Need a rest? Relax and put your feet up on this ottoman made from a Fairfield 18″ square tuffet kit.
I was intrigued by this Fairfield Kit Tuffet Square 18″. I wanted to make a scrappy version with 100% quilting cottons to coordinate with the blue and cream fabrics in our son’s room in our new home. It turned out there was not enough room for it – so I decided to make one to go with patio chairs.
The kit comes with the wood base, foam, batting, and instructions. Other supplies needed are the fabric, four legs with screws, an 12 inch upholstery needle, a large cover button, upholstery thread, heavy duty pins, and a staple gun. I chose Sunbrella fabric since it would be outdoors on a covered deck. Coats Outdoor Living Thread worked well; it is incredibly strong. My staple gun was light duty and worked okay – a heavy duty staple gun would have been better for thicker areas.
There are two important points NOT mentioned in the instructions.
First, the pattern pieces say cut eight each of #2-4. You do need eight – but four need to be reversed. I folded the fabric in half, cut both layers four times, and ended up with four each of mirror-image pieces.
Second, if you want the pattern with colors alternating on each side, you need to switch fabric #2 and #4 for half of the eight pieces. I did not catch this omission and ended up with the same fabric in each corner. This will be clearer in later photos.
Other than the points noted above, the pattern worked fine. The problems I had all related to the use of outdoor fabric – which was more like upholstery fabric – and not suited to sewing multiple wedges with 1/4″ seam allowances. I would NOT recommend working with such thick fabric – the pattern would work great with 100% cotton fabric or thin home décor fabric. A walking foot and heavy duty pins helped keep the layers of thick fabric from shifting.
At the bend in the pieces, I sewed to the 1/4″ mark, kept the needle down, pivoted the fabric, and continued sewing.
I did have a fourth fabric for the outer pieces, but it frayed and fell apart at the top where the wedges narrow when I tried to join the four sides. I cut piece #4 from the same fabric as piece #2 instead.
After joining the four sides…
and making the covered button (a challenge with the thick fabric),
it was time to assemble the ottoman.
Before assembly, my husband drilled holes in each corner for the hairpin legs I found online. I chose 9″ legs to make the ottoman 18″ high – instead of shorter legs to make it a tuffet. We placed the legs about 1″ from the edge. We also sprayed them with a rust protectant since it turns out they were raw steel – not a good idea for outdoors in Oregon!
You can see the lines 1″ from the edge drawn around the sides. This helped us figure out how far back to trim the batting and fabric.
My husband folded up each side and stapled within 1″ from the edge and trimmed the corners for folding. He did the work so I could take photos! 🙂
He firmly pulled up the fabric to staple it.
We added some Poly-fil in the corners to fill them out.
Fortunately, some helpful friends dropped by as we were threading the triple-threaded 12″ upholstery needle through the layers to secure the covered button for a tufted look.
The ottoman is not perfect – but it is almost finished!
We added a layer of fabric to cover the base and screwed on the legs. The edges of fabric were just glued down. Fabric Fusion usually works well for fabric but it just soaked into the heavy fabrics. Aleene’s Always Ready Turbo Tacky Glue did a great job of holding the edges in place.
The ottoman is now on the deck! It works well for putting up our feet and enjoying the forest behind our place. This Fairfield Kit Tuffet Square 18″ makes a fun DIY home project – but I would definitely recommend using lighter weight fabrics more suited to its construction.
In conclusion, I would say I have tried a wide variety of crafts over decades – with varying degrees of success. Since upholstery has always been my nemesis, I am feeling pretty good about this ottoman – and especially grateful for the assistance of my husband and friends!
P.S. For a round, scrappier version, you could try the Fairfield Kit Tuffet Round 18 in.