DIY Rolling Upholstered Ottoman

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What's better than a piece of furniture that has a dual purpose? This simple DIY ottoman with industrial charm also doubles as storage and seating. The casters allow you to tuck this piece under a table or desk and easily slide it out when extra seating or storage is needed.

(Image: Charlotte Smith)

For this ottoman, a single sheet of sanded birch plywood was used. Cabinet grade wood is necessary if you plan to stain the ottoman as show in this tutorial. If you prefer to paint, then the higher quality birch is not necessary, but you will still need an A-grade sanded plywood for best aesthetic results.

Things You'll Need

  • One sheet 1/2-inch sanded finish-grade plywood (use A-grade sanded plywood if you're planning to paint, or a cabinet-grade plywood with birch or oak face, if you're staining, as we've done here)
  • Kreg jig
  • 1-inch Kreg pocket-hole screws (28)
  • 3/4-inch #8 screws (8)
  • #180 sandpaper (fine-grit)
  • Wood stain (the shade shown here is Minwax Early American)
  • 1-inch foam brush
  • Cotton rag
  • Two 6- foot lengths of drywall corner bead
  • Tin snips
  • 1/2-inch hexagonal head screws (32)
  • Nutsetter hexagonal drill bit
  • Drill
  • Four heavy-duty inside corner braces 
  • 1/2-inch #8 screws (40)
  • 1.5-inch casters (4)
  • 2-inch foam
  • Optional: Spray adhesive
  • One yard of batting
  • One yard of fabric
  • Staple gun
  • 3/8-inch staples
  • Two 3-inch heavyweight hinges
  • One cabinet pull with hardware included

Step 1: Cut the Plywood

At the home improvement store or lumberyard, have the plywood cut to the following dimensions: two sides at 18 x15 inches, two ends at 15 x 14-1/2 inches, one bottom at 17 x 14-1/2 inches and one top at 18-3/4 x 16 inches. For added support for the casters, you will need two pieces of plywood 15-1/2 inches long and 5 inches wide.

(Image: Charlotte Martin)

Step 2: Drill Pocket Holes

Using the Kreg jig set for 1/2-inch material, drill two pairs of pocket holes on either side of the 15-by-14 1/2 inch pieces (the ottoman ends).

(Image: Charlotte Martin)

On the 17-by-14-1/2 inch board (the ottoman bottom) drill two pairs of pocket holes along the long sides and one pair of pocket holes along the shorter sides.

(Image: Charlotte Smith)

Step 3: Sand

With fine-grit sand paper, lightly sand the edges and remove any splinters.

Step 4: Assemble the Ottoman

Using the Kreg jig, attach the bottom of the ottoman to both ends. The pocket screws on the bottom board should be on the bottom face, and the pocket screws on the ends of the ottoman should be on the inside.

(Image: Charlotte Smith)

Next attach each of the two long sides.

(Image: Charlotte Smith)

For extra reinforcement, screw on the 5-inch strips of plywood across the bottom of the ottoman using the 3/4-inch screws; make sure to align these strips with the end of your ottoman.

(Image: Charlotte Smith)

Step 5: Stain

Use the foam brush to apply the stain to ottoman. The longer the stain sits on the wood, the darker the finish will be. For the finish shown, the stain was wiped off immediately.

(Image: Charlotte Smith)

Step 6: Add Corner Beads and Wheels

With the tin-snips, cut the drywall corner bead to fit the four side edges of the ottoman. Screw the corner bead onto the corners of the ottoman using the hex screws and the hex drill bit. Each piece will require eight screws.

(Image: Charlotte Smith)
(Image: Charlotte Smith)

Attach the corner pieces to the bottom of the ottoman with the 1/2-inch #8 screws.

(Image: Use the foam brush to apply the stain to ottoman. The longer the stain sits on the wood, the darker the finish will be. For the finish shown, the stain was wiped off immediately)

Flip the ottoman over and screw on the casters with the 1/2-inch #8 screws. (Make sure the casters are screwed into the plywood support pieces.)

(Image: Charlotte Smith)

Step 7: Upholster the Top

Trace the top of the ottoman onto the foam, and cut to size.

Tip

  • An electric carving knife is the easiest way to cut foam.

(Image: Charlotte Smith)

If using spray adhesive, spray the wood and place the foam on top. Otherwise, just hold the foam in place and lay the ottoman top (foam side down) onto the batting.

(Image: Charlotte Smith)

Pull the batting around the foam and staple in place along one side. Pull the foam taught and staple in place on the opposite side. Pull the foam taught and staple in place along one end, then along the opposite end.

(Image: Charlotte Smith)

Staple back and forth towards the corners, making sure batting is taught and smooth across the foam. At the corners, trim excess batting and fold over foam like you would wrap a present. Staple in place.

Repeat the previous steps with the fabric, again making sure fabric is smooth and taught across the foam.

(Image: Charlotte Smith)

Step 8: Attach Upholstered Top

Screw one side of industrial hinges onto the underside of the ottoman top, using the 1/2-inch #8 screws. Then screw the other sides of the hinges onto the outside of the ottoman.

(Image: Charlotte Smith)

Step 9: Add Handle

Mark where you want the handle, and attach on according to instructions for your particular hardware.

(Image: Charlotte Smith)

This ottoman is small enough to tuck away in a corner and pull out for extra seating when needed, but functional enough to have on hand all the time. It can be customized to suit your decor with paint or different fabric.

(Image: Charlotte Smith)
(Image: Charlotte Smith)
(Image: Charlotte Smith)

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