How To Make An Ottoman

Learn how to make an ottoman with this very detailed video tutorial. All of the steps are shown in this video. From building the wooden box, to upholstering the top and bottom sections of the ottoman. Now you can make an ottoman the size you need, and in the fabrics you love!

Learn how to make an ottoman with this detailed video tutorial! Now you can make your own ottoman in the fabrics that you love!



During our home renovation about 4 years ago, we bought an off-white chair to go next to the fireplace.  We didn’t buy the matching ottoman though because I wanted to try to make an ottoman myself – using a fabric that I had already chosen.

From the moment that I saw this fabric, I knew that I wanted to use it for our new ottoman.  The fabric is from P Kaufmann – pattern Suzani and color Aquamarine.  It ties in our navy couch and recliner and the off-white chairs that we have in our living room.

Ottoman Fabric

I love how the ottoman turned out, and it really wasn’t too hard to make.  I wanted to share the tutorial for it so that you can make your own ottoman!

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I’ve created a video that shows how to make an ottoman, and I’ve also included the written instructions below.  I would recommend that you watch the video though!


*Determine the size of your ottoman, and cut boards and plywood to the size you need.  Below this materials and supplies list you’ll find the finished dimensions of our ottoman.

1″x 10″ boards – need 4 pieces to make a box
1″x 12″ board – need 1 piece for center support
4″x 4″x 96″ board – need 1 piece for each corner of box
3/4″ plywood for top piece
4″ foam cut to finished dimensions of ottoman
Upholstery batting
Fabric – Will need enough to cover top and box.  I used approximately 3 1/2 yards of 54″ wide decorator fabric.
Piping or cording – 1/4″ – optional
Flannel interlining – optional – I like to cover the batting with interlining before attaching the fabric.
Drill and Phillips head bit
1 1/2″ Phillips head screws
3″ Phillips head screws
4 Legs and top plates to attach the legs to the ottoman corners


  1. Make a box using the 4 pieces of 1″ x 10″ and using the 1 1/2″ screws. Use 3 screws for each corner.
  2. Put one of the 4″ x 4″ cut boards in each corner of the box.  Using the 3″ screws to attach the boards in each corner of the box.
  3. Place the center support ( 1″ x 12″ board) in the box, making sure that it’s centered.  Screw the box to the center support at each end of the box.
  4. Place batting on table and lay the foam and then plywood on top of batting.  Staple the batting to the top side of the plywood.
  5. Optional step – Place the flannel interlining on table and lay the batting and plywood on top.  Staple the flannel to the top of the plywood.
  6. Lay the fabric wrong side up on table and lay the upholstered piece of plywood on the fabric plywood side up.  Staple the fabric to the plywood.
  7. Optional step – Make cording or piping and staple around the edge of the plywood on top of fabric.  You can see my How To Make Cording Post HERE.
  8. Cover the outside of the box with batting.
  9. Optional step – Cover the batting on the box with flannel interlining.
  10. Make a loop of fabric to go over the outside edges of the box over the batting and flannel.  There will be a seam at each corner of the box.  (Measure the circumference of the box to know how big to make the loop of fabric.
  11. Staple the fabric to the edges of the box.
  12. Screw the center support board on the bottom box section to the plywood of the top section.  making sure to screw the boards together in several places.
  13. Screw the leg plates to each of the 4″ x 4″ corner boards, and screw on each of the legs to the plates.

Congratulations!  You’ve finished making your ottoman.  Put your feet up and enjoy!Learn how to make an ottoman with this step-by-step video upholstery tutorial!


  1. That was an EXCELLENT tutorial! I have thought about making an ottoman and now I know how. It is so beautiful. I have some of that same fabric, only bought enough for a couple pillow. So mad I didn’t buy more. That stapler is magic, would really like one of those. Mine bounces all over the place.

    Jann, thanks for sharing!

      1. I might Do each side of the bottom piece separately giving me the ability to match the print on the top and bottom

        1. Pam, you can try, but I don’t think the top and bottom prints will match. Or they might, but the corners won’t. I just decided not to worry about it since my fabric was an all over floral. Doesn’t bother me, and I’m pretty picky! Good luck with your project!

  2. Your instructions were great! You gave just enough information or make it look simple and yet very tailored. Thanks for this tutorial!

  3. Great instructions and beautiful work !!
    Thank you for step by step instructions and list of materials.

    Also, what type and brand stapler did you use? I want one..

  4. Great turtorial. I’m an inexperienced DIY’r. Can you please explain a little more about how to make the loop for the bottom half of the ottoman. Thanks Donna

    1. Donna, measure from one corner to the opposite corner. Take that measurement and add in 1″ for the two seams. You need to cut two pieces using this measurement for the width and for the height measurement, add 4″ to the height of your bottom section. What you’re trying to do is to have a seam at two of the corners. If your ottoman is very large, you may have to have a seam at each of the 4 corners. Sew the pieces together to make your loop. The loop should fit nicely around the bottom section. I hope this helps!

  5. Your tutorial for the ottoman has been fantastic. It has made me so enthusisastic that I wanted to try doing it immediatelly…Thanks a lot!

  6. Love this! I have a bedspread with this same print. My hubby and I made a similar ottoman, with a long piano hinge on the top so it opens for storage and wheels for feet so I can move it around for seating and when I do my workout. Thank you for sharing your creativity 😀

    Lori Jo – 50 With Flair

    1. Thanks Lori Jo! Yes, it’s a fabulous fabric! I thought about making the ottoman open with hinges for more storage, but decided to simplify life instead!

  7. Jann that was such a great video. The tutorial was clear and informative, so much so that even I could make one of these. Love the fabric you chose for the project.

  8. This is outstanding! I’m already planning how to get my silent partner to make one for me

    I always enjoy P.Kauffman fabrics.


  9. I used your tutorial and completed my ottoman yesterday. I’m so pleased with the process and how it turned out!! I would not have braved this project without you. Thank you for the step-by-step video tutorial!

  10. Love this tutorial. I watch it whenever I need a creative fix. I am planning to make my own ottoman based upon your instructions; can you tell me which brand of upholstery batting and flannel interlining you used/would recommend? I am having a difficult time knowing what characteristics are most important in these items to make them ideal to work with for this project. Thanks so much for your time!

    1. The price really depends on the cost of your fabric. I used a decorator fabric that is higher quality and 54″ wide. I’m not sure of the total cost of the project. Maybe around $200? But, the great thing about making your own ottoman is that you can choose the size you need and make it in the fabric that you love.

  11. I have seen many video on “how to’s”. I must say thank you, because this was the best i have seen yet. It was very detailed, very thorough, you are very tedious with your work and becauseo ofthis video i now know how to properly step by step make an ottoman.
    I wanted to know where i could look up the link you mentioned on the cording that was optional yet gave your ottoman a very nice clean look, and i wanted to know if you had a video on ottomans that could be used for storage, just a pop up top and a video that had an ottoman with hinges. Thank you once again

  12. I’m a beginner in every aspect of this design, even using a sewing machine. It took me 8 hours but I did it yesterday.
    I think it turned out great for a beginner. There are a few parts I’m disappointed with. Like I wasn’t very good at making the pleats. And the batting I ordered was not as thick as yours. And I couldn’t get that exact gorgeous print you used. I wanted that one so bad. All in all I’m proud of the job I did. I wish I could have shared my pictures here.

    1. Kathy, the video is under these words. “I’ve created a video that shows how to make an ottoman, and I’ve also included the written instructions below. I would recommend that you watch the video though!”

  13. Hi Jann – no chance of reposting the video? I’ve postponed my ottoman project in the hope that you will repost it…
    Best wishes


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