DIYdiy projectskate pruitt

diy project: kate’s ikea signe rug ottoman

by Grace Bonney

i am going to experiment with a new theme this year, which i might pull out every once in a while: all-in-one shopping trips!* the month of projects will be devoted to transforming/hacking objects from one store into brand new designs. i happened to live a stone’s throw from the hackable mothership that is IKEA, so it is my first stop. but stay tuned for months ahead that might feature thrift shops, the grocery store, the dollar store, and others. if you have any shop suggestions, feel free to let me know!

this first project reveals my obsession with ottomans. i could have a whole room of poufs, stools, and ottomans, but that wouldn’t be super functional would it? oh well. this ottoman is actually super functional; not only does it act as a seat or a table, but it acts as secret storage! i have chosen to store my extra blankets and large fabric samples in it, but you can choose to make yours a more permanent fixture by stuffing it with a few inexpensive duvets. these cheap rugs come in a huge variety of striped patterns, all of which lend themselves to coordination. there is no wrong combination in my opinion. have fun! –kate

* the title is a tiny bit misleading, because the projects will require some supplies (tools, paint, etc) that you either hopefully have on hand or might need to get from the hardware or craft store. but the heart of the design will stem from the object from the store.

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


1. 3 signe striped rugs (2 for the body and one for the top and bottom pieces)
2. heavy duty thread (for hand sewing) in off-white
3. strong needle (for hand sewing upholstery weight fabrics)
4. scissors
5. scrap paper
6. pins
7. ruler
8. compass (or a pencil attached to a string will do)
8. stuffing material (i used spare bedding and fabric samples, but you can purchase these cheap duvets from ikea as permanent stuffing)
9. TEMPLATE (download kate’s template right here!)


rugs: $9
needle and thread: $5
stuffing materials: $0 – $40


1 day (lots of hand sewing, but nothing too complicated – good movie project!)


1. take the two rugs for the body and cut the fringe off (or leave the fringe if you like the look of it!). the total length of the body piece needs to be 50″. cut the two rugs to 27″ length each (add 2″ because of the 1″ seam allowance at top and bottom), cutting parallel to the stripes.

2. pin them together with the top of the rugs facing inwards and with 1″ overlapping fabric. this will create a long strip that is 22.5″ wide by 52″ long.

3. determine the desired height of your ottoman (mine is 19″). add two inches for seam allowance and cut the width of your long strip to this measurement. if you chose 19″ height, you should now have a body piece that is 21″ by 51″.

4. thread your needle and double knot the end. sew these piece together down the center seam where you pinned, removing the pins as you go. you now have a sewn strip that is 21″ x 51″.

5. pin the other side of the rug together with a 1″ seam allowance to create a tube with a 50″ circumference.

6. tape your scrap paper together to create a piece that can accommodate an 18″ diameter circle. use your compass to measure an draw out a 18″ circle on the paper. cut this out.

7. pin the circle to the third rug in the very bottom corner of the rug right up against the fringe. cut out this circle. this is the top of the ottoman.

8. begin pinning the circle to the body “tube”, with the good side of the fabrics facing inward. fold over the 1″ seam allowance and pin the two together. as you work around the circle, make sure you are keeping all the seam allowances even, which will ensure the circle fits properly. you should have no bunching of extra fabric from the circle or from the body when you are done pinning. if you do, correct it and re-pin.

9. thread your needle and double-knot the end. begin anywhere on the circle and hand-stitch the two pieces together. be sure to sew clean, tight, regular stitches around the entire shape, removing the pins as you go.

10. now you have a sack with a 16″ circular base that is 20″ tall! you can flip it inside out and stuff it to see if you like the height you’ve chosen. if you’re happy, take the stuffing out and flip the sack inside out again.

11. cut your paper circle template exactly in half.

12. pin those pieces to the rest of your third rug as shown in the template. one half of the circle will be cut with an extra 2″ added to the bottom of it, so that the two pieces will overlap when you sew them on. cut out these two flaps.

13. starting with the half circle that has the extra 2″ at the bottom, pin this piece to the bottom of the tube, as you did for the top piece, allowing the 1″ seam allowance on both pieces and folding the seam allowance over. start it the top of the circles curve and pin down either side to the bottom edge, making sure everything lays flat. the semi circle should be pinned past the halfway point of the tube.

14. sew this flap down.

15. pin the second half circle piece to the tube on the other side of the bottom. start at the top of the circle curve like you did previously, and pin down the sides. this piece should overlap the other one at the end by about 2″. sew this down

16. cut any loose threads or fraying ends and flip the whole thing inside out. stuff it with whatever you desire, making sure to keep the stuffing even and packed tightly to create a firm cushion. don’t over stuff – this will cause the ottoman to poof up from the base and be wobbly. but don’t under stuff either – this causes the ottoman to sag. beat the ottoman to smooth out lumps and shape into desired form.


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