Measuring Upholstery 101 (Part 3): Ottoman

In the third installation of our “Measuring Upholstery” series, we’ll be talking about how to get the right dimensions for reupholstering contemporary chairs called ottoman. Despite being small in size, this furniture creates a wonderful impact in your room, being versatile in many ways. It can be used as a seat, a foot rest and sometimes, a mini table. Because of its use, it can be easy for your ottoman to wear out. However, refurbishing it can be fun. Unlike chairs and sofas, a DIY upholstery project for an ottoman is an easier task.

A Few Things To Take In Mind:

Ottomans come in variety of shapes and there is no standard repair chart for them. Your method of refurbishing your ottoman will rely on its form. Some are shaped like a nugget and some are in cylindrical, round forms. Also, when choosing a fabric, we recommend materials that will endure wear and tear for a long time. A leather ottoman will be a classic addition to your room, but you can also choose fabrics which offer a nice pop of color to make your interiors more modern and contemporary.

Ready To Take On The DIY Project? Let’s Begin

You will need a measuring tape, scissors, tape, staples or tack hammer. Use chalk to indicate positioning. An iron may prove to be useful, especially if your fabric is a bit crumpled. Once you have your materials, you can easily start reconstructing your furniture. Follow the steps below.


  1. Measure your ottoman. Some ottomans have legs and bases which do not require to be covered. If your furniture shape is a square, measure one side and multiply it by two. Use the same procedure for rectangular shaped ottomans. If it your furniture has a roundish, circular form, you need to get the diameter as well as the height. Add an extra 3-4 inches to the fabric you will purchase. One rule of thumb is that it is better to overestimate with the material and never underestimate.
  2. When cutting the fabric, measure the exact dimensions and add 3 extra inches to it, whether it is square-ish or round in shape. Before installing it on the furniture, lay the pattern pieces on the ottoman without permanently stapling it. This gives you the idea how your new reupholstered ottoman will look.
  3. Check the appearance by taping it on the sides before attaching the new covers. It is best to iron out the wrinkled parts of the fabric to give a polished, smoothed look.
  4. For square ottomans with legs, it is easy to attach the new fabric. Fold the edges to the underside of the furniture. Secure the folds with a tape on the edge and begin stapling a half an inch away from the ends of the fabric. Place staples about 1/8 of an inch apart. Staple twice on each side to secure the fabric.
  5. For circular ottomans, install the top and bottom part fabrics first before stapling the sides. Secure the round covers with a tape and staple it with the same measure as above. After you finish the top and bottom part, it’s time to install the covers for the side. This way, the furniture will end up with a cleaner, seamless look.

Image Source: Posh Pair, Wolf Furniture

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