This is a true “Rags to Riches” or Cinderella story! It all started with a discarded oval coffee table top that I found along the side of the road! I liked the oval shape and thought it had potential for something more than the landfill! Once I had it home, I decided it would be perfect as the base for an upholstered ottoman for the living room because the shape complements my antique library table in the same room.
I began my research for the project. I had read Dear Lillie’s post where she had made a button tufted ottoman, so that’s where I started. Here’s the link to her tutorial, because that is pretty much the method we used for this project. I’m not going to re-write Jennifer’s tutorial, but I will give you some tips and things we learned as we did this project. To see the Dear Lillie tutorial, click HERE.
For this project you will need:
Base piece of wood in the shape you desire
2 1/2 – 3 inch Foam to cover base
1 x 3″ wood for frame
Button Cover Kit
Drill and screws
Stain for legs
Cut the foam the size of your base. Lay the base on top of the foam, trace, and cut the foam using a serrated knife.
Attach the foam to your base. We used heavy duty spray adhesive. TIP: At this point we set up two sawhorses and put the foam covered base on top. This made it easier to work by having the board up off the floor.
Mark the foam where you want your buttons for the tufting. Here’s how we did it – ours ended up being spaced about 6 inches apart in a pattern with 3 holes one row and 2 holes the next.
Drill holes through foam and base piece. We found that by using this type of drill bit, it gives you the perfect size hole to go through the foam and base. TIP: You will want to push your drill bit into the foam until you hit the board base underneath. Now start up your drill and drill through both the foam and base wood.
Place your batting over the foam and use scissors to snip holes in the batting to match the holes in the foam. Now, do the same with your fabric.
Follow the instructions on the kit to cover your buttons with fabric.
Tufting. Here’s how we did it.
On the underside of your base, use your drill to place screws near to each hole that was drilled. These screws will be used to hold or anchor the jewelry wire used to pull the button that will make the tufting.
Thread your long needle with jewelry wire. Cut the wire to a long length and tie the a button to the end of the wire (snip ends of wire after making your knot). Now your button is attached to the wire at the end.
Here’s where having the base on the sawhorses helped. I would take my threaded needle and push it from above – through the fabric, batting, foam and base – and hubby was underneath with pliers where he would grab the needle to pull it through to the underside. Then he would pull the wire to the desired tightness, wrap the wire around the screws, and then tie off to secure.
Continue the tufting working from the center out, one row at a time. Try to keep the amount of tufting even. Hubby would pull on the needle and I would tell him how tight the tufting should be and when he should tie off the wire.
Staple the fabric and batting to the underside of your base. Again, having two people for this step was a big help. Start at the middle of the base and staple one side and then the opposite side. This will keep the tension even as you go. Take your time. We used a pneumatic staple gun and cardboard steps we cut from an old cereal box to keep the staples from pulling through the fabric.
Make the frame to hold the legs. Hubby used 1 x 3″ wood and made a simple frame with mitered corners. The frame was attached to the base with L brackets.
Attach legs to frame.
Make skirt and attach with upholstery tacks.
If you don’t want a skirt, you can skip this step. I made my skirt based on this.
I like the more tailored look with just a few pleats. I measured the circumference of the ottoman and then doubled that to find the length I needed for the skirt. Again, we started at the center point and worked our way around the base of the ottoman attaching the skirt with the upholstery tacks.
Stain or paint legs.
One thing I would do differently and may change eventually, is the fabric that I used. It is an off white canvas and pretty stiff, which made the tufting more difficult. I also think the oval size was more of a challenge, but I am pretty happy with how it turned out.
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
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