Quick & Easy Ottoman Update


When we moved into our new house, the walls in our main living space {living room, dining room and kitchen} were a dull shade of salmon pink, which made the whole downstairs feel dark and dated.  I just finished painting the living room a crisp shade of gray {Sherwin-Williams Tinsmith}, and the space already feels so much brighter and refreshed.  To compliment the spiffy new fireplace wall, I decided to create a little seating area where we could sit by the fire, read, or enjoy a cup of coffee.  After finding an armchair to fit the space, I started looking for a small ottoman that could double as a side table or extra seating when needed but wouldn’t obstruct the view of the fireplace.


I found this little stool at Ross {if you don’t have one in your area, it is similar to a T.J.Maxx or Marshalls}.  Though the Roman-themed fabric did not match the aesthetic I had in mind, I loved the metal base, and at under $30, the price was right.  I checked to make sure the seat was removable, and since it was, I knew it would be a cinch to reupholster.  For the new fabric, I turned to a slightly unconventional source – a pillow case!  While at Ross, I stumbled upon a discount sheet set, which featured a small geometric print in the perfect shade of blue to compliment my color scheme.  I was sold!



Supplies used:

  • Stool with removable seat
  • Screwdriver
  • Fabric {I used a pillow case, but if you are buying fabric by the yard, how much you will need will depend on the size of your stool.  For most purposes, a half yard to a yard will be more than enough fabric.}
  • Sharpie or something to draw an outline on your fabric
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun

steps 1-4

1) To begin, I removed the seat from the stool.  The seat was attached with 4 screws, so I just had to unscrew them using a Phillips-head screwdriver.  2 & 3) I then spread out my fabric, wrong side up, under the seat.  4) I drew a circle roughly three inches around the seat and then cut the excess fabric.

steps 5-8

5) With the seat facing right side down, I pulled the fabric taught and stapled it to the bottom of the seat.  6) I then pulled the fabric taught on the opposite side of the circle from where I had just stapled and, after checking the front of the seat for any wrinkles, I stapled the fabric in place to the back of the seat. 7) I continued in this manner – stapling one side, pulling it taught, checking for wrinkles, and then stapling the opposite side –  until I had worked my way around the entire circle.  8) Once the fabric was securely stapled to the bottom of the seat, I flipped it over once again to smooth any wrinkles. {You see a theme here, don’t you?}



Next, I trimmed away the excess fabric from the bottom of the seat and reattached the seat to the stool base.  Easy peasy!



Et voila – that’s all there is to it!  The whole project took less than 30 minutes {and it only took that long, because I was stopping to photograph each step}.  I am really pleased with the finished product, and it goes perfectly with my new chair and freshly painted gray walls.  I have already used it as a footstool and a handy spot to rest my coffee, and I can’t believe the whole project cost less than $40!  I have seen similar metal stools selling for four times that price, so I consider this a major win in the budget-friendly decorating department.

What do you think?  Have you ever tried this technique to give new life to old stools, dining chairs, etc.?  How did it turn out?  I’d love to hear from you!





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