The way I see it, our living room has two main issues: 1. an overwhelming amount of brown furniture and 2. being mildly uncomfortable. So, to both of those ends, I decided to add another DIY project to the to-do list for our living room mini-makeover: a cozy cocktail ottoman, perfect for putting up our feet to watch a movie (or an episode of a whatever really bizarre Netflix show we’re currently embroiled in – I watched my first episode of Hoarders last weekend, and whoa…). Plus, an upholstered top would be the perfect way to break up the sea of brown furniture.
I also like more simple versions like the Kristine Upholstered Ottoman from Target – the price tag is a lot less painful, too, at $299. (Note: this is one of those Target items that can ONLY be returned to Target.com – so if you happen to buy it and don’t like it, you’ll have to pony up for return shipping.)
So, with a gorgeous, decidedly un-wintery morning upon us this last weekend, we got started on the project. We picked up everything we needed from Home Depot, and supplemented the supplies with a few things we already owned:
- A sheet of PureBond 1/2″ thick plywood (formaldehyde free!) – cut to 36″ x 40″
- 3 – select pine 1 x 4 boards @ 8 ft.
- 4 fancy table legs – each 15 1/4″ high
- 1 – pine 1 x 2 board @ 6 ft.
- Kreg screws – 20 @ 1 1/4″
- Wood glue
The basic design of the ottoman was simple. The 1 x 4 boards would be the aprons between each of the legs. Each board would be joined to each leg using our Kreg jig, giving us a study base. The top of the ottoman would be the 1/2″ thick plywood, upholstered and covered with some extra-thick foam, and supported by two struts that ran the length of the ottoman. Once the top was sitting in place, we would add screws from underneath to keep it from budging. After a little fun with painter’s tape…
We decided that the finished dimensions of our ottoman would be 36″ x 40″, with a finished height of 19″. When we were cutting the apron pieces, we took into account the width of each leg: 2 1/4″ . So we cut two apron pieces at 35 1/2″ and two pieces at 31 1/2″.
So we started by using the jig (set to 3/4″ thick material) to pre-drill four holes in each board.
Then we attached the boards to our legs, starting with our shorter apron pieces. Here’s our first finished side – I even conned the hubby into posing with our handiwork. He’s cute. 🙂
For our internal support structure, we added 1 x 2 boards, screwed directly to the inside of the shorter apron pieces. The struts would run long-ways inside the ottoman, after being screwed into the 1 x 2s. Since the struts would be made of 1 x 4s, we just traced the thickness of the 1×4 onto the inside of the apron to know exactly where to line up each 1 x 2. You can see the faint line from the tracing in the photos above.
With the support pieces in place, we moved on to our longer apron pieces.
After all four aprons were firmly affixed with glue and screws, I completely forgot to take a picture and went right to the next step: adding our support struts. We cut two pieces of 1 x 4 board to 38 1/2″, and then attached them to the 1 x 2s using finishing nails. Ta da!
We even did a construction test to make sure that the ottoman would stand up to plenty of sitting – we put our plywood on top, and both plopped down on the ottoman. Not a squeak or sway – success!
Next up will be the hardest part – finishing our masterpiece. That means choosing fabric, upholstering, and staining the ottoman.