Tuesday, September 11, 2012

DIY Coffee Table / Bench / Ottoman

I love the look of upholstered ottomans! Something about sitting on the couch and propping your feet up on something soft just screams happiness to me. The one thing about upholstered ottomans I am not a fan of is the price! Especially for how basic they really are.

So I set off to make one (yes - it was a while ago BB... before blogging)! This was to be used in the upstairs loft as a coffee table ottoman since Little Man was just starting to move around I loved the idea of him being able to play on it without worrying about the sharp edges.

I went to Home Depot and had them cut a piece of plywood to size for me. We went with a 2 ft by 4 ft size based on our couch. I also picked up 4 of the screw on legs and the hardware needed to mount them. Luckily for me - the hubs jumps at the opportunity to use his power tools so I got some assistance!

We laid the plywood on saw horses and got to work. I was planning to make a tufted ottoman so first we measured and drilled the holes to use for the tufts. I wanted 2 rows of 4 for a total of 8 tufts. We drew it out and then drilled the holes. Then we mounted the hardware for the legs. We did not have plans to actually sit on this ottoman so 4 legs worked for us, but with such a long ottoman 6 legs might be a good idea if you plan to sit on it. I then spray painted the legs black and let them sit to dry.

Next, I cut the foam and batting. I used an egg crate that I found on clearance at Target and it worked great! I used spray adhesive to apply the foam and then wrapped and stapled on the batting.

I happened to have stumbled upon this awesome fabric that I knew would be perfect for a play room at Calico Corners. It was ridiculously cheap a yard and I laugh every time I see it listed for full price. It's Schumacher Celerie Kemble. Super fun pattern that I have seen done on other upholstered pieces too! It was time to staple the fabric on to the ottoman base now. Because there are vertical and horizontal lines this really took 2 people to get it completed. One to line the fabric up correctly and the other to hold it there and then back to the other to staple! Great choice for my first real upholstery project! Then we screwed on the legs and we were almost done!

I bought the Button kit from Joann Fabrics and had my custom buttons made in a matter of a few minutes. Then came the fun part of getting them on the ottoman. I did have some good help at least...

Using embroidery thread I pulled a large needle thru the wood, foam, batting and fabric. Then knotted it to the back of the button and pulled the needle back thru. I used some spare buttons on the bottom to hold the thread tight. Unfortunately after getting 4 of them attached, I learned a valuable lesson... toddlers are great at removing your newly customized buttons.

So I decided that for the time being this ottoman would remain tuftless until the day my little ones no longer find buttons to be fun to play with! But don't you just love the tufts???

So here is what it looked like in the room for quite a while...

And then when it got moved to the side and used as a storage bench...


  1. I have been wanting to do this FOREVER! Thanks for posting directions. A few questions if you have time. 1.) Did you need to put an additional rail around the perimeter underneath to support legs and/or ottoman as a whole. If so, did you have to attach after you upholstered?
    2.) Since this is a place to put feet up, are you worried about fabric? Is it washable? I could just see someone putting yucky shoes on it (hear me gasp?) We have a no shoes policy for us, but when guests come over I try not to be too pushy about it. Thoughts?

    1. Of course! I did not add a rail underneath. If I did it again though I probably would! I think that I would attach it first then upholster. We have a no shoes rule too and since this is in the kids area, we have been spared so far. There have been dippy cup spills but they seemed to almost bead up and I wiped quickly. I am thinking about doing another one for the family room using a leather and will def post about it!

    2. Thank you so much! Leather would be awesome!