Tired of looking at that store bought ottoman or footstool? Go from drab to glam when combining decorative stitches, decorative thread, yarn, the cording foot, circular stitch attachment and custom piping using the zipper foot. The final piece to the transformation, adding a little paint and gold leaf to the base. If glitz and glam isn’t your style, simply paint the base your signature color.



  • Baby Lock Sewing Machine – Baby Lock Vesta was used for this project
  • Ottoman or Footstool – our ottoman was a wood base and legs
  • Monograming Foot “N”
  • Zipper Foot “I”
  • Standard Presser Foot “J”
  • Circular Stitch Attachment – BL-CSA & 3-Hole Cording Foot
  • Thread for construction – either polyester or cotton – 40-50wt.
  • Decorative thread for embellishment – 40wt polyester or rayon embroidery thread or a 28/30wt cotton thread for a matte look
  • DMC Pearl Cotton 3 L – 30yds
  • Planet Earth Merino Wool Fiber – 60yds
  • Sz. 80 Universal Needle
  • Sz. 90 Topstitch Needle
  • Glass Head Quilting Pins
  • Binder Clips – Medium size
  • Thread Snips
  • Dressmaker Shears
  • Paper Scissors
  • Seam Ripper
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Mat
  • 6” x 24” ruler
  • Pattern tracing paper - “Swedish Tracing Paper”
  • Tapestry needle
  • Iron
  • Upholstery staple remover and pliers
  • Upholstery Staple gun & ½” staples
  • Any other tools that may be needed to remove the existing upholstery on the ottoman or the base(legs) from the ottoman top.
  • 1/8” Cable Cording - yardage will depend on the size of the ottoman -we used 4 yds of cable cording for custom piping on the top and bottom of the ottoman
  • 1 ¼” – 1 ½” upholstery fabric for ottoman – a polyester velvet fabric was used for this project. Fabric should measure 54” – 58” wide and yardage will vary depending on ottoman size.
  • 3 yds Easy Knit™ Fuse (EK 130) by Pellon USA or similar type of stabilizer. This will be used to back the top and side piece of the main fabric for the ottoman.
  • ¾” yd Fusible Fleece (987F) by Pellon USA or similar type of fusible fleece. This will be used for the top of the ottoman cover.
  • BLT104 – Tear Away Soft Stabilizer by Baby Lock
  • Additional items used for this ottoman: Gold metallic paint for the base(legs), gold leaf metal sheets, adhesive, and sealer.



  1. Remove the fabric covering on the ottoman making sure to keep the cover intact. Using a seam ripper separate the top and side pieces from one another. Each piece will be used as a template later in this project. Set these pieces aside.
  2. Measure the height and width of the ottoman top and side. The ottoman for this project measured 18” x 18”. Yes, it’s a circle, but when creating the top piece, you will start with a square and then cut the top based on the template. For the ottoman side measure the depth of the ottoman side and then around. Our measurement was 5” x 58”.
  3. From the main fabric cut a square for the ottoman top. In our sample this was 21” x 21”. Repeat for the ottoman side. In our sample this was 8” x 62”. Each of these pieces is cut larger to account for any shrinkage that may happen when creating each piece.
  4. Using the same measurements in step 3 cut a piece of fusible knit stabilizer for the side piece. Set the ottoman top piece aside.
  5. Before securing the fusible knit to the main fabric test the heat setting on the main fabric for the ottoman.
  6. Fuse the knit fuse to the wrong side of the side piece. If necessary, use a press cloth on top of the stabilizer. When pressing we placed the fabric right side down, the stabilizer bumpy (rough) side facing the wrong side of the fabric and a press cloth on top of the stabilizer.
  7. The side piece is now prepped and ready for marking.
  8. Since our ottoman had a depth of 5” we want to make sure that the decorative stitching is placed in the correct position on the side piece. From the top and bottom fabric edges measure in 1 ½” and mark a line the length of the fabric strip. This measurement includes, a ½” seam allowance and additional fabric for fitting this fabric piece to the ottoman side. Measure in ½” on each end and mark.
  9. Find the center between the top and bottom marked lines. This would be 2 ½” for our ottoman. Mark a line the entire length of the fabric piece.

Decorative Stitches & Circular Stitch Attachment: By adding decorative stitches, you will create a unique look to your ottoman cover. In our sample we used the Circle Stitch Attachment, decorative threads, and yarns to create our one-of-a-kind look. Here is how we did this.

  1. First step, audition the fabric with various decorative threads and yarns to determine what looks best.
  2. Once the thread type and color is selected wind a bobbin with either a poly sewing or 50wt. cotton thread that matches the decorative thread. Insert a size 90 Topstitch needle. Thread the needle with the decorative thread and place the bobbin in the bobbin case. For our sample we used a rayon embroidery thread, however a polyester embroidery thread will also work. Attach the “N” or Monogramming foot.
  3. Select the Triple Straight Stretch Stitch, stitch number 1-05 on the Baby Lock Vesta. The stitch number will change depending on the machine model. Make the following changes to the stitch, L/R Shift (needle position) 3.5 and SL(stitch length) 4.5. After making the adjustments to the stitch, test on a scrap of fabric (same as project fabric). Adjust stitch length if desired.
  4. Attach the circular stitch attachment following the included instructions with the attachment.
  5. Cut BLT-104 – Tear Away Soft into 8” x 8” pieces. Start with five and cut additional pieces as needed.
  6. The first circle will be positioned 1/8” from the ½” marking in step 8 under Preparation. The circle size will be determined by the side depth of the ottoman. The side depth for the ottoman used for this sample is 5”. If the circle is placed at the top and bottom marking when stitched it will be very close to the seam and piping or possibly get stitched into the seam. For this reason the stitched circle size will be slightly smaller than the 5” depth.
  7. To ensure that the correct position on the attachment was selected we stitched out several positions to determine which setting would be used.
  8. On a 8” x 8” fabric piece (same fabric as project) mark the depth and center of the ottoman side measurement. For example 5” with a marked line at the top and bottom and then a marking 2 ½” from the top and bottom marking. Mark the center(vertical) of the 8” x 8” fabric piece. This is the final marking and will create at center point to place the pivot pin. You will need to prep at least three 8” x 8” fabric pieces.
  9. Let’s take a look at the attachment. The numbers that appear on the plate are in millimeters. This measurement is from the pin to edge or where the stitches will be. The settings that were tested for our sample were 60mm, 50mm and the marking between 60mm and 50mm. We ended up using the marking between 60mm and 50mm. To move the position of the guide use the handle and slide the indicator to the desired position. With the fabric in position on the attachment stitch the first circle size. Continue testing using the remaining settings. Each of these circles when stitched, will be positioned between the top and bottom markings.
  10. Position the pivot pin over the center point (where the center horizontal and vertical line meet) and insert the point into the fabric and through the stabilizer. Position pivot pin into setting position for the pivot pin on the attachment. This is the position with the red marking. When positioning the pivot pin in place push down on the pin to lock in place. There will be a small click. To release the pivot pin, push in and hold, the small silver tab in front of the pivot pin position and pull the pivot pin out.
  11. Once the desired circle size is selected make sure that this position is indicated on the circular stitch attachment. Mark the position for the first circle on side fabric. We choose to mark the wrong side of the fabric due to the fabric type, upholstery velvet. The pivot pin was placed in position first from the wrong side of the fabric. This created a small mark on the right side of the fabric. Next place pivot pin in position from the right side of the fabric with the 8” x 8” stabilizer being added after the pivot pin is in place. Place in position on the circular stitch attachment making sure that the pivot pin is locked in place.
  12. Adjust the foot presser to 2, this will help while stitching. If possible, use the Start/Stop button when stitching rather than the foot control. Lower the presser foot and start stitching. In our sample we always started stitching at the right-hand side of the circle. To ensure that we were in the correct position a pin was place along this line and removed after positioning the needle and presser foot. The selected stitch will move forward and backward while forming the stitch. While this movement is happening make sure to keep the fabric smooth/flat and following the movement of the fabric with the entire fabric piece. We found that the length of the side piece made it difficult to follow the rotation of the fabric piece. To help, the fabric strip was rolled and held in place with binder clips.
  13. Remove the stabilizer from behind the first circle. If using BLT104 warm the stabilizer with iron. This will soften the stabilizer and removing it will be easier. 14. When the first circle is finished, measure the circle from the center to the edge or stitches. This measurement will be used to place the remaining circles along the fabric piece. From the edge of the circle measure 1/8” away and mark this position. This marking is placed on the side of where the next circle will be added. The next step is to mark the center point for the next circle. Using the measurement from the first circle measure over from the 1/8” marking and mark this point. See photo in step 11.
  14. When the position for second circle is marked stitch this circle. Repeat steps 11-13 when adding each circle. Always make sure to roll the fabric piece. At times the fabric will be rolled on each side of the circle being stitch.

Couching with Decorative Stitches and the Circular Stitch Attachment:

  1. With the first layer of the circular pattern created the next layer will be added using the same circular pattern but adding depth with decorative yarn. In our sample we used a cotton yarn, DMC 3 L Pearl Cotton which was purchased from a needlework shop. There are a wide variety of decorative threads/yarns that can be used for this portion of the project. When selecting threads look for a thread weight of 12 or heavier for impact.
  2. Thread the needle with a rayon or polyester embroidery thread. These two thread types will add a shine to the circle. If a matte look is what you are going for a cotton thread, 28 or 30wt. is ideal. In this case you may want to use a Topstitch needle, either 80 or 90. The size will depend on the weight of the fabric you will be stitching on. Place a poly or cotton thread in the bobbin that either matches or is close to the needle thread color.
  3. The same circle size stitched in the base layer will be used for additional circles that will be added to the top. This circle will sit between two circles on the side strip(piece). 4. Find the center (both vertically & horizontally) of each circle that has been stitched and mark this position on the wrong side of the fabric. Find and mark the center between these two points and mark. This will be the position for the pivot pin. Place the pivot pin in position on the fabric and the setting position on the circular stitch attachment and do a test run to determine if the circle falls where it should.
  4. Select the following stitch, 2-09 on the Baby Lock Vesta. Adjust the stitch width to 7.0mm and the stitch length to 2.5-3.0mm. The stitch needs to be wide to cover the decorative yarn, however the stitch length can be adjusted between 2.5 & 3.0mm depending on the desired look. Keep in mind as the stitch length is adjusted to a longer setting less of the yarn will be caught by the stitch. The goal is to catch the decorative yarn to create texture. If the stitch length is short to much of the yarn is caught and all that is seen is the decorative stitch. It is about the perfect balance between the decorative stitch and yarn.
  5. With the stitch selected, the machine threaded the next step is to load the decorative yarn in the guides of the 3-hole cording foot. Cut three 18” lengths of decorative yarn and grouping the lengths together tie a knot at one end. Slide the decorative yarn into each of the grooves on the presser foot.
  6. Place the presser foot on the machine. With the fabric right side up, a piece of 8” x 8” stabilizer under the fabric strip, the pivot pin in position in the fabric and the setting position. Position the presser foot to start on the side of the circle. Pull the knot behind the presser foot and lower the presser foot. Start stitching keeping the decorative yarn straight and the fabric strip flat while stitching. We found that is best to position one hand on the fabric in front of the presser foot and the other to the right and behind the presser foot. If the fabric starts to form a hill, stop, and raise the presser foot to adjust the fabric. To complete the circle stitch up to the starting point, stop and lock the stitch. Trim both the needle and bobbin thread, raise the presser foot and remove the fabric from under the foot and the decorative yarn from the presser foot. Do not trim the decorative yarn. When all circles have been stitched pull the thread tails to the back using a tapestry needle and tie the threads together and secure with a knot. Trim thread tail to the knot.
  7. At each end of the side piece(strip) for our ottoman there was a single base circle. To prep the decorative strip for next step, make sure that all the stabilizer has been removed, the decorative thread tails have been pulled to the back and tied to secure and the front and back have been lightly pressed. Trim the top and bottom of the fabric strip ½” from the marked line on the top and bottom of the circles. Set this piece aside for now. Before stitching the seam that joins the to ends together the top of the ottoman will need to be created and cut out.

Ottoman Top:

  1. Fuse the fusible fleece to the wrong side of the 21” x 21” fabric piece.
  2. On the right side of the fabric, using a chalk marker or water-soluble marker, draw a “X” on the fabric piece. This will be a line from the top left corner to the bottom right corner and the top right corner to the bottom left corner.
  3. To create the grid pattern on the ottoman top additional marked lines will be added in both directions. The distance between each marked line is 2 ½”. When marking the fabric use a chalk marker or water-soluble marker. These markings will be hidden(covered) by the decorative stitch and yarn.
  4. Select stitch number 3-19 on the Baby Lock Vesta. Adjust the stitch width to 7.0mm and the stitch length to 5.0mm. Thread the needle with embroidery thread, rayon, or polyester. For a matte look used a 28 or 30wt cotton thread. For the bobbin use a matching thread color, or as close as possible of a 50wt cotton thread.
  5. When stitching the best approach is to start in one corner and move the to opposite corner. Prep yarn by cutting three equal lengths from the first skein. Which for the yarn, Planet Earth Woold, that we used was a total of 30yds. Tie a knot to hold the three lengths together.
  6. Slide the yarn into the guides/grooves in the 3-hole Cording Guide.
  7. Place the ottoman top under the presser foot aligning the first marked line, a corner line is best. When stitching, align the center groove/yarn with the marking on the fabric. Stitch from end of the marked line to the opposite and trim yarn ½” from fabric edge.
  8. Continue stitch yarn to fabric with decorative stitch in one direction. When completed with the first direction stitch yarn to the remaining direction.
  9. When stitching is completed press ottoman top from the back and front.
  10. From the original ottoman top create a pattern using tracing paper or a non-woven interfacing. Trace the original ottoman top. Add a ½” seam allowance to pattern piece. To ensure that the pattern piece is the correct size place either the pattern or a muslin piece cut from the pattern piece on the ottoman top. Find the center point in the pattern piece and top piece, 21” x 21” for our sample. Align the two centers and secure the pattern piece to the fabric with either pins or pattern weights. Cut out the ottoman top.

Creating Custom Piping:

  1. Cut a 1 ½” x width of fabric strip for the piping. Depending on the length needed and the width of the fabric being used two or more strips may be needed to make piping for both the top and bottom of the ottoman. Join strips together (short ends) using a ½” seam allowance to create one continuous strip. Press the seam open.
  2. Thread needle and bobbin with construction thread. Select a straight stitch and adjust the stitch length to 3.0mm.
  3. Attach the standard zipper foot using the pin on the left side of the foot. With the fabric strip wrong side up place the 1/8” cording on top and wrap the cording by aligning the fabric edges. Position the cording against the fold in the fabric and under the presser foot with the cording on the left and seam allowance on the right. The final step is to position the cording under the groove on the presser foot. This will place the needle to the right of the cording. If needed move the needle closer to the cording. Stitch the entire length of fabric strip.
  4. With piping completed it is time to attach to the ottoman top. Starting at the center side point on the ottoman top align the edges of the piping and ottoman top. Start about 2” in on the piping strip and clip the strip to the ottoman top. Continue the alignment and clipping the two pieces together.
  5. Starting at one end (about 2” in from the end of the piping strip) stitch the piping to the ottoman top. Adjust the needle closer to the piping in this step. Stop stitching about 2” from the beginning of the piping.
  6. The final step is to join the two pieces of piping together. Cut a 1 ½” x 5” piece from the main fabric. Mark the lengthwise center on the wrong side of this fabric piece. Fold the fabric edges in to meet the center and press.
  7. Position this piece, wrong side up, under one end of the piping and up to where the stitching ended. Place the piping end on top of this tab and stitch to the center of the tab. Cut the piping at this point. Place the other end of the piping in place along the fabric edge and up to the piping that was just stitched in place. Trim the piping to this point and stitch in place. Bring the tab over the piping. Align the side edges and stitch across this piece to encase the piping. When stitching is complete trim tab ends to fabric edge. The photos below are a step by step visual to finish the piping.
    • A – stitching the piping in place end with 2” between the two points. • B – placing the tab under the first piping piece and stitching to the center point of the tab. • C – piping trimmed at center point of tab for remaining end. • D – piping trimmed at center point of tab and stitching in place on the tab. • E – bringing the tab over the piping and stitching. • F – finished look with tab end trimmed to fabric edge.

Attaching the Ottoman Side Piece to the Top Piece:

  1. Find the center of the side piece and mark with a pin. Mark the center points (four) of the ottoman top. Align the center of the side piece with one of these points and using binder clips align the side piece with the ottoman top. This step is used to see if the side strip will need to be trimmed. Only a ½” seam allowance is needed. Mark where the two side ends meet. Remove binder clips. Add the ½” seam allowance to the markings and trim the ends if needed.
  2. Seam the side piece using a ½” seam allowance. Press the seam open. The final decorative yarn circle will be added to the remaining base circles and over the seam allowance. Stitch out the decorative yarn circle.
  3. Placing the ottoman top and side right sides together align the fabric edges and clip the two pieces together.
  4. Attach the zipper foot, thread both the needle and bobbin with construction thread, select the straight stitch and adjust the stitch length to 3.0. Place the ottoman top under the presser foot with the piping under the groove of the foot. Align the needle position with the stitching on the ottoman top. Use the previous stitching as the guide to stitch the side and top together. Stitch the two pieces together.
  5. Press the seam on both sides to set and press seam toward the side. Turn right side out.
  6. Position ottoman cover over ottoman base. If you find that the ottoman cover looks or feels a little loose, consider adding a layer of batting to the top of the ottoman. This will help add height to the ottoman. Simply use the paper pattern to cut this piece out.
  7. With ottoman cover over ottoman pull the bottom edge to the underside of the ottoman and secure in place with a staple gun.
  8. Attach the remaining piping along the bottom using a glue gun with glue sticks that are designed for fabric. To join the piping ends, use the same tab technique that was used in creating custom piping. Instead of stitching use the glue gun to secure the tab and piping in place.
  9. Finish ottoman base in desired manner. For our sample we painted the base a metallic gold after prepping the base. The final finish was to add the gold leaf sheets.
  10. Secure the ottoman top to the base and find the perfect place in your home to showcase your latest addition to your home décor!

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