How to Make an Ottoman


Y'all know I am totally into DIY and decorating! Check out my new library as it comes together -- throw pillows and OTTOMAN! Made by... you know who!

Watch the video I made of the step-by-step process! By the way -- the fabric on the top of the ottoman is a beautiful ikat print from Brunschwig & Fils.

Supplies you will need to build the ottoman:

  • 1.5" x 4" - 8' long wood

  • 1.5" x 8" - 8' long wood

  • MDF (medium density fiberboard)... use this instead of plywood -- it's lighter! Need two 20" x 40" pieces

  • Wood glue

  • Wood screws

  • L brackets

  • Corner brackets

  • Staple gun

  • 4" foam to cover 40" square

  • 1.5 yards of 54" fabric for top

  • 1.5 yards of 54" fabric for sides

  • 4 yards of cording

Step 1: Cut four 40" lengths of 1.5" x 4". The finished size will be 40" square at 17" high.

Step 2: Stack 1.5" x 4" pieces as shown and secure with wood screws in the corners.

Step 3: Attach one 40" length of 1.5" x 8" in the center of the base. Be sure to attach to the lower base board.

Step 4: Add "scrap" pieces of board to build the base even with the opposite base board. Attach with wood screws.

Step 5: Attach sides. Cut two 40" lengths of 1.5" x 8". Cut two lengths of 1.5" x 8" 40" minus the width of the other pieces.*

*As lumber is never exact, measure to get precise width of inner side boards.

Step 6: Attach using "L" brackets to affix to the base. Use "corner" brackets to secure the upper sides.

Step 7: Position scrap boards on diagonal and secure with "L" brackets. This will be center ottoman support. Measure to get height.

Step 8: Affix wood glue on top of diagonal boards and top edge of sides.

Step 9: Place MDF top on one side of the ottoman, and secure with wood screws on sides and into diagonal supports.

Step 10: Repeat for other side.

Step 11: Secure top with wood screws.

Step 12: Cut foam to fit. Use a bread knife! Then place on top of ottoman.

Step 13: Position top fabric over foam top. Cut leaving a 2" margin.

Step 14: Staple in place, below the foam, into the wood sides. Pull tightly to ensure a snug fit.

Step 15: Staple self-covered cord (you made this earlier!) onto ottoman.

Step 16: Position staples just below cord.

Step 17: Add fabric to sides. (Note: you will have to stitch sides on machine before putting on the ottoman. Make three seams at 40" wide. Put the right side against the top and staple into place, then lower and staple into place on underside of base.)

And with that... you're finished!


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