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DIY Ottoman - Frame

Can you believe it's already week 6 of one room challenge ?! In last few weeks we got some big and small projects done. We finished the fireplace, painted the room, worked on the entrance door, got our couch delivered, and changed all the door and window casings.

Since building our dining room bench, I have been craving to build some type of bench or ottoman. I love everything that Amber Interiors creates, however, I also love expressing my creative side and creating my own designs. When I was putting together the mood board for the living room makeover, I found this ottoman on her online store that I fell in love with. I think it just has a perfect balance of simplicity and uniqueness. However, as much as I love it, my budget will never allow me to buy items like this. In addition, I wanted to add a little bit of myself to it, so DIY was the way to go.

I thought a little bit and drafted my plan, made some measurements got started on building.

Here is a step-by-step tutorial of how I built the ottoman base (I will be writing a separate post for the DIY cover).


// Step 1: Cut the Wood And Plywood For the Frame //

After measuring everything out, I decided to make an ottoman frame 32" wide and 42" long. I got 4, 1 x 4 pieces of pine, measured the amount I needed, marked, and cut it to the size using the circular saw. You can do this basically with any saw there is. I just had a circular one in the closest proximity at that point.

// Step 2: Drill Pocket Holes //

After I had all 4 pieces of wood cut, it was time to join them together. To join the wood, I decided to use pocket holes for which, I used my beloved Kreg Jig (it is an absolute lifesaver!)

Drilling the pocket holes using the Kreg Jig
Drilling the pocket holes inside the frame using the Kreg Jig

I drilled on the inside part of the wood and ended up drilling 2 holes on both ends of 32" wood pieces.

Wood frame pieces with drilled pocket holes
Wood frame pieces with drilled pocket holes

// Step 3: Join All the Pieces Together //

To join everything together I used wood glue and pocket screws. First I smeared little glue on the edge of the wood that didn't have the pocket holes, then pulled 2 pieces together, creating 90 degree angle, and finally screwed the pieces together using the pocket screws.

Repeated same steps for all 4 interior angles to create a rectangle.

Ottoman Wood Frame - Joined with pocket screws
Ottoman Wood Frame - Joined with pocket screws

// Step 4: Add Plywood to the Center //

Once we had the frame ready, we cut the plywood for the center. Using 3/4 inch pine plywood we cut 30" by 40" rectangle piece. We had to subtract 1" from each side to account for the thickness of the frame.

// Step 5: Upholster the frame //

To upholster the frame, I used 3" thick foam, some leftover batten and old king sized comforter.

When it comes to creating a perfect cushion, thicker the foam is and more layers of batting and Dacron you add, fuller it will be. For this project, I was trying to add some softness to the top but still retain even surface, in case down the road I would want to use the ottoman more like a coffee table.

Cutting the foam to fit the ottoman
Cutting the foam to fit the ottoman

First I dry fitted the foam on top of the frame. Once I cut all the pieces to the size, I glued the foam onto the frame. I used contact cement as that was only thing I had on hand, however, I would highly advise to use normal spray adhesive.

Dry fitting the foam on the ottoman frame
Dry fitting the foam on the ottoman frame

Spreading glue on the foam
Spreading glue on the foam

Then I added layer of leftover batten on top of the foam and stapled it to the frame.

At that point I realized that the cushion was still little too hard so I took one of our old king sized comforters, folded, cut it to the size and added it as a top layer.

Then I secured the comforter to the frame using the staple gun. I only put the staples inside to conceal them as much as possible.

I used the staples that I had on hand, which were little longer than I needed. So, after stapling, I went over it with the hammer.

// Step 6: Prep Legs - if needed //

Once I had my top frame ready and upholstered, it was time to add the legs. It took little time to find the perfect legs for this project. I wanted something that would not be super trendy but also wouldn't be boring. So, I came across these legs on etsy and ordered them. I have to agree, I've never ordered furniture parts from there and initially was little skeptical, however, ended up pleasantly surprised.

Ottoman Legs - Unfinished
Ottoman Legs - Unfinished

I ordered them in unfinished wood. I wanted to stain it myself to avoid mismatched undertones. The legs are made out of hardwood so it was super easy to stain. I believe it's maple but I'm not 100% sure.

As the legs had a lot of grooves I used both the angled foam brush and a rag to apply the stain. For stain, I decided to use my beloved Dark Walnut by Minwax.

First I went with the foam in between the grooves and brushed it outwards , once the leg was fully covered, I cleaned everything up using the rag, making sure there was no excess stain left.

Staining ottoman legs in Minwax Dark Walnut
Staining ottoman legs in Minwax Dark Walnut

Depending on the weather, it is recommended to leave the stain to dry for about 24 hrs to fully penetrate the wood. Perks of working with the hardwood is that it stains evenly and just needs a coat of stain. It was very warm that day, so I left it for about 8 hours to dry before adding the acrylic protective coat. I haven't tried any other top coat but so far Polycrilyc ultra flat by Minwax is my favorite.

One tip tho, you have to make sure it is mixed really well before applying, or you will end up with white streaks all over the surface. It's normal to have little-bit when applying the compound but it should disappear fully within few minutes of application.

Ottoman legs stained and top protective coat added
Ottoman legs stained and top protective coat added

// Step 7: Mount the Legs //

When we got to mounting the legs, I realized, I needed to add some height to be able to mount the legs exactly at the frame level. I basically needed 4" inches added inside the frame, so James glued 4" wood inside all 4 edges. Then screwed on the legs with the steel plates that they came with.

Then we left the glue dry overnight.

This is how the ottoman tuned out! Next I will make the slipcover for it.

P.S. This definitely wasn't supposed to be Benji's personal photoshoot but it quickly became his favorite spot.


// Materials Used //

  1. Pine 1x4 - 4 Pieces

  2. 3/4" Plywood

  3. Comforter (In case you decide to go this route) I would just Foam + Batting + Dacron

  4. Spray adhesive.

  5. Ottoman Legs (I got 4 x 30cm ones)

  6. Foam Brush

  7. Staining cloth

// Tools Used //




Mariam K.jpg


Welcome to my creative corner where my passion for home design and DIY projects meets inspiration and practical tips. Join me on this journey of turning houses into homes, one room at a time.


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