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5 Outstanding Ottomans

Here are five great projects for kick-your-feet-up comfort.

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When looking for ottoman ideas, feel free to box yourself in.

We looked under "Foam" in the Yellow Pages and found a company that creates high-density foam shapes to specifications. Ours is a 20 x 20 x 20-inch cube that is stiff enough to sit on.

We covered the foam block with a fitted fabric cover that has a zipper running around three sides at the top of the cube. The zipper is disguised by a fitted partial cover that slips over the cube. The topper slipcover is lined and features a lipped welt cord in the seam.

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Add a half-slip to protect a delicate or light-color fabric.

Our half-cover was designed to protect the fabric of this beautiful upholstered ottoman from stains. It also gives the room's decor depth, texture, and pattern.

To create the loose-fitting protective cover, drape fabric over your ottoman. Cut the fabric to the desired size, then cut out a duplicate piece for the lining. Sew the two sections together.

To embellish the cap, we hand-stitched curtain tiebacks with tassels to the corners. The piping is part of the tiebacks. Wooden barrel beads at the corners are neutral in style and dress up the trim.

Perch a pillow atop a wooden stool.

After painting this unfinished stool, we topped it with a simple tufted pillow with long ties.

To sew the cushion, cut the bottom circle of fabric to the size of the top of the step stool, adding 1 inch all around for a seam allowance.

Cut the top circle 2 inches larger than the bottom circle. Sew the two pieces together as if making a pillow, catching in the seam long ties to wrap around the legs and a gathered ruffle trim.

Finally, stuff with polyester fiberfill. Add a self-covered button at the top for extra detail.

A sturdy slipcover can give a worn-out classic new life.

We purchased an old footstool at a secondhand store for $2. It was sturdy and well-proportioned, making it an ideal candidate for a slipcover. Its shape lent itself to a skirted box construction, which can be accomplished by first cutting the slipcover top, sides, and overskirt from the same fabric.

Sew these pieces together with full welts. The overskirt should hang to within 4 inches of the floor. Topstitch the fringed trim to the overskirt.

Cut the underskirt from a complementary fabric, and attach it to the overskirt along the seam line, making kick pleats at the corners. (The underskirt should skim the floor.)

Slip the cover over the ottoman, and tack up the overskirt corners to reveal the underskirt.

Give a discarded drawer a leg up.

We salvaged an old dresser drawer and created a simple footstool using basic woodworking skills. Prime the drawer before painting. Attach four legs purchased from an upholstery supply store or home center.

We created the top by cutting a piece of 3/8-inch plywood slightly larger than the outside top edges of the drawer and a piece of 1/4-inch plywood slightly smaller than the inside of the drawer. Wrap the top of the 3/8-inch piece with foam and cotton batting, stapling them to the underside of the plywood; cover with fabric.

Cover the 1/4-inch plywood with batting and fabric in the same manner. Glue together the back sides of the plywood pieces, using wood glue. Add gimp around the edges of the fabric to dress up the finish.

Line the drawer with a complementary fabric. Note: Because all drawers are built differently, we do not recommend you sit on the stool unless you reinforce the bottom.

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