How to Upholster an Ottoman in Faux Leather

Today I'm sharing how easy it is to upholster a round ottoman in faux leather fabric! This inexpensive project does require some minimal sewing skills.
brown faux leather fabric

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Hello hello! Today I'm sharing a project that I put off for way too long! Do you ever do that? 

I finally got around to recovering our round ottoman in faux leather and I'm excited to share this easy and budget-friendly project with you today!

I'm guessing that the reason this ottoman was at the thrift store several years ago was because the navy pleather had some sun damage. It was discolored. But I snatched it up because it was only $6 and structurally it was in great condition.

I quickly sewed a ruffled drop cloth slipcover for it, and that lasted a few years. Shortly after moving to Texas, I recovered the ottoman in black and white buffalo check fabric. You can click here to see how the ottoman looked both before and after I recovered it.

The buffalo check covered ottoman always got a lot of positive comments! You guys loved it! However, it was starting to show its age. And once I got this new blue rug for the living room, the fabric clashed.

And, let's be real. After 4 years, the top of the ottoman was getting really grungy! Lots of feet had left their mark and the fabric on top had gotten really dirty.

So it was time for another change for this little thrift store foot rest!

I went in search of a rich, brown leather and found this brown saddle faux leather fabric from Hobby Lobby. The color was just what I was looking for, and it feels incredibly buttery soft! And the price was right! The full supplies list is at the end of my post.

Just take a look at that faux leather grain! 

brown faux leather

I wish I had boots made from this material, it is so gorgeous! Or a handbag!

I bought a yard and a half to make sure I had enough.

Okay, here's the deal with sewing. I took Home Economics in 8th grade and learned how to sew. My mom had a sewing machine and together we made a few outfits for me. 

And when I got married, I bought my own sewing machine and made curtains for our first apartment, as well as teddy bears (my collection at that was the 90's!) 😉

So the fact is that I know how to sew. However, I don't like to. My neck always cramps because I guess I tense up when I'm sewing. And I'm not great around intricate seams and corners.

So that's why this beautiful faux leather fabric sat in its shopping bag in my office for months. Months! I was just dreading this project!

I finally decided it was time to tackle it and recover the ottoman already! I'm surprised and happy to let you know that it was really easy to do. In fact, I think I had the ottoman recovered start to finish in less than an hour! 

If you can sew a seam, you can totally do this too!

living room with brown leather ottoman

How to reupholster an ottoman

The first step is to measure the diameter of the ottoman as well as the height. 

Cut fabric, leaving about a 2" seam allowance around the diameter and about 6" extra for the length (so that the fabric can be tucked under the ottoman).

Wrap fabric snuggly around ottoman (right sides in) and pin in place.

pin sides

Slip the fabric off the ottoman and sew that seam you just pinned. 

Now slide the faux leather back onto the ottoman.

Cut out a circle of fabric for the top, again leaving about 2" for a seam allowance. This gives a little more wiggle room (for those of use who are more inexperienced). You could also cut a square piece, which is what I did as it's easier. 

Lay the square of fabric on top of the ottoman and pin to the piece you already sewed. Once it's pinned nice and snuggly all the way around, trim the edges. Again, leave about 1/2-1" seam allowance. Using the pins as a guide, sew the top of the ottoman to the side piece.

Sorry I don't have a picture of this step, I was concentrating hard and just forgot!

Turn the fabric right side out and slip it over the ottoman. It should fit nice and snug.

Total aside: I think the thought of sewing piping for this ottoman is what kept me from this project for so many months! I can do it, I just don't like to! So for this project, I just decided to leave it off entirely, even though the original navy fabric has piping.

The last step is to flip the faux leather-covered ottoman over and staple the fabric to the bottom. 

There was a piece of stained cardboard covering mine that I decided to remove. Someone had stuck lots of those felt pads to the bottom, but there were also 4 round plastic furniture tacks that I carefully removed so I could reuse them.

old cover and bottom

I had some leftover houndstooth fabric from when I reupholstered my dining room chairs. I stapled the excess faux leather fabric over the top of the houndstooth.

staple fabric to bottom

It finishes the bottom off nicely, even though no one really looks at the bottom. Just a nice little detail. 

The last step was to hammer in those 4 plastic furniture tacks that I'd saved. They help to protect the fabric on the bottom of the ottoman, and help the ottoman to slide across the floor without any damage.

add plastic furniture tacks

And just like that, this project that I'd been dreading for so many long month was complete! 😍

Mr DIY even commented on how good the brown leather upholstered ottoman looks!

brown leather ottoman and pillow

I had just enough fabric left to sew a pillow cover!

brown faux leather pillow

Brown leather (or even faux leather) is such a classic! It's rich and warm and helps to add that feeling of cozy in our living room. It kinda feels like it belongs in a Robert Redford film 😉

I think every living room needs a little bit of leather (or faux leather!).

What do you think of my upholstered ottoman?

living room


Pin it to remember!

brown faux leather ottoman and pillow


bringing beauty to the ordinary, 


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