Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!
Mom to Otto born April 2018 and Lucy born August 2020!

DIY leather ottoman makeover & tutorial

I've done a few leather projects before, but I'm sometimes a little intimidated and it feels like a big commitment to do a project with a big piece of leather! I've been really loving medium tan slightly distressed leather lately, though, particularly for smaller accent pieces like ottomans. Leather Hide Store has tons and tons of leather pieces and colors and sent me some gorgeous tan leather for this project!

The color I got has a very slightly weathered, vintage-ey look which was perfect for what I wanted. If you want to work with leather, definitely visit Leather Hide Store - they have all kinds of textures and colors, plus remnants, closeouts, and a leather-buying guide.

See the project & tutorial after the jump!

DIY leather ottoman tutorial

You will need:


1. Remove the black fabric dust cover liner by pulling out all the staples. You may have multiple layers of staples to remove from the top fabric as well.

2. Take apart the fabric/top elements of the rest of the stool. Mine was very well-made (it even had a down feather layer in the insert) so this was quite a process! I was able to leave the webbing on the underside intact and reuse the padded insert.

3. Position the ottoman on the later and test how much leather you'll need on each side using the fold-and-hold method and a measuring tape. Line it up straight on one side.

4. Staple the side you've just lined up. Use the tension from that side as you line up and measure the opposite side.

5. Cut the approximate edge on the opposite side and short ends.

6. Staple the other edges, pulling tight as you go and leaving the corners for last.

At the corners, trim at the edges of each leg and tuck the excess leather under (ideally about 1" of excess). Based on the size and angle of my footstool, I did a sort of reverse hospital corner with one large diagonal tuck on each side of the corner.

Repeat on all corners.

7. Position the black dust cover liner and staple back into place (or replace with a new one).

All done!

What a difference!
I thought about sanding down and staining the legs, but I didn't know what color I'd want and they were in pretty good shape. Changing the stain on a footstool would change the look even more!

The before/after...

And here it is fitting in perfectly in our living room! (Ppst--the "home body" pillow DIY is here and the twill slipper chair slipcovers are here!)

I think the color looks so good in our grey and white living room! It totally pops but looks natural and works with all the neutrals. (It also matches the cat.)

Thanks to Leather Hide Store for providing me this gorgeous leather for this project! Check out their Reupholstery Guide for "Printable Guides" and "Leather & Fabric Calculator" or any of the six furniture sections. Great resources for calculating how much leather you need and more!

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