Thursday, October 10, 2013


Can you tell my creative juices are confused right now?  Atta Woman?...was all I could think of for this Ottoman project:).  So for a few bucks and a blistered hand, this ugly old coffee table was transformed into a new ottoman in about a weekend (of naps and bedtime to work).

I had decided I needed a switch in the living room from the old hand-me-down coffee table that was constantly covered in crumbs, sticky goo and dog hair.  I wanted to go the ottoman because I know Hattie will be at that walking stage before we know it, and that coffee table always made my heart skip a beat when Griff was learning to walk.  He's had his fair share of chin and forehead injuries from it already.

So, I was just going to go ahead and use the current coffee table, and cover it...ottoman style, but at the last second, someone got sentimental about the coffee table.  So it has a new home downstairs and I found this beauty on Craigslist for $10.

The first step was to bring her right over to my dad's for a little framing to make the top a little wider than the bottom.  We just used some old scrap wood my dad had stocked up and basically made a rectangular frames around the middle-top. 

We had an apprentice taking notes, too.

When it was all framed up, she came home with us and it was time to give her legs a new coat.  I had originally decided that I wanted a patterned fabric ottoman with white legs.  So I sprayed them white.  What happened next, was such a disaster, I must have forgotten to document the white legs.  I say it every time, but this project was not without it's own can of worms.

I measured and drilled the holes that would eventually become tufts, and then decided to spray the legs a darker hue.

From afar, they look alright.
But up close....EEEEKKKK!!!!!  As soon as the darker paint hit the white paint, it started to bubble.  I quickly tried to wipe it all off.  I got a lot of it....
And then sanded them down....and tried again.  Good enough.  The pictures do not do justice to the amount of time it took to re-do the legs.  If it were not for those legs, I would have classified this project as medium-easy.  Instead, it was medium-hard.
Moving on.  Next up, was measuring, cutting and spray gluing the foam onto the coffee table.

This step was actually pretty easy.  And now she was starting to take shape.

Then I used skewers to poke holes through the foam for easier tufting later.  Highly recommend this step.

Next up, two coats of batting.  And lots of staples.  I set the ottoman upside down, centered on the first sheet of batting, and then pulled it tight while stapling the entire way around it.

The corners were a bit tricky.  I just thought of them like wrapping a present.  Trying to make them as tight as possible, while still looking like they had nice matching folds.

Then, another layer of batting....

After the batting was all done, I skewered the tuft holes again to make sure threading the needle through to get the tufts done would be a piece of cake.
And finally, the fabric.
I went with a light colored burlap.  I really had wanted to do a pattern, but I was too indecisive when it came time to pick one (plus there were kids singing, screaming, whatever, so I was frazzled)...I panicked and went super neutral and light.  Maybe the wrong color for two kids two and under and black lab, but I wanted to lighten up the living room anyway.

I spent the most time on the corners, trying to get them as professional looking as possible.  It was hard to get the staples all the way through two layers of batting, foam and fabric, but I think they turned out ok.

Almost done!

Then it was time to add the tufts.  I just got a covered button kit at JoAnn Fabric, covered the buttons and then threaded them through.  I would not recommend covering buttons with burlap.  It's too thick to have long-term viability (I've already had to super glue a few back together).  And my thumbs really hurt when I was done.
It was definitely a two-man job to pull the tufts tight.  And I didn't want mine super deep.  Nate would push on the button from the top and I would frantically staple the thread to the bottom of the ottoman.
And she's done!  Well, almost.
 Don't be surprised if she shows up again with some finishing nails around the bottom....
 Or, in a new color/pattern because this little munchkin has spilled something all over her....
 All, in all, love her.  I highly recommend a covered ottoman in a space where children run and play.  I no longer hold my breath every time I hear a garbage truck and I know Griff is going to spring across the room to the couch to see it, because no longer is there coffee table corners in his way.
 He likes it too.

 It definitely lightened up the room which is great.  We'll see how long that lasts as it may quickly be so covered in Cooper hairs that it becomes a black furry which case, I'll just re-cover it!


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