I know – that’s not something you see every day! But when Continental Window Fashions asked me to make something with finials, I immediately thought that the cute shape of a pretty finial is perfect as feet for an ottoman. And well, the bookshelf was standing around doing nothing and waiting to be useful.
And when I saw this lovely little ottoman from West Elm, I knew exactly what I wanted to do!
Here’s how to take an old bookshelf and turn it into an ottoman with finial feet.
You Will Need:
An old bookshelf (for a sturdy ottoman, it’s best to use a bookshelf made out of solid wood and not chipboard)
- 16mm thick chipboard, cut to the same size as the face of the bookshelf (this is for the ottoman lid)
- 100mm medium density foam, cut to the same size as the face of the bookshelf
- 22mm coverable buttons (we used 18)
- Upholstery thread
- Batting to cover the top and sides of the ottoman
- Fabric of your choice (we used about 2.5m linen)
- Thin cotton lining (we used 1m)
- 4x curtain rod finials to use as feet. You can use regular wooden ball finials or go for more decorative Chaucer finials.
- 4x 44mm x 44mm wooden corner blocks to support the feet
- Wooden screws, filler, and touch-up paint.
- 2x 40mm brass hinges
You will also need:
- Staple gun and staples
- Extra long upholstery needle
- Electric drill with a variety of wood drill bits
- 25mm hole saw bit
Create a grid on both the foam and the chipboard lid. We made a 4 x 3 button, or you can create your own grid based on your ottoman’s dimensions. Then mark where the buttons will go.
Use a 4mm drill bit to drill holes into the chipboard lid.
Next, use the hole saw bit to drill holes into the foam carefully.
Place the foam onto the chipboard, making sure that the holes line up. Then cover the foam with the wadding and lay over the fabric, taking care that the centre of the fabric is in the centre of the foam.
Now you’re ready to start with the buttons! Cover the buttons with your chosen fabric – a button covering tool makes this really easy. The lid of a spray paint canister works perfectly as a template!
Thread 20” of upholstery thread through each button, and then use your extra long needle to thread the button through the fabric, wadding, foam and lid.
Start from the central button and work your way outward, finishing with the buttons on the edges.
Use a screwdriver to get a better grip on the thread at the back, and pull until you are happy with the depth of the button at the front. Then apply staples in a zig-zag way to secure the thread. Repeat until you have secured all the buttons.
Frist fix the wadding and then proceed to secure the fabric at the back of the lid. Make sure that you tuck the pleats as you go!
Take special care with the pleats around the corners to ensure that they are tight and even.
Add a lining to the inside of the lid to finish it off – we used a colourful floral for a fun twist!
Cover the sides of the base with a layer of wadding and fabric, and use your staple gun to secure it. Be sure to tuck the edges in on the top edge to finish it neatly.
For a professional touch, add a layer of lining to the bottom as well!
Then secure the lid to the base with the hinges.
To attach the legs, first add the support blocks on the inside of the base. Then drill holes big enough to take the dowel that’s attached to the finial.
Add a drop of wood glue to the hole before you push in the finial.
Place some boxes inside and use it for storage!