When you’re starting out as an upholstery beginner, it’s really important to choose a project that won’t be overwhelming. What you’re looking for is something that will allow you to achieve a decent result while developing your skills. For this reason, something like a Lloyd Loom Ottoman is a great piece to begin with. I’ll take you through the process step-by-step…
The Lloyd Loom Ottoman is a popular little piece of furniture. They come in all shapes and sizes and their multi-purpose design means you can use them as a laundry basket, for storing toys or as a handy little spot to perch. Consisting of a wicker frame and a padded, fabric top, you can usually find pre-loved ones on eBay or at a charity shop and it’s a brilliantly simple piece to transform.
Follow these steps to totally transform your Lloyd Loom Ottoman…
What you need:
- Spray paint
- Fabric-check fabric composition for fire retardant rules
- Foam (we used 1” foam)
- Spray adhesive
- Polyester + padding
- Staple or tack remover
- Pincers or small pliers
- Staple gun + staples
- Stanley knife
- Sharp fabric scissors
- Glue gun and glue sticks
- Upholstery studs or braid
- Sewing machine (if making double piping to finish)
Sample and choose your fabric. Plain fabric is by far the easiest option for a beginner as you don’t have to worry about pattern placement. Make sure it’s upholstery grade fabric but not too thick, otherwise neat corners will be a problem. Ensure you have plenty to cover the top in its entirety, plus excess left over for the trim or double piping if you’re handy with a sewing machine. If you’ve chosen a print, make sure you have enough fabric to get the best placement of your pattern. Also, make sure you have enough to do double piping if this is the finish you want, but a more simple braid or ribbon can look just as effective.
At this stage, you’ll also want to sample and choose a paint colour to complement your fabric. Spray paint works brilliantly on this particular item due to the interwoven wicker. Using a brush or roller on this would cause lots of excess paint and subsequent drip marks.
Remove the screws from the hinges and take off the lid. Strip the old fabric and fillings from the lid using either a tack or staple remover. Keep the old fabric as a template.
Lightly sand all surfaces and then spray on your first coat of paint. Start with the lid then move onto the inside of the ottoman as this is the trickiest place to get the coverage right. Move onto the outside and leave to dry. Make sure you cover any labels, especially the Lloyd Loom label. When the paint is dry, apply a second coat of paint to the lid first, then move onto the inside of the ottoman again. Leave to dry.
Decide what padding you want. Here, we used 1” foam. When the paint is dry on your lid, cut the padding using the lid as your template. Apply a layer of spray glue on the top of the lid and the underside of your padding. Leave for a few seconds to get tacky and attach the padding to the lid.
Using the lid as a template again, cut your polyester to go on top. It will have lots of stretch, so don’t cut it bigger than the lid. Apply a layer of spray glue onto the top of your padding and the underside of the polyester. Leave for a few seconds and place polyester on top of the padding. Pull the polyester to give a bit of tension so it covers the sides of the lid and add some staples in the side to secure. Make sure the padding has nice, neat rounded edges, then cut away any excess. The polyester should end a couple of millimetres from the very edge.
“The Lloyd Loom Ottoman is a popular little piece of furniture. Its multi-purpose design means you can use it as a laundry basket, for storing toys or as a handy little spot to perch.”
At this stage, apply a second coat of spray paint to the inside, then turn the ottoman upside down and apply a second coat of spray paint to the outside and bottom. Leave to dry.
If using a patterned fabric, now decide on your pattern placement and cut the fabric. If you’re using a velvet fabric, ensure the pile is running from back to front. Measure the centre of the edges of your lid and make little marks on the edges to help you line up your fabric. Next, lay your fabric over the top making sure you have aligned with your marks.
Secure the top middle with a couple of temporary staples. Get some tension on the fabric as you pull the bottom and secure with a couple of temporary staples, then do the same on the sides. Check your pattern placement and make sure it hasn’t moved. If you’re still happy with the placement, remove the top temporary staples, add some more tension on the fabric and secure properly with staples. Place your staples a few millimetres from the bottom edge working from the centre, left and right. Don’t go all the way to the corners.
Remove the temporary staples from the bottom, add some tension to the fabric and repeat the same process as the top. Then do the same on the sides.
Go back to the corners and make sure you can get a nice tight finish. Cut away any excess fabric from the middle of your pleats with scissors to ensure it’s as flush as possible and secure with staples. Cut away any excess fabric on the edges, making sure the fabric does not overlap the edge. It should end just before.
STEP NINE (OPTIONAL)
As a nice finishing touch, you could choose to upholster the inside of your ottoman too. The fabric was so beautiful on this project that we decided it should go on the inside of the lid as well. Repeat the process of deciding on pattern placement and cut your fabric. Secure with staples. Make sure the staples are as close to the inside edge as possible. Use a Stanley knife to remove the excess.
Measure your piping, making it slightly longer than you need, and cut two identical pieces for double piping. Cut your fabric the same length as your piping and 2” thick for double piping, then sew it.
If you don’t have a sewing machine or don’t know how to make double piping, you can finish the edge with decorative upholstery studs or braids. You will need a glue gun for the braid.
Heat up the glue gun and attach the piping, ensuring you can’t see any raw edges of fabric or staples. Finally, inspect the ottoman thoroughly and apply more spray paint where needed. Leave to dry, reattach the lid (adding new hinges, if needed) and stand back to admire your work!
If you need help with a simple or perhaps more sophisticated upholstery project, drop me a line for an initial, no-obligation quote by filling in the online contact form. Alternatively, you can email me directly at email@example.com or call me on 07764 182 783.