Moroccan style has been hot, hot, hot in home decor for some time now, and Moroccan poufs are especially trendy. They fit the “bohemian chic” style that’s popular right now, and they are SO versatile! They’re great for a footrest or extra seating, and can be used in a kids’ room, college dorm room or for lounging around in a TV/media room. If you haven’t found the perfect pouf for your home read on to see how to DIY a stenciled Moroccan pouf in any color and stencil style you want!
Supplies for this project:
- Stencils from Royal Design Studio: Fez Blanket Moroccan Stencil, Fez Tassel Moroccan Stencil
- Flat Black Royal Stencil Creme
- Stencil Brush
- Upholstery fabric
- Stuffing – I used 6 pounds of polyester fiberfill stuffing found on eBay
- Paper towel, yardstick, string, pencil, thread
- Sewing machine, thread, needle
For my stenciled pouf I chose a heavier upholstery fabric; a vinyl that has the firmness of a thick leather. Thicker fabrics will hold the shape of a pouf or ottoman better, and be less likely to show outlines of the stuffing. Like with the fluffy cloud-like stuffing, a thin fabric could look like the pouf has cellulite and that’s probably not the look we want!
Cutting the pieces
Making a basic pouf is easy. You can simply cut two circles plus one long rectangle. Or, cut two smaller rectangles if your fabric isn’t long or wide enough.
I copied dimensions of another ottoman I own that I like: 18″ wide by 16″ high. 16” high is a good height to rest your feet while watching TV. If you want to copy the dimensions I used, I cut my fabric circle 19” wide and my rectangle 17” x 57.5”. Remember that you will need to add ½” at all the edges for a seam allowance.
If you want different dimensions, use the formula for calculating the circumference of a circle to find out how long to cut your rectangle. C = πd, OR circumference is the diameter of the pouf multiplied by 3.14. Don’t forget! Add 1/2″ along all edges for a seam allowance.
An easy way to draw a circle is to take a string length that’s half the width you need for the circle, tie one end to a pin and the other to a pen or pencil. Rotate the pencil around the pin, keeping the string taut, and you’ll get a perfect circle.
Stenciling the pieces
Now we’re ready for the fun part. Painting-yeah! You can use any stencil design you like that goes with your decor. Borders Stencils are great to paint around the sides of a pouf or ottoman. You can also line up a row of Tile Stencils or fill in the sides with an Allover Damask Stencil. And Medallion Stencils are perfect to paint on the top. This gives you lots of design options!
If you choose a medallion stencil, be sure to check the diameter of the stencil and cut your circle big enough to fit the medallion design on it. You may also want to check how your design will fit around the sides. The stencil I chose fits around the circumference of my pouf nearly exactly 4 times, which was a happy coincidence! You could also adjust the dimensions of your pouf’s size to fit the stencil you chose.
I was inspired by Moroccan poufs and Fez embroidery designs. So I chose the Fez Blanket Moroccan Stencil and the Fez Tassel Moroccan Stencil. If you like this style, Royal Design Studio has a bunch of Fez style stencils. And oh my goodness if someone uses the Moroccan Lace Stencil on an ottoman, I want to see a picture of your ottoman! Please share in comments! I think it would look gorgeous and had a tough time choosing between that lace design or the bold graphic Fez style.
In my experience with stenciling on fabric, some fabrics are thirsty and will drink up the paint. But with a slick surface like this vinyl, you will want to stencil with a nearly dry brush. You can do this by dipping your brush lightly in paint, then rubbing most of the paint off on a paper towel using a hard circular motion. If your brush has too much paint on it, paint might ooze under the stencil. It’s better to paint several light layers and build up the color. As you can see, the first layer of Black Royal Stencil Creme was light. I painted three light layers to build up to a deep black color. This helped to make a stencil pattern with nice crisp edges. It was exciting to see the bold contrasting pattern that was emerging!
You may or may not need the assistance of a cat or a dog to hold a stencil and supervise. It’s optional and up to you! In my house you have no choice, so I just paint around them!
I should mention while I have used the Stencil Creme to paint on silk and rayon with no problems of paint rubbing off, some paint rubbed off the vinyl. To stop this, I sprayed a protective polyurethane coating over the stenciling.
Sewing the pieces
Once you’re done stenciling, it’s time to sew the pieces together into a pouf or ottoman. This project involves just sewing some simple straight lines.
It’s easiest to first sew the short ends of the long rectangle together. Use a 1/2″ seam allowance. Your rectangle will now be a circle shape.
Next, turn this circle shape inside out, and pin the “right sides” or the “outside sides” of the pouf top and the sides together. If you used a vinyl upholstery fabric like I did, you can clip the edges together with paperclips or metal clips so you don’t put holes in the fabric. Then, sew these pieces together with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Now repeat the above steps with the bottom circle. But when you sew the circle and sides together, leave about 12″ of the edge unsewn. Turn the pouf right side out through this opening.
Now you should have a deflated pouf with a big hole in a seam. Sounds terrible, but that’s okay! That’s what we want right now. Stuff some stuffing in the pouf through the seam opening. You can stuff polyester fiberfill, or even old sheets or t-shirts. Once your pouf is stuffed to the firmness you want, sew the opening closed-either by hand or with your sewing machine.
Optional steps for more advanced sewers would be to add cording on the edges or a zipper on the bottom. You can also add trim if you want, like tassel trim, sequined ribbon, pompoms or beads. I kept my pouf simple because the pattern is so bold.
Now excuse me while I put my feet up on my new stenciled Moroccan pouf!