Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How To Make A DIY Custom Ottoman Cube Cover

Ever have something in your house that's a real challenge to replace?  That was me before I began today's project: my DIY Ottoman Cube Cover.  Luckily it's resulted in a major decor improvement at a cheap price AND a handy tutorial I could share here.  Double win!! 

Project Back Story:
We had two foam cubes in our family room that acted as side tables, footstools and bonus seating.  They were beyond handy & we loved them.  However, after a decade of serious use they were saggy and pretty stained-up.  It was time to replace them, but I spent months looking with no luck.  Sure there were cubes out there, but most were either squashy beanbag style that wouldn't work or were too crazy expensive for my kids to climb all over.    

I finally hit pay dirt at good old Ikea with their Solsta Pällbo Footstools.  At $14.99 each they were a steal, so I grabbed two.  They have foam on top for a soft seat, but the frame is all woodish (particleboard + wood legs) so they're pretty sturdy and won't lose their shape like the old ones.

The trouble was that they only came in boring black, which didn't match my decor at all.  I found some fun home dec fabric on sale and set to making some new covers to customized those plain, drab cubes.  

- 1 7/8yd non-directional or 2 1/4yd directional print home decor fabric (54 inches wide)
- Notions: yardstick, rotary cutter, pins, iron, matching thread, pinking shears
- Cube/Ottoman to cover

* I'm giving dimensions & yardage to fit my two 15 inch cubes, but this could be adjusted to do any size cube or rectangle.

For each cube cut one 16 inch square for the top and four 16 inch wide by 17 inch high rectangles for the sides.  I wanted my print's repeat to match up so I used the first pieces to help line things up when cutting the others.

Start by stitching side panels to the top and bottom edges of the top piece of the cover (right sides facing obviously).  Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance and start and stop each seam 1/4 inch inward from the ends. This will make it easier to put together the corners later.  

Press the seam allowances towards the sides and press along the right side too so the seams are nice and flat.  

With the top facing right side up, place another side face down and repeat stitching & ironing. Do the same with last piece on remaining top side.

Now bring two side pieces together and pin.

At the top corner make sure the fabric lays nice & flat and stitch downward, just crossing over the horizontal seam, then clip the points off each corner and trim seam allowances on sides.

Home dec fabric tends to fray a lot so I recommend doing one of the following: doing a zig-zag over the raw edge, serging or, as I prefer (since it's fast and easy), trimming with pinking shears:

Fold up the bottom edge 3/4 inch and press, then fold & press again to create the hem:

Topstitch 1/2 inch from the folded edge:

Now the cover is good to go and ready to slip cover the blah looking cube.

I love how this simple change livens up my family room:

And since it's easy to make and swap out covers, I can switch things up whenever I want. Who doesn't like a decorating change that doesn't take much effort or $$? 

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  1. I need a few of these around my house...pinned!

    1. They are so useful Patti and you can't beat the price compared to the custom one-look stuff in the catalogs!

  2. Really good looking. I like the idea to make several in different fabrics and to switch them out for different room accents.

    1. I like that too - For very little you can redecorate as much as you want. I'm only wishing I'd gotten a few more now...

  3. I'm retired, and used to sew a lot when my daughter was growing up. I want to start sewing, again, but am kind of rusty. I came across your blog and liked your attitude and teaching style (ie., encouraging, and positive...) Thank you, for having your Blog, it is encouraging to me, and great you came back to enjoy this creative facet in your life!!! Sincerely, Linda B.

    1. Linda that is so wonderful to hear - it really makes me feel like my blog is worth all the work it takes. It's lovely people like you that keep me going! Thanks so much and I wish you many happy adventures sewing again!!

  4. Great tutorial! I have some boring brown round ottomans that I may decide to recover someday, thanks to this great idea! :)

    1. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who needed this:)

  5. Awesome tutorial. I will be featuring this tonight at my Sizzle into Summer party. Please stop by and pick up an I've Been Featured button. Thanks.

  6. My process is simple. I cut a length to fit all the way around the sides and sew one seam, pinning it first for a tight fit , then sew. No panels or matching. Cut the top square with seam allowance added and sew. The bottom edge is turned under and use fusible hem tape, no tedious sewing. I also use the same process to sew fabric covers for Puffs facial tissue cubes.

    1. That's a simpler option and works great too. I wanted to have a seam in each corner of the cube and for the hem so it would look like pricier ottomans sold in stores. It's all about preference of final look.


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