Thrift Store Ottoman Update


If you have followed my blog lately you know that I have spent the summer in New Orleans at my mom’s house (where I am always put to work.) Over the last few weeks we have worked on some updates to her long narrow living room. (You can read the details of the plan HERE.)  We purchased several pieces of furniture from antique and thrift store and are now in the process of updating them for the new space. Last week I shared the china cabinet update. This week I am working on the ottoman. Below are our second-hand furniture finds before, you can see above that we are making progress.


If you have never done upholstery before and want to give it a try this is the perfect project. Upholstering an ottoman like this is fairly simple and only requires minor sewing work to hem the skirt.

Our thrift store ottoman started off pretty 80’s looking with a wine colored fabric and a pleated skirt, not really the look we were going for.

Mom is more into whites and shabby chic style so we chose to re-upholster it in Covington Jasmine Serenity.


This ottoman is built like a small table. The top is foam with the upholstery stapled underneath and a skirt added. If you have a piece like this you think you’d like to tackle I recommend taking photos as you remove the parts and working backwards from your photos as you put it back together.

You can see there are really only two parts to this project, the top and the skirt.

I used the old skirt as a pattern for the new skirt, pinning it on for a test fit before stapling it on permanently.


When attaching the skirt staple right against the cording for a crisp edge.


The finished results look like a brand new ottoman and work perfectly with the new (old) china cabinet.


With the leftover fabric I was able to make two new throw pillows as well.


The next update will be the french cane arm chairs which are being upholstered in a dove grey velvet chenille, but these guys are going to the professional.


Can’t wait to see the results…


  1. It’s amazing how much more contemporary the ottoman looks now! And I always enjoy your before & after posts anyway 🙂
    Those chairs are incredible, I am looking forward to how they turn out!

  2. I have such a love/hate relationship with doing upholstery projects. I’m always excited/happy at the end, but actually doing the work has caused at least one major breakdown that is clear in my mind–no telling how many more I’m choosing to forget, lol. I usually choose projects that are beyond me skill level, though, so that is part of it; I should have been smart and started small rather than going straight to chairs and couches. In any case, the ottoman looks great! Definitely looking fresh around your mom’s living room. Can’t wait to see the chairs done over, too!

    • I know what you mean, upholstery can get pretty hairy and usually that is before I even get to the upholstery part. I try not to get in too far over my head but the pros make it look so simple. I would love to learn from a professional who has all the cool tools and techniques to share, surely there is a class for that somewhere.

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