A New Addition to the Family: DIY Tufted Ottoman

before and after Collage

Every now and then I get a wild hair to “Dee-Eye-Why” something… These moments consume my thoughts for weeks and days before I actually gather all the pieces to make my vision come to life.  Pinterest (click here to find my profile and boards) is such an incredible resource for ideas and links to DIY blogs.

My latest DIY bug has been a new ottoman. We have two small rectangular brown leather ottomans. They have been “boyed,” meaning one is ripped and the hinges for the storage tops are broken. My boys are great at “boying” furniture. Forts and parkour are their main means of destroying anything nice in my house. I know, I know… I could punish them for putting their feet on the furniture and jumping on it, but this is usually the time when they play without arguing and fighting. So, I let it slide. I also had some intense therapeutic conversations in my own head and came to the conclusions that: 1.) I am a #momof3boys,  and 2.) I need to let go of any expectations for a neat, pretty house until they leave. So, I was off on a search for the perfect ottoman. 

Here was my list of wants and needs:

1. Size. Large. It needed to be big enough for all five family members to put their feet up. Our sectional is also large and the previous ottomans just seemed too small

2. Caster wheels. The boys like to wrestle and they always push the ottomans out of the way. The former ones never had wheels and were just awkward and a pain to move. 

3. Tufted with buttons. They look feminine without being too girly.

4. Light blue with durable fabric.

Here was my inspiration:

Product_SFM11112_Image_1

I did my research and thought it out very carefully. I placed all my ideas and links onto my Cool Ideas Board in Pinterest.  Then, I went on a hunt to find all the materials I would need without spending more than $100 dollars. I used that price point after scoping out the stores in the area. I found several that would have fit my needs and most of my wants for around $295. I also tried to not bug my husband too much with this project. He gets kinda annoyed with my DIY projects, especially if he feels we don’t “need” them. I have tried to explain to him that the word need has different meanings to women. He doesn’t buy it. So, I kept him out of the planning process as much as possible.

Here is my list of materials:

Base for the ottoman, ideally an old coffee table

Foam and batting (lots)

3 yards of material – durable and light blue

Delicate-ish legs and casters

Peg board and 1/2″ plywood

Button making kit

I turned to Craigslist hoping to find the perfect cheap coffee table. I spent two weeks trying to find the “one.” I never found one that would work and for the right price ($20 or less). My sister came to the rescue. They were moving in a few days across the country. She was leaving behind her dining room table. I acquired said table… for free!  I also remembered we had leftover carpet padding in our shed. I love repurposing stuff. I visited Lowe’s for the legs, casters, peg board, screws, and plywood. I found the fabric at Joann’s a light blue burlap. It was made even more perfect being on sale for $2.99/yard plus a 20% off coupon.

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Instructions for a DIY Tufted Ottoman

(They are not perfect instructions. Please use them as a starting point.)

ottoman materials collage

1. Gather all your materials. Lowe’s will cut your plywood and peg board to size. 

2. Attach legs with casters to table. I found these metal plates that screw into your frame that allows you to attach the legs more securely to your ottoman. I found them in the same aisle as the casters. I used a drill to make the hole for the caster. Just make sure that you use a drill bit slightly larger than the diameter of the caster’s bolt. I decided to use the “top of the table” as the underside of my ottoman. I wanted to give height to the ottoman without having to build it up with foam.  My husband built the support to place in the middle of the table’s underside. This gave it much needed support for a family of 3 boys.

3. Make your fabric covered buttons. You can purchase the kits at any fabric or craft store. I also highly recommend purchasing an upholstery needle. I needed the 8 inch long needle to successfully attach the buttons.

4. Cut your foam or padding to the proper size. Pile it on the peg board and cover the foam with batting. This gives the ottoman a softer, smoother feel and protects the padding. Place your fabric on top of the batting. Since my ottoman is oversized, I did have to sew two pieces of fabric together. This made a seam down the middle of the ottoman, but

5. Attach your buttons. Using the upholstery needle and upholstery thread (very strong, durable thread), sew your buttons on pulling snugly and tightly. Metal washers can help keep the buttons attached. Use the washers to tie the thread onto and secure the buttons. I marked the holes  for the buttons on the peg board with painter’s tape. 

Ottoman steps collage

6. Then, using wood screws attached the plywood to your ottoman’s platform. The pegboard with the fabric covered foam gets attached next. Make sure your wood screws are long enough to penetrate the plywood and the platform.

The next part takes patience, a strong grip, and no fears about staple guns.

7. Turn your almost finished ottoman upside down… meaning the fabric is on your floor and the legs and bottom of the ottoman are face up. Take a moment to pull the fabric and make it taut. This is very important, so that your fabric is pulled tight when you staple it to the wood frame. Using your staple gun, attach the fabric. Start with the middle of each side and work out towards the corners. Make sure that you check the tautness of the fabric with each staple. I am a firm believer in the more staples the better.

8. Attach the fabric at each corner last. Take the time to pleat and fold the fabric so it lays nicely and looks finished. This is always the most frustrating part. But, the payoff is totally worth the patience.

9. Next cut a piece of the same fabric or a piece of white fabric to cover the bottom of the ottoman. This will cover the staples and give your piece a polished look. This fabric is easily attached with a hot glue gun. Just create a hem by folding under the edge of the fabric. I also took the extra time to place tack nails into this edge. I had leftover tack nails from another project. Another score!

All in all this project took about 5-6 hours to complete. And, yes, I had to plead with the husband to help. He did because he has to keep the peace.

after photo ottoman

 

Here is how much we are enjoying the new ottoman:

Yes, that is a 12 year old and 6 year old laying on the ottoman watching the Olympics.

Yes, that is a 12 year old and 6 year old laying on the ottoman watching the Olympics.

Ottoman2

It has quickly become my coffee table when the boys aren’t sprawled upon it.

Ottoman1

It is the perfect size for 4 sets of feet and a cat.

Being the wife and children of a Chiropractor, this ottoman also serves as our home adjusting table. It really has become the perfect addition to our family.

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