Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Once upon a time, there was a man called Mr. Ottoman, and he sold his custom built ottomans on Ebay. Five years ago I found him and purchased a monster big one, complete with butter-colored faux suede upholstery.
(Living room in the Maryland House)

It was the perfect size because this was my first house and I had no money and no furniture. Mr. Ottoman sold his stuff at bargain prices, so I could afford it and it filled up a lot of space. I LOVED it. (That loveseat was a neighbor's castoff, which I made a slipcover for out of canvas. I also made those drapes and got the painting on Ebay for $40.)
But I also only had ONE toddler at the time that I bought this.
After only a year or two, this ottoman was hopelessly stained, and no cleaner would fix it. I tried.
Then I had a third baby. Things went downhill even further for this ottoman.
(Family room in the Texas house)

The ottoman came to Texas with us, and I sewed this slipcover for it next. At this point we had a little more money so I bought some furniture. Although this looks nice in the photo, in reality this slipcover was terrible because it slid all over the place and wouldn't stay on straight. It was not fitted, so it was a sloppy mess when anyone touched it. Which was every.single.minute.
Finally it made the move with us to South Carolina, where I gave up on the slipcover and hid it underneath an afghan.

(At this point I'm so sick of the stained rug and the orange-red chairs that they will be leaving soon. Even if I have to sit on empty crates instead.)

And it came about, that I actually SNIFFED the ottoman.

Oh my.

Now there were only 2 options here. I could throw the ottoman away. Or I could try to save it. It was too large for my new (tiny) living room, so the only way to save it was to make it smaller and rip off all the stinky suede.
It turned out that the BATTING was smelly like the suede. So I took it off, stuffed it in a pillowcase, and washed it in the washing machine. The foam underneath was fine.

Here we investigate how to make it smaller. Looks like I will chop it in half and reassemble it, since those end pieces have the special metal sockets for the legs to screw into...
I dragged it out to the garage and cut it with a circular saw. Once it was in 2 pieces, I had to pry one end apart .


(Here is where I had a little accident and ended up with half of my knuckles bleeding profusely. I am starting to think that I might be a little accident prone.)
Then I glued and screwed it back together in a 30" square.


(This is before I fit everything together neatly and glued/screwed it -- but you get the idea?)
The best tool to use for cutting this thick upholstery foam is a serrated bread knife. Worked like a charm. Then I stapled it back on, and getting ready to put the batting back on:

(Excuse terrible pic, I had to use the flash and it's nighttime!)

So....the ottoman is clean, smells nice (I even sprayed the foam with Fabreze for good measure), it is small enough for the room, and it just needs a slipcover.

Here is where it all falls apart. I've got this lovely fabric in the closet I could use:

Or i could just use plain white canvas. (If I do that I will have to wash this thing every freaking weekend.)
I have a blue and white striped rug in the garage that I'm going to give a test drive in here, and there's new paint coming, and I'm getting rid of the orange chairs...

But I have no real direction. Any fabric suggestions are welcome. This weekend I have to get under the house and run cable for the TV, so I can put it on another wall. I am sure that I will end up bleeding from somewhere, hopefully it won't be my head (again).
Posted by Katy On 11:31 PM No comments

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For many years I was a mechanical engineer by day, a house renovator by night, and a single mom. I previously built a tiny house on Tybee Island that I sold in 2015. Then I lost my day job, met Prince Charming, and now work full time demolishing (fixing) his lake house. ;) Stop by for the house stuff, stay for the never-ending disasters, pianos falling out of the sky, floods, threats of financial ruin, & panic attacks. It's like house flipping meets the zombie apocalypse! with lots of kids!

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