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French Stenciled Ottoman Slipcover

Updated: Jan 6, 2020

HELLO you lovely people! I'm so happy to share with you this completed sewing project for my screened in porch: a French Stenciled Ottoman Slipcover. If you have moderate sewing skills or just want to learn a new craft (recommend!) follow me through this step by step process.

slipcovered ottoman with farmsack look and French stencil
French Stenciled Ottoman Slipcover

I read several blogs that shared their source for wonderfully soft slipcover material; and that source is 100% cotton painters drop cloths. They are very affordable (mine was from Amazon for around $19 for a 9x12 size) and if you make a mistake it will be less tragic than using a linen or designer fabric for your first attempt. The drop cloths have an added benefit of having a seamed finish around the entire cloth - which eliminates having to sew a hemmed edge! Two benefits that save you TIME and MONEY by using drop cloths.

Here are the steps I took to create this slipcover, but first let me show you how it looked pre-slip.

Dirty, dingy and in need of a new garment. Poor neglected thing.

Let me walk you through how I created this French Stenciled Ottoman Slipcover. Overall, it was a simple process and for my first slipcover, I'm very happy with the results!

First, I soaked the drop cloth in bleach water for 6 hours in a wash tub. I used about 4 cups of bleach and filled with enough water to cover the cloth. Be sure to move the cloth around to get all areas bleached. Rinse and dry in the dryer. If you have a septic tank system it is best to use a tub outside to bleach your cloth, considering the amount of bleach used in this project.

how to use dropcloths for slipcovering
Soaking the dropcloths in bleach

Next, I ironed the cloth. It is so unbelievably soft and feels completely different than a packaged drop cloth, which is very stiff and scratchy. I wish you could feel it, just trust me on this. What a soft and cozy fabric it became! The perfect French Country look. No wonder they are a popular material for slipcovering. The French stencil is from Etsy

dropcloth and French stencil used for making slipcovers

Laying the dropcloth across the ottoman, I cut the fabric along the top portion, leaving a little over one inch of seam allowance past the entire top edge. The cloth stayed in place and I just carefully cut around the edges.

how to slipcover an ottoman

Jax, the Boxer, supervised the process.

Next was the addition of welting around the top, similar to the original welting on the ottoman. First I measured around the ottoman to determine the length of the cording necessary to make the welt. Then I cut 3" wide strips of fabric, on the bias, from the drop cloth to cover the cording. I sewed several strips together to make one, continuous strip. I used 5/16" cording from Walmart.

cording for making a welt in slipcovers

Using a narrow zipper foot, I sewed the completed welting to the top piece, sewing right sides together. I've trimmed the extra material to allow for a 1/2" seam allowance. This photo is more shadowy because it was past 10pm. You know how you get in a groove in your projects and get into it and suddenly it's close to midnight? Well, that was me. Also I would like to thank Starbucks and Kit Kat for the added caffeine to help stay the course!

sewing and making your own ottoman slipcover

The Fun Begins Here, People. Applying the Stenciling!

I purchased two colors of premium chalk acrylic paint from Michaels in Linen and Rich Brown to

1) make the grainsack stripe and 2) apply the French stencil.

I found the center of the slipcover top and taped a vertical stripe from top to bottom, avoiding the welting area. Using the Linen color, I painted between these stripes. After it dried, I made two smaller stripes and painted those, resulting in this.

Farmsack painting your slipcovers and making your own slipcovers

Taking the adorable French stencil, I securely taped it in place on top of the stripes and used the same Linen color, but added Rich Brown to have a contrast in color. Next photo is the ratio I used when blending the colors.

applying a stencil to fabric

Stencil taped into place and using the Rich Brown blend I applied the paint

layering and painting stencils onto fabric

and here's the result...

stenciled farmsack slipcover for ottoman

Keep in mind not to apply the paint too 'perfectly' since it is resembling an older, grain sack. I loved the results!

Adding a loosely ruffled skirt...what a darling transformation!

how to make your own slipcovers and dropcloths used for slipcovers

Thank you for reading 'til the end! This is my first try at slipcovering and if I can do it, I hope I've inspired you to do try as well. It really gives an old piece of upholstery a fresh face.

Cheers! Traci

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1 Comment

I love that.

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