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How to Recover an Ottoman with Tufting

We spend a lot of money on furniture and when it shows signs of wear and tear it can be pretty upsetting. So trying some DIY versions to bring that furniture back to life is what is needed. Today I am going to share how to recover an ottoman with tufting using leather!

This leather ottoman of mine is one of my favorite pieces of furniture I own. When it started showing signs of wear on the leather I was devastated.

I put off recovering it because I was nervous about how much an upholsterer would charge me. Finally, I decided that this was something I could do.

Not going to lie, I was nervous, but I am so happy I gave it a shot because it turned out so good! My family is very impressed with it.

How to Recover an Ottoman

I just love to make furniture new and gorgeous. It’s fun to take an old, beat-up piece and turn it into something amazing.

If you are interested in checking out some of my other furniture projects I have a lot here on the blog! But for now least talk about how to recover an ottoman with tufting!

*This post contains affiliate links. For more details see my full disclosure.

Step 1 – Remove the old fabric

The tricky part here is figuring out how your ottoman is built. Mine had a base and a top which was screwed together. The top consisted of a piece of wood, foam, batting, and leather.

A tufted leather ottoman that is in bad shape with the tufting cracking and falling off in some spots.

Covering the staples was a thin piece of fabric called a dust cover. This is to cover the ugly part and make your finished piece look much more professional.

Removing the dust cover of the underside of a tufted ottoman revealing the strings from the buttons attached and the needle nose pliars and staple remover used to work on the ottoman.

Once the top was separated, and the dust cover removed I could see the leather was stapled to the underside of the wood.

Sometimes the fabric is stapled to the side then a piece of piping or trim is used to cover the staples. This is how my French Chair and dining chairs were made, that is not the case here.

Using a staple remover carefully remove staples. You might want to wear safety goggles here because staples can break and they can fly in the air. I would also keep young children away when doing this part.

The tufted ottoman with the fa bric removed leaning up against the base on the carpet of a family room.

Step 2 – Attach the new fabric with the buttons

The first thing you want to do when attaching the new fabric is attach the buttons and secure them on the underside of the wood. You will need an upholstery needle for this.

Buttons and the long white strings that are used to attach to the underside of the base.

Here is a photo of my buttons with the long string. I reused my old buttons. If you want new ones you can buy buttons where you can attach the new fabric you are upholstering your ottoman with.

Find the hole, feed the string to your buttons through the fabric and the hole to the underside of the wood. Pull the string so the buttons sink into the fabric and foam tightly, then attach with staples.

I started on the sides but I recommend starting in the center. I wish I had done this.

Tufted leather ottoman with some of the tufts completed leaning up against the wood base near a couch.

Continue on until you have finished with all the buttons.

The back side of a tufted leather ottoman with the buttons through and attached.
Tufted leather ottoman with the tufts completed but the leather not attached around the sides.

Step 3 – Attach fabric around the edges

Now you need to staple the fabric around the edges of the wood. Do everything but the corners, leave them til last.

Once you staple all around it’s time to do the corners. You can wrap them like you would a corner of a present and staple them down.

Or you can staple it close to the edge, then take the fabric straight down the corners and secure it underneath. This is what I did here.

The Finished Recovered Ottoman with Tufting

Here is the finished product. If I were to take this to a professional to be recovered it would have cost me hundreds if not a thousand dollars. I was able to do it for the cost of the leather.

A tufted ottoman with leather fabric and a dark wood base in a family room.
The finished tufted leather ottoman in front of a gray couch with lots of windows in the background.
The recovered ottoman in brown leather with a wood base in front of a gray couch with plaid throw pillows.

I used two yards for a total of about $50 which I got it from Hobby Lobby. Etsy has a lot of really great options as well.

More posts using fabric:

Three photos of my ottoman, one before, one during, and the finished product with text overlay.

As a licensed Real Estate Agent and an avid home decorator, I strive to give my clients the very best I can when it comes to staging, selling, and decorating their homes. I have lots of experience with paint color choices and love to DIY my home so I can have everything just the way I want it. I share my ideas and projects with the world in the hopes that I can help others have their homes just the way they want as well.

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