Materials: Lack end table, Capita legs, plywood, foam, spray adhesive, cordless drill/screwdriver, saw, glue
Description: We moved into a new apartment and found ourselves with one too many Lack end tables and no ottoman for our new couch. Instead of dumping the old Lack, we decided to buy another and turn them both into cushioned, upholstered ottomans.
To try this hack at home (for one ottoman), you’ll need an Ikea Lack end table, four four-inch Capita legs, one long board from the Ikea as-is section, plywood, 1.5″ thick foam, about 1.5 yards of upholstery fabric, wood screws, and spray adhesive. Handles are optional.
You’ll also need some common tools, like a sewing machine, a cordless drill/screwdriver, a saw, a miter board, and a staple gun.
Here’s what you do:
1) Shorten the Lack legs so that the top of the ottoman will be at a comfortable height for resting your legs. We sawed off 4 inches to account for the Capita legs, leaving our Lack 14 inches tall and 22 inches wide. Once the foam and legs went on, this was the perfect height to lay a laptop and a snack tray.
2) Cut the plywood into 4 rectangles covering the sides of the Lack and 1 square to cover the bottom. For us this meant 14″ x 22″ sides and a 22″ x 22″ bottom.
3) Attach the plywood rectangles to the sides of the Lack, one side at a time: liberally apply wood glue to the Lack legs and sides and screw on plywood, using clamps to hold the pieces together. Because the Lack legs aren’t flush with the side of the top piece and because the legs are hollow, it helps to have both glue and screws. By now, you’ll have something that resembles a wooden cube (without a bottom).
4) Cut the as-is board (a 2″ x 2″ from Home Depot will do) into four pieces that just fit between the Lack legs horizontally. Screw these to the plywood sides so that they are flush with the bottom of the plywood side.
5) Screw the plywood square to the pieces of the as-is board, creating a complete cube.
6) Attach the Capita legs to the corners of the plywood bottom, leaving about 1″ for the upholstery to be stapled.
7) Cut the foam into 4 rectangles to cover the sides and 1 square to cover the top. We found 1.5″ foam to be the optimum thickness, so this meant 17″ x 25″ sides and a 25″ x 25″ top. We used an Exacto knife for this. Go slow to avoid jagged edges on the foam.
8) Use spray adhesive to attach the foam to the top and sides of the wooden cube.
9) Cut the upholstery fabric into 4 rectangles for the sides and 1 square for the top. We scoured the fabric section at Ikea, but didn’t find anything there that we liked, so we found ours at a local home fabrics store.
10) Sew fabric into a cube (sans bottom) and fit onto the padded cube. It helps to do a few pieces at a time and adjust measurements if needed.
11) Turn the cube upside down and staple the fabric to the wooden bottom. Make sure to pull the fabric tight as you do this, so there aren’t bunches on the top of the ottoman. This was our first upholstery job and it was not very difficult, even for the corners.
12) You now have an Ikea Lack ottoman! The Capita legs can be adjusted in case your construction didn’t yield an entirely level masterpiece. Add an Ikea Trolsk serving tray for some munchies if you like. Enjoy!
~ Adam and Hannah Williamson, Los Angeles