Saturday, February 9, 2013

Coffee Table to Ottoman: A DIY Guide

One of my favorite projects in the family room was the creation of the ottoman. I had a large coffee table in here before, and while I liked the furniture, it seemed to connect with my children's heads all too often. I decided to see what I could do to create a padded soft ottoman to be used for awhile that wouldn't break the bank. Here is the list of materials and supplies you will need to create your own:

- coffee table (I purchased mine from a thrift store for $25.00)
-foam (I purchased the 3 inch foam from Home Depot for $20.00) and 1 inch foam for the sides at Joanns when it was 50% off for $20.00)
-batting (I used the batting by the yard in the foam section of Joann's. I think it was around $6.50/yd and I used a 50% off coupon. I ended up needing more than I thought so I made a couple trips :( I think in the end I purchased4 yards of the 90 inch wide batting for around $14.00)
-Fabric (this was the deal of all deals- I purchased 4 yards of upholstery velvet for under $12.00 from the Joann clearance table). Although it is a light color and will probably stain quickly with my kids, it was the right price. The next closest fabric I could find to work would have been $50. So, for now it will work...and more poor children have to succumb to thorough cleaning and checking all their clothes after every meal before the go in the family room.
-cording for the piping- 5 yards of 9/32 inch cord for about $1 a yard...I think it was then 30% at Hancock Fabrics
-4 furniture feet from Home Depot. I bought the bun foot for around $8 each= $32
-Spray adhesive
-Staple gun (already owned=free :)
-Pegboard (already owned= free)
-Upholstery thread- 3 spools for $6
-spray paint for the feet (already owned=free)
-Sewing Machine with a zipper foot

Total = Around $132.00

Now...on to the fun stuff. How it all came together.

I started by finding the size coffee table I was looking for in my space. This was 47" x 32". The best part about this find was the bottom shelf which would serve as a way to attach the upholstery. The four legs stuck out about 2 inches and so my husband cut them off for me to give us a nice flat bottom for wrapping fabric. 
Next, I took the 3 inch foam from Home Depot and sliced it into two pieces to make it fit. It was not quite wide enough to just lay right on top, so I just took out my Gingher Scissors, opened them up and sliced right through. I sprayed adhesive spray (make sure it is safe for foam and won't disintegrate) and attached the foam. My husband then filled in the bottom openings with some pegboard we had in the garage. I then took my 1 inch foam and filled in the bottom section, cutting and slicing as needed with my trusty scissors.
Then came wrapping the piece in batting. Again, the pieces were not big enough to fit in one piece so I had to piece two together. You can somewhat see the seam that was created in the 1st picture, but I did my best to match it up closely and create a seamless look. We flipped it over and pulled it tight as we could as we stapled it all around 4 sides. I then took muslin and created a slipcover which was also stapled on. Unlike other ottomans that are often wrapped around the sides, I knew I wanted something more tailored since the sides were so deep. **To see how I created the pattern for the ottoman please see the next picture in this post.** 
 For the pattern I cut 4 side pieces. The two short pieces were 33 inches wide by the height of the ottoman plus a few inches to allow for wrapping the fabric around for stapling. The same with the longer sides at 48 inches by the height plus a few inches. I first sewed the short and long pieces together to create a tube. I took this piece and tried it on to the table to make sure the sides were lining up on the corners and everything was snug. (You can see this in the 1st picture). I then took my top piece (which I stupidly cut at 33 inches by 47 inches instead of 48)  and created piping to go around the top with the cording and fabric. I attached the cording to the top piece using a zipper foot. There are lots of tutorials on line if you need help with piping. I took the 4 piece tube and put it on inside out, then put my top on upside down so that the right sides were together. I then pinned and pinned and pinned some more attaching it all around 4 sides. It is much easier to pin the pieces together while they are on the ottoman. This helps to ensure a correct fit. And to make up for my cutting error I ended up having to take in the side seams just a bit on each side to make it fit, but it was a tight fit. I was so nervous that it was too tight that I first hand stitched the whole thing together. This also helped me get nice and close to the piping. Then I went around again with my sewing machine for a durable seam. I stuffed my ottoman into it, flipped it over, and stapled it on, pulling it vey tightly. By having the corners sewn, instead of wrapped, I was able to keep it very tailored looking without all the bulk of the extra fabric.

Finally I spray painted all the bun feet and my hubby attached them to the bottom of the table where the original feet were. We love the new ottoman and so do the I am not sure how long my light tan fabric will make it, but for 12 bucks in fabric, I will be okay if I need to redo it one day in the future. Overall it is just what we wanted and for way less than the versions in stores.


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  1. so…I'm assuming that it's too much work for a "trade"…: ) This is so amazing!

    1. haha...umm, yea a little bit much, but sewing the cover for you to make your own would certainly be in the mix!

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