504 Main by Holly Lefevre: I Built An Ottoman...and You Can Too! GIVEAWAY!
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

I Built An Ottoman...and You Can Too! GIVEAWAY!

I have commitment issues with furniture,
but once I make a commitment, it is for life!

I have wanted an ottoman forever...
what held me back...who knows?
I mean it is crazy...it is not a huge investment,
I like the way it looks, hubby likes the way they look...
but still, I did not purchase one...
seriously this has been going on for years.
Fast forward....to January, when I was in Los Angeles for the Craft and Hobby Association Show I saw a company called The Upholstery Studio, and was so excited! Through their brand Home Decor 1-2-3 - they have kits to make your own headboards, benches, cornice boards...and ottomans! I thought I can totally do that! I am finally going to get my ottoman!

Since then, I have received and built my own ottoman using the complete kit provided by The Upholstery Studio via The DIY Club.

 Three other DIY Club ladies also made ottomans.
You should check them out they are fabulous! They are also so different and full of personality!
The DIY Showoff: DIY Project Parade and Ottoman Tutorial
Its So Very Cheri: I Made A Utility Cart Ottoman and You Can Too
Whisperwood Cottage: How We Made Our Own Tufted Fur Ottoman...and How You Can, Too!


I received two ginormous boxes from The Upholstery Studio (all that batting and foam takes up space), and I will be honest, I was intimidated. What have I done? HOWEVER...I opened the directions, read through them (I really did!) and looked at the pieces and tools, and it all made perfect sense.

The Ottoman Kit comes with detailed directions, and even an instructional video (I just used the written directions). This is my first EVER built from scratch piece of furniture and my first EVER upholstery project. So, if I can do it, you can too!

I am not going to walk you through step by step, but just highlight the major points (all of the directions are in the kit). EDIT: Again, this post is to show you (quickly) the basic steps to make an ottoman and how it is possible even for a first-timer...this is not meant to be a tutorial to make your own.

The Ottoman Kit comes with everything you need to build this ottoman from the ground up including upholstery supplies and upholstery tools...except
*I also used a drill for the screws (I started with a screw driver and have a huge callus to prove it)
*I also used a staple gun
*Sewing machine and thread, scissors, pins...BUT Diane at In My Own Style has a great NO SEW ottoman upholstery tutorials
*Fabric. I was having issues committing to a fabric...and the selection where I live is pretty dismal...and I like to feel a fabric before I use it, so mail/online ordering was out for me on this project. BUT finally, I made a decision. Now I know this is not original, but I used drop cloth. HERE'S WHY:
1 -It is Neutral - I want my ottoman to fit in either the living room or family room or even as part of the outdoor room on the deck.
2 - It is durable and easy to clean (kids, enough said)
3 -It is easy to cover with another fabric - a slip cover - without any print, etc. showing through.
4 -My sewing machine is on the fritz and I did not have to sew a hem...just cut my skirt to use the hemmed edge of the cloth as the finished edge!
5 -I like it!

Here's a quick rundown of the process:
Lay out all wood/structure pieces out so I had an idea of what I was aiming for
Marked screws positions, using the template and screwed the frame together according to the directions.

Apply bending board to the sides, using glue and staples.

Add webbing. Using the staples and the webbing stretcher (I have a new love for upholstery tools), I added the webbing to the ottoman top...first horizontally and the wove it vertically. The webbing stretcher is essential - pulls that webbing so tight!
Apply burlap over the webbing and secured into place.

Apply tack strips
Apply 1" foam to the center and then a larger foam on top using 3M Adhesive spray. (that orange "stuff" is the spray!)

Once in place apply Dacron over the top...this smooths the edges of the foam, and gives the ottoman foam a great shape.
***There are options for this step...used the black fabric in my kit. More details are in the ottoman instructions.***

EDIT: So, it looks like a lighter color should have been used in this step...and I think I made a boo-boo in my process (got my fabrics mixed up a bit...BUT the black does not show through the heavier fabric...AND, hey it is my first time, so I am giving myself a pass.

Apply fabric to the top of the ottoman. Determine your style and add tufts or pleats or gathers as you desire (there are specific direction with the kit, but I chose to do my pleats this way as a "style thing"). Sew welt (use could use purchased trim or nailheads, but it was easy to sew). Apply welt to the ottoman using tack strip as guide.

Attach skirt. I chose to pleat my skirt with a certain style as well (the directions call for a 4 piece flap type skirt - which is more tailored).
  • I did a box pleat in the center of each longer side and 3 matching pleats (matching to the top pleats) at each corner.
  • I pinned my skirt first to make sure I liked the look.
  • When applying the fabric, staple at the centers of the ottoman vertically and horizontally first, evenly distributing your fabric (I basically folded mine in half, pinned half (the fold) to one side of the ottoman and the other half (fold) to the opposite side.
  • I did the same thing for the other direction. Then your fabric is basically, evenly distributed all over the ottoman.
  • Once happy with the look, I marked my staple line with a pencil; flipped the skirt; positioned it into the correct place and secured with staples.
(This is a pen mark, just so you can see it - use a pencil, lightly)

Lift skirt (I flipped my ottoman over on a table) and apply batting to the sides of the ottoman using spray adhesive. Apply a layer of Dacron over the batting securing on the underside of the ottoman. EDIT: Dacron is also applied to the underside of the ottoman.

Attach casters - I may add bun feet later, but like the functionality of the casters right now. EDIT: Dacron is also applied to the underside of the ottoman.


My kids think it is so cool I built this...and I think my hubby is still amazed I did it without his help!

This is a basic oval ottoman from The Upholstery Studio Ottoman Collection 1.
I really wanted to try the storage ottoman..but I was a chicken....BUT, after completing my first upholstery project, I am confident and ready to go for it! And maybe, who knows...the couch! Now...you want to amaze your friends and family, we are giving away one of these complete kits at THE DIY CLUB!

Have you ever tried upholstery? Any tips?
Go ENTER to win your own Ottoman Kit at The DIY Club
You can win the complete kit and tools to make your own!
freckled laundryFurniture Feature FridaysDIY Club

Disclosure: Some products have been supplied to me via The DIY Club. See my complete disclosure by clicking "Disclosure" in the Navigation Bar.


  1. Love the way it turned out Holly!!

  2. holy smokes..it is beautiful! you really did make it look easy...great job!

  3. So pretty, Holly! I love the skirt and oval shape! Great job! :)

  4. Wow! Great project and terrific ottomsn. Love the shape and the fabric your chooose. Thanks for the great instructions.

  5. Wow! I've never heard of this company or the concept of building your own. I will definitely check it out! You did a great job! I do love basic linen you chose.

  6. Holly I love the oval shape. It came out so pretty.

  7. This kit really takes some of the pain out of upholstery! Great job too! Sorry to nit pick but that black piece of fabric draped over the dacron should have been put on the bottom so that dust etc doesn't get up into the ottoman. I'm thinking (hoping) you didn't use it there as the black wouldn't be a good under fabric for your neutral upholstery fabric.

  8. Love this! The oval shape is soooo neat!

  9. Just to address the use of the black fabric (Dacron): It was also used on the sides to cover the batting and on the bottom for the dust. This is NOT a complete tutorial...the purpose is to show you can build one using this kit.

    The instruction also address the use of the black fabric versus something lighter or covering it before applying upholstery. It does not show through my fabric at all, because my fabric is heavy and thick.

    All good points Sarah. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. I love this. It turned out perfect! I don't think I can do it though! Well I could but it wouldn't look so good! I just found your blog through a blog hop, I love it. If you're interested please take a look at my blog at www.romanianprincess.com and if you like it PLEASE be a follower!

    XoXo Nicole Mariana

  11. wow! Your ottoman looks super!

    I'm not going to enter, because I might WIN! lol
    Just reading your post is overwhelming. :)

  12. Really impressive, Holly! I love your ottoman!

    I've done a fair amount of upholstery, but nothing super complicated. There used to be a show on cable called "The Furniture Guys" that gave great step by step instructions on refinishing and upholstering furniture. I learned a lot from watching it.

  13. Wow! This is so nice! I can't believe you made it and how professional it looks!

  14. Holly, it turned out beautifully!

  15. To re-address the black fabric....So, it looks like a lighter color should have been used in this step...and I think I made a boo-boo in my process (got my fabrics mixed up a bit)...BUT the black does not show through the heavier fabric...AND, hey it is my first time, so I am giving myself a pass.

  16. That turned out awesome, Holls!

  17. OH my gosh I am giddy and nearly jumping up and down here. THIS is the perfect project for me! I love projects (just took down a drop ceiling yesterday and re doing a basement room) but I have never tackled a make it yourself furniture with upholstery project before! We have a baby coming in a couple weeks here and this would be so soft and unassuming for when she starts crawling, plus lightweight to move around for uses all over the house (family room, living room, bedroom and porch!) thanks for the info and great pictures. If you had not done the photos I think I'd be scared to try!

  18. This was such a great idea Holly! Love it! There are so many things I can see as an ottoman now. ;)


Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation! I sure hope you come back for more!

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