After refinishing a piece of furniture my husband made, I started getting confidence in my ability to work on things. I wanted to build something, on my own. So I started looking at blogs and on Pinterest to find stuff to make. And when I saw this ottoman I thought it’d be a good first project.
It was a simple plan, with easy to follow directions. It didn’t have too many tools you had to use. And claire assured me that I’d be able to handle the sewing (which made me more nervous than the building.) Plus, I have a chair I love that I had not ottoman for, so it rarely got used. Perfect.
I set out to build it, and it turned out not to be as easy as had hoped. Not by fault of the plans (I don’t think) but because I did no research on techniques before I jumped into building it. I think there were some things the author expected me to know that I just didn’t.
I think most of my problems came from not using clamps. This is one of those things I think someone with some knowledge would have taken for an unspoken step. But I found myself struggling through most of the assembly because I couldn’t keep the pieces together. This caused me to have screws that stripped out because I wasn’t putting enough pressure on the drill (it made the pieces move). I had boards split because I couldn’t see what I was doing and I was too close to the edge. Because of these problems, at some point my ottoman stopped being square (as in 90 degree angles, the shape itself is still square). Thankfully, after I wrapped the ottoman in batting you couldn’t really tell.
I also had a few problems making the cover, this was completely my own fault though. I was using a square to make sure my measurements were good and my cuts were straight. But, I didn’t realize the numbers inside the square and outside weren’t the same! Oops! That’s completely one of those “I don’t always pay attention to details” things that can come back to haunt me. I also had some problems sewing straight lines (most likely because I was frustrated). So the cover is just a bit off.
When all was said and done my ottoman took closer to eight hours, than the two listed in the plans. The seams on the cover don’t line up perfectly with the ottoman, but that’s OK. I went into this project knowing I would be remaking the cover. (I bought cheap stuff for the first go, knowing I wouldn’t get it perfect.) But overall? It’s not bad for a first go. I’ve never been really good at working with my hands so I’m pretty proud of how it turned out. I learned a few things, and most importantly know how to approach a project going forward. And now I have something to put my feet on when I’m reading a book or listening to records. Overall? A win.