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How to Make a Pleated Ottoman Slipcover

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How to Make a pleated slipcover for a square rattan ottoman cushion.

I have been hunting for ottomans for this room as it’s size and architectural details doesn’t allow for a lot of seating.  Ottomans are great multi-tasking pieces – they are low profile so they visually don’t take up a lot of space. 

Simple slipcover for an ottoman
Ottoman Without Slipcover

When I saw this ottoman at a local store on sale, I bought two of them. I knew I could try to cover them in white canvas to coordinate with my decor.

My original plan was to just cover the purple cushion with fabric, gift-wrap style and secure the loose fabric underneath the cushion with safety pins.

Two white slipcovered ottomans in a white decorated family room.

That worked fine, but I really wanted a pleated flounce and thought if I put my mind to it I could make a real honest to goodness slipcover.  I thought- I can make pillows, I can do this,  too.

How to Make a Pleated Ottoman Slipcover

I found the fabric at a dollar a yard fabric center near my house. You have to search through racks and bins, but it is always worth my time because I always find something good.

I didn’t use a pattern since the cover would be a basic box, no arms or curves, which would have been way beyond my skills.   I also added piping.  To save you a step you can buy pre-made piping by the yard at fabric stores in many different colors.

How to make a simple slipcover

supplies needed:

  • Fabric, enough to cover the top and sides of the cushion, plus pleated flounce
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins

Wash fabric first before constructing the cover to allow for shrinkage.

1.  Measure the top and sides of the cushion and add 2-inches all around for seams.  If you want a loose fitting cover add to your measurements.

How to make a simple slipcover

2.  Lay cushion on center of fabric and mark exact size of top of cushion.  Add the depth of cushion and add 2″ extra for seam allowance.  Cut fabric out.    At each corner, angle cut as shown.

how to make a simple slipcover

3.  With fabric inside out, sew each seam.  You will have created what looks like a box lid.

Simple Slipcover ideas

4.  To create the pleated flounce, measure around the ottoman (mine was 87″).  Double that measurement for pleats and add 1-” for seam allowance.

Measure how long you want the flounce.  Mine is 5 1/2-inches.  I added 1″ for seam. I cut a strip of fabric 6″ x 175″

5.  Using straight pins pleat the fabric along its length as shown above.

DIY slipcover tutorial

5.  Pin the pleated flounce to the edge of the box, making sure right sides are together. If you are adding piping, pin the piping to the edge of the flounce first and then to the edge of the box.  Sew along the edge leaving about 3/4″ seam.   Pin and then sew the two ends together and trim excess fabric.

Box pleated ottoman slipcover

6.  Press all the seams open, turn fabric right-side out.  Place on ottoman.

White decorated living room with hardwood floors.

Ottomans can easily be moved around the room – in front of the fireplace, against the sofa for your feet, moved into a conversational grouping with the sofa and matching chair, or used as a table when a tray is laid on top.

These slipcovers held up very well, but after 8 years of wear and tear I thought it was time to update them. You can see how I updated them ottoman slipcovers with removable pom-pom trim.

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16 Comments

  1. Great job and thx for the beautifully drawn tutorial.
    Looking at your photo, my eyes are drawn to your pillows on the sofa, and it makes me think how great they would look in the same white fabric. What do you think?

  2. well doesn’t she look pretty in her new dress. I love how full her skirt is, it shows off her curves and plays up her shape–hahahaha. I love it, but I knew I would, you never disappoint.

    Cha Cha