Tuesday, September 15, 2015

DIY Ottoman

Like I have said before and will swear up and down one thousand more times, we love our house. We love spending every weekend working on some new project, we love the balancing act of owning your first house and maintaining a semblance of sanity, and we love that everything we do (paint, tile, flooring, lighting) we CAN choose because it is our house. But this house will not be a forever home. We live in a great part of town walking distance to bars, restaurants, the metro, and a ton of other things to do. We love the running path that ends up in a park smack dab in the center of downtown and the fact that there are multiple dog parks within a stones throw to our abode, but we won't live here forever.
Man after looking at this pic on my computer, I wish I had fluffed those pillows...

If there is ever more than Cal, Andrew, and I, our cute home's walls will start closing in on us. If the extra bedroom and loft will no longer serve as storage and our dining room table can't be half covered in books or gym clothes, then we will probably be looking for a space that is closer to schools than bars and has more grocery stores than dog parks. Theoretically, of course. We understand that and see it way far in the distance, but know that our choices now need to reflect that knowledge. Just like we didn't get the marble I lusted over in our kitchen, we had to pick some 'temporary' furniture pieces too. We love them, but they probably won't live with us forever. Just like some of our home renovation projects aren't as big of an investment as they could be if we planned on living in our house forever, some of our furniture choices are more temporary than forever pieces. One of these choices is our DIY ottoman.

Oh hey there shoe in the background...

Our living room has a cozy fireplace that juts into the center of the room- cute, but doesn't give us a huge space for a coffee table (or anything for that matter). To fit a couch, 2 armchairs, and a funky side table in the space, we needed a small coffee table or ottoman. We looked around and found some smaller pieces, but they just looked dinky and weren't our taste. Then I saw a DIY on Pinterest that combines my love of cheapness, ikea, and crafting and just had to do it. 

First step purchase these bad boys at IKEA

I pretty much followed the steps outlined in these two Pinterest Hack, but added our own flair to it. Instead of doing a heavy velvet or a funky dalmatian print (gorgeous in it's own right), I went with a fun Nate Berkus (similar) print on clearance (told you I love being cheap) that brings in an element of light and fun. 

The photo quality here is yellow-y, but in person it is a crisp white with navy and mint accents.

The first step we took was assembling the tables. Although the table comes in a two pack (coffee table and side table), we only wanted the coffee table. After both were assembled (and the side table earmarked for a Craigslist sale), I got rowdy and pulled out the spray paint. Andrew vetoed the gold spray that I adored (compromising stinks), but we ended up with a great textured semi- metallic brown color. What I like about this color is that it ties in the neutrals in the room together. We have black slate floors, gray walls, and a brown light fixture, so my goal was to bring in some funk and make it look like all these things should be in the same room together.

Ya know, the pups just being helpful...

After spray painting, the team (thanks sister and Andrew) started working on the upholstered side of the DIY hack. Being a cheapskate, I didn't splurge on the expensive foam and landed a discounted large piece of 2.5 inch foam that needed to be cut and hot glued together to form the right shape. After that was done (and some margarita was ingested) we wrapped the foam with a batting to make it feel like it was all one piece. We wanted it to be stiff enough to serve food off of, but have a fabric look, so the batting really helped to soften the edges.

Now our challenge was to connect the foam to the actual table. The way the IKEA table is supposed to work is the glass pane on top and the 'wood' piece as the second shelf. For the table to work, we just switched the wood and glass, but didn't have all our necessary supplies- aka a staple gun. Instead of waiting till we could beg, borrow, or steal one (remember the margaritas) we took out the glue gun and glued the foam to the table. Then to make it feel a bit more secure we took a pack of finishing nails and nailed the batting to the underside of the table. Probably not necessary. I would definitely recommend a staple gun to make this whole thing easier.

Photographic evidence of  our one Pinterest fail as part of project...

We spent way too long debating about whether we should tuft the ottoman like here, but after drilling some holes and testing a couple buttons it just didn't look right with the business of the fabric. The drilling (above) was fine, but threading the needle through the board, foam, batting, and fabric was just too much! So we skipped this step, which was great because it is a great serving surface now.

The last step was the most important and visually tricky one. My team (after margaritas) were no longer as engaged in this project (meaning they probably wanted to kill me), but I was way over enthused (after margaritas) about the vital aesthetic importance of laying the fabric just right. We measured and remeasured to get the pattern centered (both lengthwise and widthwise) and pulled out the finishing nails (face palm- GET A STAPLE GUN) to secure it to the table. I tried as hard as possible to make the folded corners tight and tidy. 

Overall, I think that it looks pretty good and love the discounted price. If we ever want to reupholster it, the whole thing will take half an afternoon and makes a major difference in the room. I love that it adds a fun pop of color and that it is functional as both seating and a table.

Do you have any favorite IKEA hacks? Or even better yet, total IKEA fails?



  1. we've done a lot of DIY for our house, not ikea per say but stuff that we just repurposed. i love your hack though; ikea has some awesome furniture that you can reuse for other things.

  2. Oh what a great DIY! I would've never even thought of this! Thanks for sharing! Trish - tales from trish

  3. I've done two ikea hacks for our place and seriously I'm obsessed with this one - I need to try it!! Love the fabric you chose! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  4. LOVE how this came out, such a great DIY! And I love the picture of the doggies "helping" :)

    Green Fashionista

  5. Very impressed! I also really like the print you chose for it!

  6. This is gorgeous! I love the modern design of the two tables and of the overall finished ottoman as well as your fabric choice! It's quite beautiful and I'd be all over that if I saw it in a furniture store! I've never done any ikea crafts, mainly because I've been to ikea once in my whole life.

  7. Super adorable. I love it. Pinterest is a life saver. They are actually building an IKEA here in Memphis which is going to be so much fun. It really looks great good job.

  8. I love this and I absolutely love the print you chose!

  9. Shay! This is amazing! I love how you can easily switch out the fabric as your style evolves. And yes gold would be so pretty too but this colour looks really good!

  10. I wouldn't even have noticed the pillows if u didn't tell me. Ahh I can't wait to own the house so I can do cool things like this too. It came out awesome!

  11. Wow, this came out so good! Great job!!

  12. Wow love how this coffee table turned out, thank you for this I've been looking around for coffee tables and still haven't found the "perfect one" so this seems like a great option :)

  13. So cute! I love that you could do this in any color!