Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Triumphant Ottoman Project!

As promised, I tackled and prevailed over my D-I-Y upholstered ottoman project today! I actually still can't believe how easy it was, or how successfully it turned out. And as cheap as I'd hoped no less-- total budget: $88.00! (This could be considerably cheaper if I hadn't fallen for a fancy-pants fabric...)


So, let me walk you through it, one step at a time.


  • Coffee table of your choosing. I think something leggy and wooden seems to work particularly well, but I bet a cool steel base would be great lookin' too. 
  • Fabric: I needed only 1-yard of fabric to cover my 45" wide X 24" coffee table
  • Foam/Batting: I used two layers of thin memory foam, one layer of cotton batting, and one layer of thinner felt batting
  • Staple Gun and Staples
  • Hand Saw

Step 1: I started by putting the coffee table up on my dining room table, so I could really see what I was doing. Don't forget to put something between your dining table and the feet of the coffee tabel, or you'll end up making another project for yourself. Then I stretched my foam over the table, and figured out how big a piece to cut. Based on the piece of foam I had, I was able to do two layers-- one the size of the table top, and a second layer on top, that I cut to be about 3" larger on each side than the size of the table top. (See pictures # 1 & 2 below!)

Picture #1: First layer of foam
Picture #2: Second layer of foam with extra around the edges so we can staple it under soon...

Step 2: Now I put my cotton batting on top of the layers of foam, and then put my layer of felt batting on top of that. I'm not trying to be annoying, but I actually had all of these supplies in my apartment, so I kind of made do with what I had... So-- my cotton batting was the size of the table top, and then the felt batting was cut the size of the big piece of foam, so when I went to staple it, the felt batting was the outside layer-- holding everything under it in. (Picture #3 and 4.) HINT: When I started stapling, I put a couple of staples in with my staple gun, in order to keep everything in place, and then I flipped the whole kit-and-kaboodle over, and stapled it upside down. This made the stapling way easier, without having to reorganize everything once it was flipped over. (See picture #5.)

Picture #3: Cotton batting on top of the two layers of foam. 
Picture #4: Felt batting
Picture #5: All the batting and foam stapled up. I did two rows of staples because I was not f-in' around. 

Step 3: Once you've got the table flipped over, I used my staple gun to staple my layers of batting and foam onto the table. Ordinarily, one might glue the foam onto the table top, but I was worried that this whole project might prove to be a dud, so I didn't want to do anything that would render my coffee table unusable. Since I didn't glue it, I stapled the hell out of the foam and batting to make sure it didn't shift around. Use your judgement, based on how much you like the table you're using, how many staples you've got, and if you've got the patience to do two rows of staples around the whole thing.

Step 4: Flip your table back over, put it on the ground, put your unbelievably cute baby on the top of the table/ottoman, and take a photo. (See Picture #6)

Picture #6: This is the cutest baby/ottoman ever.

Step 5: Assuming you can distract yourself away from Step #4, continue on with this project... Now I put my piece of fabric on top of the ottoman, positioning it so the pattern was straight and then trimmed it down so there was an extra 3" overlapping each side, just the way I did with the foam and the felt batting. (See Picture #7.) Then I popped in a couple of staples, just the way I did before, and then flipped it over and plopped it back on my dining room table. 

Picture #7: Fabric draped over the foamy-ottoman

Step 6: Once I got everything stapled up, I positioned the table-new-ottoman in the room to make sure I was really happy with it. I don't know if you remember that I mentioned this in a previous post, but my coffee table was originally 19" tall, so with the addition of the foam and batting, my new ottoman was a little crazy tall. However, I didn't want to cut the legs off of the table until I was sure I liked my new ottoman. This is NOT how this should normally be done. In an ideal situation, you would definitely cut the legs BEFORE you upholster the table. 

Picture #8: Double checking how the ottoman looks in the room before I fully commit and cut the legs.
Jules gives his stamp of approval too! 

Picture #9: Cutting the legs down to make this a reasonable-height ottoman instead of a ridiculously tall ottoman. 

Step 7: Now that I was really committed, I measured the legs and decided to cut 2" off each leg, to make my ottoman a more normal 18" high (Picture #9). I used a hand saw, but I'd say an electric jig-saw would seriously expedite this step. (Particularly if you don't have an infant in the house...) Once you've cut the legs, you're in business! Flip that bad boy over, and you've got yourself an ottoman!

Finished product! Ta-Dah!! 
Is that a fine lookin' ottoman or what? And as I type, my feet are resting on this beautiful  new ottoman! 

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