How to Make Pottery Barn Style Slipcovers Using a Quilt

by Diane Henkler on 01/26/2011

Recently I was shopping at my local mall and took a stroll through

where I came across this sofa along with a love seat. What caught my eye wasn’t the actual Pottery Barn sofa or fabric but the trim detail – more specifically that there was none – no covered cord along the cushion and pillow edges. It looked so modern and fresh. I wanted that look for slipcovers I am customizing for my family room.

I bought inexpensive throw style covers for my sofa and love seat from SureFit Slipcovers. To make the throw covers stay put and look more appealing I am making separate seat and back cushion covers from quilts that I found in the clearance bin.

This ottoman moves all over the room from chair to sofa and it acts as the coffee table when needed.  When I decided to re-do my family room I knew I could not afford new furniture so I swapped out the seating from my basement and family room for a new look. I liked the simple lines of the sofa and love seat, but not the navy blue color. By purchasing the throw style slipcovers I knew I could create a neutral palette to begin making over the room in my desired color scheme and stay within my small budget.

The How-To:

Wash the quilt first for shrinkage. Once dry and shrunk, I draped a quilt on top of the ottoman and pinned each corner as shown.

Notice the grey fur ball who thinks he is helping me.

Then I sewed a seam and trimmed the excess from each corner.

I clipped each corner so the fabric would lay flat when placed on the ottoman.

So the cover looked like this.
One single line of stitching on each corner seam.

Then I sewed another seam along each side of the main seam to get the look that I saw on the Pottery Barn sofa.  It was Sew easy!!!  No cord cover to mess with – no bias cutting fabric to cover the cord, no pins – right up my alley – EASY!

Every seam looks like this now. It resembles a double covered cord, but it is flat.

If you ever made a slipcover you know that you have to keep going back and forth between the piece you are working on and your sewing machine.  Every time you need to fit the cover you place it on the piece inside out, fit, pin, and then go back  to your machine and sew. Then repeat, repeat, repeat…until you have a completed slipcover.  It is not hard, just lots of back and forth.

After I had the top complete I only had pieces left of the quilt.  Normally to make the skirt I would want one long piece, but since I could not afford to buy another quilt. I decided make the skirt using 4 pieces. Once I then cut 4 pieces to size – one to add to each side of the cover to act as the skirt.  I measured the height and added 2″ for the hem.

Now this is where this tutorial goes south – a cat who shall go nameless decided he needed to help me out GET IN THE WAY the rest of the day!

He thinks he is the King and this ottoman is his throne.  I cannot tell you how many times I scooted and pushed him off.  Finally I gave up.

You can kind of see the side pieces that I added in the photo below.  Sorry I don’t have a more detailed photo.

The top cover is on the ottoman inside out. Each side/skirt piece was measured to fit the side it was going on.   I hemmed the sides and bottom of each piece. Once they were ready, I pinned each one to their respective side and then sewed them to the top part of the cover.  I added the Pottery Barn seaming to these seams also.

Since I pieced the skirt I needed to cover the ottoman where the skirt sides meet: I sewed a small rectangular piece of quilt to the seam on each corner.

I turned  the slipcover right side out and placed it back on the ottoman.

I still have some tweaking to do on the corners. I want to add a button to each corner of the ottoman and a button to replace the bow ties on the throw slipcover on the chair, but I will have to show you how I did that in future post.

The shenanigans I had to put up with…


sound asleep ZZZZZZZZZZ. Now I can finish up without any assistance.

If you would like to see more ottoman inspiration check out this post, Ottoman Bliss at Brabourne Farm.



{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Simple Daisy January 26, 2011 at 9:11 pm

OH my gosh….that is amazing!! You are so darn creative!! I think I would have a ball of fabric sewed in knots if I tried that:):) Great job!!!!


2 Heidi Roylance January 26, 2011 at 9:35 pm

I love the look of the quilt! And the extra seam just adds that finishing touch! SEW beautiful!


3 The Polka Dot Closet January 26, 2011 at 9:38 pm

What a great idea to use a quilt it looks like matlesse! I hate making cording. My cats always have to sniff anything new, to cute!



4 Lisa January 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Great job! I have made on slipcover and you are right about the back and forth!!! Thanks for sharing this awesome tip!


5 Jenny@Evolution of Style January 26, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Nicely done! I have a love/hate relationship with my sewing machine, but I love seeing someone who is so proficient! Very inspiring, and it makes me ready to do battle with it once again!


6 Stephanie@cre8tive January 26, 2011 at 10:02 pm

I love the texture of the quilt and the quiet elegance it gives to the ottoman. But your kitty? Made the whole post even more enjoyable. Silly kitty, she/he just loves you that’s all.


7 Kim January 26, 2011 at 10:25 pm

That looks great. You did a great job even with some assistance.


8 Desi January 26, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Gorgeous! I would have never thought to use a quilt but it looks fabulous! Your assistant is precious too :o)


9 Traci January 26, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Diane, your ottoman cover looks great. I have been thinking about doing something similar for my daybed. Thanks for the inspiration.


10 JeanneP January 27, 2011 at 3:26 am

What a great job! I love it! You are such an inspiration!! Love how the dogs / cats get all involved in your projects…mine do the very same thing!!! But I wouldn’t have it any other way!!


11 Sparta Savings January 27, 2011 at 11:16 am

You give me hope for my couches! I so have put off making slip covers because of the ribbing! I’m able to make them, but just don’t want to mess with it! You certainly have my thoughts going towards covers.


12 beachhouseliving January 27, 2011 at 11:31 am

Nice little helper you have there. The covers look great. I get lost in how to piece everything together.


13 Diane January 27, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Hi Rita-

My litttle helper distracted me so much from focusing on taking a photo of each step. I added a few more photos to help with understanding how I pieced the slipcover all together. The next time I do a detailed project like this, Trax is going to be put in a bedroom with the door closed. :)


14 Lisa January 27, 2011 at 11:49 am

love the ottoman! my cats are exactly the same way with helping me. wrapping presents at christmas was a blast.


15 Handy Man, Crafty Woman January 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm

That came out great! thanks for visiting our blog. Going to have a look around at more. BTW, I saw your stairway, too! Looks great!


16 Jackie January 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm

well that came out amazing! i wish i was better at sewing…for now i’ll stick to baking and designing



17 Amanda @ House Revivals January 27, 2011 at 7:33 pm

I love it — and your helper made the experience memorable! We have a really UNcongenial cat –unless I’m working on a big sewing project, like laying out a pattern, or laying out quilt squares, then she has to be right in the middle of things!


18 Coastal Femme January 27, 2011 at 7:55 pm


What a great idea! The ottomen looks fabulous and I love your assistant…what would you do without his help?


19 Becky January 27, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I love it, I love that it is washable, and fitted. great job!


20 Tatum January 28, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Hi there! Your site is absolutely lovely. So are your slip covers, very nice. I will definitely be coming back here because some of your projects were actually on our to do list, the banquette and removing the carpet from our stairs.

Great job! And I’m following!


21 Meg January 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm

That looks fantastic! Such an improvement. I love the quilt look. It’s fabulous! Great job.

I hope you can join my link party going on today. Each entry means your eligible for $130 to CSN!
Have a great day!


22 Linda@Coastal Charm January 28, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this with me…I have an ottoman in my bedroom that needs a slipcover:) I’m having a GIVEAWAY…would love to have you come by and enter to win a gift card and some goodies!



23 Inspire Me Heather January 29, 2011 at 8:59 am

Wow! Well done, I love that fabric. Your “helper” is cute too!


24 Pamela Manes January 29, 2011 at 9:10 am

Absolutely love the white quilt used to make the ottoman cover. I’ve got an ottoman that I believe will be getting this treatment…you’d made it very understandable and simple. I’ll just have a couple of pups to keep out of the way.


25 Amber January 29, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Love this idea! It gives it such great texture too, compared to just using a plain fabric.


26 Samantha January 29, 2011 at 5:33 pm

That looks so phenomenal! And I really like the way you did the stitching, much easier without the cording and it does look nice without it.


27 laurie January 29, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Ok… a non-sewer that project is like looking at a work of art! I can’t even imagine tackling something like that! Wow! It is just beautiful! Great job! And I luv your assistant…!

xoxo laurie


28 Diane February 1, 2011 at 8:51 am

Hi Laurie-

I am no sewer and my professional sewing friends laugh at my attempts, but I don’t have to have everything perfect. If you ever wanted to try your hand at something like this, start with a simple shape . It is not very hard if you can sew a straight row of stitches on the machine just lots of fitting, trimming, and pinning.


29 Christine January 30, 2011 at 8:42 am

Great job friend!
I really like it. I have an ottoman a little smaller and I am totally done with the color. I bet I could do this.


30 Rachael@Lovely Crafty Home January 30, 2011 at 9:07 am

Wow! I love the quilted fabric and the seaming you did. Beautiful turnout :) I’d love to see you share this on my linky party going on today!


31 Elizabeth @ blue clear sky January 30, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Hi, I’m stopping by from Funky Junk Interiors. Your ottoman cover is very pretty. I love that you used a quilt. I prefer making slipcovers for ottomans. So much faster than for chairs and couches! And they slip off for the wash so easily. I agree that the trick is to keep trying it on the furniture. I always try to bring the furniture to my craft room, or the sewing machine to the furniture (way less steps that way.)


32 Katharine January 31, 2011 at 5:31 am

Great tutorial. It looks fabulous! When my cats help out they leave fur everywhere. They can’t help it because they both have long fur. They are so sweet though (except when they get jealous of ea other and fight for my attention) lol.


33 Diane February 1, 2011 at 8:45 am

Hi Katherine-

I have another very sweet and affectionate kitty who lives outside. She has long black hair that we find everywhere. She doesn’t seem to mind Trax too much, but Trax beats up on my poor little dog, Schnitzel all the time.


34 Mary Jean Cunningham February 1, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Oh, I wish I’d seen this before I made a new gold cover for my own navy denim ottoman a few months ago – I got stuck trying to sew through multiple layers of fabric at the corners and it looks not-so-awful but I think this would have been a lot easier and it looks a lot better – next time… Thanks again for showing us how and making it look easy! I really enjoyed your little helper, too – maybe more than you did at the time…


35 Jami @ freckled laundry February 3, 2011 at 11:33 pm

I really like the quilt look! Thank you for sharing with air your laundry Friday!



36 brandi February 9, 2011 at 3:24 am

Wow Diane, You made that look so easy. Thanks for the tutorial. You have a lovely home! I can’t wait to read more of your blog!


37 Rose February 27, 2011 at 8:11 am

Love your ottoman slipcover! (and your very enthusiastic assistant, lol)
I like the way you finished off the corners of the skirt. I’ll have to remember that one. And I agree with you, so much nicer without all the cording. I left it off my slipcovers, but it was of necessity…my dog loves to nibble on furniture cording. (she’s the reason I had to make slipcovers in the first place!)


38 Bonnie February 27, 2011 at 10:04 pm

wow! I will never look at old quilts the same. The ottoman cover looks great and looks like u had a really good “helper”, lol!


39 tom August 28, 2011 at 5:58 am

Looks great! You have inspired me to do the same with my ottoman.


40 Gina @ The Shabby Creek Cottage September 3, 2011 at 10:24 am

How funny is he! My cat does the exact same thing, and ironically looks almost identical to your cat… so I feel your pain :)

Great job on the slipcover, it looks phenominal!


41 Jenny September 3, 2011 at 12:02 pm

LOVE! It came out beautifully! Well done and thanks for the simple and clear tutorial.



42 Celeste Berkley November 12, 2011 at 7:06 am

I just want to tell you that your ottoman looks so much better than the chair. NOW you should get a quilt to cover the chair to match! It would look like a million bucks! Great job!


43 Deanna March 10, 2012 at 9:42 am

I love this idea. I was looking for ways to cover our coffee table. Thanks!


44 Inspire Me Heather March 30, 2012 at 9:22 am

Nicely done, that looks gorgeous! I have this linked to my slipcovers post too today, for inspiration!


45 Monique July 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I used to be the manager of Pottery Barn Design Studio, and I am very impressed with your slipcover! Wow what a lucky kitty!!


46 Tracy August 12, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Where did you find the quilting fabric?


47 Diane Henkler August 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Hi Tracy – The fabric was from actual quilts I bought on clearance at the Bon Ton. It is a dept store chain.


48 Teri November 25, 2013 at 11:54 pm

This is awesome! I’m getting ready to redo my living room & need to recover my ottoman. What size quilt did you use? Can’t wait to get started.


49 Diane Henkler November 26, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Hi Teri – I used a few different size quilts to cover all the cushions. I think I bought 2 queens and a twin. The store I used to work at always had them on sale. I used to watch for them to go on clearance. :)


50 Teri November 27, 2013 at 12:06 am

Thank you!


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