Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How to Build an Upholstered Storage Ottoman

Several months ago, I was flipping through an issue of Fresh Home Magazine and saw the plans for this ottoman.

The plans seemed pretty simple so I tore out the article and filed in away in my “Book of Ideas/ Dreams” to be completed some other time. Fast forward to June 2011. Recently, my husband has started to develop some woodworking skills and we’ve acquired a few basic tools, so I thought, “Hey, we can do this!”
We started by taking measurements that would work well with our existing sofa. It has a chaise on one end of it, and I like to refer to it as our “Chofa”. I needed something just the right height for feet, with room to walk around and get in and out of the Chofa.
After my husband had worked up some plans (good thing he’s good with math and a pencil- not me!), I was on the hunt for the perfect fabric. I knew I wanted something super durable and kid friendly, so I settled on checking out outdoor fabrics. After many trips to Joann’s Fabrics and some other local fabric stores, I found myself on fabric.com. They have a TON of stuff on there, and it easily gets overwhelming. I finally found this Richloom Jubilee Outdoor fabric for only $9 a yard!!
I was super nervous to order fabric online, but I went for it! In a couple of days, it had arrived!
Meanwhile, my husband was hard at work building the box.

He decided to work with Oak (a very hardwood) plywood because we knew we needed something that could withstand kids jumping all over it and slamming the top down repeatedly. Pretty soon, he had it fully assembled with these really cool hinges that are completely hidden!

Then he attached the chain so the top doesn’t fall backwards every time you open it.

Then it was my turn! I managed to attach the batting layer with my puny staple gun, but then called in the Big Guns (my Mom) to help with the fabric. I wasn’t quite sure how to join the fabric on one of the sides. I knew there would have to be a seam, but wasn’t sure it I had to use the sewing machine, or if there was a secret way. Turns out, there’s a secret way! Fold the fabric over a very thin  piece of cardboard (we used a shoebox), wrap it with tacks inside

and hammer to the ottoman! See?

All that’s left is to finish up staple-ling the fabric along the inside and underneath.

Bought some legs at Home Depot, painted them the same color as our walls...

My husband screwed them in... and Voila! Simplest project ever! Here’s our cat checking it out—

Here’s the finished product in it’s home—

We love it! The fabric is awesome, I have a TON left over, and it really adds fun color to our room. For the next one, we’ve learned that you should route the edge of the top with a roundover bit so you don’t get such a harsh lip. It’s a little hard on the calves when you put your feet up for awhile.
Have you done any projects like this? Any tips you picked up while you were working? Any fun blooper stories or accidents with the staple gun??


  1. Love this!! New follower following from Mom Bloggers. Feel free to check out my blog and follow back :)

  2. Hi Ann Marie! So glad you found our Facebook Page through Southern Hospitality and in turn glad to find your wonderful blog. :) Love your project! The fabric is fabulous. We host a party called Inspiration Friday where you can link up your projects or really anything that inspires you and share it with others. It will be up this afternoon, we'd love you to come by and share your blog with our other party guests! Hope to see you there. :)

    Heather @At The Picket Fence

  3. Thanks for visiting Erica! I will definitely be following you!

  4. Hi Heather! I'm so glad you stopped by! I would love to join you for Inspiration Fridays! I hate to say this out loud, but I'm still finding my way around "blogging" so it might take me some time to figure out how to link up to your blog, but I'll try my darndest!

  5. Yea Ann Marie! You found us and linked up! We love this project and later this afternoon I will share it on our Facebook Page, so our Facebook friends can see it as well. Hope you'll join us often for Inspiration Friday, it's a great way to connect with the blogging community! :) Have a great weekend!


  6. Beautiful! Thanks for a great project idea!

  7. Great project! welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!

  8. Thanks Debbie & Pamela! Thanks for the warm welcome- as a "newbie" it's great to get visits and comment love!

  9. Wow, impressive. and I love the fabric you chose. Great job.

    Warmly, Michelle