Thursday, March 21, 2013

my anthro-inspired ottoman

I mentioned in my back-from-my-six-month-hiatus post that I had re-upholstered an ottoman while I was away.  It's no exaggeration to say that it took me almost that entire time to actually complete the project.  Not because the project itself was really time consuming, but because there were parts I needed help with that had to wait until Mark and I were at home for Christmas.

But I'm finally done!  And I LOVE the finished project!  Without further ado... the before:
 ... and the after!

I don't know about you, but this is the sort of project I'd probably see and dismiss because it looks so simple.  A little paint, a little fabric, some staples, voila!  But in actuality, the bottom shelf of the ottoman had to be completely re-fabricated.

Since it's my blog and I want to remember, let's walk through it.

I picked this baby up for 25% off $3.99 (plus tax).  It was a steal!
$3.99... plus 25% off!

As you can see, it was a little rough around the edges, but I had a feeling it would end up a (cheap) diamond in the rough.

A little rough, but a solid piece.
That's Moses' beloved Goat in the background!
The legs and feet were wood but the shelves were compressed particle board with vinyl edges.  Not eligible for painting.  It didn't matter with the top shelf, because I already knew I wanted to upholster it and the edges and surface would all be covered.

View from the top.  Thanks for those orange socks, Diana!
So, that's what I did.  The table came apart really easily.  The feet unscrewed and then the legs did, too.

Removing the feet.
The table completely disassembled.
At this point, I did upholster the top shelf and paint the legs and feet.  I used paint I had on hand-- first paint and paintbrush and then a final coat of spray paint to smooth things out.

I bought high density foam (3" green padding) from Joann during a 50% off sale.  I used spray adhesive to stick the foam to the shelf, then I used fabric from my stash (first a fleece I knew I wouldn't use and then another piece of fabric to cover up the fleece print) to cover the foam.  I stapled the fabric in place, making sure everything was tight as I could get it and saving the corners for last.  Then I did the exterior fabric.  Because this ottoman is not getting a lot of use (some feet, books, computers- more of a nice upholstered table than additional seating), I didn't think twice about using this fabric, even though it's not an upholstery fabric.  If I knew we would be sitting on this ottoman a lot, I would probably have used another fabric.  The rubs (from your behind!) would eventually create pills and either look horrendous or require reupholstering.

I finished the bottom with a black mat board I bought from Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon.  I didn't use the entire sheet, so I have some of that leftover for future projects.  Again, since I was pretty sure how this would be used, I didn't sweat over using what is basically paper on a reupholstery project.  There are no drinks allowed on this ottoman, so I don't have to worry about spills.
Not exactly professional, but cheap and looks good to me.
I was pretty much done at that point except for the bottom shelf.  As I previously mentioned, it couldn't be painted (at least not with a nice finish), so I ignored the brown shelf for a few months until Christmas.  

Then, with my father-in-law's help, I re-fabricated the bottom shelf!  I bought a piece of quality plywood from Lowe's, and we cut it to the right size in his shop.  We rounded the corners on the bandsaw and drilled the holes for the legs.  After a coat of paint (several weeks after Christmas, 'cause sometimes that's how projects get done), the ottoman was completely done.

beautifully rounded corners!
And that's it!  We use it, we love it.  I don't get tired of looking at it.  It's busy, but not that much of the rest of our furniture is (intentionally.  Have I mentioned my desire to reupholster our couch?) busy so it doesn't overwhelm us.  It's great when we actually watch our TV and want to put up our feet, or more often when we watch a show on our laptop and use it for that.

See Ana White's "Handbuilt Home" there?  A MILLION projects I'd love to do.
I keep magazines and library books underneath.
I love this piece from every angle!
The ladies at Joann gave me crazy looks when I told them I was using this fabric for upholstery.
They might still think I was crazy, but I think I'm genius!  Don't you think it looks a little Anthro-inspired?
I don't know the total price tag on this project since I didn't save receipts, I used my materials for other projects besides this one and I completed it over several months, but as far as custom-ottomans go, it was cheap :).  Not to mention the perfect size for our space!  Check that one off the list: a totally functional project completed!