Friday, August 5, 2016

Build it, and they will come ...

So, I have been looking for ottomans for my new dining room table area for weeks. I've found absolutely nothing! Nothing at all! If they're the right size, they're too cushioned and not firm enough for seating, and if they're the right firmness, they're too small or too large. It's the quintessential Goldilocks dilemma!

I decided to make them myself! I knew they would be slipcovered with a beautiful linen the same color as the sofa, so it wasn't important that the shell be beautiful. More so that it be sturdy and the right size and height. I wanted them to be a little wider than your average dining room side chair, as they'd make for great pull-up seating to the living area that is immediately adjacent. So I went to work ... in the only space that I have room to work, the living room.

I snapped pictures for a friend as I was working on all of it - and I thought, you know what, my friends on the blog should see what I'm up to, too!

First things first, I don't recommend it, but if the only place you have to work in a tiny apartment is your living room, you MIGHT want to pull up your antique Anatolian sun bleached rug. AND, if you are really in a jam, design books WILL make great vices for drilling pilot holes. You can buy these two here: 

I'm not a furniture building expert. I just know what I've done in the past that has worked for me. I will say however, that I am 100% a fan of my DeWalt 14.4v cordless drill, that thing has never let me down! 

Alright, so the finished size on these ottomans, there will be two, are 20x24x18. I used 2x2 lumber from Lowes to create the base, which was screwed together with 3" screws and then braced with small L-brackets. 

I'd love to say that I am incredibly detail oriented when it comes to this sorta stuff. That would be a lie. Always remember to measure twice, and cut once. 

And the braces. Now, again, you shouldn't really come to me for building advice. I'm not an expert, and don't want to be. But I will say that these little L-brackets are AMAZING, and do so much to help keep the finished product sturdy. They're about $2 for a package of 4, but are well worth it! 

I have NO power tools other than my drill, so I have to cut all of this stuff by hand the old fashioned way. And yes, I know you're shaking your head about me cutting wood on that rug. I'm impulsive. I rarely take the time to prep a space. I know ... I know ... my mother taught me better. 

And finish line is in sight. Just have to build one more, upholster the tops with foam and batting, and then get them over to the slipcover lady (yes, that's the ACTUAL name of her business) and we'll be ready to dine! 

After the last post, some of you wanted to know where I found my rug. The one I just Bob Villa'd on. I bought it from They've got thousands of rugs, and if you're looking for one like mine, you can either search "Sunwash" in the search box, or go here: 

More to come! But for now, enjoy your weekend! 


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  2. I love a can-do with what you got! I've been wanting a tufted ottoman. You just inspired me to try it on my own! I do have a friend with a miter saw so I'm ahead of you with the tools. ;o)

  3. I can't wait to see them fitted with the slipcovers!!! I am impulsive too and often do projects on my dining room table or if they are larger the kitchen floor! LOL

  4. Artieben, as said before wish we were neighbours as my husband has all kinds of power tools and we would be happy to lend them to you. That said; looking forward to seeing the finished projects as I am sure they will be marvelous. -Brenda-
    P.S.: Re your work space; I can relate as when I built a humongous upholstered head board I did its upholstery and final construction in the Living Room as with the process of elimination for convenience, it was the best place to do it. (The da*n thing weighed a ton and the LRm was the shortest route to the bed room it was going in .. ☺.)

  5. This is an amazing post . Thank you so much .