You ready to learn how to make one of these bad boys?

I’ve come to love ottomans lately. I’m in love with tufting. You can do this to a lot of different projects. You can use it when upholstering a sofa or chair, or use it to upholster a headboard. It’s a great trick and it makes your project look professional.

How to cover buttons with fabric:
First, you need to get fabric buttons. These can be bought at your local fabric store. I got them at JoAnn’s. It is REALLY easy to cover them. Simply follow the directions. I got the ones that snaped together. So, all I had to do was cut a circle of the fabric, catch the fabric on the little metal “teeth” on the underside of the button, and then SNAP the back of the button on to create a nice, smooth fabric covered button.
Heck, this concept could be used for lots of things. You could recover buttons for a jacket to add some sass, or even to make a cute buttoned bow for your little girl.

Now that you know how to make fabric buttons, now we’ll move onto the ottoman.

How to make a tufted ottoman:
First, you need to acquire an ottoman. I found this one at D.I. (Utah’s version of Goodwill) for $25.00. I then took off the nasty leather upholstery and took the ottoman apart.
When I took the ottoman apart, I was thrilled to see that there were already holes cut in the wood. This is where the tufts will be pulled through the foam.
Out with the old.
Now I have a clean slate to begin the beautification process. This is where it gets fun!
I chose a stain resistant turquoise fabric. I got it at Calico Corner. I tried to find a turquoise leather-type fabric, but I didn’t have any luck. That’s why I decided on the stain resistant fabric. Since I have three small kiddos, I thought it might be worth a little bit extra to “protect” it.

Next you need to upholster the board. You need to use the same concept that was explained HERE and HERE on previous posts.
Here is my cute hubby helping me. :) AND…he’s holding the new electric stapler that he just got me. What a hunk.
Here is what it looked like when we got done with the upholstering. I liked it smooth, but I thought it needed a little somethin’ extra. :)

So, I went and bought upholstery needles. I got them at JoAnn’s. You need the long needles to thread your tufts through the foam.
Here we are starting the process. We would push a needle up through the foam to mark the spot, and then we would thread on the fabric button onto some STRONG thread and pull it tight. I know you can buy button tufting twine, but I was unable to find it. So, I got some upholstery thread and doubled it up twice to make sure it was nice and strong enough to be pulled tight.
Then when we got the thread as tight as we wanted the tufts to look, we did this to hold it in place with the staple gun.
Here you can see all of our tufts secured in place.

Here is a reminder of the end result! SHHHHH don’t look at the clutter in the background. :)

After your tufts are in place, you need to make sure to pull the fabric tight and may have to re-staple it underneath because you don’t want any loose parts.

Here are a few items that I’m in love with that I may try to make with my new “tufting” knowledge. This turquoise chair is on my “to find” list. I just need to find a classic chair to reupholster. :)

Love this couch too. :)

What a fun project! Have fun on your ottoman hunts. :)


  1. says

    You make that look so easy. I'm sure mine wouldn't turn out as great. Thanks for showing us how it's done.

    I also want to welcome you to SITS, it's a great place to make new friends.

  2. says

    Ok, the thing I love most about this blog is that I see you do something and think, oh I could totally do that. And I will take a picture of Marmot's hair (standing on end) when I tell him I want a staple gun for Christmas! lol

  3. says

    Wow!! I'm always in awe of talented ladies who can does these types of projects, and your instructions were great. Hmm, makes me want to keep an eye out the next time I see an old piece of furniture.

    (love your artwork above the fireplace as well!!)

    Stopping by from SiTS! Em

  4. alittlefrenchloven says

    Gosh you make that look so easy! I love tufting too, I have a beautiful blue chair I found on craigslist for next to nothing and a leather chair that is also tufted… I have an ottoman that I wouldn't mind doing a little something too. Thanks for showing us!

  5. says

    Great job, you made it look so easy. I have only tried tufting once, on my French antique settee. I didn't use the covered buttons, I tired to copy the original covering and tufting, which consisted of a heaving tread being pulled very tightly through the material.
    It turned out pretty well, but did take some time. You have a great blog. Stop by for a visit sometime.

  6. says

    I'm new to your blog and trying to find away to tuft the inside of an old trunk I bought. I was thinking those heavy duty tacks or staples. I'm also looking for something to do to the outside of it. It's not wood so painting is definitely an option. Do you know anything I could do to the rusty metal edges and corners? Here's my email

  7. Jenn Calling Home says

    Great projects; great site. I will be back. By the way, do you have any posts on creating your own bench cushions? I really like the Pier 1 fat and fluffy versions, but they're so pricey. Not sure how I could duplicate that with foam.

  8. says

    Ok, clearly I'm a little late to the party, but I am doing this same thing this weekend and my question is, how did you get it to stay on top? Or did the cusion just sit there? :) Would love some feedback on this one! It's my first upholstery tackle!

  9. Xavior says

    This is an excellent tutorial on how to make fabric buttons for ottomans. Thats for this.

    Xavior Reed
    From Furniture Ottoman

  10. says

    Thank you so much. I have an ottoman in my Family Rm that I've wanted to change to tufted, but never had the faintest idea on how to create this. Your instructions are simple, yet precise. I love it. ~~ Delia

  11. says

    a tip for tying off tufting :

    use a piece of cotton batting or another button on the underside.

    especially helpful for doing chairs and couches, where you can't always staple the thread to the frame.

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