While reading through one of the many home improvement/decor websites that I regularly visit, I happened to comment on a post regarding the use of ottomans as coffee tables… Incidentally I am all for this trend. I happen to have one myself, which I built myself, and love the practicality and decent looks… not to mention the fact that it can double as seating space if you’re in a pinch! (this is really convenient)
Naturally, a classic coffee table will usually perform better as a coffee table. However, given the fact that I have a small child and everyone who visits us seems to cut their shins on the old glass table we used to have, I thought this would be the SAFEST, yes literally the safest option. Don’t get me wrong, glass is great if you pay attention to where your legs are and what they’re doing… but I digress, this post is about the DIY Ottoman Coffee table!
Here are a couple of pictures, you’ll note how flat the top is… and how there is a distinct lack of sharp edges or pointy corners for you, or anyone else, to poke their eyes out on!
I didn’t scan my design plans (I still use old fashioned pencil on paper!) so I’ll simply type out the materials and dimensions that I suggest. Of course this is just a guideline, as with every DIY project you should consider your own living space and requirements and make adjustments as needed.
Use ¾” thick material, something like Plywood, MDF, Particleboard or similar.
14″ x 27 ¼” – 4 pieces
Top and Bottom
28″ x 28″ – 2 pieces
Now just butt the ends together like you see in the little graphic and secure the whole thing with a few standard drywall screws (or classic wood screws if you’ve got them) in each end. Don’t worry about them showing, they will be covered by foam and upholstery material later.
Now that you’ve joined the sides up, simply screw on the top and bottom pieces. You’ve now got a simple, strong box. If you’re feeling particularly crafty you can add a hinge or other solution to turn it into storage + furniture… I didn’t have the time.
Hint: You can use a thinner top/bottom material without having to modify the cut list in order to make the ottoman lighter & cheaper… but be aware that it will be slightly weaker.
I wanted a solid strong piece because I intend to put it through some serious abuse. I already horse around with my kid… jumping on the ottoman is not uncommon (for me) and I’m 6 foot tall and not a skinny guy! People also sit on it, no problem… it’s strong!
I fixed rubber feet to the bottom but you can use castor wheels if you like… I like rubber feet because they are stable and won’t scratch my floors.
The padding is just ordinary foam that you can buy at ANY upholstery supply shop, I used 0.5cm (1/4″) and 1cm (1/2″) but you can use thicker foam if you want a softer ottoman… I wanted a table so I opted for a flatter, harder surface. Also, if you plan on using regular fabric you might want to use thicker foam.
The foam is simply glued to the box using the glue that is available at the upholstery store, don’t worry, they’ll recommend which brand and how much to use… just tell them what type of material you used to build the box (MDF or ply).
I had a rather incompetent upholsterer do the rest… as you can probably see by the pictures, they did a bad job of sewing the leather and pulling the leather tout… live and learn I guess. :(
PS: Don’t forget to file or sand down the edges and corners so they are rounded. This will reduce the likelihood of your upholstery fabric ripping and also make for a more appealing and safer ottoman coffee table.
Did I miss anything?
Sponsor: The best place for furniture for your home, and your style online.