Saturday, February 2, 2013

An Ottoman Inspired by Restoration Hardware

Well, hello there! I can't believe it's been over a week since my last post! I do have an excuse as I've been feeling a tad worn out and just plain icky for the last week (Currently, my voice sounds like it belongs to a 72 year old smoker from Boca Raton.) but, I'm back today to give you more information about my Restoration Hardware knock off ottoman I posted about over on Interiors by Kenz, yesterday. (By the way, if you haven't checked out Kenz and her blog, you must!! She's totally awesome!).

You've heard a little about the ottoman already, when I explained a slight issue I had when I attempted to do some tufting for the first time (which you'll be happy to know has been resolved...I think so, anyway...). but, now I'll go into more detail regarding the transformation from the "I think I'm southwestern?" ottoman to the new Restoration Hardware-like version.

Here's a little picture comparing the original version to the final version:

You should totally keep reading to hear about my story of how I was able to save the ottoman....and my sanity (well, almost.)

Moving on with the story...

Many of you may already know that reupholstering an ottoman is like a "one" on the DIY easiness scale of 1-10. It really doesn't get much easier than that. Most people can probably do it in an afternoon.

I'm not most people,, it took me a little longer (like a month...and several hundred Diet Cokes.)

If you missed the post regarding the tufting debacle, here is what the ottoman looked like when I got it:

Sexy, isn't it?

As much as I love the pleather look, I wanted something a little more "me" and after recovering my dining room chairs, I figured it was the next step in my journey of re-upholstery that is supposed to end with a reupholstered sectional one day (yeah...I'm that delusional.)

So, I chose a couple yards of fabric that I loved and had gotten super cheap at Home Fabrics.  I started by laying the fabric over the foam cushion and started on it by doing the tufting first, which ended up being successful after all (of course, when you read the directions and packaging...things usually do end up turning out better than when you don't).

(I'll be posting a "Jen Style" tutorial regarding the tufting, shortly.)

Remember, it's not pulled tight over the frame, so you can expect wrinkles at this point.
Anywho, after I was done tufting, I began attaching the fabric to the frame, working on the sides first. It was going pretty well and I was all, "This is, like, super duper easy...No worries, here!"

{enter depressing life-time soundtrack here}

...and then I hit the corner and my confidence soon disappeared like a plate of cookies at a PTA meeting.

No matter how hard I tried, I could not make the corners look decent. I tried a bunch of different ways, but they all ended up looking like crap. The main issue was that the frame was 11 inches tall and so you had to actually know how to upholster a corner..and I didn't. Nor did I have the common sense to walk away before getting a tad scissor happy and permanently ruining any chance of decent corners in the future by cutting way too much fabric away.

A small nuclear meltdown occurred soon after I realized the ottoman I pictured in my mind had officially turned into crap. In fact, I barely refrained from doing some major damage to a bedroom wall by turning into the Incredible Hulk and throwing it through one of them.

A couple of days later, I decided to turn to the internet for some inspiration and I fell in love with some great looking ottomans, all of which would work quite well. The problem was that they all required a knowledge of sewing and since I didn't even know what a bobbin was (yes, I'm being serious.) it wasn't an option. I started to wonder if particle board would be good kindling for our fire pit when I saw this on Restoration Hardware's website:

It was love at first sight, not only because I loved the style but also because I knew that I could turn what was left of mine into something similar. The other thing I love about Restoration Hardware furniture is that it is unique. It's definitely a look that's not for everybody, but I seem to have an attraction to that look these days.

After I decided to use the Restoration Hardware as my inspiration, I began deconstructing my current ottoman by taking the existing material off of the top, and then ripping all of the foam off down to the frame. It had been attached with spray adhesive which was remarkably easy to remove without causing too much damage to the foam. (I did save the top foam because it was in fairly decent shape, already had the holes for the tufting...oh, and was free...because foam is ridiculously expensive!)

The first thing I did after taking the foam off the frame was to work on creating the wood planks that made up the base of the Restoration Hardware ottoman. I did this by using cheap fence boards from Lowe's. I made sure they were straight, but other than that I wasn't picky since they were supposed to look rustic, anyway.

(the sides of the frame were approximately 11 inches high and 22 inches in length, so the horizontal pieces were approximately 15 inches in length) 

After I cut them to the size I needed and double checked to make sure they fit the frame, I went ahead and took the cushion off in order to start from scratch.

I tested several different combinations of stain and antiquing glaze in order to get that "Restoration Hardware look". My final recipe was a coat of Minwax in "Special Walnut" and then a second coat of Rustoleum "Sunbleached". I added some Valspar Antiquing glaze to darken the corner pieces, just like they were on the inspiration ottoman.

After I was done staining the wood, I attached each piece to the frame with finishing nails. For the corners, I just butted up the edge pieces against each other. I had made one of them about a half inch wider in order to cover the edge of the other one. After, I was done attaching the boards to the frame,  I made the wormholes by using a hammer and nail setter in some areas for the bigger ones and then literally just taking finish nails and poking the wood. It was soft enough that it took them pretty well.

Then came the part of adding the burlap and upholstering the cushion. I loved the way the Restoration Hardware ottoman looked, but I wanted something a little more "cottage" looking and so I chose white cotton duck for the cushion and a lighter burlap to go with it. I also bought some cording to wrap the burlap around.

I attached the cording to the frame first using plain old hot glue. They actually sell hot glue specifically for fabric at the craft store and I did try it, but didn't feel that it really made a difference.

After the cording was glued to the frame (for the 3rd time....don't ask...), I laid the burlap over the frame. Originally, I used my staple gun to tuck the burlap under the cording, but it looked really crappy, so ended up pulling the staples out and used thread to sew the burlap to the underside of the cording.

 I used steel upholstery tacks that I got from Hobby Lobby to finish up the look. I used a tacking tool in order to set the tacks, before hammering them in and totally recommend it. It has a magnet on the bottom of a bulb-thingy for you to use to set the tack and then you use a mallet or hammer to gently pound it in, rather than trying to hold it with your own fingers, banging them in the process. There is also another tool that can easily take out the tacks when you misplace them, or get a little tack-happy (like I did, and had to rectify it by pulling several out and re-measuring the space between the existing tacks.)

After I was finished with that, I trimmed the burlap to the length I wanted and then applied "anti-fray" to the bottom in order to prevent it from unraveling.

I covered the cushion with the white cotton duck and then tufted it to replicate the look of the cushion on the Restoration hardware ottoman. It was pretty easy because everything was already done for the most part. To attach the fabric to the back of the cushion, I used spray adhesive.

Here's a little bit of detail, you can see where I included the tacks with fabric torn around them on the sides of the ottoman, just like you see on the inspiration piece. 

I stripped the existing "feet" of the ottoman with a paint stripper called, Citristrip (which, I totally recommend. It because it doesn't have near the chemicals in it and if you happen to get some on your hands without gloves, they don't dissolve in front of your eyes.). After the Citristrip had dried, I also wiped them down with mineral spirits, let that dry and then stained them just like I did the fence boards. In order to attach the casters to the feet of the ottoman just like the Restoration Hardware one, I drilled through the bottom and attached them on the bottom.

So, there you have it! I'm actually pretty pleased with the way it turned out for the most part and it cost WAY less than the one at Restoration Hardware which has a price tag of $895 (although, it is on sale for $675 right now for those of you who are bargain shoppers).

Just for fun, here's another side-by-side comparison:

I'm hoping all of my hard work paid off.... far...

There's a little additional project that I may be considering to complete the look:

 but...I guess we'll just have to wait and see....

Love ya!

Oh, and here's a little break down of my cost in case you are wondering:

(Obviously, I didn't need to worry about the frame or cushion because I already had them, but a sheet of particle board is around $20 and the foam for a cushion is anywhere from $10-30 (which is why I saved the existing cushion.) I already had the antiquing glaze, too (It's about $9 if you need to purchase it.). If you need to buy "feet" they are around $6 a piece for the same style as the ones that I used.)

4 inch wide fence boards (2): $3.00
2 small cans of stain: $10
upholstery tacks: $3
burlap (1 yard): $3
cotton duck fabric (1 yard): $6 (with a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby)
tufting button covers: $4 (use the kind with the teeth, if you can find them. I know JoAnn's has them. Hobby Lobby only had the ones with the pushers and those were MUCH harder to use.)
nylon upholstery thread for tufting - $3
upholstery needles: $6
Cording: $2

Grand Total: $40

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