These have been a LONG time coming! And I knew at some point I was going to have this driving need to absolutely, positively keep a creation that I have NO ROOM for in this tiny space. That time is now. With these ottomans. Because they are a-freaking-mazing.
Kurt is used to the craziness that is my DIY brain but even he was trying to figure out why I was shooting the shit and negotiating the sale of 2 bright yellow John Deere tractor tire rims after work. Not just little rims either but ones that measure 44″ across and weigh the equivalent of a small baby elephant.
But I had a VISION. Of large puffy ottomans that any chic living room would love to have as an addition. And a fully stocked beer fridge with chocolate bars hidden in the drawer.
The worst part of the sale came when we went back to pick them up in the truck and learned that the old dude had been robbed just the night before. Of course, my deposit money had been stolen. And then he asked what I planned to do with the rims. I lied and went with “fire ring”. It was easier than trying to explain what the hell an ottoman was and how chic a living has to be to house these future ottomans. Fire rings and a robbery.
First up was the paint, I went with my favorite 2 color combo of white and red. I prepped the rims (you should do this with any rough metal) by brushing with a steel brush to remove any loose or flaky paint. Then I primed both of the rims and applied multiple coats of Valspar Radiant White and Red Queen Red spray paint.
While the rims were drying, I marked out the 3/4″ hardwood plywood (not the rough crap, this is a little bit nicer) circles that the foam and fabric would be upholstered onto. Using a very sophisticated method of tapping a small nail to the middle of the space and a string half of the diameter attached to said nail, I managed to mark out a circle that was too big.
So once the paint was dry, I took my trusty Dewalt jigsaw and “shaved” off places that weren’t fitting until ba-bam. Circle done. The rims were a little wonky on the edges and weren’t a perfect circle so the second rim circle also had to be custom fit.
Onto the foam and fabric. I used a 2″ piece of high density foam straight down the middle and then cut and fit 2 additional side pieces to make the circle of foamy goodness.
Just a small tip for the wallet – use an app called Coupon Sherpa to help find coupons for places like Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann Fabrics (that’s where I picked up the foam and fabric). An 80″ piece of 2″ high density foam from Jo-Ann Fabrics would have been $160 BUT a 50% off coupon and my new teacher discount card (that I had to fight for because I evidently don’t look like a teacher – grrrr) took care of that problem.
It is handy to use a box cutter to mark out the area and then use a pair of nice fabric scissors to cut through the marks. A box cutter will make the foam look choppy – ideally a carving knife is the best tool but I’m a little old-fashioned with my traditional nail gun and battery operated tools.
Using my freebie bottle of Gorilla Glue from the Haven Conference, I glued the 3 cut pieces of foam onto the board and then weighted it down (upside down like in the pic) with a large piece of random metal that is kept for random weight purposes (I used it to hold the board while I was cutting out the circles in the above pictures).
After the foam was secured, it was time for the final part – upholstering these ginormous circles. FYI – there isn’t a tutorial on upholstering these things.
I choose a quilted fabric with built-in batten – batten would have been necessary if the fabric didn’t have it already built-in. The fabric was only 42″ across so we started with the short sides and tacked the fabric into place using a 1/2″ staple. We would pull the fabric towards the middle and I would staple in a few place just to keep it in place. Word to the wise: don’t go staple happy until the end in case you need to remove or move any parts. As we went along, it became necessary to create small pleats in the fabric. Working on small areas at a time and keeping the fabric tight, we were able to achieve a pretty smooth circle with just a few side pleats. After the initial stapling was done, I went back and stapled the living daylights out of the fabric edge and then cut off the excess fabric for a clean look.
The final step was to waterproof the fabric using Kiwi Camp Dry, this is a spray that dries super quick and doesn’t leave a film or sheen on the fabric (test out your fabric before you spray the whole thing and cry because you didn’t test out the fabric).
UPDATE: I went back and used Rustoleum’s Never Wet product to ensure that these could be used outdoors BUT I would totally recommend that you take the cushion out before it rains or snows (it takes 2.3 seconds and they weigh nothing!).
Anything else? Well, Kurt suggested that put wheels on the bottom of the rims. All I could envision was a child leaping onto the ottoman top and sending the whole rim into the drywall or 2X4 and collapsing the living room. Nope. No wheels.
What do you think? Would these be the perfect addition to your house? Do you think you would be adventurous enough to put wheels on the bottom?
UPDATE AND RANT: I was SO freaking excited that this project was a featured project on Hometalk’s Facebook page – the wine bar was a hit on the site and now this?! I was pumped. Until the comments. So in an effort to use this blog for, oh I don’t know, ME, here are my grips with the comments and my reaction(s):
- “You should make them fire rings!” – NO. I don’t want a fire ring, I want an ottoman.
- “You should have used waterproof/marine fabric/tablecloth with plastic backing fabric!” – NO. I wanted a quilted fabric and waterproofed the shit out of it. Take the cushion out when you think it might rain if you aren’t sure. And did you even READ my post where I explain the waterproofing?
- “Ugly” – Like what? Your face? Then yes, one might consider them BUTT UGLY. And who says this online to someone? A 12 year old, not a second grade teacher in Iowa (because you said this using a public profile, Mary).
- “Desperate” – Like the smell of your need for attention? Probably would describe that as desperate, chica who owns a gym in California and has the world’s worst profile pic (yeah, another open FB page).
- “I use mine as a flower bed OR fire ring!” – Although I am all about others getting their DIY awesomeness on, why would you put this as a comment on my Hometalk site or FB post? It feels like those who are Super Original Person #518 with either a flower bed or fire ring or related to cousin who had a father who had an uncle who used a rim as a fire ring for an outdoor party once are just piggybacking on the tractor rim idea. Sorry, I’m not here to praise an idea that’s been passed around the block 518 times on a post that is praising an original idea aka get out of my spotlight.