Riley Blake Designs: Union Jack Fabric & DIY Ottoman Slip Cover

Pip-pip, y’all! It’s been donkey’s years since I last had a tutorial for you, so let’s not fanny about anymore. This is such a thrill for me – I was approached by Riley Blake Designs to take part in their Union Jack Blog Tour and today is the big day! I decided to spruce up my little living room with a burst of these great colors and, besides, my sad little ottoman needed a pick-me-up.


This little guy was a bit of an eyesore. I used to hide him in the corner when I knew company was coming over. Now, he’ll be front and center with this fun and easy slip cover. Do me a solid and don’t look to close, though, I was nervous about it not fitting so I ended up making it a little too big. That’s why the Union Jacks on the sides are a little lower than center, but no biggie – I’ll fix it later :-)


Here’s a quick tutorial on how to put together a simple slip cover for a square ottoman.

1. Measure Your Ottoman
Mine was perfectly square with each side measuring 16.5″ x 16.5″. Add a .5″ seam allowance to all sides. I overestimated the amount needed to turn the corners of the square ottoman by at least an inch per panel. Maybe scale that back to a quarter inch per panel.

2. Quilt Your Panels
For my cover, I really wanted to show off all the colors of the Union Jack Squares so I added a big border in a bright color, then squared up the panels by centering each Union Jack. I then added batting to each and did a quick stitch-in-the-ditch quilting. Once your five panels are made…

3. Hem & Stitch Side Panels to Top Panel
Go ahead and hem the bottom edges of the side panels; it’ll be easier to do it now before all the panels are sewn together and the whole thing becomes a little unwieldy. Be sure to keep your Union Jacks oriented so that they are right side up when you put your slip cover on. Also, when you stitch your seam, skip the first and last half inch. This will help when you in Step 4.

4. Stitch Side Panels to Each Other
No big tricks here.

Then there’s the lining in the shelves. I thought the oversized graphic nature of the large Union Jack Panels would be perfect for the back of my shelves. This part is so easy, I didn’t even take pictures. Just cut cardboard or foam board the size of the inside of your shelves, wrap and secure the fabric to the cardboard, pop it into place, and Bob’s your uncle!


Now, don’t forget to check out the rest of the Union Jack Blog Tour – these lovely ladies have some wonderful tutorials for you that really show off these great panels. You’ll be quite chuffed, indeed! Cheerio!

The Sassy Quilter

Jina Barney Designs

Leigh Laurel Studios

Haberdashery Fun

My Fabric Obsession

Rose & Odin

Jedi Craft Girl

Sew We Quilt

Riley Blake Designs

(You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been using some British slang; I just wanted to sound posh. You can learn some yourself here. It’s the dog’s bollocks!)


  1. Susan says:

    I love your ottoman and your shelves! Many thanks for the tutorial. I am from Memphis, TN and you are the only person outside of my family that I have known to use the phrase “Bob’s your uncle”! Thank you for that! All of my colleagues think I’m mad!


  2. mdmsamm says:

    noooo I did not forget YOU…..I adore your ottoman..your whole setting is very inviting….yep, UNION Jack lives here .:)

  3. Hope says:

    Love them both. The selves look great and who knew that ottan could have. Whole new life! You rock and your designs are inspiring!

  4. LOVE this!! The ottoman cover rocks.

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