Sew Your Style: Ottoman Cover

Did you know it’s National Sewing Month? To celebrate this, JoAnn Fabrics has chosen 30 bloggers to create a project using quilting fabric without making an actual quilt.  I decided to make an ottoman cover. As you know, I am more about no-sew when it comes to making decorative items for my home, but I can sew a straight line on my 1957 Singer sewing machine.

I use quilting fabric quite a bit in my decorating projects because it comes in so many colors and patterns and is super affordable when compared to using decorator fabric.  I covered the seat of my office chair with it, made a reversible headboard cover, and a no-sew window treatment.  


For this challenge, I went out of my comfort zone. I made this colorful slipcover with piping for a round thrift store wicker ottoman I bought to replace one I used to keep by my desk.


I liked the shape and size, but not the color of the ottoman.

I can’t decide on a color to paint it yet, so by making a fabric slipcover for it using pink to coordinate with the green fabrics already in the room, I will be able to see how the color looks before permanently changing it with paint.


I kept the slipcover long so it resembles a pouf style ottoman, but I may take the hem up to show the legs. Decisions, decisions…

How to Make a Slipcover for a Round Ottoman


supplies needed:

  • Quilting fabric
  • Lightweight Fusible Interfacing
  • Iron
  • Thread
  • Cord for piping
  • Straight pins
  • Chalk
  • Scissors


1. Lay fabric face down on work surface. Center top of ottoman on fabric and trace around it with chalk.

2. Remove ottoman and draw another line 2-inches away from the traced outline. This will be the excess fabric you need for seam allowance.


3. Cut fabric for skirt and a bias strip to cover cord for piping. To measure for skirt: Measure height of ottoman and circumference. Add 2-inches to each measurement for seam allowance.


4. To make a continuous bias strip for piping is not hard, but is a post all on its own. If you have never created it to cover cord and want to learn how, check out Kristi’s tutorial over at Addicted 2 Decorating on how to make a continuous bias strip.


5. To give the quilting fabric more body so it falls well, I ironed on .99 cents a yard lightweight fusible interfacing to the back of the top and skirt pieces of fabric. It is not needed for the piping.


You can see how the fusible interfacing gives the fabric a boost in body – soft folds instead of a limp looking fold.


6. Place the wrong side of skirt fabric to piping. Use a zipper foot to sew the piping to the skirt fabric.  


7. Once the two pieces are sewn, notch the seam allowance with scissors.  Do not cut to the piping, but just enough so that when you sew this to the round top the piping/skirt will curve easier as you sew. 

8. Notch the edge of the round piece of fabric for the top also to help curve the fabric as you pin and sew the cover together.


9. Place the fabric top right side down on the top of the ottoman, then start fitting and pinning the skirt/piping piece to the top.  Both fabrics should be right side down as you do this.  As you pin – fit the skirt to the ottoman.  Once you have pinned on the skirt -check that the fabric is laying flat and there are no bunched up areas.


10. Remove it from the ottoman – it will look like this.  Take it to your sewing machine and sew the pieces together using a zipper foot. 


11. Once sewn, press seams open with iron. 

12. For hemming, I used fusible web to make a no show stitch-free hem. 


I love how the pink coordinates with the green and white that are already in the room.  It adds a nice pop of color to the empty space in the front of my desk.

Do you like to sew or want to challenge yourself to make something with fabric?

You can get in on the sewing challenge, too when you submit your project for a chance to win $1000 and/or a prize pack from Pellon and/or a Singer sewing machine!

Click to enter the Jo-Ann Sew Your Style Contest sponsored by Pellon between September 1 – 30th.

Sew Your Style contest


I was sent a gift card to JoAnn Fabrics to buy the fabric I needed for my project, however all opinions, tutorial and ideas are my own.


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  1. About how many yards of fabric did you use on this cover?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jen –

      I used 2.5 yards of quilting fabric that was 44″ wide. If your ottoman is higher or larger in diameter than mine than you may need more. If shopping at JoAnn Fabrics- make sure to use a coupon to get 40% off your purchase. :-)

  2. I have this exact same wicker Ottoman! Thanks for this great idea!

  3. In my Jan/Feb HGTV magazine, page 52, there was an entry bench shown with a no-sew slipcover on top. I went to the website that was supposed to show me ‘how-to’……not there. Can not find on your website either.

    Could you please help??!!!

  4. You could still do a cushioned top by slipstitching…or machining in the gutter of the piping… an envelope pocket (two half circles that overlap in the center) to the underside of the top. And then insert a round pillow form. Just can’t be too thick as the doming would draw in the piped edges for which you so carefully measured.

    Also a fan of natural wicker, painted even better! (but, alas, the angst of color selection and opting to make such a change!).

  5. I keep looking for the PDF for the book words in your Fall Tour post. Did I miss ’em??

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Diane – No you did not miss the post. I will post them on Wed this week. The past two weeks have been the busiest since I started blogging and then I went away for the weekend and got way behind schedule. Looking forward to getting back on schedule this week.

  6. FYI — The link to how to make bias binding doesn’t work.
    Great ottoman slipcover instructions!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks for telling me. I will fix it now.

  7. Jean from Georgia says:

    Love your pink ottoman cover and also the cute covered ottoman in the background. Your white desk is so pretty – Iwish I had the courage to paint my desk. It is dark mahogany with leather on the top and I cannot zoom in on a good color choice. My walls are sponged tan and my window toppers are tan and black plaid silk. Any suggestions???

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jean – You can never go wrong with white or black. If white is too white for your neutral color scheme – an off white would look great, too. I would paint the desk super shiny or flat and distressed so that the finish brings in some shine and or texture to the overall scheme. Contrasts always work.

  8. Julie Jamison says:

    You go Diane! This came out freaking amazing! I might have to dust off my sewing machine and give this a try.

  9. I love it! I think it looks great with the slipcover. Just add some foam underneath the top and it’ll be all good & cushy too :-)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      I thought about padding or even adding a center button to the top to make it look tufted. I just ran out of time since the post had to go out today :-)

  10. I have found ottoman covers to be one of the easiest and quickest ways to change up décor. I have an old Goodwill green leather ottoman, same shape as yours, and added some cool legs and made five covers for the change of seasons. Instant seasonal update!

    BTW, thanks for the heads up on the JoAnn Challenge. I just recently finished a play mat for my newest grandson and have just entered the challenge because shoot, who can’t use $1,000. First time making and am rather proud of the outcome (besides the fact, of course, that he’s just so stinkin’ cute!). In any event, should you or any of your readers feel compelled to vote, I sure would appreciate it! FB won’t link to the specific entry (darn it!) so look for SAYS IT ALL PLAY MAT.


  11. Christina Rodriguez says:

    Love the ottoman before AND after! I also like your idea of showing the legs. Wish I had the patience to sew. I have to sew when no one else is home because no one needs to hear that kind of language! lol

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Christina – I am the worlds worst sewer – My pro sewer friend always smiles at my efforts, but I keep at it. I can do basic stuff, but if it is the only way I am going to get what I envision, I just do it and believe me when I say a few not so nice words come out of my mouth when I need to rip out a seam because I sewed it backwards or the outside in. :-)

  12. The ottoman looks great with and without the cover. I doubt I’d ever paint it but just change the cover so it could be super versatile, because someday you might want that wicker look again. I’ve never done piping or even a zipper, but this may push me to give it a try for a little wicker bench seat that I have. Thanks for the idea and inspiration!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda – Making the piping is easy and as long as you have a zipper foot on your machine – it is not hard to sew on. The thing that I have to focus on when sewing the piping is to go slow and make sure that that no fabric other than what is to be sewn together does not bunch up under the piping as I sew the piping on. When sewing a circle it happens – not so much on long and square cushions.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mary – I love how you updated your ottoman – it looks brand new. You have SKILLS and patience to have hand sewn the faux piping! Thanks for sharing your awesome slipcover!

  13. Fonda Rush says:

    It’s making your desk blush! I love the wicker ottoman. So cute!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks – :-)

  14. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    Wow, you are so good. I love how it turned out.