My diy diamond tufted ottoman is finally finished! I started this project back in the fall and took forever to get going on it. Then when I did I got frustrated which I described in this post. It is finished and I am pretty happy with how it turned out. The quest for an ottoman started out as a solution to a problem. Our couch has a chaise on one end and is fairly long. I like to put my feet up so I gravitate toward the chaise. Greg likes to sit at the other end of the couch for the arm rest and side table. So this leads to us always sitting far apart and not cuddling. I have a 2 part solution to this situation. Part one is an ottoman and part 2 is a console table behind the sofa. I’m hoping part two won’t give me as much grief as part one did.
Let’s start at the beginning. I decided I wanted an upholstered ottoman and started searching online. I found this one and loved the style but not the color or the price.
Almost $1000 to put my feet on, no thank you. So of course, I decided to build my own because it couldn’t really be that hard. Right?
I was thinking about just cutting a big piece of plywood as my base but then I found this amazing table on craigslist for $10!
This was my first and only craigslist purchase so far. Greg thinks I will be murdered by the craigslist killer so he made me take a friend. Thanks Sarah for risking your life for my ottoman!
This table is heavy, pretty much it’s only short coming for this project. I loved the rim it had both on the top and bottom and the thick sides. First I used a jigsaw to cut off the legs. I think the big circle of wood will make something neat so it is being stored for later use. Keeping things which may make something “neat” is why my basement took 2 weeks to clean out. At this point I hadn’t even chosen fabric yet so I had a chopped up coffee table sitting in the back of the truck for a bit. Originally I bought some navy microfiber from Joann’s. They didn’t have a turquoise color to use for the contrast trim but I figured I could use some chenille I had at home. Well that didn’t look that great and I really wasn’t happy with the microfiber. I wanted velvet but that seemed crazy for something to put your feet on as well as us having a 2 year old, a dog and a cat. Then I found some promising fabric at Funky Sofa. They sell plush velvet which has the look of velvet but is supposed to be very kid and pet friendly. I ordered some samples and decided on the navy and the bayoux for the trim. Funky Sofa also makes custom ottomans if you don’t feel like building your own so check them out. I also purchased some 1” foam from Hobby lobby which I was hoping to layer to get a nice plush top but it wasn’t working so I sprang for the more expensive 2” foam at Joanne’s. Just do yourself a favor and get nice foam for bigger upholstery projects. The 1” foam was perfect for filling the center of the coffee table though.
Measuring a circle and finding the center point and how you want to place 19 buttons is not as easy as I had hoped. This step would have been easy if I had flipped the table over and marked from the top. It has a nice veneer that shows exactly where the middle is and straight lines to go by. Oops, anyway once I had the table all marked I used a drill to make my button holes. Jbug had fun blowing the sawdust away from the holes. I cut a big circle out of the 1” foam and tucked it into the table top. Next I put my table on my 2” foam and outlined it. Using an electric carving knife to cut the circle worked great. Since my table was wider than the foam I used spray adhesive to bond the two sides of foam together. Now here is where my project came to a frustrating halt. I tried to replicate my measurements on the foam top but the marks on my foam didn’t match the holes in the table.
Now the smart thing to do would be to mark your foam first, cut the holes out of the foam and then drill the holes in the table. But that would be the easy way. I just got annoyed and put the project to the side for a couple months.
I eventually did get my measurements right and was able to move on to the next step. Once the holes were cut out of the foam I was very happy to find they actually matched the holes in the table. I was fully expecting to have to drill new holes. I had read some different methods of cutting the holes. I tried using an electric drill and a hole cutter on the foam and neither worked for me. A serrated kitchen knife turned out to be the easiest method in my opinion. Only cutting through the 2” foam and not the bottom 1” foam ensured the buttons weren’t pulled too deep. To make sure the foam stayed matched up with the holes on the table I marked the table and foam with corresponding symbols ( an x, a star and a heart).
Next I covered the foam with 2 different types of batting to give it some fluff. I got two types because I couldn’t decide which was better so I put the fluffier one on the bottom and the more dense one on the top. I figured it would help smooth everything out. I’m not sure if it made a difference or not. Anyway, I tucked the bottom piece of batting between my foam layers and used spray adhesive to keep it tucked in.
Next, I found the center point for my fabric and put in my first button.
Check out this tutorial for how to thread and insert a button. Do yourself a favor and learn how to tie a slip knot. I didn’t on half of my buttons and had to cut them off and restart. Getting the button placement right so the diamonds would have the correct amount of fabric wasn’t easy but I finally got all my buttons in.
At this point Jbug and the pets were happy with the ottoman as is.
Then I tried to get all the buttons tightened to the same depth and knotted the backs. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I got my buttons from a local upholstery store. They charge $1.50 a button and I think the quality is better than those kits you can get at the hobby or fabric store. Next I stapled the fabric to the wood ring of the ottoman. I tried to pull it and continue the diamond pattern off the edge of the ottoman.
The next step was making the contrasting welt cord. I used this tutorial to make the continuous bias. It is amazing and worked so well! Much easier than piecing it all together or this crazy tutorial which I’m sure I would have messed up and resulted in having to order more fabric. Once you have your bias fabric just wrap it around the welt cord and use a zipper foot to sew along the cord as close as you can get. Check out this tutorial for how to make welt cord if you need help.
Next I cut 6” strips of fabric and attached 3 together to cover the entire circumference of my ottoman. I sewed the welt cord to the fabric. This is the part which will cover the bottom portion of the ottoman.
To attach it, just staple the underside of the welt cord to the ottoman. I used a ruler to make sure my height was consistent. Then when the fabric is pulled down, all of the staples and fabric is hidden underneath. Next the 2 ends of welt cord will need to be attached. I didn’t take pictures of this step so just see this tutorial on how to make and join welt cord. This is what the area where it is joined looks like.
Lastly, I stapled another length of piping around the bottom of the ottoman. Now the hard part is done.
I already had 4 legs from an old ottoman/stool that broke. To raise the legs past the rim on the ottoman I attached pieces of 2×6 I had in my scrap pile. I used pocket holes and regular screws to attach it to the bottom of the ottoman. Next I screwed in the plates for the legs and added the legs. This is what the inside of upholstered furniture looks like. Pretty isn’t it?
I’m assuming I originally meant to add castors because my ottoman was way too short. I wanted to find some locally since I was so close to finishing this thing. I got these castors from Lowes for about $12 for all 4.
After adding the castors all that was left was the dust cover to hide the mess of button string and tufting. The only dust cover material Joanne’s had was kind of transparent but no one will be under there anyway.
It isn’t perfect but I am pretty happy with how it turned out since it was my first deep button tufted project and the first upholstered project I pretty much designed from the ground up.
Now it is finally complete and I can kick back and relax….for a few minutes before jumping to a new project!
What was your most frustrating DIY project?