DIY with Maryann: Dumb Luck in the Ottoman Empire


6 years ago I bought a green armchair. It was my first real furniture purchase. Everything else had been handed down, thrifted, gifted, or craigslisted. I remember standing in the furniture store's checkout line, holding the chair's barcode slip in my hand and thinking, "This is it. If you buy this, you can't hop on a plane tomorrow to move away. You have a real piece of furniture now. It's heavy and takes up space. There's no going back, YOUR POSSESSIONS OWN YOU NOW!"

But I pushed that voice aside and bought it anyway. I soon realized I needed an ottoman to go with the chair, but when I returned to the store they had an ottoman with a slightly different shade of green fabric. "It will do!" I decided. It was first thing Oz ever slept on after I picked him up from the shelter (an actual picture from our first hours together):

As you can see, the ottoman is a nice dark sage green color. Fine! But no longer. I needed a change. I hope to reupholster the armchair too, but I decided to try the ottoman first, since it should be easier. And of course I went about it with the usual DIY with Maryann diligence:

Rules of 'DIY With Maryann'

1) Spend more money than you would if you've just bought something already made by a professional.
2) Do not use any professional tools.
3) Do not consult any professional advice or helpful hints on the internet.
4) Use the most inefficient method possible to complete the project.
5) If the completed project didn't turn out perfect, leave it as is.  You tried.

The rules were followed to a 't' this time around. In regards to #1, I DID want to buy a new ottoman. But honestly the one I've got is super comfy and still in great shape. I was just sick of the fabric, so re-upholstering felt like the responsible thing to do for now, even if my work was nowhere near what a professionally reupholstered ottoman would look like. 

These were my supplies, the usual suspects:

1) Two yards of home decor fabric.
2) Run-of-the-mill sewing supplies: no-frills thread, needle, scissors, etc.

That's it. I considered stripping the ottoman of its original fabric, but it was still intact and attached well to the frame. So I followed my MO: sew over!

I picked a bright (shocking), colorful (whaaat?), patterned (really?) home decor fabric for the ottoman. I loooove it. Does it look homemade/handmade? Totally. But all in all it took me only two nights and $20 for the fabric, and it makes me so much happier now than it did before. Want to see it? Behold, my CHEVRON RAINBOW OTTOMAN!

How I sewed it on was a bit of dumb luck. I had no plan, no guide, no tips. I went on instinct alone. What you see is all the same one piece of fabric--my original two yards. It's hard to explain, but I put the fabric on top, and tucked it into the middle on the far ends. From there I sewed the ends of the fabric to the bottom of the ottoman by the feet.

Then for the other sides I folded the fabric underneath  and towards the center, like the ends of wrapping paper on a gift. I lined it up to the middle, cut off the excess, and sewed in the rest. I haven't sewn the corner folds yet, and I'm not sure I will. I kind of like how they look un-sewn. Here's a better look at the big sides and the folded corners:

Oz was very helpful as my Scrap Boy. It's like a ball boy but with scraps.

My one regret? I really should have ironed the fabric first. But I'm a bit gungho, and when I want to get started on something I WANT TO GET STARTED. No logic or reason or patience allowed! But now I'm left with the fabric bolt crease down the middle of my ottoman:

I'm pretty sure that if I really wanted to I could just iron the ottoman directly? Someday. But for now, here's a photo of the ottoman with my couch, and me in my pajamas. You're welcome.


jonathan edmund said...

I love everything about you. And this.

Maryann said...

I love YOU! We need to catch up ASAP.

LaLa said...

you are the greatest greatest greatest. oh my god.

LaLa said...

you are the greatest greatest greatest. oh my god.

loverstreet said...

so great! love how the diy gods smile upon you with each project. also, i imagine that people walk into your apartment for the first time and are immediately envious of the fabulous place you have created. i am and i haven't even seen it in person.

Kristen said...

You literally just threw a bunch of scraps on Oz to take that picture, didn't you?

Love it, obs.

Steph said...

How fantastic is your apartment?! (That was rhetorical - it's very fantastic)

Maryann said...

Kristen: you know me so well. And Steph--thank you! I need to have you over!