I had ordered an ottoman for the family room back in October. Yeah, October. It’s just kept being pushed farther and farther out being backordered. I finally cancelled the order when it was again pushed to February and decided I would just make my own!
I’ve never made an ottoman before, but figured it’s just a box with a cushion on top. How hard can that be?? Hint: It’s not that hard, but you do need some sewing skills.
I first determined what size would fit in the family room and decided on 30 inches wide by 22 inches deep by 16 inches high. I decided on the base “box” being made with 2×8’s with a 6″ foam top cushion and the legs (which ended up being casters) would be 2″.
The list of materials needed are:
I decided to use charcoal grey ticking fabric because it goes with my grey walls and ticking is a very durable and washable fabric. And the bonus is it’s very reasonably priced. These days you can get ticking in just about any color you want!
Build the Base
The first step is to build the base of the ottoman. You can see below the layout I used – including a center support 2×8.
The entire box was assembled with wood glue and 2 ½” screws. Three on each end of the 2×8 cross pieces and enough on top to keep the top secure to the base.
Next, I took a double layer of batting and hot glued it to the sides of the base, making sure to wrap the top and bottom edges. The reason for the batting is to pad those sharp corner so you don’t skin a shin and so the fabric doesn’t rub on those areas and get rub holes.
Below is an image of the hot glue pattern. You don’t need much – just enough to hold it in place while you attach the fabric in the next step.
OK, I was so wrapped up in working that I failed to get any pictures of HOW I wrapped the base with fabric. Basically, lay the fabric on the top of the ottoman, fold hospital corners and staple everything in place on the bottom.
Then screw the casters into place on each corner of the bottom of the box. I did mine catty-corner because they were a hair too wide to place on squarely.
Making the Top Cushion
After I had finished with the base, it was time to cut and cover the top cushion. I wanted a removable cushion whose cover I could take off and wash as needed. The challenge came with how to attach the cushion so it was removable yet was still stable and would stay put while the ottoman is in use.
I think I came up with an easy, inventive way to accomplish this. More on that later.
First, I cut the foam for the top cushion. I used high density upholstery foam. It has a lot of body and holds up well to compression. I then wrapped the cushion in batting around the edges. I only did the edges because they were a little jagged from cutting and this smooths them out. Had I cut them better, I would’t have used any batting.
Next, I created the cover for the top cushion. Again, sorry, no pictures. But you can see how it’s done here. There are also several good videos on YouTube that how to make a box cushion. Just search for “How to sew a box cushion”. You will need to have some basic sewing skills and be comfortable putting in a zipper (if you want the cover removable).
Attaching the Top Cushion to the Base
After the top cushion cover was completed and I had to fight the foam into the cover. That was a bear because I had wanted a nice tight fit. It was like wrestling with a greased pig! But, finally, the cover was on the cushion where it belonged.
As mentioned previously, I wanted the top cushion cover to be removable. Which meant I could;t permanently attach it to the base. I thought I might use velcro, but I hate that it gets all “hairy” when you wash it and everything sticks in it. I have enough dog hair in the house without preserving it on velcro. 🙂
So, I thought if I could tie the cushion to the base that would work. First idea was to put ties or buckles on the outside of the cushion and add some visual interest. I think straps across the top that buckle on the sides would be cool. But then started thinking that the visual interest might also be appealing to the dogs. “Oh, lookie! Something new to chew!” That idea was nixed pretty quickly. My next though was to somehow ties the cushion to the top of the base but do it underneath the pillow.
Finally, I hit upon drilling four holes in the top of the base in order to feed the laces through and tie underneath.
On the base, cut and drill four holes approximately 6 inches from each corner.
While making the top cushion cover, I added two straps to the bottom. Feed the straps through the holes drilled in the base.
After feeding the straps through, flip the base over and you will have four straps hanging from the holes.
Tie the straps securely and you’re done!
Here’s the finished ottoman being checked out by Tigger. She said she approves and thinks this will be a great place to nap!
The total cost for the project was about $70. You could create this in fabric or even vinyl or leather if your sewing machine could handle it.
P.S. The casters are the best part! We love being able to easily move this around where needed.