How to Slipcover an Ottoman

Take your ottoman from drab to fab with this simple step-by-step slipcover guide.

Ottoman Slipcover

Ottoman Slipcover

Dress up an ottoman with a handmade slipcover.

Photo by: Marian Parsons

Marian Parsons

Materials Needed

  • 2 yards of clean fabric
  • coordinating all-purpose thread
  • cotton cording in desired thickness (long enough to wrap twice around ottoman)
  • sewing machine equipped with a zipper foot
  • iron and ironing board
  • quilting ruler
  • straight ball pins
  • sharp scissors
Ottoman Slipcover
Marian Parsons
Slipcover an Ottoman
Marian Parsons

Ottoman Slipcover

Dress up an ottoman with a handmade slipcover.

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Slipcover an Ottoman

Dress up an ottoman with a handmade slipcover.

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Cut Top Piece

Cut section of fabric large enough to cover top of ottoman, leaving about an extra inch on each side as a generous seam allowance. For this ottoman, antique textiles were used and pieced together to create a decorative pattern for the ottoman's top. 

Ottoman Slipcover

Cut Top Piece

Cut piece of fabric large enough to cover top of ottoman, leaving about an inch extra on each side as a generous seam allowance. For this ottoman, antique textiles were used and pieces together to make one piece large enough to cover entire ottoman top.

Photo by: Marian Parsons

Marian Parsons

Make Piping

To determine how much cotton cording is needed for this project, measure circumference of ottoman, then double that measurement so there is enough piping for both the ottoman's top and bottom. Cut length of cotton cording to measurement. Cut the same length of fabric in 3" wide strips to use to cover cotton cording (Image 1). These fabric strips should be cut at an angle or 'on the bias', so it lies flat when sewn. If necessary, sew shorter pieces together to create lengths long enough to cover cotton cording. Press seams open with an iron, so they lie flat. Wrap fabric around cotton cording and sew in place with a sewing machine equipped with a zipper foot (Image 2).

Cut Fabric for Ottoman Side

Cut a piece of fabric that's long and wide enough to cover all four sides of the ottoman. Again, sew pieces together in order to make one, long length, if necessary. Wrap fabric around ottoman, inside out, and pin seam to make a band or circle of fabric that fits ottoman perfectly. Sew seam and remove pins. Replace band of fabric back onto ottoman, inside out.

Pin Ottoman Top to Side

Position fabric top piece face-down on ottoman. Pin top to side band, sandwiching piping in between (Image 1). Note: Finished piping side should be inside; facing ottoman, with all raw edges pointing out, since slipcover is being assembled inside-out. Sew along pins, removing them as you go. Where the ends of piping meet, just cross the ends and let them disappear into the seam. Try the slipcover on right-side-out to make sure everything is fitting properly (Image 2).

Sew Piping Along Skirt

Place slipcover inside-out onto ottoman again. Pin piping along bottom edge where skirt will be attached. Sew it on and remove pins. 

Create Skirt Then Dress Ottoman

Cut a piece of fabric about 4" wide and at least double the measurement of the ottoman's perimeter. Note: The longer the fabric, the fuller the finished skirt. Again, if necessary, sew smaller pieces of fabric together to make one long strip. Fold strip of skirt fabric length-wise (Image 1), with right-side-facing-out, and press to create crease (Image 2). Pinch skirt in a ruffle and pin to the bottom of slipcover, along lower piping. Make sure raw edges are facing in the same direction. Skirt may be pinned in place and then sewn or it can be ruffled as it's being fed into sewing machine (Image 3). Trim off all threads and press. Turn slipcover right-side-out and install on ottoman (Image 4). 

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