Before & After Ottoman

I have many favorites in my latest project. (The fireplace arrived and was assembled last night so more progress! Almost done.)


The show stopped in the room has to be that amazing ottoman!


When the color story was set at blues, whites, and creams I knew the perfect fabric to use. To my fabric closet I went and whipped this out:


It was a steal from the Brunschwig & Fils sale last year.


Now I know many people use old coffee tables and foam and batting, etc to make their own ottomans. Well I was on a time crunch and didn’t have time to hit all of my favorite thrift stores and craigslist was coming up empty handed so I came out with a solution.


I ordered a coffee  table/ottoman from Wal-Mart.

walmartottoman It was only $89 and the perfect size and shape!


Here is what we did.


1. First step was to flip over the top and remove the tufted buttons.

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2. Once you snip the string in the back you just give the buttons a little pull and out they come.

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3. Now my original thoughts were to remove the leather and add my fabric. Turns out that would have been a mess so we went with plan 2, which was way easier. I took some quilting batting from my craft closet and we covered the ottoman in that.

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Here it is all finished. Covering it in batting helped add more padding and covered up the dark brown that would have shown through our blue floral fabric.

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4. Now it’s time to attach your new fabric. Make sure it is nice and ironed first. You can start stapling the sides. This is pretty easy. The corners is where it gets a bit tricky.


You are going to have a bunch of extra fabric so you must smooth it all out and fold some of it over the top.

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Now as you can see below Jon’s arm there is more extra fabric. You need to make sure it’s smooth as well and then fold it up in a 90 degree angle.

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Now you have a nice crisp fold and no bunching.

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Then holding everything tight you can start stapling it into place.

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Here it is all finished:

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5.  Now the next step is adding the tufting buttons. Make sure you have a contrasting fabric for the button covers, button cover kits and an upholstery needle.

bluetables 003 Making the buttons are easy. It just takes a good amount of strength to push everything together, but it’s not too bad.


6. With all buttons done you can now get to work.

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The only upholstery needle I could find at JOANNs was on the small side so before I had a major freak out Jon came to the rescue and came up with this:

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They are some sort of tongs. This set is not necessary if you find a larger needle. I just couldn’t find on in a local store.


We threaded the needle and then slowly poked it through the hole.

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When the thread comes through you can thread the button.

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Now the best way that we able to attach the button was to thread it through the button once and then make a small knot at the bottom.

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Then with the help of your needle you grab the end with the knot and stick it through the opening.

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The needle and thread will come out this whole and then you can make sure your button is in the right spot and staple away.

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Voila you are all finished! We had to do that 5 more times.

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The project was really simple! I now want to make a bunch of them for all of my clients. It was that easy.


Many people emailed me about the fabric. The one I got was from a warehouse sale, but I saw this great look alike.

Available here for only $4.99 a half yard.


* I’m going to update the AFTER post and list where all of the items are from for all that asked.  I will also be doing a budget breakdown for the UES living room. Stay tuned.

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31 Responses to Before & After Ottoman

  1. suburban prep says:

    What a stunning piece.

  2. Design Esquire says:

    It looks fantastic!!

  3. Mrs. Chic says:

    Great thinking, love this project – I also like the buttons :)

  4. LindsB says:

    What a great project- it came out perfect and the room would not be the same without it!

  5. Dagny @ Scandinavian Chic says:

    Camila, you're just the mother of DIY!! Seriously – you rock!!

    By the way, I'm having a giveaway today (Scandinavian Art – you seriously don't want to miss it ;))

    Have a fabulous weekend!!


  6. Helena - A Diary of Lovely says:

    It looks stunning and you make it look so easy to make ;)
    the button part looks a bit scary fr my not amazing craft skills… Well done!!
    have a lovely weekend xoxo

  7. Sara @ Russet Street Reno says:

    Amazing job!

  8. Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle says:

    You made that look so easy! I'd love to try this with a black ottoman I have to soften the look of the leather.

  9. Rachel @ La Bella Bungalow says:

    Loving this project! Thanks for the step-by-step. I think it's the perfect thing for my basement. A crawling baby and sharp corners are not a good combo!

  10. The Girl and the Cupcake says:

    OK, you just rocked my Friday!! This is too cool! How amazing would that look in Chiang Mai?

  11. Flavia @ Estilo Home says:

    Just last week I was browsing online for a cheap ottoman to reupholster! I love what you've done and it really makes the room. The button part seems pretty advanced, but I appreciate you showing us how to do it.

  12. Cristin says:

    Camila, it looks amazing! What a transformation.


  13. Tammy@InStitches says:

    Looks like a great project…. Let me go see what I can find in my fabric stash…..

  14. Chic Coles says:

    This is AMAZING! I want to try this! I cannot believe how well it turned out, now all I need is a husband to do the handy work (ha!)

  15. Laura PARING DOWN says:

    This is one of the coolest projects. I LOVE the ottoman AND the fabric.


    :) Laura

  16. Elizabeth says:

    great diy project!

  17. Emily A. Clark says:

    This looks wonderful! Definitely going to remember that Wal-Mart ottoman.

  18. Scientific Housewife says:

    You make it look so easy. I love how it turned out :)

  19. Vanessa says:

    AS everyone said, you and Jon make it look so easy. I love the floral fabric – what a transformation!

  20. Amy R. says:

    This is a great DIY project. I would have never thought to buy one from Walmart. Bravo! I did just purchase an ugly bath stool from Home Goods for $25 that I am having upholstered. Wow, the upholstery is super expensive. I will post the before & after. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Katherine says:

    That fabric is wonderful. Showpiece of the room for sure !!

  22. Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick says:

    Wow wow WOW!! I love it! I love that fabric, and I love the tufting!! I still want to try that somewhere. This is gorgeous!

  23. Bonnie @ House of Grace says:

    Great job! I really like your work! I can't wait to read your other posts. I am your newest follower.

  24. Liz says:

    Love it!
    Ps: they're called hemostats (usually used for medical/surgical purposes)

  25. Christine says:

    This is awesome! Thanks for the step by step! My Mom just handed me down a beat up ottoman and now I know what to do with it!

  26. rebecca says:

    I love your blog – I’ve been following it for awhile!

    This is going to be my first DIY project – I’m not crafty at all! How much fabric do you need to do an ottoman like this? I’m planning to do this one, and your X foot stools!

  27. Daraatl says:

    LOVE YOUR WEBSITE! Found a link to a local person to help me finish some of the DIY projects i have currently haunting me. :)
    What stapler do you use? It looks manual, which model? Do the staples have to be a certain length compared to the fabric? What about the powered staplers?


  28. Laura says:

    can you please share how much fabric was needed for the project?

  29. Caroline says:

    Hello –

    I just stumbled across this project and I’m wondering – did you have to remove the legs and if so, how did you do that?

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