DIY: Ottoman; Build your own from scratch

5:05 PM

**All images are property of Do It Yourself Divas. Please do not use without permission. You are welcome to pin. **

My hubby and I built this ottoman from scratch! You can build a storage ottoman too! Since this was a "trial run" ottoman, I didn't take as many pictures as I should have, but I think you will get the idea.

You see, there was once an old ugly couch. But within the couch was something beautiful....

...down feather cushions. Cha ching!

You Need:
You can use any cushion you want, just keep in mind that measurements for your ottoman will be completely different than mine. The size of the cushion determines the length of wood you need, thus adjusting the fabric measurements. You need enough fabric to completely cover the top cushion and to cover the outside of the box with a couple inches going into the box and a couple inches going under the box,plus about 3 inches on every edge to be safe. I used 2 1/2 yards of fabric and I had a bit left over in the end. Total cost of this ottoman including nice fabric, wood for the base, staples, and wooden feet was $60.

We placed a board onto the cushion so that it would be able to support weight.

We wrapped the cushion and board tightly with some cheap fabric and stapled the fabric to the board. This put the cushion into the form we wanted. Cut off extra fabric.

Here's what it looks like flipped over

This picture frame looking wood will be attached to ottoman lid to keep it in place, or in other words, to keep it from sliding off the base of the ottoman. It will fit perfectly into the box, which we also call the base of the ottoman. We stained this wood to make it look nice.

This wood is used to make the box, or the base of the ottoman.

Here is the base of the ottoman. The bottom of the base is made from extra wood we had in our garage. I didn't take any pictures of it before and I don't know exactly how my hubby put it together because he was out building it while I was inside stapling fabric onto the top of the ottoman.

Here is the good fabric being stapled onto the cushion part of the ottoman.

This picture will take you blasting into the future, but it helps me describe how we covered the cushion. I am talking only about the cushion part of the ottoman, so forget about the base or box part for now. We used one piece of fabric that basically covered the entire top portion of the cushion and most of the bottom/wooden portion. Then we got another piece of fabric to cover the empty space, folded under the raw edges, and secured it by screwing on the picture frame looking wood. It's hard to describe, but I will be making another ottoman soon and I will take more pictures.

Now back to the present time... this is what the ottoman looked like after the lid was complete and the base was built. Coming along! (The feet are not permanently on yet)

We wrapped the outside of the base with some thin batting to make it a bit softer and lush. We stapled all the way along.

Then we measured down an inch into the box, marked it, and thats how we knew where to staple our fabric. Cut 4 pieces of fabric big enough to cover your wood, plus 2 inches on each side so you can fold under the raw edges.

Then we cut up some cereal boxes into strips, and stapled it on the edge of the fabric and the wrong side of the fabric, to the inside of the box to add stability for when we flip it over. This is a trick so you don't see any staples on your finished product.

This is what it looks like flipped over.

Repeat on the opposite side of the box. Make your ends look like this. Basically it covers one side of the box completely and about an inch or two of the side next to it. Staple to secure in place.

Here is another view.

Then you cover the last two ends and fold under the fabric on the edges. Squeeze on some fabric glue where to two pieces of fabric meet together to secure it and keep it from fraying.

This is what the bottom of the box looks like. Probably could have made it look better. There's always next time. Attach some feet. You can find them at Home Depot or Lows.

This is what the inside of the box looks like.

Fill with toys or blankets or anything you want. The lid fits on perfectly and will support the weight of feet and bums.

Email any questions!!


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  1. AMAZING!! I REALLY want to give this a shot!!!

  2. This really is fantastic. Great job, both of you!

  3. Wow, this is so creative. I am thinking I may need to make an ottoman for my new nursery!
    Thanks for the idea. One question, would any cushion work, or do you really need a plushy, feather one?

  4. How did you figure out how much fabric to buy? I have been looking on for something like this but she doesn't have this exactly so I am excited Megan posted this on facebook. Thank you!

  5. Wow! You guys are mega-talented! I love your creativity and desire to, well, do it yourself!

  6. This is wonderful! Thank you so much for the inspiration. I have to make one for a chair I just picked up for $10.00 at the S.Army, and it needs an, all I have to do is get the supplies :)

    ~ Maria ~

  7. I have been looking all over for a storage otto & now I can't wait to try this!!
    ~Bev~ :)

  8. Where did you get your fabric? I just did an ottoman, but I don't think I did a good job with the fabric. I think it might need to be replaced. Too delicate for my boys:(

    Your looks great!

  9. Fabric is from home fabric is Orem Utah. Good luck!

  10. Genius! I love this and will be making it soon!!! Thank you for the inspiration! :)

  11. Thanks for sharing. I think I will make my 1st fabric layer waterproof (kids) or maybe faux leather.

  12. Thanks for sharing. I have an automan already. would not mind finding a way to make it a storage unit as well and needs to be recovered any way

  13. what a great tute. I'm so excited to find your blog. Any tips on attempting a round or hexagon shaped storage ottoman?

  14. Thank you so much for posting this! I have been searching for the perfect storage/cocktail ottoman and haven't found one. Now I can make my own! And I never would have guessed how simple it is. (Simple for me, anyway, because my husband is a part-time carpenter)YAY! I plan on taking pictures and putting your link on my blog. Thanks again!

  15. Amazing! Thanks for the how to. I love DIY projects.

  16. Did you make the frame from scratch or did you just go out and buy a picture frame? If you made the frame/top of box from scratch, how do you know how big it should be?

  17. most ottomans are ugly, you did a great job. elegant and simple