DIY Storage Ottoman

By Staff
1 / 10
2 / 10
3 / 10
4 / 10
5 / 10
6 / 10
7 / 10
8 / 10
9 / 10
10 / 10

DIY Storage Ottoman

Tuck away clutter in even the most-used room of your home with this crafty, handmade storage solution.

Article and photos by Amanda Fettig
January / February 2018

Even the most organized among us can end up with clutter — those useful or sentimental items that don’t have a proper place on display but that we want to keep close at hand. Here’s a way to tuck those trinkets out of sight that doubles as an extra seat or the perfect place to put up your feet. Storage ottomans create space to store toys, blankets, books and more, and unlike most, this one won’t break the bank. Though it takes some time and careful work, in the end this project is worth the double-duty décor it offers.


• Plastic milk crate with “filing ledge” inside
• Three 50-foot sisal rope packs
• 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick plywood or particle board
• 1-inch-thick, regular-density cushion foam
• 1/2-yard fabric
• Ribbon
• Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
• Fabric scissors
• Staple gun and staples


1. Glue one end of sisal rope to a bottom corner of the crate. Tightly wrap rope around bottom of crate, gluing as you go and holding to keep everything in place. Continue this all the way up the crate. When you get to the end of a length of sisal rope, use glue and the rope below it to push the end down and hide any gaps. It may require a lot of glue to make sure the rope stays secure all the way to the crate’s top.

2. When the crate is wrapped and glue is drying, begin work on the top. Measure the inside of the crate (above the filing ledge, which is where the seat will rest when it’s completed), and carefully cut the wood or particle board to perfectly fit inside.

3. Next, trace the shape of the wood onto your foam, and carefully cut out the cushion for your seat.

4. Align foam and then wood on top of the fabric of your choice. Cut the fabric to fit around them, leaving about 6 inches of extra fabric on each side which you will fold up around the edges of the wood and foam to staple down on the back.

5. Starting on one side, gently but firmly pull the fabric up over the wood and cushion. Be sure that your cushion stays in place and doesn’t shift around as you do this. While pulling the fabric tight, staple it in place. Fold corners in before stapling, like you’re wrapping a present, to keep them looking neat.

6. To easily remove the seat of your storage ottoman once it’s in use, turn ribbon into handles. Find a thick ribbon that matches your fabric and cut off 2 pieces, about 6 inches in length. Fold the pieces in half and staple each on opposite sides of the bottom of the ottoman seat.

7. Settle the finished seat on your milk crate, et voilà: a comfortable and handy storage ottoman!

Adapted from the blog Dwelling in Happiness, where Amanda Fettig gets creative with thrifty craft ideas and home organization tips.