Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pinterest Challenge: So I made an Ottoman

So it’s been a while since my last update but that’s because I’ve been busy devoting all my free time to making this d*** ottoman. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any progress to report along the way.  Ergo, it’s been a while since my last update.     
DIY Ottoman

Close-up of the stained legs

Now, about this ottoman.  I wanted an ottoman because there are tons of gorgeous rooms with these ottomans and I am very susceptible to marketing. Oh and they're pretty practical because you can use them as a coffee table or use them to put your feet up.

I had pinned several of these same beautiful ottomans on Pinterest.    Then it occurred to me that making an ottoman would be a perfect Pinterest Challenge!  If you're not familiar, the Pinterest Challenge is hosted by Bloggers Sherry at Young House Love, Katie at BowerPower, Michelle at Ten June, and Kate at Centsational Girl.   The idea is that you actually make something that's inspired by one of your pins then you can share your creation with the blog world. 

Via House Beautiful

Via Decor Pad

I decided to make an ottoman for a two reasons.  First, I am delusional and always think I can make things. 
Show me a dress you like and I promise you the first thought that will go through my head is “Oh, I could make that.” 
 I mean if a bunch of mice can make a wedding dress, then surely I can make my own clothes too.  

Second, I thought, surely it would be less expensive to make one. 
This ottman from Williams Sonoma is $1200

Of course it never even occured to me that I might be unable to make an ottoman.  It also never occured to me to think that the ottoman that I made could be less wonderful than the $1200 version from Williams Sonoma.  Like I said, delusional. 

Since I was exptecting Williams Sonoma, I'm a little disappointed with the results, but that happens with basically every project that I do. 

I also learned a few important lessons that I'll share with you: 

1)    If it were easy to make tufted ottomans, Williams Sonoma would be unable able to sell them (for $1,200) and would go out of business.  This is why Williams Sonoma is still in business

2)  Fishing line does not make a good substitute for waxed upholstery thread. 

3)  You can stain wood legs even if they are not "stain grade" but Bob Vila wouldn't recommend it. 

4)   It really hurts if you hit yourself in the nose with a half-sheet of plywood.   

5)  To get a deep tuft, try balancing your tufted ottoman topside down on a glass bottle while kneeling on top of the ottoman.  This leaves your hands free to pull and staple and will yield either a deep tuft or a broken bottle. 

6)  Making an ottoman can be surprisingly expensive.

7)  Target sells this ottoman for $300. 

    Now after reading all that if you'd still like to make your own ottoman, here's the link to my instructions!  Good luck!


  1. But, OMG, I'm super duper impressed with your ottoman. Like, wow. I really, really love it.

    Okay, I have a challenge for you. I need some window treatments. I like these -

    And they seem reasonably priced, and yeah, I could just buy them. But as I look at them, all I can think is, Christy could make those. And burlap just seems like something that would be easily manipuated. I'm sure this is not true.

    Anyway, I don't really actually like the fringe at the bottom, and I think I'd rather my drapes to just puddle on the ground, but maybe this is stupid. I see the ballard ones have cotton lining, but the way the sunlight is coming through the one in the picture, I have a hard time believe that.

    I can get you measurements, and would happily pay you whatever you would like to charge. Thoughts?

    1. Charlsie, I would LOVE to make you some burlap curtains! Burlap is pretty easy to work with but two things to be aware of 1) it sheds and 2) it can smell funny. I bought some burlap for a table cloth (about two days before I needed to use the table cloth) and it smelled so terrible I had to leave it outside. It still smelled after I washed it with baking soda twice. After doing some research though, I think that Joanns just has a bad type of burlap. According to this website,
      their burlap is finished to remove the smell. So we'd just need to make sure we go with burlap that is finished like that. It would definitely be cheaper to make them, unless you want them lined with silk or something. Do you want them lined? Lining them will be easy enough but we'll just need to pick a burlap that isn't too lose (or else the lining will show through too much) or pick a lining fabric that is similiar in color. I definitely like the idea of pooling and really don't love the fringe that Ballards is doing. You buy the fabric and I'll be happy to make the drapes!

  2. Hooray! I don't know why it took me so long to respond to this - I'm an idiot! Okay, I'm going to find some fabric and take some measurements. I think they would be good to be lined, maybe with just a soft cotton or something - I think the Ballard ones are lined with cotton. This is exciting.

  3. I DIE over that pink room, and am equally in love with your ottoman! Ive been trying to convince the Mr. that a tufted ottoman is what my living room needs, but he's still not sold. Ahhh well :-). Amazing job!

    1. Aww, thanks! I think most any guy would appreciate being able to put his feet up on a nice cushy ottoman. It's certainly more comfortable than the glass and iron coffee table I had before. Good luck convincing!

  4. Hahaha this post made me smile. :) I identify with so many of your assumptions and then the things you learned. The ottoman looks awesome, though, and i hope you didn' t end up with too many broken bottles. ;)

  5. Pretty! I love the fabric you picked; it really turned out well...but that $300 target one is looking pretty good to me ;) Thanks for sharing!

  6. It turned out awesome! I am a big fan of anything tufted:)

  7. Wow. Yours turned out AMAZING. I made one too a while back & it doesn't look 1/2 as awesome as yours! Jealous. Oh and I feel your pain on tufting...

    1. Aww, thanks! It helps if you live alone, have lots of free time, can totally wreck your entire home for approximately three weeks, and only work on it for an hour at a time and stop just before you're ready to throw it out the window. That's my method atleast...