When we moved into our current place, we found that the layout of our living room didn’t really cater to the clunky leather ottoman we had. So we started searching for a new one for our space over the course of a few months. As it goes, we always managed to find something that didn’t work with the ones we saw – some were too short, some were too round and some were the wrong color. Finally, we decided it would be neat to make something totally unique ourselves. So, we came up with a design of our own, then went to the hardware store and bought some wood, brass screws and dowel rods. After that we combed through fabric at our local fabric store and found a heavy weight African textile fabric we liked. We assembled it at home in a couple of hours. The ottoman isn’t clunky at all and can even be folded up and stored under the couch when not being used (bonus!). I’m really happy with how it turned out. It was easy and a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Here’s how you can make one of your own…
- 8 ft worth of 1 1/8 in dowel rods
- 10 ft worth of 1×3 wood
- 4, 1 1/2 inch wood screws
- 2, 2 inch bolts with fitting nuts and washers
- 2 neoprene washers
- 1 yard upholstery fabric
- Tape Measure
- Measure and cut your 1×3 boards into 4 pieces of 27″
- Measure and cut 2, 19″ lengths of your dowel rods. These will be your support rods.
- Measure and cut 2, 22″ lengths of your dowel rods. These will be the rods for the top of your ottoman.
- One on end of each of your boards, trace a 45 degree angle and cut like so:
- On the other end of your boards measure 1 1/4″ from each side of the board to find the center point to drill your holes for the dowel rods
- Measure 13 1/2″ from the end of your boards where the holes have been drilled, find the center point of the board and drill a small hole for your bolts. Do this for all 4 boards.
- Take on of your boards and insert your bolt with a washer on the outside through the center hole you’ve drilled. Place the neoprene washer on the bolt and then insert the bolt through another on of your boards. Both of your boards should have the dowel holes on the same side, and the directions of the angled side of the boards should be opposite from one another. Secure the bolt with a washer and bolt, then continue to assemble the other two boards in the same fashion.
- From the pointed tip of the angled side of your boards, measure 4 1/2″ and mark the center point of the board at that distance on all 4 boards. Pre-drill a very small hole for our support screws.
- Once all holes are predrilled, position your 2 assembled sides of the ottoman with the 19″ dowel rod supports between them. Place a bit of wood glue on the end of your dowel rod and screw in from the holes you’ve pre-drilled into the ends of the dowel rods to form the bottom supports. If you have a vice, or clamps, that will be a huge help in ensuring that they are fastened straight, otherwise hand screw them in with a screwdriver like we did. Repeat this for both sides.
- Choose a heavy weight fabric (I bought a yard of African upholstery fabric from my local fabric store) and measure out a 26×18 piece. Fold and sew edges, making sure your folds on the two longer sides are at least 1.5 to 2 inches in order to allow the dowel rods to be pushed through. Run the fabric through each of the dowel rods and voila, an ottoman!