About four or five years ago, my friend Angela and I decided to copy Pottery Barn's ottoman. The only building we had ever done involved a simple train table for our Thomas the Train lovin boys. After we built the tables, we thought we could build anything. (scary!) We studied the magazine, the dimensions, the fabric...and the legs. I remember walking into the Pottery Barn store and touching and feeling the REAL ottoman. I measured the height against my leg, trying not to look like a CRAZY lady in the store!
Image from Pottery Barn
We had the hardware store make our major cuts and Angela's husband cut our legs out of a 4x4. She sanded the legs for many hours trying to make them smooth. We knew we needed a box topped with upholstery foam, but we were unsure of how to attach the legs. We asked the guy in Lowe's and he said that on piano legs, they sometimes attatch the legs using large dowels. You know, it worked! We chose a suede fabric for upholstery, sewed, and it was beautiful.
My boys have trashed it since and it was time for a new cover.
I ripped off the old upholstery and began sewing a new one!
This is the old back. (oh ,all the work it took to make that!)
This is the frame. It's basically a box made out of plywood, with (4x6's?) glued & screwed in the corners. We drilled out the dowel size in the legs to later insert.
This is my first quilt top I made and it taught me so much about the basics of quilting! My expert MIL patiently taught me how to cut squares and piece them together, making sure that I matched seams up evenly. It eventually led me to think that I could quilt upholstery fabric!
I found in Home Fabrics a couple of months ago, faux leather that is sewable. I thought it would be fun to try on the ottoman. Only thing is...there's no room for error! You can't unpick vinyl, it leaves holes! Over the last few weeks I have cautiously sewed this together. If I were to do it again, I would probably pick microfiber or upholstery fabric instead. I could not round the corners like I wanted to, because I couldn't unpick and fix it. It's also a little too vinylish....I think I prefer the feel of fabric.
I pulled out my old pattern. I think I may have been smarter four years ago. Is it true that with each baby you lose a little of your brain cells? It took me forever to decipher my old pattern!!!
I cut out each of the squares using my templates. The templates help keep the squares accurate, which is imortant when quilting. (btw...I'm NOT an experienced quilter....just learned the basics!)
Matching seams carefully, sew each square together.
Here's a picture of the piecing process.
After the top was all done, I put it on the ottoman to make sure it fit. I didn't remember it this time...but the pattern was a wee bit to big. It makes it harder to have nice corners when you upholster, because it bunches from the extra fabric.
I was going to make my own buttons like last time....but the make- your -own buttons are really, really crummy! I went searching all over town for true upholstery buttons and had no luck. I found these buttons in a fabric store already made. Only problem was that they were a shade off. So, I colored them walnut with a stain pen. Just right!
Here's a close up of the leg. I never glued mine in just in case I wanted to change something. I'm glad I didn't!
I didn't have popsicle sticks to wrap the string around for the buttons, so I improvised with pencils. (TRUE upholsterers and carpenters are probably dying with my technique!)
I cut and stained trim pieces to finish off the edges.
I nailed the trim on with the nail gun. You like those PENCILS? :)
Anyway, that was a reeeaallly long post. Hope it was helpful to anyone that wants to attempt to build and upholster an ottoman. There's probably a better way to make it, but this thing has made it for four years with little boys catapulting off it.