Why spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on something when you can DIY it yourself? This may seem intimidating, but if you can sew a straight line, you can make this ottoman!
Supplies (Note: I make a small commission on affiliate links)
- 4×8 Sheathing Plywood
- 8 – 1×2 Furring Strips
- Spray Adhesive
- 9/16″ Staples
- 1 1/4″ Wood Screws
- Thread to match your fabric
- Staple Gun
- Router or Jigsaw
- Miter Saw
- Sewing Machine
The first step to making your own ottoman is making the wood frame. You can make this custom to any size you like. Mine was 31″ in diameter and ended up being about 17.5″ tall. I would say that it probably should have been a little shorter and closer to 16″, but I failed to account for the height added by the foam.
I cut two pieces of plywood into circles 31″ in diameter, however, a lot of the ottomans you will find online are closer to 36″ in diameter. I used my router and a circle jig to cut the circles, but you could also just draw the circles out and cut them out with a jigsaw. To make a circle jig, grab a scrap of plywood, screw it to the center and then mark the radius where your router bit is. Carefully router a recess in the plywood where the face of the router will sit. Make a hole in the plywood where the bit will extend through and then strap down the router with wood scraps and screws so the face plate is in the recess and held in one place.
After you have your circles cut, use your miter saw to cut your furring strips. I used 8 furring strips and cut them all up to 15″. If I was doing it again, I would cut all the furring strips to 13.5″ long. Then you are going to screw all the furring strip pieces along the outside of the first circle.
Before you attach the other circle to the other side of the furring strips, use it to cut out your fabric and foam circles. For your fabric, you will want to cut it at least 1/2″ wider around the whole circle to account for your seam allowance. The foam circle should be the exact same size. I had 1″ foam, so I cut two pieces of foam, but you could also use 2″ foam and only cut 1 piece. Then you will want to cut your side strip piece. The length you need will be determined by the radius of your circle. You will need to calculate the circumference using the equation C=2*pi*r. Once you have this number you will add 2″ for a seam allowance. Since my circle was 31″, I needed a length of fabric that was at least 99.34″ (C=(2*3.14*15.5) +2). I cut this length into two pieces so I would have a seam on both sides of my ottoman, but you could cut it from one length or 4 (for 4 seams) but I wouldn’t recommend more than 4 seams. For the width of your side panel, you will add the combined height of your wood (length of your furring strips + plywood pieces) and foam and add a few inches. My width was around 20 inches, but I could have used an inch more since it was a close fit!
Now you will attach your other plywood disc to the other end of the furring strips. I also added about 5 center furring strips to give the center of the ottoman more support. Then using my wood screws, I put a screw into each furring strip.
Now you will use spray adhesive to secure your foam to the top of your ottoman. If you have two layers of foam, use adhesive between the layers as well. Then you will cover this “wheel” with batting. Just throw it over the top and staple it around the bottom. Then cut off the excess.
Now it is time for the most difficult part of the project: sewing the cover. This really is basic sewing, so don’t be intimidated. First you need to sew any side panels together to make one long strip if you have more than one. If you have more than two panels, it will require a bit of math to make sure your seams are evenly spaced around the diameter of the ottoman. For two panels, simply sew them together, and then to make the seam extra strong and to get a nice clean seam, you will flatten the seam and top stitch down the top of it. After you have the panels sewn together, wrap it around your ottoman, right side facing in, and mark where you need to sew down the other side so the panel fits snugly around the ottoman. You will also top stitch this seam
Now you will use sewing clips to pin your fabric circle (right sides together) to the circumference of your panels. Make sure that you are sewing along the seam allowance you cut in the circle. When clipping the pieces together, you should have no extra circle circumference by the time you go all the way around. If you have extra fabric here, it will end up puckering when you try to sew them together. Sew the pieces right side together, turn it inside out, then top stitch around on the side panel side.
Now is the fun part! Simply slip your cover over your ottoman, flip over, pull taut and staple around the bottom of the ottoman.
You could stop here, but for a professional look you can add a dust cover fabric to the bottom. No need to be perfect here. I cut a rough circle, then folded under the edges and stapled it down, pulling it taut as I went around.
All typed out, it seems like this will take forever, but I made this ottoman in 2 days and you can too! As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to message me!
Wow! This ottoman dupe looks so good! Great job!
Thank you so much!
Kristie Feldman says
I am sooo stinking excited about this! I have looked and looked at these Ottomans and just can’t bring myself to pay the price. As long as I have some help, I know I can make this I just need help with sewing. Also, do you know how much it cost to make?
I don’t know exactly, but it was less than $150. Let me know if you have any questions!
Hello, I do t see the link the ladder you built for the bookshelves. How do I get to it?
Here you go!
Jenna Bunner says
how much total vinyl did you buy? The one linked from your article is 59″ wide.
I believe I bought 3 yards. You will need enough length to cover the circumference of your ottoman.