• Ottoman Power – How to Make an Ottoman


    The ottoman is perfect when it comes to accent furniture. I love them. Incredibly versatile and so practical; ottomans are great as coffee tables, footstools, extra seating and even storage.There are so many ottomans for sale. This post is about how to make an ottoman or small footstool. Making an ottoman is relatively straight forward once you work out the style you like. There are lots of ideas below from ‘no sew’ to more advanced ideas to make your own ottoman. In most cases, all you need is a staple, a hand saw and a glue gun.

    blue and white ottoman coffee table

    Read on to find different ways you can make, build and upholster an ottoman, from the simple to more advanced, and find out which style is right for you.There are various videos with upholstery tips – starting with how to make a round ottoman.

    How to Make a Round Ottoman

    For an easy round ottoman with legs; the video below shows how to make a mid century style ottoman for less than $52.  It uses less fabric and wadding but the result is great. There is a good tip about how to slant your legs for that real mid century look – and get it right.

    Below is a version below from One Kings Lane that you can knock off. It has shorter legs and a bigger body, for storage. The body is the storage area. The top has button tufting and white piping. There are videos below that show how to manage both easily.

    one kings lane

    Source: Arabella Storage Ottoman –  One Kings Lane

    Can you DIY it? Cover a round large storage container, make sure its strong enough to sit on, with wadding or foam, cover the top separately, adding button tufting and hot glue on some piping. And finally add some legs and you have created a ottoman with storage. Use the new ottoman as a coffee table, foot stool or side table. Buy it from One Kings Lane or make it.

    Use the tips on tufting, making your own piping and more in the video below.

    Storage Ottoman Bench

    Athens Tufted Ottoman

    Source: One Kings Lane – Athens Tufted fabric ottoman

    You can adapt this concept to make a storage ottoman bench. Ottomans with storage are very popular. Look for a bench, blanket box or chest that is strong but cheap; that you can makeover to create a large storage ottoman like the one above. Or convert a storage bench made for the outdoor or garden area into an ottoman and you have the perfect ‘end of bed’ bench. Line the inside with fabric and add final feet or coasters for a better finish.


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    No Sew Round Tufted Ottoman

     InMyOwnStyle has a two part tutorial on How to Make a No Sew Round Ottoman from scratch! Here is the base; before adding layers of wadding and fabric.

    inyourown style ottoman

    Source: inyourown style

    And this is what you will need to complete the base:

    • One 24-inch decorator round wood tabletop
    • 24-inch square 3-inch thick piece of high density foam
    • Eight 1-inch wood screws
    • Eight 1/2 to 1-inch wood screws
    • Four 1-inch corner brackets or angle irons
    • Screwdriver
    • 4 wheels
    • Square base

    There are lots of photos and instructions for this round single tufted round ottoman with a pleated skirt.

    inyourownstyle - ottoman

    Source: inmyownstyle.com via Christine on Pinterest


    Here is In My Own Style Part One and Part Two for how to make your own tufted ottoman.

    The video below has upholstery tips; easy ways to add buttons to cushions, how to cut piping and more so your work looks professional.

    This video shows how to make a round ottoman look different by mixing skirts, fabrics styles and adding braid using a glue gun.

    Youtube shows how to cover a footstool or coffee table by adding cushioning on top.

    Boxed Ottoman

    A tutorial from Design Sponge shows a boxed ottoman. Being larger, they are perfect as a coffee table. Piping gives it a professional touch – which means sewing! Find the tutorial here.


    design sponge - ottoman

    Source: designsponge.com via Janet on Pinterest

    How to Make a Tufted Ottoman

     YoungHouseLove‘s tutorial creates a tufted square upholstered ottoman using a coffee table or creating your own base. This piece is larger and works perfectly as a coffee table. Its large enough to add an ottoman tray and style. Click here for styling ottoman trays.

    This coffee table ottoman cost $32, using mostly free pieces from around the home. Here is a summary – but go to the site for the full tutorial.

    younghouselove - coffee table ottoman

    Source: younghouselove.com via Christine on Pinterest


    Step 1- Cut a piece of wood (or MDF) and 2 inch foam to the ottoman coffee table size of your choice. You could use an existing coffee table – which makes this even easier. Drill holes through your table to add button tufts. 
    Step 2 – Cover your wood top with contact cement and place 2 inch foam on top.
    Step 3 – Cover the top with extra batting; enough to cover and secure underneath with a staple gun. Trim the excess.
    Step 4- Cover batting with your fabric. Making sure you fabric pattern is in the middle of the table, staple it in the middle, then do the same on the opposite side; make sure it is taut but not too tight. Do the same with the other sides. This avoids bunches and bulges.

    Step 5- Finish your corners. For each corner; pull the left flap to the right and staple. Then pull both flaps to the left and staple. Make it as neat as possible and finish all four corners.

    Step 6 – Button and cover kits for tufting are found at your local craft store. Cover your buttons with your fabric following kit instructions.

    Step 7- Using a very large needle, string a heavy and strong thread. Do not cut the thread.

    Step 8- Push the needle and thread through the back of your piece, through the holes. You may need pliers to help you pull your needle through the hole.

    Step 9- String your button onto the thread then back through the hole.

    Step 10- Threading a washer onto one end of the string will make sure nothing comes loose. Do this for all your holes.
    Step 11 – Add this to your table base. You can make one or buy one.
    This project cost $32 using mostly free pieces.

    Tufted Ottomans

    FiveDaysFiveWays shows you how using a Craig’s list table as a base for creating a tufted ottoman. There are some similarities with the ottoman above. The base cost very little and the result is great!

    fivedaysfiveways - ottoman

    Source: fivedaysfiveways.com via Christine on Pinterest


    AStrollThuLife article How To Make an Ottoman is traditional. You can use any fabric and create any look. The technique is what is important. You are basically making a box , adding a piece of pine, with foam, on top, and connecting the two with piping. Use 4″ foam for the top and 6.5″ batting to go around your box base.

    covered ottoman - a stroll thru life

    Source: astrollthrulife.blogspot.com.au via Christine on Pinterest


    Add feet like these finials above and you are done. More photos on the site.

    ehow has a step by step ‘how to make an ottoman’ article with great instructions but no photos and similar to the In My Own Style ottoman above.

    I hope this information inspires you to make an ottoman and make it your own unique piece.

    One Kings Lane simple foot stool

    Source: Brenna Modern Ottoman – One Kings Lane

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9 Responsesso far.

  1. Josie says:

    Love these ideas.. I’m trying it this weekend on an old coffee table – let’s see what happens.

  2. Kathy says:

    Has anyone tried to make one yet? Looks easy enough.

  3. Bobbie says:

    These look great and I think I have just the table top to make a storage footstool.. I know ambitious but what the hay!

  4. Fredika says:

    I love the long ottomans you can put trays on – great to store magazines and remotes – and I can use my old coffee table I was going to get rid of and use my left over curtain material. Definitely a win. Thanks

  5. Pam says:

    I’m going to buy one of them from One Kings Lane!

  6. https://delicious.com/ says:

    Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Finding the time and actual effort
    to generate a good article

  7. delicious.com says:

    Do you have any video of that? I’d like to find out some additional information.

  8. majake says:

    I Want to make an ottoman what fabrics can I use?

    • Christine says:

      Hi Majake
      you can use any fabric but to be practical, something that is hard wearing. A thicker fabric that can be hand or machine washed is perfect.

      Stores generally have an upholstery section, so see what they have on offer.



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