DIY A Rocking Ottoman

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A rocking ottoman, also known as a “glider” ottoman, is a nice complement to a rocking chair -- the ottoman allows the user’s feet to rock in synchronized motion while the user rocks in the chair. The most straightforward approach to creating a do-it-yourself rocking ottoman is to purchase a glider kit from a home improvement store. Kits for several models of ottomans exist on the retail market in big-box stores and hardware stores.


If you want, though, you can convert a standard ottoman to a rocking ottoman by using a swivel-chair leg assembly. The glider ottoman kit or swivel-chair replacement assembly may contain a single-pedestal base or may contain arms that rest on the floor. Many ottoman glider kits include Allen wrenches for tightening the included fasteners. Others may contain flat-head or Phillips-head screws, and you must supply the tool.

Things You'll Need

  • Ottoman with a square framed bottom
  • Ottoman glider kit or swivel-chair base assembly
  • Screwdriver

DIY Rocking Ottoman Using Glider Kit

  • Unpack the ottoman glider kit and check all hardware against the packaged instructions. Make sure all pieces are included in the kit prior to beginning the job.

  • Turn the ottoman upside down to expose the bottom, where the glider assembly will attach.

  • Assemble the glider base. Some kits will include a pedestal base with glider attachments. For other kits that include a squared base frame, assemble and attach the base frame according to the instructions.

  • Attach the gliding assembly to the base. Some kits will include swiveling gliders. Make sure the gliders are securely attached to the base, and make sure all fasteners are tightened.

  • Attach the assembled base to the bottom of the ottoman. If the base is a pedestal, attach the pedestal to the center of the bottom of the ottoman. For a frame base, attach the frame to the bottom of the ottoman as directed by the instructions. Secure the ottoman to the base by tightening the fasteners and ensure that the gliders are able to move freely.

  • Turn the ottoman upright and test the glider mechanism by moving the ottoman in a back-and-forth motion.

  • Upholster the ottoman or place a decorative pillow on the ottoman for additional comfort.

DIY Rocking Ottoman Using Swivel-Chair Base Assembly

  • Unpack the swivel-chair base assembly and check all parts and hardware against the packaged instructions. Make sure all pieces are included with the assembly prior to beginning the job. The swivel-chair assembly will most likely be in one piece. Ensure that the assembly rocks and functions well prior to attaching it to the ottoman. Note that a frame is required on the bottom of the ottoman in order to attach the swivel-chair assembly.

  • Turn the ottoman upside down to expose the bottom, where the swivel-chair assembly will attach. If the ottoman does not already have a square frame on the bottom of the piece, fashion a frame using small strips of wood. Attach the wood to the bottom of the ottoman using nails or glue. Make sure the swivel-chair assembly arms will reach to the fashioned frame and will attach with the hardware included with the assembly.

  • Assemble the swivel-chair piece, if needed. The swivel-chair assembly will most likely need no additional assembly.

  • Attach the swivel-chair assembly to the square frame on the bottom of the ottoman using the hardware provided with the assembly. Tighten all fasteners and screws.

  • Turn the ottoman upright and test the ottoman by rocking back and forth.

  • Cover the ottoman with upholstery cloth or a decorative pillow.

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