DIY Upholstered Ottoman Plans from Scratch

DIY Upholstered Ottoman Plans from Scratch

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This beautiful ottoman works as a footstool, extra seating, and a low coffee table in your busy living room!

Today, I’ve got a quick build for you guys! You can build, finish and upholster this DIY Upholstered Ottoman Plans from Scratch in less than a day. And it’s such a versatile piece of furniture. You can use this ottoman as a footstool, extra seating, or as a low coffee table for your next family game night. Just pick your favorite fabric by the yard and quick drying wood finish to get this ottoman built quickly!


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Quick Note: I’m sharing this DIY Upholstered Ottoman Plans from Scratch as part of a Living Room Makeover for the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge. Follow the link to see a page full of inspiring indoor and outdoor rooms being made over by over 200 talented designers and DIY bloggers. But first, grab a cup of coffee, you’ll want to see them all. So much inspiration, guys!

More projects from this Living Room Makeover

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DIY Upholstered Ottoman Plans from Scratch- Materials Needed

DIY Upholstered Ottoman Plans from Scratch – Tools Needed

  • Kreg Jig, Screws and Drill
  • Wood Glue
  • Brad Nailer and Nails
  • Miter Saw
  • Staple Gun and Upholstery Staples
  • Scissors

DIY Upholstered Ottoman Plans from Scratch – Build Steps

Step One

Cut all of your wood to size, except the square dowels.

Step Two

Put 2 Kreg Jig Pocket Holes at each end of the 4 – 21″ 1×2 boards.

Step Three

Glue and Screw the 4 1×2 boards to the 2×2’s, with a 1/4″ setback from the front of the 2×2. I usually use a 1/4″ thick piece of scrap wood as a spacer (see picture above). Build the complete square frame with the 2×2’s as the corners.

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I use this handy Kreg Clamp to hold the boards in place while screwing the first screw in. You can see the 1/4″ thick board under the 1×4 here too.
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I’ve attached the trim all along the bottom edge here. Make sure the pocket holes to attach the seat are facing down, like mine.
Step Four

Measure and cut the 1/2″ dowels to attach along the bottom of the square frame. For 45-degree miter cuts, I like to double check the measurements before cutting. They should be 24″. I used glue and my brad nailer to attach the dowel even with the 2×2’s.

On the opposite side of the dowels (top of the frame), add 6 pocket holes that will be used to attach the seat later. I put 2 near the corners of 2 opposite sides, then 2 near the center of the other 2 sides.

Step Five

Attach the 4 Top Leg Plates tightly into the corners of the bottom of the square frame. That’s it. Now you’re ready to apply the finish. 🙂

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DIY Upholstered Ottoman Plans from Scratch – Finishing Steps

Start by giving everything a light sanding. I have found that 180-grit is all you really need for Select Pine and these feet. If you’re using different wood, you may need to use different grits and/or wood conditioner.

I love using Watco’s Danish Oil, lately. It is super easy to apply. You just pour some on the wood and spread it around. And it dries so much faster than most finishes. I used 2 coats of Watco’s Danish Oil in Medium Walnut for this build. It doesn’t require another topcoat, but I did apply Varathane Satin Polyurethane to the feet, just to give them a shinier look.

I applied the finish to the feet and square frame before attaching the feet. Once everything is dry, you can screw on the feet.

DIY Upholstered Ottoman Plans from Scratch- Upholstery Steps

Step One

Cut a 24″ x 24″ piece of the 3″ foam. Then cut 2 layers of the high loft batting and 1 layer of fabric about 30″ x 30″.

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Step Two

Lay the upholstery fabric upside down on a clean flat surface. Then spread the 2 layers of batting over the fabric. Making sure that the batting is centered and spread smooth. Place the upholstery foam in the center. Then the 24″ x 24″ plywood board on top of the foam. Lift up the fabric on each of the 4 sides just to make sure it is centered and will cover at least an inch of the bottom of the plywood. Re-center, if needed.

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Step Three

Now, pull the fabric and batting tight in the center of 1 side and staple about 1″ or 1 1/2″ from the edge. Switch to the opposite side and pull the fabric and batting tight and staple again. Move to a third side and pull the fabric and batting tight and staple in the center. Then do the same on the fourth side.

Lift up the seat to make sure it looks tight enough across the surface of the seat. You can always remove staples and adjust, if needed. Even after tons of upholstery projects, I always end up removing staples and adjusting at some point. 🙂

Once you think everything looks nice and tight, staple each of the 4 sides while pulling tightly on the fabric and batting. Start with 1 side, move to the opposite side, then do the last 2 sides. Keep the staples close together (see picture). Leave 2 ” of unstapled fabric on each side of the 4 corners.

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Step Four

The corners can be done in a few different ways. First, you could have pinned and sewed them before attaching the fabric. For this ottoman, I folded the fabric under 1 corner to make a straight line, that wasn’t pulled too tightly. But first, trim away the excess batting at the corners. You just want the batting to meet at the corners, any more than that will look lumpy.

Once the extra batting is cut away, fold the fabric under one side to create a straight line in the corner. Then staple the fabric in place. I didn’t pull as tight at the corners as I did on the sides. I wanted to keep a squarer look on the corners. I sometimes go for 2 straight lines at the corners by folding the fabric under on each side, but that wasn’t looking great with this thick velvet fabric.

Play around with your corners to find a look you like. Once the corners are finished and look good, cut away the excess fabric and batting.

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Step Six

Then I made some matching cording wrapped in the same fabric and attached it to the bottom of the seat. This just adds a polished look and isn’t hard to make, at all. 🙂

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Cut a 1 1/2″ to 2″ wide strip of fabric to sew over small cording. I am not a very experienced sewer, but this is totally easy, guys. And, the sewing machines these days are super simple to use. This Brother sewing machine does most of the work and comes with a fully illustrated instruction book. Yea!
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At the corners, cut 5 or 6 strips in the fabric to make the cording bend easily. Be sure to stop before the stitching.

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Build this in less than a day! Square DIY Upholstered Ottoman Plans from Scratch, with full tutorial and pictures to help you build a beautiful wood and fabric ottoman in less than a day. Easy build for woodworking beginners. #AbbottsAtHome #DIYFurniture #Ottoman #Velvet #Footstool
With the cording, in front of the end table I made for this living room makeover. Be sure to sign up for the email newsletter to find out when the tutorial for the table is ready.
Step Seven

Attach the seat to the frame by flipping the seat upside-down, then centering the frame on it. Use the 6 pocket holes to attach the frame tightly to the seat. Pat yourself on the back, you’re done. 🙂

Build this in less than a day! Square DIY Upholstered Ottoman Plans from Scratch, with full tutorial and pictures to help you build a beautiful wood and fabric ottoman in less than a day. Easy build for woodworking beginners. #AbbottsAtHome #DIYFurniture #Ottoman #Velvet #Footstool
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Feeling inspired? Now you’re ready to follow these DIY Upholstered Ottoman Plans from Scratch. Let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.

9 thoughts on “DIY Upholstered Ottoman Plans from Scratch

  1. Love the ottoman! Looking forward to your reveal.

  2. The ottoman turned out beautifully, I like the color and I love your chair to go with it. Thanks for sharing on To Grandma’s House We Go!

  3. So pretty, great job! Love the addition of the cording; makes it look custom and pricey! Visiting from Happiness Is Homemade party.

  4. You did a fantastic job. I love the detail of the cording. Thanks for sharing at the Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make Party.

  5. Nice shot of the T50 staple gun! Thanks for sharing, Stephanie, and great job on this ottoman!

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