How to Make a Cushioned Ottoman


Store-bought covered ottomans can be pricey as well as stick you with fabric that doesn't really match your home. Why not make your own? This way you can personalize the fabric, size and even add some storage to boot. With basic tools, it's pretty darn easy for any one even moderately comfortable with a drill and a staple gun.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • 3- to 4-inch foam square
  • Electric drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood screws
  • Quilting batting
  • Staple gun and staples
  • 2-foot- square pieces of 3/4-inch plywood, 6
  • 2-foot lengths of 1-by-1 wood, 4
  • Safety hinge
  • Stand up two pieces of 2-foot-square plywood, so they are perpendicular to each other. Slide a length of 1-by-1 into the corner the two boards make. Mark three points along the edge face of each board -- top, bottom and middle -- where you can screw the board into the 1-by-1. Drill guide holes into each board. Screw one board into the 1-by-1, then the other, ensuring there is no gap at the corner. Repeat with the other three corners until you have an open-ended box.

  • Put one piece of 2-foot-square plywood on top of the box, making sure all four edges and corners are aligned and screw into the tops of the corner blocks. Turn the box over.

  • Cut your foam square with scissors or a knife so it is about 1/4 inch larger on all four sides than your lid. Cut a piece of the quilt batting and lay it on top of your foam. This gives the ottoman a softer look and feel. Cut your fabric into a square about 5 inches wider than the lid on all four sides.

  • Grab your staple gun and pull the fabric taut to grab the middle of one of the sides. Pull that piece over the edge and to the underside of the lid. Place your staple gun so the staple is horizontal (not vertical), and staple the fabric in this spot. Repeat for all four sides. This allows you to get it pretty even, rather than doing all of one side and finding yourself short of fabric. You should have the fabric secure enough to staple the rest. For the corners, fold the fabric over like you were wrapping a present. You want your fabric taut, but not overly tight.

  • Decide if you like the "tufted" look. To tuft, drill holes through the wood where you want your buttons, before you put your foam and stuff on the lid. Once it's fully covered, use a large needle with reinforced thread and run it through the foam, fabric and hole in the wood. You can sew a washer or another button on the underside and a decorative button on the top. Voila! Tufts.

  • If you're extra neat and don't want to see the staples every time you open the lid to your ottoman, you can cut a piece of cardboard a bit smaller than the lid, cover it in fabric, then mount it on the underside with staples, so the extra fabric doesn't show.

  • Trim piano hinges to the size of the lid. On one edge of the bottom square, mount one half of the hinge. Set your lid on top of the box, and mount the other side. Now you're done! Fill it up with blankets, magazines, yarn, even your remotes and get ready to sit a spell with your feet up. Aren't you clever?

Tips & Warnings

  • Paint the bottom box of the foot stool or cover with fabric using your staple gun.
  • It helps to draw a diagram of how you'll assemble the wood before you begin
  • You can have the hardware store cut the wood into the sizes you need, they usually do it at no charge.
  • You can use the same steps to make a great toy box, but use a safety hinge latch if you do.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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