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Nov 24 / Erin

DIY Ottoman

{Pssst…find the full reveal of the finished nursery here!}

For weeks and weeks I’ve been stumped on an ottoman for the nursery.  But I finally figured out a solution!  Because I have no patience, I’ll show you the end result first and then share my saga on how I got there.

It is completely DIY and cost me less than $10.  True story!

I originally wanted to make something like this fabric stuffed ottoman seen in Graham’s Fabric Fabulous Nursery and made using this tutorial:

Then I considered knitting my own pouf to copy this CB2 piece and other more expensive versions.  The DIY tutorial seemed very easy and the results looked nice…

But I was questioning how well I could do either, and what to use for the stuffing was really stumping me.  What stuffing would be solid enough to hold some weight?  And how would the stuffing look smooth and not bumpy?  I’m sure it can be done, but I wasn’t convinced on either option.  And our nursery budget is really near the bottom, so filling an ottoman with duvets (as suggested by the pouf tutorial) was sounding expensive.

Then I had a brainstorm.  Usually that happens if I wait long enough.

At a local discount store (called Marden’s for those of you who might live in Maine or close enough to get to one) they always have random piles of foam.  I remembered seeing small circle and square foam pieces, so I marched on in to see what I could find.  As the store’s slogan goes, “You should have bought it, when you saw it, at Marden’s,” which basically means you are likely never to see something again if you don’t just buy it the first time.  So naturally I was nervous that they would never have the foam in stock again.

But, it was my lucky day.  I found exactly five 12″ round circles (excuse the bad lighting)!

I left the stack just as it is and wrapped it with some left over quilt batting that I had on hand.  I simply wrapped the batting around and then used a few straight pins to keep it stuck to the foam.  I left a couple of inches at the top so that the ottoman would have more of a curved edge once the fabric was over it.  Sorry that I don’t have pictures for the rest.  I was moving quickly and forgot to keep the camera close by!

As far as the cover, I simply traced one of the foam rounds and added an inch all the way around for a seam allowance.  Then I cut a rectangle that was as tall as the foam and long enough to wrap around, and hemmed the bottom and one short side.  Next I sewed the rectangle to the circle, popped it over the foam/batting, and then used sticky-backed velcro to secure the seam (that way it can be removed and washed).  The fabric and velcro were left over from my DIY crib skirt , so this was really a low-cost project!

And here it is again–my cheap DIY ottoman:

And if you are wondering where the ottoman will go, it will be used with the chair that is currently being re-covered.  I have two cushion covers made, now I just need to make a slipcover for the base.  And I have 5.5 weeks left!


Leave a comment
  1. Chelsey @ CMNest / Nov 24 2010

    A) Your ottoman looks great!
    B) I love MARDENS! You can never go there looking for something, but you’ll always find something you need :)

  2. Heather / Nov 24 2010

    Awesome! I am super impressed! (As always!)

  3. Kim@NewlyWoodwards / Nov 25 2010

    You are so crafty – I love it. Love the fabric you chose, too.

    Again – my favorite online nursery. Love it

  4. Allison / Nov 25 2010

    How clever! Your ottoman looks beautiful and what fun fabric! I love it, Erin!

  5. Amber Martin / Nov 26 2010

    Your nursery looks wonderful! I live in Maine too and it’s true that you can find MANY useful and cheap things at Mardens. :o) Can’t wait to see what your little one looks like! :o)


  6. Shannon / Nov 28 2010

    Seriously amazing job Erin! What a score on that foam!

  7. Laura@JourneyChic / Dec 1 2010

    Awesome! I think I’ve seen Marden’s during visits to Maine. What a cool find. Way to think outside the circle! :)

  8. Dina @ Honey + Fitz / Dec 2 2010

    SUCH a clever idea! And I love the fabric you chose for it. That was one of my top contenders when I was looking for fabric for my bumpers and crib skirt. I can’t wait to see how your nursery turns out! We’re totally on the same wavelength design wise, right down to the yellow dresser :)

  9. Emily A. Clark / Dec 11 2010

    Erin, Love this! I am so taken w/ everything you’ve done w/ your nursery so far. Can’t wait to see the finished result.

  10. Krista / Dec 29 2010

    OHhhhhh, I LOVE when you find just what you were looking for at Mardens! My family in New Brunswick takes regular trips across the border just to travel to all the Marden’s stores there….good times! Love this!

  11. Angela / Mar 29 2013

    I thought they were made of tires stacked up. That would be easy enough. A peice of plywood with foam on the very top and covered with fabric? You could make a few slip covers to change out as season change or they get dirty.

  12. Jacquelyn / Oct 4 2014

    Hi Erin! I love this gorgeous ottoman! The fabric is beautiful and your idea was very creative. I hope it is okay with you if I link to this ottoman from my blog. It appears we share a similar style and outlook on DIYing! Nice to meet you and find your blog! Keep up the great work! :)

    Jacquelyn of DIY Design Mom
    Jacquelyn recently posted…Falling for Trendy Fall CoatsMy Profile

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