31 May 2012

How To Make An Upholstered Tufted Ottoman

Although my blog has been dormant for…er….months, I, my friends, have not!  Other than being consumed by what we, in the biz, call “May Madness” a.k.a. GHSGT, EOCT, AP Tests, Finals, etc., I have been working on this piece of beauty since Spring Break.
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I have been wanting one of these for years now.  I kept pinning picture after picture of great DYI tutorials.  They all began with my hunting down the perfect thrifted coffee table.  Well, after turning down one sticky or cigarette smoke laden table after another, I asked my man to build me one.  He obliged!  I watched :)
The Tutorial:
To start, you want to hoard up your Michaels, Jo-Ann’s and Hobby Lobby coupons.  I picked up the supplies below on different days at different stores depending on which combination made them the most cheap.  My ottoman has 12 buttons.  I bought one package of the batting and two packages of the foam.
Upholstered Tufted Ottoman Supplies
We also had to make a run to Home Depot for some supplies.  We already had all of the wood we needed left over from my Pottery Barn Knock Off Clock.  We bought four packages of leg hardware (found beside the legs in the trim section) and four legs.  There are many different shapes and sizes, so have fun!  I stained ours Ebony.
Upholstered Tugted Ottoman Supplies 2
Rusty built my box 36” x 36” out of plywood top and a 1" x 8" board for the sides.  We spent some time measuring it out in the living room.  You can even put some painters tape down to get a good visual, but I am a complete “eye ball” it kind of girl.  Rusty, however, is not and needed measurements.  He attached the leg hardware, and we pre drilled the 12 holes in the grid pattern Rusty measured out for me.  I forgot to take pictures of this part, but you can see some of the holes through the batting in the pictures below, and I linked up some tutorials that helped me at the end of this blog.
Upholstered Ottoman Legs
Here is where my “just eyeball it” mentality came back to bite me in the butt.  After putting 2” of foam all over the box and covering it with the batting, my ottoman grew ….to…. 40” x 40”.  This really freaked me out in the basement, but it was too late!!  I used some spray adhesive and pieced all of my foam scraps together to cover the ottoman.  Don’t worry about creases.  If you look closely, you can see where we pre drilled holes thorough the wood and foam…drill slowly, though, with a very small bit.  You don’t want to rip your foam all to pieces.  Use a larger drill bit for the wood.  It makes the needle finding the target much easier!
Upholstered Ottoman Covering
Your next step is to do the tufting.  My biggest tip is to use the hemp threading like I did.  I tried cording that was too thick to go through my needle and fishing wire that hurt my hands when I pulled from below.  It was a very easy process. 

1.  Tie your upholstered buttons to the end of the hemp. 

2.  Push the needle through your fabric/foam and into the pre drilled hole. 

3.  Get under your ottoman and have someone press the button firmly until it 
     meets the wood.  You don’t want to pull from below as hard as you would 
     need to get a tight tufting because it will risk popping the buttons you just 

4.  Staple underneath in a zigzag pattern to keep it secure.
Upholstered Ottoman Buttons
After all buttons are tufted, you will flip your ottoman on the floor.  Starting in the center of one of the sides, pull the fabric tightly and start stapling towards the corners.  Once you get two sides stapled all of the way to the corner, it is time to tailor your corners.  Here is how I did mine.

1.  Pull your excess fabric tightly to the center of the corner and secure with a  
     few staples.

2.  Pull your right side to the left making a clean fold and secure with a few 

3.  Pull your left side to the right making a clean fold and secure with a few 

4.  Trim excess fabric and keep securing.
Upholstered Ottoman Corners
You end of with tailored corners like these:
Upholstered Ottoman Corners 2
After screwing on your legs, you are done!  Here are my favorites of the after shots!
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I.  Love.  It!  Now, I am looking for a good complimentary fabric to make some throw pillows for the couch.  It was NOT too big.  It is perfect!

HERE and HERE are some pictures of what we were using for our “coffee table” before…

HERE, HERE and HERE are some links to great tutorials I checked out! 

On another note, totally sad the Picnic is gone for photo editing, but http://ipiccy.com was great!

Next project?  I just pinned this on Pinterest:
Decorating the Dorchester Way
Come follow me at http://pinterest.com/twentysomething/ to see what other future projects I have pinned!

Linking up: House of Hebworths, Savvy Southern Style, The Shabby Creek Cottage, Somewhat Simple, The Brambleberry Cottage, My Repurposed Life, The Shabby Nest, Home Stories A to Z


  1. Turned out beautifully! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Wow! I'm so impressed Heather! The ottoman looks like it is from an expensive furniture store! :)

  3. Thanks, Julie and Laura! I am still sitting here staring at it. I love it!

  4. that's a really big ottoman! :) great tute, and you did a fabulous job on the corners... I hate corners!


  5. Gorgeous! You and your man did a super job. Just as I got to the next to the last image, I thought about how perfect some pillows in that same fabric - or something complimentary - would look on the sofas. Then I read that that was exactly what you had planned. ;)

    Thanks for linking to Time Travel Thursday. Be sure to stop in and see the announcement this Thursday for my latest giveaway.

    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage

  6. I love it! I am super inspired. I love your neutral sofas and the ikat ottoman. like love love. I found you through HoH and I love you. Now that summer is here you can post again, right? Oh, good! b/c I totes want to see more of your fab creations! xoxo

  7. I love how this turned out!! I might have to give this a try and make myself one! Let me know if you try making the pouf!!! I would love to see how yours turned out!!

  8. LOVE this tutorial. How many yards of fabric did you use?

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  10. Looks beautiful! I'm going to try this hopefully this weekend. Thanks for the step by step guide!

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  14. I truly loved this kind of post, if I have your permission should i duplicate this post to my personal blog and share it with other people too.

  15. love it! Where did you get your fabric?

  16. How much fabric did you need for this ottoman?

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