottoman at a thrift store for $12.99! We were obsessed with the shape but had to shield our eyes from the hideous fabric. Fortunately, all we had to do was reupholster this baby! Step one is to dissemble your ottoman as much as you can. Unscrew the legs and the lid, and rip off all that ugly fabric.
Now that you’ve got your base, take measurements. Get the height and width of each side.
Our ottoman measured 8 x 15 inches. We wanted to create a “dip dye” effect, so we cut the height measurement in half and cut out twice as many panels. When cutting, add about 3-5 extra inches on your panels for room to pin and sew.
In total we had two watercolor panels and two turquoise panels that measured 7 x 20 inches and two watercolor and two coral panels that measured 7 x 15 inches.
Sew each watercolored panel to its corresponding solid color to make larger panels.
Pin theses panels to each other around the ottoman. Pull tightly when pinning. The cover needs to be skin tight.
Slide the pinned cover off and sew the sides. Trim away the excess fabric — this helps prevent lumps when you slide the cover back onto the ottoman.
Fold the top side over to create a hem. The bottom section will be stapled underneath the ottoman, so it does not need a finished seam.
Slide your sewn cover onto the ottoman and attach it with the staple gun. The top seam will show, so remember to place your staples thoughtfully and treat them more like studs.
On to the lid! Cut out a piece of fabric that will wrap around the outside of the lid. Pull the fabric tightly and staple in place. Remember to fold in the corners to get a clean cover.
Trace your lid on another piece of fabric. Cut out your shape and then trim it so the fabric is a bit smaller than the lid. When you lay it on the inside of the lid there should be a border of the watercolor fabric. Attach this piece with staples.
We are almost there! Spray paint the legs and let them dry. Then reattach them to your ottoman. Pro tip: We used an awl to poke holes in our fabric before adding the screws.
Hard to believe this piece was once UAF, right?!
This piece is the perfect foot rest for any chair.
Have you created any masterpieces from thrift store finds? Share them with us using the hashtag #iamcreative. As always, leave comments and questions below!
Getting the word out about your brand takes time, drive, and ingenuity. And it doesn't come easy for many entrepreneurs. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're chatting with Selfmade alum Taylor Morgan McPherson, founder of Sustainable Sparkle Bar, about ways in which she scored press as a solo startup brand and what she learned from Selfmade to take her brand marketing up a notch.
B + C: How did you know Sustainable Sparkle Bar was your business to start?
Glitter has always been my thing, so when I started my event company I decided to make it my niche. I started telling people I threw glitter-themed parties where people would get sparkled with glitter body art and makeup. Six months after that I applied to my first festival and to work with SUR restaurant in West Hollywood.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
I honestly can't say that I've had a specific strategy that I've followed when it comes to getting my business off the ground. I have a PR background so I was just constantly pitching new business and posting on social media.
B + C: What's the biggest challenge you face as a small business owner?
I would say creating a stable income and revenue stream. With a seasonal, event-based business it can be very up and down.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
The relationships I made and the push to start an email database.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I love what I do and I believe in myself 100%. Staying motivated isn't the hard part. Pushing myself to do the work and staying accountable is the hard part.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip? Do you use any apps that help you manage your business?
I keep multiple to-do lists, hand-written and digital. I also tell clients and partners that I will have something to them by a certain time or day so I have to stick to it.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Just do it, take the leap. And don't worry about what anyone else says to thinks.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Issa Rae, I'm so inspired by everything that she's created being a creative and a black woman. It's my dream to have my own show one day based on my life and where I give advice and talk about the world. She's doing it and making people laugh and giving people joy. And it's based in LA. Watching Insecure only further cemented my dreams of wanting to live in LA.
B + C: How did you hear about the Office Depot scholarship?
One of my friends that I met through Camp No Counselors saw an IG ad for it and nominated me.
B + C: What has receiving the scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start/grow your business?
It's completely helped me level up and take my business to another level. Selfmade helped me host my first virtual event and taught me how to set up my website to sell tickets to events and get RSVPs.
B + C: How have Office Depot services or products helped you accomplish more in your business?
I got new cards to send in all of my orders with my discount code on them. I also bought a really cool 4K camera that I now use for my social media.
Let Office Depot OfficeMax help you stand out in the crowd. From signs, posters & banners to promote your business, to marketing materials to keep your customers informed, Office Depot OfficeMax offers a full suite of business services & solutions to help you & your business get noticed.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.