You need to be able to sew, staple, and handle a few toold, but it’s actually rather easy to build your own ottoman!
Let’s just start by saying our friend Donna really knows her stuff. She can sew a circle around anyone I know and she has so much fun doing it. She and I had a great time making up one of her signature projects for you and she’s written up the instructions for you to follow.
Keep in mind, we have Donna’s book called Decorating Sewlutions: Learn to Sew as You Decorate Your Home (Windsor Oak Publishing, 2010), available right here on our site in our shop.
Get used to Donna; we’ll have her back for more fun segments as she teaches us all a thing or two about sewing!
From the Fabric Store:
- Decorator fabric, 1¼ yards of 54- inch-wide fabric
- Thread to match the fabric
- One 30-inch circle cut from 4- inch-thick high-density foam
(If you can’t find 4-inch-thick foam, create the height with layers of 2- inch foam and glue them together just like a layer cake.)
- Special spray adhesive for foam
(Don’t use regular spray adhesive as it might damage the foam)
- 1¼ yards of extra-thick upholstery batting
(The type purchased off a roll—not in a precut package)
- 29-inch circle of felt
- Fabric glue
- Staple gun and staples
From the Home Improvement Store:
- 30-inch wooden round (cut from ¾-inch plywood)
- Four, 12-inch coffee table legs (I got mine from TableLegsOnline.com)
1. Straighten one end of the fabric. Cut two strips of fabric, each 7 inches wide by the width of the fabric. Measure the circumference of your wooden circle. (It should be approximately 95 inches.) Cut the strips so that when stitched together they will equal your circumference measurement. Set aside. These are the band strips.
2. Cut a 31-inch circle from the fabric for the ottoman top.
3. Use the wood circle as a template and trace around the shape onto the foam. Carefully cut the foam circle with an electric carving knife.
4. To make the band, place the two strips right sides together and stitch both ends, forming a large circle. Press the seams open. Place the band and the top circle right sides together.
Stitch the band to the top circle.
Finishing the Ottoman:
Work in a well-ventilated area when using spray adhesive. Protect the work surface from the adhesive with paper or an old sheet.
5. Place the wood circle on a large work surface, right side up. Spray the wood surface lightly with the foam adhesive. Also spray one side of the high-density foam with the adhesive. Place the adhesive sides together and apply pressure so the two layers adhere to one another.
6. Place the batting on the surface and center the ottoman top, foam side down. Bring one edge of the batting up and over the wood circle and staple ½ inch in from the edge. Directly opposite this staple, do the same thing. Repeat at each side edge. Continue stapling the batting to the wood. Trim excess batting as necessary to make this process less cumbersome.
7. On a clean surface, place the fabric cover wrong side up. Insert the ottoman top, foam side down, into the opening. The cover should be really snug. You want it to fit like a glove over the ottoman top.
8. Now the fun begins! Work the ottoman into the cover until it fills out the top. This step is much like squeezing into your favorite tight jeans. Do what you have to do to make this happen. Be persistent—it will work. Turn the ottoman top over and make sure the fabric is smooth over the top and sides. Then turn it back over and secure the fabric to the wood. Do this like you did the batting: staple one edge, then the direct opposite edge, and then the remaining two sides. Then fill in the rest. Pull the fabric taut as you do this to keep it smooth. Trim any excess fabric for a neat finish.
9. Glue the felt circle on the wrong side of the ottoman top to cover all the raw edges of the ottoman cover.
10. Decide on placement of the legs (they should form a square). Following the package directions for the legs, screw them into the wood.
When you’ve finished your masterpiece, make sure to take a little time to enjoy it before heading back out to the store to buy the materials to make another one!!