How to make a tufted ottoman

Ottomans or upholstered cubes are wonderful to have in a lounge or living area. They not only provide additional seating when required, but can also serve as an extra table if needed (with the addition of a glass top). These cubed ottomans are given a tufted and upholstered top.

The frame for the ottoman or cube comprises a plywood frame with 4 equal sides and a top that sits on top of the sides. Everything is glued and screwed together for a study frame for the ottoman.


4 x 400 x 400mm 18mm plywood
1 x 418 x 418mm 18mm plywood
Wood glue
wood screws
Drill/driver + drill and screw bits
2 metres of lightweight batting
2 metres of fabric
50mm thick medium density sponge 418 x 418mm
Upholstery pins
Staple gun
Upholstery buttons






Construct the cube or frame as shown above. This makes for a very sturdy ottoman that can be used as extra seating.

Step 1
Place the piece of 50mm foam on the top of the frame and then wrap the entire frame and cushion with lightweight batting.

Step 2
Cut a piece of fabric to cover the top section of the ottoman and 2cm of the top of the frame and use a staple gun to attach the fabric to the frame.

Don't rush the corners. Play around with the fabric until you have a neatly finished corner and then staple down.

Step 3
Turn the frame on its side so that you can drill 4 small (2mm) holes through the top. Use a long upholstery needle and embroidery thread to go through the bottom and out the top (through the foam). Slip on an upholstered bottom, one with a metal shank, and then go back down through the drilled hole. To fasten off on the underside, attach a small button.

Step 4
Cut enough fabric to cover the bottom section and apply along the top - in the same place that you attached the top section - holding the fabric face in (backwards). Staple in place and let the fabric drop down. In doing in this way you won't be able to see the staples!

Step 5
Fold under the edges and use a glue gun to close and join the edges together.

Step 6
Cut away any excess and staple the bottom of the fabric to the bottom edge of the plywood - all the way around.

Step 7
Use a hammer to tap in the upholstery pins in a single, solid (and level) line all around the top of the frame.