Conquering the ottoman empire

10 Jun

As promised, the ottoman how to…if you don’t know what I’m talking about, refer to here and here. 😉

First, we’ll start with the before……



The first thing I did was divide the top into 4 and mark the measurements off in sharpie, making a grid that intersected at 9 points, the number of buttons I wanted in the top.


Then, I drilled holes into each of the 9 points, pulling the drawers out of the way….

DSC_0070 DSC_0069

Then, I lightly sanded the drawer pulls and table legs and spray painted them, first with primer, then with cream paint. (And of course it started raining)

While the paint was drying, I was prepping the table top for foam with spray adhesive, letting it get dry and tacky.


Once I had all the foam in place and the legs were dry and back in place, I stretched batting over the whole thing……DSC_0071

And this is probably where I got really frustrated at the cat as I tried to straighten fabric and sew on buttons using the holes I drilled through the table and forgot to take photos. You’ll see the fabric in a moment, but the button part was pretty hard and I wanted to tell you about shopping for this stuff. I actually intended to buy 2 inch foam for the table to make deep tufting once the buttons were sewn in place, but my Joann’s was out out of 2 inch and only had 1 inch left. I worked with what they had and though it didn’t turn out like the original plan, the way it DID turn out was kind of better. 😉 Also, I had NO IDEA how expensive buttons were, crazy expensive. When I was buying, I still wasn’t sure how many buttons I was going to need and hell, the prices convinced me to buy as few as possible, but I just couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I had to change that plan too. Let me show you what I mean…..


This was taken part way through the button process, and you can see that the buttons don’t match each other. (Oh and there’s the fabric, boyfriendpants has an affection for animal prints and most of the time I veto that idea, but in this case, I thought it would work and now I can always say, no dear, you don’t need animal print pillows, towels, etc….we have the ottoman, remember? Any more and it would be too much. hehe) I wanted cream colored buttons to tie into the cream on the legs, but I couldn’t find a thing that would work that wouldn’t cost my entire budget, but I did find these in the button aisle….


and I had a container of craft buttons at home so I bought these and hot glued them to buttons that were the same size that I already had. Genius, right? Sort of, but that’s a whole ‘nother thing entirely.

So, the buttons were hard. I used a darning needle to come up through the foam, batting and fabric, through the holes in the button and back down to the underside where I threaded through another button to make it easier to tie it off. (Thank you Jenny from Little Green Notebook for that suggestion, it saved me a headache.)Pulling the button down into place while I tied it off was proving difficult, however, so I had boyfriendpants come over and squish the button down on top while I tied it off underneath. We did this 9 times, until everything was in place and then I started stapling….


I had decided somewhere between buying the table and beginning the project that night to keep the drawers usable, though I had no real idea how to do that. (This is why I had to go back for more fabric, idea #1 didn’t work. lol) Here is, ultimately, where we ended up.


The covered buttons…the shiny shells inspired me to use natural rope for the trim, that’s hemp glued around the edge to hide the fact that the shell is higher than it should be.


This is one of the sides with a drawer, I hot-glued the fabric to the sides of the table and the face of the drawer and used rope to trim where I used staples.


A close-up on one of the corners, I didn’t use any particular technique for the corner, I just wanted them to be padded for my clumsiness. 😉 I like the way they turned out.


This is a smooth side that had foam and batting tucked into the overhang.


So this is our final result. (please excuse the mess of another project I’m working on that I’ll share later…..and the rawhide lol)

It doesn’t fit the scale of the sofa we already have, but we’re planning on getting a sectional with a chaise before we move next winter and that is what I was measuring for, it will be bigger and in a neutral color. I kinda hate that couch but it was free and it’s comfy so it will do for now. Meanwhile, I’m pretty pleased with my first attempt at upholstering and for $80 I got exactly what I wanted. 😉

Thanks for listening (and following along),



2 Responses to “Conquering the ottoman empire”

  1. Amanda @ Serenity Now July 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    That’s your first attempt at upholstering? I’m impressed! I’ve always wondered how you’d get the buttons on like that. Good job! I’m visiting from Sarah’s Before and After Party (my post is from yesterday). 🙂

  2. Laurel July 8, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    I am so impressed – it looks great!

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