Years ago…I mean quite a few years ago, I happened upon what is now my absolute favorite thrift and antique store. This store is located in what we call old town. The ladies who run the store are so gifted and talented in what they do. I have relatives come from Salt Lake City (Three hours away from us) come shop in this small vintage shop.
The first time I went in the doors of this little store, I came across this ottoman. There was something about it that I absolutely loved! I am weird in that I believe that things speak to us if they are to belong to us. This piece absolutely spoke to me!
I loved the shape of the legs, the color of the fabric, the tufting…everything. I knew right away that this was coming home to me!
Some people would be concerned that the fabric didn’t match just right, or the style was different than the couches, but let me tell you a little design secret, the more collected a room is, the more asthetically pleasing it is to your eyes. Yes, everything has to go together, but everything doesn’t have to match perfectly. That being said, after a few years I was ready to change up the upholstry on the top.
One concern we had was being able to have the tufting look as good or the same. So we took off the top piece carefully removing the buttons and saving the fabric to use as a templet.
When the fabric was removed, I gave the bottom a fresh coat of white paint and we added some new foam below the piece of batting that already had the button holes.
After we had laid out the batting and foam, we cut the top fabric to fit across the top of the ottoman. This fabric needs to be cut a bit larger than what you would typically cut if you were not tufting. The sides of our fabric dropped down quite a bit on the sides.
You will want to use an upholstery fabric for this project. I found this beautiful blue fabric in a store in Paris. It was the exact same type of fabric that was already on it, just a different color. I didn’t want to use covered buttons for this, so we found these cool antique leather buttons from a vendor at Portobello road market in London.
You will need: large upholstery needles, nylon tufting twine, small buttons for the back, and buttons for the top.
To begin tufting: Thread the twine in the uphlostery needle, tie a knot in the bottom. Take your small button through the needle and thread it on the twine until it stops at the knot. Put the needle through the bottom of the ottoman into the top hole. Take your top button and thread it on the needle. Take your needle and put it down through the top of the ottoman to the bottom, pulling the button tight so it indents the top fabric. Wrap your twine a few times around the bottom button and sew a knot on the back and continue until the project is finished. Make sure to manuver the fabric on top so it doesn’t dimple. Once the top is all tufted, take the excess fabric on the sides and staple it into the wood. After the fabric is stapled, trim all the excess fabric off close to the staples.
We carefully removed the side cording when we took the original fabric off, and used it as a templet to sew the new fabric onto new cording. We stapled the bottom cording to the wood, then took fabric glue and glued on the top layer of cording.
The project itself was less challenging than we thought it would be, and it turned out better than we expected. I love the blue color in the room. The darker color really grounds the space, and I think we kept all the charm of the original ottoman.