Make Your Own Ottoman

This ottoman doubles as a coffee table and the pillows can be pulled off the base and used as floor cushions. Make it yourself out of high-density foam and durable fabrics.


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This ottoman doubles as a coffee table and the pillows can be pulled off the base and used as floor cushions. Make it yourself out of high-density foam and durable fabrics.

What You Need

  • One half-sheet (48 x 48 inches) or two quarter-sheets (24 x 48) 3/4-inch pine or birch plywood
  • Two lengths 3/4-inch ogee molding, 8 feet long
  • Wood glue
  • One package 4d (1-1/2-inch) finishing nails
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • One package 6d (2-inch) finishing nails
  • One package No. 6-x-1-5/8-inch drywall screws
  • Wood filler
  • One quart latex semigloss paint

Tools You Need

  • Tape rule
  • Angle square
  • Portable circular saw with straightedge guide
  • Power miter saw
  • Hammer
  • Nail set
  • Drill
  • Drill bits (1/16, 3/16 with countersink)
  • No. 2 Phillips screwdriver (or driver bit for drill)
  • Paintbrush

How to Make It

Get Started

  1. If you purchased your plywood in quarter-sheet form, you've already got the 24-x-48-inch platform you need for the table base. If not, cut the half-sheet to that size. Use a circular saw and straightedge guide to rip three 5-x-48-inch strips from the remaining piece of plywood. Set those aside for now.
  2. Use a power miter saw to cut ogee molding to length to fit around the perimeter of the platform as shown. Cut the molding ends at a 45-degree angle to create mitered corners, then attach to the plywood edges with glue and 4d finishing nails. Countersink the nails with a nail set, and immediately wipe off any excess glue with a damp cloth.

Build the Feet

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  1. Next, use the miter saw to cut the 5-inch-wide plywood strips into 5-inch square pieces (you'll need 25). Build the block feet by stacking five of these plywood squares. Hold them together with glue and finishing nails; the finished height will be approximately 3 1/2 inches. When all five blocks are completed, sand the faces and corners and set them aside.

Assemble and Finish

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  1. Set the plywood platform upside down on your workbench and mark the outlines that will indicate the positions of the block feet. One should be centered, and the other four belong at the corners as shown, about 1 1/2 inches from the edges of the plywood (where the molding is attached).
  2. Drill several 3/16-inch holes through the plywood, inside each outline. Apply glue and set the block feet in place; if you don't have clamps, simply press them to the platform for a minute or two. Then shift the assembly until an end hangs past the workbench top, allowing you access to drive screws from below. Keep one hand on the block foot you're attaching, and drive 1-5/8-inch drywall screws to secure it.
  3. Repeat to attach the other corner feet, then fasten the center foot. When all are attached, set the base upright and use wood filler to fill the nail holes in the ogee molding. Use sandpaper to remove any residue filler and ease any sharp corners or edges elsewhere.
  4. To finish, apply two coats of latex paint and let dry.
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