I’m so close to being finished with my coffee table ottoman!! I got the base built, and one coat of stain on it. The only things left to do are polyurethane the base, and attach the ottoman top.
Believe it or not, building the base was so much easier than making the top! In fact, the base was actually quick and easy. But just a warning…you need a Kreg Jig in order to build it the way I did it.
Okay, so if you’ll remember, this ottoman coffee table from Layla Grayce is the overall look I’m going for.
All I needed to build this was:
- four furniture legs, each with two stretcher block sections on them;
- four 8-foot 1″ x 3″ pieces of lumber;
- one piece of plywood;
- Kreg Jig with appropriate screws; and
- wood glue.
I ordered these furniture legs in soft maple. (They come unfinished.)
The legs are made for coffee tables, so they’re 17.5 inches tall. Since I’m not making a coffee table, and instead I’m using an upholstered top that is 3.5 inches thick, the legs were too tall for my ottoman.
So I used my miter saw to cut the bottom foot off, as well as one inch from the top stretcher block. That actually made it look more like the Layla Grayce ottoman, where the bottom stretcher block sits almost right at the floor.
Here’s how my table legs looked after I cut them down. You can see the leg on the bottom is the original size, and the leg on the top is the one I cut down with my miter saw to make room for the ottoman top.
I cut enough off to make them 14.5 inches tall, so with my 3.5-inch-high upholstered top, the overall height of the ottoman is 18 inches, which is ideal for a coffee table or ottoman.
I also cut eight pieces of 1″ x 3″ lumber for the stretchers to go between the legs. I needed four for the top, and then four for the bottom to hold the shelf.
I put the whole thing together with my Kreg Jig. I’m frequently asked which Kreg Jig set I have, and this is it — the Kreg Jig Master System. You can find it at Lowe’s for about $149.
I also have a Kreg Jig Right Angle Clamp, which is an absolute necessity for projects like this, in my opinion. They run about $30 each, and are not part of the Master System.
I’m not going to go into how to use a Kreg Jig, but if you want more info, you can view their YouTube channel here. What I will tell you is that a Kreg Jig is one of the easiest tools ever to use, and it makes it easy for anybody to build professional-quality furniture without lots of complicated tools that create lots of complicated joints. I highly recommend it, and they don’t even pay me to say that.
I started by attaching all of the top four stretchers (which I guess would officially still be called an apron, even though I’m not building a table).
As you can see on the Layla Grayce ottoman, the top stretchers and the stretcher blocks are flush along the front, which makes sense since the ottoman top goes right to the edge. (Generally on coffee tables, stretchers are set back about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch from the face of the stretcher block on the leg.)
So after drilling my pocket holes in the stretchers, I worked on a flat surface and attached the stretchers to the stretcher blocks on the legs using screws and wood glue.
(Ignore my ugly pocket holes. I had my jig set incorrectly and drilled the wrong depth of hole, but they still worked just fine.)
With all of the top stretchers in place, the base looked like this. (Awful iPhone pic…sorry.)
Then I went back and added the bottom stretchers attached to the bottom stretcher blocks on the legs.
On the Layla Grayce ottoman, the bottom stretchers were actually inset about 1/2-inch…
So after measuring and marking where the top of the stretcher needed to be attached to the leg (you can see the pencil mark), I used spacers, which were just three pieces of a paint stick stacked up.
Then I placed the stretcher on top of the spacers before attaching them to the stretcher blocks on the legs using screws.
With all of the stretchers in place, I turned the base up on its end. Working from the bottom, I measured the length and width between the stretchers, and cut a piece of plywood to that size using my circular saw. I had to use my jigsaw to notch out the corners of the plywood for the legs. Then I used my Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes in the bottom of the piece of plywood all around the edges.
And finally, I slid the plywood inside the stretchers with the pocket holes towards the bottom of the base, made sure the top of the plywood was flush with the top of the stretchers, and screwed the plywood to the stretchers using Kreg Jig screws through the pocket holes.
And with that done, the construction of the base was finished.
I then took it outside and did lots of wood filling and sanding, and then I gave it one coat of Rust-Oleum wood stain in Dark Walnut.
And that’s where I left it last night.
I’m so excited to get this finished today!! It might need one more coat of stain on it, and then I’ll polyurethane the base and attach the top.
This very well may be my favorite thing I’ve ever made. I’ll show y’all the finished ottoman tomorrow!!