| | | |

How To Make a No Sew Ottoman, Part 2

This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. Please Read my Disclosure Policy.

This post is Part 2 of How To Make a No-Sew Ottoman.  If you did not see Part 1- How to make the base you can find it here –

How To Make a No-Sew Ottoman Part 1.

Once you have made the ottoman base, it is time for the pretty part- adding the style and color. I took the design of my ottoman from this inspiration photo.  I love the spacing of the pleats and the nail head trim.  If you have a sewing machine – you could make the covered cording on the top. For the n0-sew version – there is no cord and we will be stapling and using fabric adhesive.


Since I always try to find the thrifty way to complete my Decorating projects and didn’t want to spend $$$ on fabric, I went shopping in my friend Karen’s attic. Every one needs a resource like Karen – Thanks Karen xo.  She has a professional workroom in her home where she makes all sorts of home decorator treatments for hundreds of clients. She has been in business for years and has quite a stockpile of fabric.  I found a fabric that I liked the reverse side better than the print side. Not the first time I have used the reverse side of fabric. I love the texture of the fabric – it has a burlap weave, but is soft and smooth. You can faintly see the right side print in certain areas – but I am happy with it so I went to work.

DIY Ottoman After

No Sew Ottoman

How to Cover a DIY Made Ottoman

supplies needed:

  • Fabric – If you want the skirt to be one long piece you will need 5 yards of fabric. If you don’t mind piecing and matching you can get less –  3 yards.  I used 55-inch wide fabric and had plenty left over as you only need a 36-inch square of fabric for the top.
  • 24-inch square of 3-inch thick Foam
  • 1 yard Batting
  • Craft Fusible Interfacing – I used Pellon 808 Craft Fuse. It is very stiff and will make your pleats stand up and fan out when tacked on the ottoman.
  • Heat n bond Ultra hold iron-on adhesive or if you prefer Fabric – tac is a liquid adhesive.
  • Carriage Bolt – at least 6-inches long
  • 2 washers
  • Wing nut to fit on carriage bolt
  • OJ can top
  • Drill and bit same size as Carriage bolt
  • Staple Gun and 5/16 -inch staples
  • Wire – any type – I used florist’s wire
  • Yard Stick
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Straight Pins
  • Decorative Tacks
  • Hammer
  • Iron
  • Seamstress measuring gauge


How to Tuft Top of Ottoman

1.  Cut a circle from fabric and batting about 2 times larger than the OJ can top.

2. Drill or punch a hole with an awl into center of OJ can top.  Thread washer, OJ can top, and then second washer on carriage bolt as shown.


3.  Place them on the center of the circle of fabric and batting.


4.  Gather fabric over OJ can top and wrap around the bolt. Pull the fabric and batting tightly and wrap wire around the fabric to secure.  I cut a long piece of wire and placed the center of the wire against the bolt and then wrapped the wire ends around and around to each side to secure.


5.  Trim ends of wire and excess fabric.


6.  Drill a hole in the center of table top on ottoman base.


7.  Make a hole with scissors in the center of foam. Just push the tips through the center.  Do the same on the batting and fabric.


8.  Layer the batting and fabric over the foam and then place the end of the bolt into the hole on the center of the fabric, batting, and foam.


9.    Compress foam with hands until end of carriage bolt sticks out on the bottom of the foam.


9.  Put end of carriage bolt through hole in top of ottoman base and then flip the base upside down.  Having someone hold the foam while you flip will make it easier.  Once the carriage bolt is sticking up on the underside of base – thread the wing nut on and tighten.  Compress foam to create a more tufted look. I keep turning the base over to see what the OJ can button looks like.


10. Flip the base over.


11.  Smooth the fabric with your hands – pressing out to all sides.  Start on one side of the ottoman and using a staple gun and pulling fabric taut.  Apply one staple on the underside of the wood table top. Repeat this directly across from this staple and then one on the other two sides – like north, south, east, and west.


12. Then add one staple to each corner, making sure to pull the fabric taut before stapling. You may have to staple the fabric to the base on the corners depending on how much the table top overhangs in each corner.   Step back to see if fabric is straight on the top. If it is then proceed to staple the rest of the fabric to the underside of top.  I found if I started from the center of each side and worked to the right corner , then the left I got a much smoother look. The corners are where you will have to hand pleat the fabric  and then staple.  Remember to pull the fabric tight, before you place a staple.  Keep looking at the top to make sure the foam edge is even – you want to keep the tautness of the fabric the same all around.  Use point nose pliers to remove a staple if you have to re-do an area.


13. I also found once I got the fabric pretty much on, I flipped the ottoman and put one foot into the ottoman to compress the foam a bit, so I could gather more fabric to staple on the underside to get a more taut and even look.

no sew Ottoman-upside-down-and-sta

14.  Lots of stapling – just keep pulling fabric and stapling until you are happy with how the side of the top looks.


15.  This is what it will look like. You can trim the fabric underneath, but I left it to help fan out the pleated skirt.


no sew ottoman-outside-and-top-com

How to Make and Attach Fabric Skirt to the Ottoman

This is the no-sew part. If you are a sewer you just need to make a hem on the top and bottom of the skirt piece which is 5 yards long.

1.  Measure the height of your ottoman using a yardstick from the floor to the top edge of the table top.  Angle the yardstick out to resemble how the pleats will fan out. Add 2-inches to this measurement. My measurement was 15 –inches. (Since I used the reverse side of my fabric – I used the finished selvage edge and didn’t need to make  a hem on this side.   I used a T-square yardstick to measure 15-inches and marked it with a pencil. I did this along the 5 yards of fabric and then connected all my marks and drew a pencil line.


2.  Cut fabric on line with scissors. I love my electric scissors – they make cutting FAST.

no sew ottoman tutorial

3. To make a no-sew hem:

1. Fold over raw edge 1/2 – inch and press.

2. Fold over again 1/2 –inch and press.

3. Place Heat n’ Bond paper side up under second fold.

4.  Using a hot iron – press over the paper. Let cool.

5.  Once cooled remove paper from adhesive.

6. Fold edge over and press again until fabric is bonded. Let cool.

7.  You have a finished edge.


4.  The skirt fabric needs to be stiff so the pleats keep their shape and fan out.  The skirt would end up looking droopy without the stiffness. You don’t want wimpy.   Piece the iron on craft interfacing to the back side of the fabric  – don’t have to cover the hems.  The shiny side of the interfacing goes down and you use a steam iron to adhere.



How to Make Pleats in Ottoman Skirt

1.  I created  2- 3/4” box pleats and used one of those little sewing gauges to make sure I kept the size of each pleat the same.  I placed my ironing board in my family room, put a movie on the TV and started pleated. It took me about 2 hours.  It is not hard – just a bit time consuming.  You can see at the bottom of the pleat how the fabric looks underneath.


2.  As I made each pleat I pinned it in place.  Each side of the underside of the pleat is 1-1/4-inches.  I measured and then pinned and then formed the pleat with my hand and then pressed with a hot iron.



3. This is how it will start to look.  Make sure to keep about 3 inches of unpleated fabric at the start and then again at the end so you have some extra fabric to match the ends up when you tack it onto the edge of the ottoman.


4.  It will end up looking like this.  See how the interfacing makes the fabric stand up on its own. Using decorative tacks and a hammer, attach skirt to the edge of the table top. Feel with your finger where the top of the edge is and line up the top edge of the skirt. This will help you keep the skirt and the tack placement straight.


DIY Ottoman Completed

My no sew ottoman came out even better than I envisioned.   The no-sew way means lots of ironing board time, but it was worth it – I love my new ottoman.

no sew ottoman

No Sew Ottoman

No Sew Ottoman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Diane, I love it. Don’t know if I have the patience to try it. Tedious work gets under my skin for some reason. That fabric is really nice.