Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Upcycling an old Ottoman

This ottoman was the first project I completed during lockdown - the first of my Furlough Furniture projects!

When my sister and I were clearing out my parents' flat, about five years ago, this was in the bedroom, piled high with magazines and books on top and unused bedding inside.  I took one look at it and earmarked it for the skip.  But my sister pointed out it looked sturdy and would make a good project.  I love a good project, but it took five years and being furloughed from work before I found the time!  This ottoman spent a long time, sadly unloved in my garage!

To be fair, you can see why it wasn't loved!

I started by stripping off the old plasticky floral top, and the thin foam underneath it.  The wooden top underneath was also damaged, so I added a new ply piece, donated my by daughter's partner who (luckily for me) had a piece left over from his campervan conversion.  He even cut it to size for me.

I also ripped off all the edging around the main body - quite time consuming, as it was fastened on with what felt like a million partly-rusted nails.

I ordered some new 2" thick foam online, and rooted through my fabric stash, to find some dotty denim and a piece of bright patterned fabric.

I cut the patterned fabric into strips and made a binding from it for the edges.  I soaked it in PVA to stiffen it, dried it on the washing line, and stuck it to the ottoman with my glue gun.

In the meantime, the body of the ottoman got several coats of paint, inside and outside.

After sticking the foam to the new lid, I covered it with the dotty denim, stapling it down.  

Then I covered the stapled bit with a piece of dotty denim I had stiffened with PVA, folded into a neat binding and stuck it in place with a glue gun.

I added two strips of the same bright fabric as a way of lifting the lid open and nailed them in place.

The last bit was finishing the front - I used a small rectangle of the dotty denim in the centre (it helpfully hid a join) topped with a tiny wooden heart from my stash, painted red, with a button sewn onto it (I put a bit of felt at the back to help with this, as the heart only had one hole.  With the heart glue-gunned in place, a little strip of fabric made a tag at the front for opening the ottoman up.

I am really pleased with the finished result and pleased to have (eventually!) saved this still-useful piece of furniture from landfill.  I'm looking forward to using this in my new house!

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