Turning a Trashed Ottoman into a Treasured Ottoman

It is hard to believe the ugly castoff ottoman at the top of the picture is the very same pretty ottoman at the bottom. I pinky-swear it is. That pitiful creature at the top wasn't naked like that when I found it, but once I rescued it from the curb of a close-by street, the ugly fabric that was covering it had to go...right then. And then it sat in my basement for 1 1/2 years. 

I don't know why I neglected it for so long, but one day I finally had a vision: drop cloth cover, French graphic transfer, black trim, and pretty legs. It must have pretty legs. 

It all began with some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White. Unfortunately I couldn't remove the legs, so I had to work around them. As I am sure you know, no sanding is necessary with the chalk paint , but I did have to take a tack cloth to those dirty legs.


Once they were clean, on went the paint - 3 coats to cover, about 15 minutes between each coat.




Once dry, I rubbed some Annie Sloan dark wax on, wiped some of it off, then finished with clear wax.


So much better! Now it was time to get started on the fabric cover. I cut a painter's drop cloth I had (picked up at Lowes on the clearance shelf at some point) to fit over the ottoman, plus a few inches all the way around. It is always better to cut too big than too small. Once cut, I folded the fabric in half lengthwise, then in half widthwise in order to find the very middle. I then ironed the corner that was the very middle of the fabric in order to mark the spot.




Now I placed a cutting board under the fabric, between the fabric and the ironing board. This was to protect the ironing board cover from the Citra Solv that is about to come.


Searching on the Graphics Fairy site (I love her!), I found this free graphic that was exactly what I had in mind.

Because I was using the Citra Solv transfer method, I printed it off backwards on my (toner) printer on plain copy paper. This is what I love about this transfer method - regular printer (not inkjet), regular paper.



The only special item you need for transferring is the Citra Solv, which can be found at any healthly grocery store (Whole Foods, Earth Fare, etc...) in the cleaning section.

Using masking tape, I taped the graphic, upside down, in the middle of the fabric. This way it doesn't move when transferring.  I poured some Citra Solv in a small dish and painted it on the paper with a small sponge brush over the graphic.  Be careful and open a window or two.  This stuff is pretty stinky - kinda like oranges on steroids. 





While the Citra Solv was still wet, I took the side of a spoon and rubbed hard over the graphic, "pushing" the ink from the paper into the fabric.  

When I was satisfied that I had rubbed the entire graphic enough to transfer, I pulled the paper off of the fabric, then let it dry (about 15-20 minutes).  Even though the Citra Solv was oily feeling and looking, it did not leave a stain. Once dry, I ironed it to set the ink.




It looked great - a bit of an aged effect.  I then draped the fabric over the ottoman and centered it.



Carefully holding the fabric in place, I flipped the ottoman over on its back and put a staple in the middle of each of the four sides to anchor the fabric. 

I flipped the ottoman back over before putting in any more staples to make sure it had not shifted out of place.  Once I saw it was good, I flipped it back over and began to staple the rest of the sides, leaving the corners around the legs open for now and cutting off extra fabric after stapling.

The corners were the tricky part since I had been unable to take the legs off for recovering.  I turned the ottoman back upright and flared the fabric out right at the corner. I folded the fabric under in order to hid the raw edges, then I then put two staples in the fabric over the corner to hold it in place.  Next, I pulled the flared fabric on the short side of the ottoman toward the long side and stapled it in place.  I cut any extra fabric out as I went in order to cut down on the bulk.

I then took the second flare (from the long side of the ottoman), folded it over the stapled flare, and stapled it in place.  I flipped it back over and finished stapling the fabric in place at the corners.


The last step, once all four corners were finished, was to hot glue black trim around the lower sides of the ottoman to cover the staples and to add some interest to the sides.



Now it seemed finished until I looked at the underside, which was still wide-open. I had some black netting leftover from another project, which I folded in half and stapled to the underside.

Kinda looks like a turtle on its back, doesn't it?

Done.  The total cost of this ottoman recover was less than $5! Hard to beat.



I think it is smiling:)

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