Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rebuild it, make it better

Our living room ottoman was getting torn up. Having a cat and "pleather" with do that. Plus dogs, kids...a well used living room. Basically, this piece of furniture gets USED.

The small pin holes became small tears, became rips. It was annoying to me (if no one else). I would drape blankets over the top of it, which the dogs or husband would knock onto the floor. Ah well.

A friend gifted me with a gift card, and the fabric store had a stellar sale this weekend. I used this opportunity to buy some upholstery fabric, batting for underneath, and refinish the top of the ottoman.

Hubby unscrewed the top for me and marked where the holes go back in Sharpie. I had washed, dried and ironed the fabric. I laid the batting down on the floor (I prefer two layers because the corners and edges become compressed quickly) in two layers, put the ottoman top in the middle and pulled the batting over the edges to make sure it fit. After ensuring it would fit on all sides, I made a primary cut to all sides (keeping it oversized because you can always cut off more later, but it is impossible to glue it back on). I started on one long side, cutting the under side layer shorter than the top layer and then stapling the top layer to the ottoman. No need to go crazy with the staples at this point (I only did about 3 on each side for the batting to hold it in place). I then did the other long side the same way (cut the under layer a bit shorter, then three staples evenly along the side to hold the batting in place). Then the two short sides. Under cut the batting, then staple the center. Carefully staple the two sides. Now you need to deal with the corners. On the inside batting, you need to cut away a lot of the excess, but not ALL of it. Cut away all but about 3/4 of an inch or so, and then tuck that 3/4 of an inch INSIDE the batting to surround the corner. For the outside batting, you will cut away a lot of that batting as well, tuck around the corner and staple well. Do the same on all four corners.

For the fabric, lay it down on the floor. Place the ottoman on the middle. Pull the fabric over the edges, making sure there is enough to cover all the batting plus a fold-over for a "seam" to staple. Cut away any excess. NOTE: if your fabric is directional, make sure it is straight and even at this time. Also, it is better to leave excess now and cut it off during the process than remove too much.

When stapling, you want to start on one long side in the middle, do a few staples, then alternate to the other side, do a few staples, and switch back and forth until done. Also, keep the fabric SNUG but not tight. To staple, pull the fabric over the top of the batting, fold over the raw edge of the fabric so it is hidden when you are done (and you are stapling thru two layers of fabric). Staple there. Move an inch or less and repeat. After a few inches, do the same on the opposite side of the ottoman, careful to keep the fabric straight and snug but not tight. Complete until finished on four sides.

Corners: I made "bed sheet" corners. I cut away the inside of the corner, used my fingers to tuck the fabric as far into the fold as I could to make the fold straight, brought the fabric straight up, and stapled the heck out of it.

Lastly: ScotchGuard. With dogs and kids, ScotchGuard is my friend. Hoping to make it wear a little better.

Plus, in a few years, I can always refinish it again (like I have done the kitchen chairs multiple times now!). It's not scary, just patience and some staples!

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