DIY Tufted Ottoman
So I've been wanting an ottoman in my living room for a while, and I had decided that I could make one for a little cheaper than I could buy one, and I'd be able to personalize it! So I started looking around for cheap, or thrown out, wooden side tables that I could use as the base for the ottoman. I was having a really hard time finding a table that was right for what I wanted and was cheap enough to make it worth it. I was also starting to get impatient looking for a side table so I started thinking about how I could just completely make my own. I knew Home Depot had table legs and wood so I decided to check it out.
These are the legs that I found at Home Depot - they are 9" and came bare, but I stained them this dark stain. Here is the particle board that I found to use as the base. I bought a 2'x4' piece of 1" particle board. I had the guy at Home Depot cut the wood in half lengthwise for me so I had two pieces of 2'x2' board.
I really wanted to use these pieces for two separate ottomans but after thinking about it more, I really didn't think one piece would be sturdy enough, so I decided to double up and glued them together for more stability.
The legs come with screws already in the top and they hang out about 1". Normally you can use these screws to attach these legs to furniture, wood, etc. With the particle board that I found though, the screws wouldn't be stable enough and over time could loosen in the board. I thought of some different ways to attach them and eventually came to a decision. I decided to screw holes through the board where I wanted the legs to be. I removed the screws that came in the legs. I screwed a long (2.5") screw through the top of the boards into the legs (I made sure it was long enough to go into the legs and offer support, and thick enough to fit snugly in the old screw holes. Here we are screwing in these screws through the board and into the legs.
|Kev and Danny!|
Here's a shot of the base for the ottoman. At this point I was deciding between doing a regular ottoman versus a tufted ottoman. I had found some really great tutorials for doing tufting, like this one on Five Days 5 Ways, or this one on Addicted 2 Decorating. So I decided to be gutsy and give it a try!!!! It's hard to see in these photos, but I marked out evenly spaced holes that I would use for tufting the ottoman.
I was thinking about what fabric I wanted to cover the ottoman in. I know (in general and especially at my house!) fabrics used for upholstering are going to need to be pretty solid and thick fabrics because they suffer a lot of wear and tear - especially in my house with 200 lbs. of dog! So I wanted to chose a fabric that would be strong enough for the wear and tear it would go through but would still be a workable, attractive fabric.
Some years ago I had been in World Market and saw this amazing high back sitting chair that was covered in a light colored canvas fabric with multi-colored buttons. I loved that idea and had never forgotten about it. Because I had already been thinking about possibly doing a tufted ottoman I decided to go ahead and do it, and I could use the idea I saw at World Market years ago! I went to JoAnns and got a great light tan, thick canvas fabric. I went back and forth a bit - I LOVED the idea of doing this light cream fabric with some amazing multi-colored/multi-fabric-ed buttons, but if I was worried about wear and tear with my big ol' dogs, how in the world was a light cream fabric going to hold up in my house?! I could have gotten a darker colored canvas fabric, but my heart (and my wallet) was already set on the one I had purchased. I decided to go for it and realized I may have to pay a little more special attention to keeping it clean.
Now it was time to do the buttons, which was almost the most exciting part!! I have all these amazing fabric scraps from year and years of hoarding.... ;) and I was so excited to go through and choose my favorites.I wanted colorful fabrics that were all different but that all worked together as well. I had found a great tutorial on how to cover your own buttons without buying the button cover tool on Make it & Love it, and I figured with the bags of buttons I have (I'm telling you... hoarder....) I thought I'd have enough of the right buttons - I needed the buttons with the shaft in order to get the best outcome with the tufting. In the end, I did't have enough of the correct buttons so I decided to go ahead and buy the button cover tool kit from JoAnns, which actually worked out great.
Here are photos during the process.
Above, you can see the finished product of my buttons. On to covering the ottoman now. As I said, I laid out the pattern for the buttons. I decided on 7 total, but I could have done a couple more, or even a couple less, just depends on the look you are going for. I followed the same pattern that I laid out on the board for the foam. Foam can be pretty expensive so try to catch it on sale or with coupons! (I had a 60% off coupon for JoAnns.) I also used a few layers of batting to fluff up the ottoman a bit.
Now it was time for covering and tufting!! Follow the directions set out by the tutorials I have linked above, but this is basically what you do... Take your fabric and drape it over the foam, stuffing, etc. just like you would if you were about to upholster it. Make sure it is even on all sides and that there's enough spare fabric on the sides to give for the tufting and then allow you to upholster. Once the fabric is laid out you can start with the tufting. You pull the button down in the designated area and using a massive 6" upholstery needle you pull the thread all the way through to the bottom. Then you staple the thread in the bottom of the board in a zig-zag pattern for more stability. Continue this for each button. At this point you want it to be tight but you also want to have some give because you'll pull it taut when upholstering.
I'm finished with the buttons and have flipped it over to finish the upholstery process. I carefully pull the fabric taut and begin stapling it to the underside. I do this little by little, and side by side, to make sure that everything is even and not being pulled more on one side than the other.
Here's the finished product!!!
Here's a view from above of the tufting and the buttons.
Here's the ottoman in front of the chair I reupholstered a couple months ago!! The creams match so well and these two pieces work together perfectly!! It's an amazing addition to my living room and works as both an ottoman and extra seating if we need. It was easy, relatively inexpensive, and a quick, weekend project - I will definitely be making more in the future!!