Making an Ottoman

Okay everyone, here is a riddle for you.

What can you make out of these two items, found on kijiji?

*As a side note, please do not judge my editing skills by my poorly photo-shopped table picture above.  the legs were originally green, but I had already painted the legs by the time I took the "before" picture, and I wanted you to get an idea of the original state.

What I did first, as mentioned above, was paint the legs white.  I painted the sides as well, and didn't realize until later that I actually didn't need to, so save yourself some time and skip painting the sides.

Next, I measured out where I wanted my tufts/buttons to be, and then drilled the holes through the top of the table in those places.

After that, I took the cover off of the little couch and chopped up the foam to lay on top of the table.  I had to use every inch and scrap to cover the top, and was a little short, but I figured that when I tufted it later it wouldn't show.  I used the little couch instead of just buying foam, because foam is incredibly expensive!  It would have cost me at least $100 from Fabricland for the amount of foam I needed.

I used a spray adhesive, just one I found at Wal-mart in the craft section, and it worked pretty well.  Don't do the spraying inside, as everything nearby will become sticky.  I sprayed the pieces of foam and then stuck them to the top of the table, kneeling on them to make sure they adhered.

For this next part, I do apologize, as I was too eager to get this part done because it was already midnight, and forgot to take pictures as I went, but I will try explain what I did.

After sticking the foam down, I made holes in it on top of my drilled holes.  It helps a lot when tufting.  To find the holes through the foam, I used a kabob stick (because it's pointed on the end) and stuck it through the hole in the back of the table, and it poked out through the foam.  That's how I knew where to dig the holes.

Next, I put batting down, doubled, on top of the foam.  I cut some pieces up and stapled them under the lip, so the edge wouldn't be so obvious.  I then laid my fabric on top of that.

And then it was time to tuft.

First I covered the buttons (you can find these pretty much anywhere, I got mine at Fabricland).  Because I had picked a thicker fabric, I needed a hammer to get the backs into the buttons so they would stay.  Make sure when you're buying the buttons to cover that you get one of the packages with the kit, otherwise it's much more difficult.

Since I didn't take pictures, I'm going to direct you to this wonderful tutorial on diamond tufting:  http://blog.addicted2decorating.com/2010/08/how-to-make-diamond-tufted-upholstered.html

This is a photo of my tufting job.  Listen to the tufting tutorial when is says leave it a bit loose, because then you will get the fabulous lines between buttons, giving you a diamond shape and a deeply tufted look.

When I was done, I stapled around the edges, securing the fabric tightly underneath.  I started stapling at each button, creating a nice crease down the side and stapling that down first.

After cutting off the excess fabric, it was all finished!

Here's the breakdown of what it cost:

             Coffee table (kijiji)  -           $25
             Foam/Kids couch (kijiji)  -  $10
             Fabric  -                             $24
             Buttons  -                           $11
             Batting   -                           $16

             Total Cost:                         $86

Compare that to $539 for the ottoman below, I think I did pretty good at saving at least $450.
Square Tufted Storage Ottoman

Here's just a little reminder of the before and after:

I am pretty pleased with myself, it's perfect!  Well, except for the corners, I want to fix those, but it's not urgent.  And it's wide enough so we can use it from both couches!  I'll have to post a picture of my living room when it's all completed and decorated.


  1. :O you are so crafty! and i am so jealous!

  2. What a great job Jennie. Amazing project and very beautiful.

  3. Genius! The cost of foam is literally the only thing that's been holding me back from making one of these myself. I'm so glad you came up with a solution! It's gorgeous!!

  4. Holy schmoly thats creative! Found you through your Better After Feature. Great job!

  5. Fantastic :)
    Linda from Norway

  6. You're fantastic! Who would have thought??? I'm a new follower, please drop by for a visit when you can...

  7. Wow, I just found your blog through Better After and I LOVE this project!! I am so impressed!! Thanks so much for sharing- I might have to try one myself!! :) Love your blog :)
    Melissa@ Living Beautifully

  8. Lovely! Great thinking of the little couch!

  9. that looks so good! I actually like the lines of the deeply tufted look!

  10. Love it so much! (so would my cat...) ;)

  11. It looks fabulous. I am going to listen to the tutorial. I am wanting to tuft something. I am visiting from Better After.

  12. I came from better after...Very Clever! I was wondering how you would mark it and though ...well I'd start underneath and that is what you did. I haven't done anything that extravagant but your tutorial made it seem easy or least not too advanced for me. :) Thanks for sharing!

  13. Incredible. I'm pretty sure if I tried that it would NOT turn out as amazing! I'd LOVE for you to share this over at Trash 2 Treasure Tuesday on Kammy's Korner... http://kammyskorner.blogspot.com/2011/11/trash-2-treasure-tuesdays-6.html

  14. WOW!! Awesome job! It came out so pretty!!

  15. Looks fantastic! I love all the diamond-tufted ottomans that are turning up- wish I had a place for one!
    I've also heard that cheap twin-size egg-crate foam mattress pads (from Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, etc) work okay for the foam on some pieces, depending how firm you want it to be.

  16. Oh my lands...you did a FABULOUS job...really impressive! And you are totally clever to use that cinderella couch. I am definitely going to have to try and copy this project...we have a dora couch that is screaming to be re-purposed! :) Thanks for sharing! We just recently finished out our basement and were needing some fun options for ottomans!

  17. Just wanted to let you know, I featured your ottoman on my blog today :) Thanks again for sharing it with us!

  18. I love the fact that you cut down a sofa for the foam! I was hunting forever for a big piece of foam, but now I'm just going to cut one down.

    Here's another tip. I'm way too cheap to buy batting, so instead at my local thrift store when they have half off on linens, I purchase mattress covers. They are about the same thickness as batting and I pay about $1.50 for a mattress cover.

  19. What a gorgeous ottoman! Just found this on Better After :) You did such an amazing job!! Was it easy to staple the fabric at the corners where the legs are?

  20. Found this on Pinterest and pinned it months ago. I JUST finished my ottoman and post and linked back to my inspiration. I have some great pictures over at: http://www.twentysomethingtransue.blogspot.com/2012/05/how-to-make-upholstered-tufted-ottoman.html. Thanks!