Speaker Turned Ottoman

Don't you just love a good I told you so? Well I do. My parents are working on redoing their basement in order to change it from a playroom vibe to an adult friendly space. Like any redesign involving new furniture, it can get expensive quickly. When I saw they were getting ready to toss two old 1970s speakers, I knew I could turn them into the oversized ottoman my mom had been looking for at a fraction of the cost. Each speaker was 32in by 16in by 16in, so together they made a huge 32in by 32in ottoman. For the record, large upholstered ottomans like that run about $400 to $600. Why would someone pay that much for something where feet go?! I could clearly see the speaker to ottoman leap, but my mom wasn't convinced. Eventually I lured her in with the price savings. I quoted $60 for the DIY, but it ended up being closer to $75 (we picked a more expensive fabric), which saved $300 to $500 off the price of similar ottomans we looked at in furniture stores. Worth it!

If you've never upholstered before, starting with a basic square or rectangular shape like for an ottoman is a good choice. Steven and Chris on the Live Well network offer a great video tutorial for making ottomans, so I recommend checking it out. Because their tutorial is so thorough, I'm only going to explain what I did differently. 

Project Supplies
Upholstery foam (4" x 1.25 yard)
Polyester batting -10 oz (1" x 48" x 4 yards)
Upholstery weight fabric (54" x 3 yards)
Scotch Velcro strips

*Use instead of SprayTac because it's less toxic. This was also used for knots in the wood where staples can't go through. 

Creating the base

This was a simple processing because the speakers were in the perfect dimensions. One of the speakers was laid on it's back and received a healthy coating of glue on its frame. The second speaker was laid on top in the opposite orientation. Then using six tie plates (these ones specifically), two on the long sides and one on the short sides, the speakers were screwed together. 

Folding the sides

Most upholstery and home d├ęcor fabric is fifty four inches wide. If you’re making a smaller ottoman, this should be enough to cover the entire ottoman width wise. For oversized versions like ours, fifty four inches isn’t quite wide enough. I started off by stapling the fabric length wise along the sides of the speakers as one would normally do. On the other two sides where the fabric was too short, I folded the fabric inward as if wrapping a present. This was stapled into position. Then I cut a strip of fabric that matched the pattern on the exposed edge. Once the pattern was aligned, the loose fabric was flipped up along that axis so that the printed sides of the fabric were facing each other. The loose fabric was then stapled along the alignment axis and flipped downward, exposing the printed side. The sides of the loose fabric strip were tucked in and the strip (and batting underneath) were pulled taught and staples to the underside of the speakers. 

The legs

Furniture legs can be expensive and require a lot of work and time to stain or paint. They also add a lot of height, which can be good or bad, depending on what is needed. Instead we used large round furniture movers (these ones specifically) secured to the bottom of the ottoman with Scotch Velcro strips

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