Simple Ottoman DIY

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What started out as one side table has turned into a few other small furniture projects. I never got a chance to take any sort of furniture building class in school, so these small projects are becoming really great and fun ways of teaching myself how (and how not, mostly) to build pieces that are both sturdy and functional.

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I started out by grabbing a 17″x24″ slab of wood for the base of ottoman. There was no real rhyme or reason for that size, it just seemed to suit my needs pretty well. Next, I bought 2″ thick foam and got it cut down to the same size as the base. I also picked up a bunch of extra loft batting, which would wrap around the foam/wood to make for cushiony edges and corners. I used wood glue to adhere the foam to the wood and a staple gun to staple the extra loft batting around it all, like so (the batting is slightly see-through which is why it looks green):

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Next, I wrapped the fabric around the wood/foam/batting and stapled it in place. I stapled one side completely, pulled the fabric to the other side so that it was as taut as it could be, stapled it in place while keeping it as taut as possible, and repeated that process for the remaining two sides. I had to do a little de-stapling and re-stapling to smooth out of some wrinkles in the fabric.

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The underside of the wood was looking a little janky and incomplete, so I got some cambric fabric (typically used underneath couches and armchairs to keep dust and bugs and things out of the springs), cut it to the appropriate size, and stapled it in place to make things look a little more polished. I actually attached angled leg plates onto the bottom of the wood base before adding the cambric, just to hide them and to keep everything neat and clean.

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I purchased these inexpensive 16″ tapered hardwood legs from Amazon.com and stained them a warm brown (Varathane light walnut). I applied a few coats to achieve the richness that I wanted, and then I applied two coats of matte polyurethane to finish them off. To screw the legs into the plates that were underneath the cambric at this point, I just used scissors to poke small holes where necessary and screwed them right in. And that’s it! A simple and unique piece that you can easily put together in a weekend.

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Lessons learned: Next time, I would use a thicker piece of plywood for the base, just to ensure sturdiness and stability. I’d also try to think of a cleaner way to finish off the corners of the fabric, which was probably the hardest part of the whole project, weirdly.

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