How to Make a Pleated Ottoman Slipcover

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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  1. Hi! I love this idea for my living room. There’s a large window in our living room that opens up to the background. I don’t want the view to be covered by furniture. I have a very classic traditional design. I’m having a hard time finding any affordable wood base ottomans like the ones in this article. Our living room is large so they’d need to be of adequate size. Any suggestions on where to look?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Megan – If you would like a wood base with a cushion check out furniture stores in your area and tell the salesperson what you are looking for. They may not have it, but they do have tons of furniture brand catalogs that you can order just what you want. Here are links to a few traditional looking ottomans I found online:

      Also don’t limit your search for interior furniture only – check out outdoor furniture lines as they have a lot of ottomans since people sit outside to relax. Here is one I found:

      Do an check online at: World Market
      and Overstock. as these usually have a good selection.

  2. Pink and Polka Dot says:

    You did an outstanding job! Love your drawn out details! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This project is fantastic. I am including this in my Inspire My Saturday post today. Please feel free to stop by and check it out if you get a chance.


  4. Fabulous and a great tutorial, thanks for linking up!

  5. I really like it. I like the ottoman too.

  6. I am trying to get the courage to slip cover my sofa. I just (4 years ago) had it reupholstered in L.A…then we moved…they were late, etc….had to have it shipped to where I live now…and it is a mess…the fabric has not held up…hubby says…”you asked for it, you got it (he liked the old fabric-ICK!). S your ottoman turned out cute…I can do this!…I think.
    Holly @ 504 Main

  7. Andy Porter says:

    I love it! It looks fantastic! I’m sure it looks great in your house now as well as the house in your head:) Thanks so much for the link!

    Poppies at Play

  8. This is soooo pretty, and I love the ruffled detail! Thanks for the tutorial and for linkin’ up to Frugalicious Friday!

  9. Diane at InMyOwnStyle says:

    Thanks Ann for the link to fabulousfluffstuff. She is a really talented sewer. I love the monograms.

    Sandy- You got me thinking, now I am on a mission to find some more fabric.

    Cha Cha – You are so clever with words. Love your comment.

  10. Lynn @ Midday Escapades says:

    Very nicely done and so pretty. Thanks for your comment at my life changing post. You are right, being miserable is not the way to live.

  11. 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?

  12. 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

  13. LOVE IT!! You did a great job…