How to Make Pottery Barn Style Slipcovers Using a Quilt

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

and FINALLY…

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

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58 Comments

  1. Tracy Sharlow says:

    I love the idea and look of the ottoman. I wish I had seen this earlier! I already slipcovered mine with canvas drop cloth. But now I want to tackle the coach and oversized chair. Did making cushion covers and placing them over a surefit slipcover work out well? Did it help the slip cover stay in place? And did the slip cover become too big for the couch doing it this way?

  2. Tracy Sharlow says:

    Did making cushion covers work? Did it help the slip cover stay in place?

  3. Thank you for all your sharing & creative genius was. I am working on my porch sofa during quarantine & this is a BIG help. I have been following you for years because you have the best ideas. Sending you hugs during your current journey. ❤️

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Margaret – :-) It is so nice to hear. XOXOX

  4. Anne Tavis says:

    I appreciate the pictures you included. I bought a white Better Homes and Garden King size bed spread which lays flat on my large sofa. I am brain storming about how to make it look like a sofa cover. Thanks for your post it is most helpful. Sincerely, Anne Tavis

  5. Love the idea and your sweet cat!!

  6. Madeleine Ward says:

    Great as usual!

  7. Very handy and useful tutorial. Also, I enjoyed your cat’s antics!

  8. 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.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      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. :)

  9. Where did you find the quilting fabric?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

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

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

  11. Inspire Me Heather says:

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

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

  13. Celeste Berkley says:

    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!

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

    Jenny

  15. Gina @ The Shabby Creek Cottage says:

    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!

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

  17. 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!

  18. 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!)

  19. 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!

  20. Jami @ freckled laundry says:

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

    Hugs,
    Jami

  21. Mary Jean Cunningham says:

    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…

  22. Katharine says:

    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.

    1. 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.

  23. Elizabeth @ blue clear sky says:

    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.)

  24. Rachael@Lovely Crafty Home says:

    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!

  25. Christine says:

    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.
    Christine
    greatoakcircle.com

  26. Ok…..to 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…..lol!

    xoxo laurie

    1. 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.

  27. 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.

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

  29. Pamela Manes says:

    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.
    ~Pam

  30. Inspire Me Heather says:

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

  31. Linda@Coastal Charm says:

    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!

    Blessings,
    Linda

  32. 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 Stores.com! alittleknickknack.blogspot.com
    Have a great day!

  33. 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!

    Manymomentsofme.blogspot.com

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

  35. Coastal Femme says:

    Diane,

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

  36. Amanda @ House Revivals says:

    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!
    ~Amanda

  37. Handy Man, Crafty Woman says:

    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!

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

  39. beachhouseliving says:

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

    1. 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. :)

  40. Sparta Savings says:

    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.

  41. 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!!

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

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

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

  45. Stephanie@cre8tive says:

    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.

  46. Jenny@Evolution of Style says:

    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!

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

  48. The Polka Dot Closet says:

    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!

    Carol

  49. Heidi Roylance says:

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

  50. Simple Daisy says:

    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!!!!