My Dish Towel Ottoman Slipcover? (Office/Craft Room Update)…

How to make an ottoman slipcover {The Creativity Exchange}

How to make a slipcover for an ottoman {The Creativity Exchange}


How to make and ottoman slipcover {The Creativity Exchange}

My office/craft room revamp is finally finished! I was starting to wonder if I would ever be able to say those words.  My daughter and I are creating the art work for the walls this weekend and the space is being photographed (hopefully on Monday) for the complete final room shots.  So if all goes as planned, I should be sharing the reveal next week (fingers crossed).

Have you ever had a project that everything you touch or have planned doesn’t work out? Well this project has been THAT kind of project for me. We seriously have had one project fail right after another with the whole revamp (smiling as I grit my teeth). The good news is that I hate project fails more than anything and I absolutely refuse to let fails discourage me because I always keep in mind that the majority of my best projects have evolved from a project fail.

As you will be seeing over the next few weeks, all of the project fails in this space resulted in far better end results then what I had initially intended (happy crafty dance!).  I want to share our challenges, fails and recoveries with you because I really want to show you why it’s so important to never give up when a project doesn’t go as planned and you “think” it’s failed.

So on that note, let’s jump into one of my first fails in my office revamp, my ottoman fiasco…

So I had this large brown vinyl/leather storage ottoman in our playroom when we started this project:

How to make a slipcover for a large ottoman


You’ve probably seen this large ottoman at Ross or Marshalls and it also opens for tons of storage.  It’s a great piece and was dirt cheap (I think I paid $49.00).

My plan was to spray paint it with Dupli-Color Vinyl/Fabric Spray Paint in white (to match my white leather office chairs).  I had done my research and talk to the guys at the auto store where I picked up the paint and they told me they have heard nothing but great things about the product.  It’s really made to spray vinyl car seats and other upholstered areas in a car.

So like a good little DIY’er, I did my prep work, washed down the piece with just warm water and let it dry.  I  then sprayed it and it covered BEAUTIFULLY and I was so excited. I was more than impressed and it felt just like the smooth vinyl and you could not tell that it had been painted just like the guys said it would.  It looked absolutely amazing:


How to make a slipcover for an ottoman


Isn’t that gorgeous! Yea, good times…

I wanted the white leather/vinyl for my craft room because clean up would be so easy with mineral spirits or worse case, I could easily touch up with vinyl paint (unlike fabrics).

We placed the ottoman in the new space and it just looked spectacular and really added a modern touch. So I checked that project off my list.. BUT then.., two days later, I looked down to adore my new modern ottoman and all I could see were cracks.  Cracks all the way down to the brown and it felt like cement:


ottoman cracking


Ugh!! What the heck??? Cracking? NOOOOOO……..   I’m pretty sure I shed a tear while hugging my pretty white ottoman as it cracked in my hands.  I don’t know why that stupid vinyl paint didn’t work but I made a mental note that vinyl/fabric spray paint does not work (lesson learned) and quickly went into recovery mode.

In my tragic cracking moment, I remembered a gorgeous ottoman slipcover that I kept thinking about that I had planned on doing for our living room that I found on Pinterest:


How to make a slipcover for an ottoman {The Creativity Exchange}

(I cannot find the source of this image.  If you know, please let me know so I can share it here) 

This slipcover is so beautiful and I knew that I really needed a square ottoman to do this exact technique but I was thinking I could do something similar.  I had purchased multiple sets of these heavy duty dish towels made by Threshold for Target because I was so obsessed with the fabric and I was going to make pillows with them.   What could be more durable (and highly washable) in a craft room than dish towels?

I could see in my head as I pulled them out that the stripes on the side of the towels would look like trim if I turned them on the side:


source: Target

source: Target


I held up the dish towel (length wise) and it was the same height of to where my seam would be for a slipcover. I could instantly see that the lines of the towel would make it look perfectly positioned trim/stripes:
How to make an easy slipcover for an ottoman {The Creativity Exchange}


I pinned the dish towel to the ottoman just to be sure, and all I need to do was fold/iron over an inch at the top and it was a perfect fit! No need to hem the bottom and all I had to do was stitch the four corners and stitch the top!

So to get started, I pinned each dish cloth to the seam at the top of the ottoman.  This is why this is so easy to make an ottoman slipcover because the seam around the edge of an ottoman is precisely where the seam needs to be for a slip cover:


How to make a slipcover for an ottoman {The Creativity Exchange}


I then pinned where my side seams needed to be on the two long sides (I had to have a seam in the middle) and stitched them together (one towel perfectly fit the shorter width of my rectangular ottoman with a couple inches left over to stitch to the long side panels):


How to make a slipcover for an ottoman {The Creativity Exchange}



ottoman stitch


I did this all the way around pinning each side and stitching one side at a time and re-pinning to the ottoman just to make sure my measurements were precise. Once I attached all of my side panels, I pinned it back on to the ottoman to begin working on my top piece:


How to make a slipcover for an ottoman {The Creativity Exchange}


For my top panel, I cut the lines off of three tea towels and laid them to a top panel of black out drapery backing that I had measured and cut to fit on the top (I left an inch all the way around to stitch my side panels to the top).  The reason I used heavy duty black out fabric is that I wanted to hide the stitches/indentation on the top of the ottoman.  T he rubber like backing on the drapery backing would keep the slipcover from sliding off:


How to make a slipcover for an ottoman



I pinned through my top fabric, drapery backing down to the seam of the ottoman all the way around.  I then pinned the first side pane right at my pins and stitch one panel at a time just to 100% certain that the corners would line up:


How to make an ottoman slipcover {The Creativity Exchange}



I would pin and stitch one side at a time and then go back and pin and stitch the next side.  This ensured that I everything would fall in the right place.  I stopped short of stitching the corners because I wanted to hand sew them at the very end just to be extra careful:


How to make a slipcover for an ottoman {The Creativity Exchange}



Once I had everything done except the corners, I hand sewed a couple stitches on each corner so the corners would have a nice clean stitch.  I did not trust my limited sewing skills to running the corners through the sewing machine.  I also wanted to tighten up the top part of the slipcover so that we could open and close the ottoman to get to the storage:


How to make an ottoman slipcover {The Creativity Exchange}

How to make a slipcover for an ottoman {The Creativity Exchange}


I couldn’t be more thrilled with how this pitiful project fail turned into such a beautiful slipcover with a fabric that I just love! I love it far more than the white modern look and it was really easy and quick to do since I used the tea towels. Because my ottoman is so large and is a rectangle, I had to use 9 tea towels. If you have a smaller square ottoman, it would only take 6!

So what do you think?  Do you have an ottoman that could use a pretty new slipcover? I’m pretty excited because this fabric is extra durable and of course washable.  Finally, something really checked off my list.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), stay tuned for more project fail fun (smiling as I grit my teeth).



Home Stories AtoZ {Tutorials & Tips Party}
Somewhat Simple {Thanksgiving Link Party}
Skip to My Lou {Made by you Mondays}
Savvy Southern Style {Wow Us Wednesdays}
Shabby Nest {Frugal Friday}
Tatertots & Jello {Weekend Wrap Up Party}
Under The Table Dreaming {Sunday Showcase}

TDC Before and After
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15 Responses to My Dish Towel Ottoman Slipcover? (Office/Craft Room Update)…

  1. I love it, what a fabulous idea and such gorgeous fabric too. Looks amazing. Hugs, Marty

  2. What a great solution! I cannot imagine how bummed you were when you saw those cracks! But, it really did turn out beautiful! Target to the rescue! 😉 Jesse @ Scout & Nimble

    • Cyndy says:

      Yes Jesse, it was a very sad moment.. LOL! Yep, I am a huge Target fan and I was also thinking how one of the gorgeous Threshold shower curtains would be a great fabric too! Think of the awesome durability.

      Thanks so much for stopping by Jesse!

  3. Kimberly says:

    Hi Cyndy, the ottoman slipcover turned out beautifully! Those tea towels are gorgeous. I like that you sewed the top to a base of blackout curtain and that the coated back will keep the cover from sliding around, that’s a really smart thing to do.

    I’m wondering, for an alternative look for the ottoman, if you couldn’t paint a second (and possibly even a third?) coat of the vinyl spray paint over it again? Years ago, my sister restored the convertible top to her Alfa Romeo using a dye product that didn’t go on so well at first and required more than 1 coat, which is why I bring this idea up. I’ve never used this type of paint, so I have no idea if the directions say “use only 1 coat,” but perhaps it needs more coats for coverage and to compensate for the cracking/add flexibility? It looked gorgeous in the white leather look, and it might be a nice way to change up the look from slip cover to the white leather from time to time? Just a thought!

    • Cyndy says:

      Ahhh.. the voice of reason! Thank you Kimberly and you are so right! I should do a little more research to see why it cracked and if it just needed additional coats. It would be so nice to have the white as an alternative.

      I think I’ll email Dupli-Color to see what they say. Thank you so much for the great suggestion!

      • Kimberly says:

        Hi Cyndy! You know, the more I look at that slipcover, the more I love it! It’s so classic and you got a really precise fit with it. Lovely! (“How do I love thee, ottoman slip cover, let me count the ways …”) That said, the white leather would be really a gorgeous alternate look. It’d be hard to choose between either of them!

        I looked at the Dupli-Color site for the product you used on the ottoman. The product (as I thought) has additives in it that promote flexibility of the finish to prevent cracking. It’s fascinating stuff, and I actually watched a video where the guy demonstrating the product mentioned the method he used to prepare the item he was painting. He used an adhesion promoter, even though the paint already has an adhesion promoter in it, because he was working on an interior car panel and expected it to expand and contract with the heat/cold. Your problem doesn’t appear to be with adhesion? He used more than one coat, and went in different directions with the spray (vertical, horizontal, and even on an angle) with a light first coat and slightly heavier subsequent coats. Really a very interesting product and method of application, and I’m going to go ahead and say, yes, a couple more coats ought to help you out here, but do contact the manufacturer and see what they have to say. I’d be interested to hear what tip for application and remedies to fix the cracking they might offer you. Good luck!

  4. Ruth James says:

    So nice and so much time involved. How come it hadn’t been ironed before the photo?

    • Cyndy says:

      Thanks Ruth! It was ironed for my final shots. Those creases are impossible to get out until they are washed. I should have taken it to the cleaners for pressing but then again, its a casual slipcover. Have a great weekend Ruth!

  5. Laura Strack says:

    Wow, Cyndy, this really turned out to be the better idea. How lucky and happy you were when you held the towel up to the ottoman to see if it would be long enough. It was a perfect length. Amazing. The towels appear to have been made for this ottoman. Love that you can wash the cover and/or change it out when you grow tired of it, as well. Happy Fail! Looking forward to seeing the rest of the room.

  6. Shelley says:

    I’ve been wondering what to do with the stained ottoman in our den. Now I know! And the hunt for the perfect dish towels begins… Thanks!

    • Cyndy says:

      Threshold also makes some really pretty (and thick) table runners too. I kept thinking that this project would be even easier with a few table runners. Good luck Shelley and you will not believe how easy it is to make one!

  7. Your ottoman looks great! You did a fantastic job! =)
    sounds easy and inexpensive!
    Im pinning to save right away.

  8. suburbsmama says:

    Your slipcovered ottoman turned out amazing! If you get a chance, please link up to my Linky Party:

  9. this is terrific. Sorry about the cracking but I love the tea towel cover! xo

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