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Ottoman Makeover.


Ottoman Makeover.

Michelle Pulman

Today I'm sharing a DIY tutorial of how I turned an old, forgotten ottoman into a perfect bench for the nursery. 

A few weeks ago, we installed three floating wall shelves (which are actually repurposed picture ledges) in a corner of the nursery. The shelves look great and transform a once awkward wall into a cute reading nook. The only thing missing from the corner was a place to sit.

I spent some time searching for a bench that would look good beneath the shelves without much luck. Then one weekend I remembered an ottoman I had from college that was currently collecting dust at my mom's house. It was the perfect size and my mom practically rejoiced when I mentioned the possibility of reclaiming it. The only issue was that the bench was covered in a pink silk fabric that, although I found it to be very beautiful years ago, was no longer my style... 

See what I mean about the fabric?!

Since the bench was otherwise perfect, I figured it would be worth reupholstering with new fabric that matched the nursery. After visiting a few stores and browsing online, I settled on a cute navy and white seersucker print: 

I measured the length and width of the bench and realized that I was lucky enough to only need 1 yard of fabric. That one yard would cover the top of the bench and still provide enough extra inches to wrap around the sides and bottom of the seat.

I placed the fabric pattern-side down on the floor and put the bench upside down on top of the fabric, shifting it around until it looked centered. Since I chose a striped pattern, the most important thing was to ensure that the stripes would be straight on the bench. I just eyeballed it and hoped for the best. 

Then I grabbed my tools (a staple gun and a pair of fabric scissors) and got to work. I smoothed the fabric across the length of the bench and stapled it to the bottom. Then I pulled the other side of the fabric across the bench and stapled the opposite side. I placed staples 1/2 inch apart across the underside of the bench so the fabric would be secure. Here's what it looked like with just two sides pinned down:

The next step is the trickiest but I think my third grade origami skills really helped. Before stapling the fabric underneath the remaining two sides of the bench, I worked on one corner at a time to fold the fabric just right so that each corner was smooth and taut. Sort of like wrapping a present. This took some finessing (and a bit of time) but was worth it in the end. I stapled one corner before moving to the next, working my way around the bench (and doing my best to make each corner appear even). Here's a close-up of one of the corners:

After all corners were folded and stapled, I wrapped the remaining fabric around the legs and secured it under the bench with more staples. At the very end, I used the scissors to carefully trim extra fabric from the sides and bottom of the bench, being careful not to cut off too much from the bottom.

And that was it! Here's a "before" and "after" comparison of the original and finished product:

It's hard to believe that this is the same piece of furniture and that the makeover only cost about $20 and took just one day to complete. Below are a few photos of the newly upholstered bench in the nursery, which I couldn't be happier with!