This DIY wood crate storage ottoman is the perfect size to have a place to prop your feet without taking up too much floor space. You can repurpose an old wood crate or use the link in the instructions to build your own.
This DIY storage ottoman came about when I wanted to repurpose an old wood crate. I purchased the wood crate from a craft store years ago. It had been painted over to give it a primitive country look. The style no longer fit our home but I hated to get rid of it because I loved the crate itself.
It sat and collected dust for a couple of years until I had a lightbulb moment one evening. Generally anytime I sit in the living room I like to have my feet up. We had a large cushioned ottoman in the living room for years. A large, soft, comfortable ottoman to prop my feet up on seemed ideal when we purchased it. But over time it was just big and in the way.
Also, it was on casters so the kids loved to jump on it and roll across the floor. As much as I hated to not constantly see the ottoman sailing across the living room with a kid on it anymore (insert sarcasm here), I wanted a different solution. I kept thinking something small would be better but just couldn’t seem to find the right one.
One evening as I sat looking at this wood crate, it occurred to me that if I just added a cushioned top it would be the perfect size for an ottoman. I also realized that once I added a top, it would create a great spot for some extra storage.
- Wood crate (if you don’t already have one, they can be found unfinished in many home decor stores or you can make your own using my DIY wood crate tutorial here)
- One large board or 2-3 small boards cut to fit the top of the crate (this will make the base of the lid)
- One 1×2 piece of trim wood
- Screws long enough to attach your trim wood to the base of the lid
- Screws or staples and staple gun to attach the fabric to the base of the lid
- Piece of foam cut the same dimensions as the base of the lid
- Fabric large enough to wrap around the foam padded base of the lid and have some overhang to attach to the underside. A heavy weight or upholstery fabric will work best for wear and tear.
The supplies list may seem a little long, but this project took no time at all to put together. If you don’t have a miter saw or circulate saw to cut the wood needed for the base of the lid or the trim pieces, you can have the wood cut to the dimensions needed at your local home improvement store. Most will do it for free or a small fee.
First Step: Assemble the Wood
To begin, you will need one large board or 2-3 small boards cut to fit the dimensions of the top of your crate. This will make the base of the lid. My crate measured 15 x11 (from outside edge to outside edge), so I used a 1×6 board cut 2 pieces that each measured 15 inches long. If you don’t already know, a 1×6 board actually measures 1×5 1/2. Therefore, when I put my 2 boards together they measured 15 x 11 in total.
Next you will need to attach the 1×2 trim boards to the sides of the base of the lid that you just made (see picture below for visual). The trim pieces should be cut to the dimensions of the inside of the shortest length of the crate. For my crate, I used the 1×2 trim board to cut into 2 pieces that measured 10 inches long to fit the shortest length of the crate from inside edge to inside edge.
Attach the trim boards to the base of the lid using screws the appropriate length. To attach my 1×2 trim boards to the 1×6 base, I used screws that were 1 1/4 inches in length. The trim should be attached so that when you place the lid on the crate the trim pieces fit just inside the opening. For my crate that meant attaching the trim boards about one inch in from the sides.
Second Step: Cover the Base with Foam & Fabric
After your wood is assembled, you will need a piece of foam to fit the exact dimensions of the base of the lid. I had an egg crate foam mattress cover that was no longer being used so I cut a piece from it. Foam can be really expensive from fabric stores, so foam mattress covers can be a great substitute if you can catch one on sale (keep your eye out at back to school time when kids are headed off to college) or have one that’s no longer being used.
Cut your fabric the dimensions of your base plus enough extra to cover the sides and wrap around the bottom of the lid by at least an inch. For my crate dimension, I cut the fabric approximately 23×17.
Next lay your fabric, right side down, on the floor. Place your foam in the center of the fabric. You can glue your foam to the top of the lid base if you’d like. I didn’t and I’ve never had any problems with the foam shifting around. Then place the wood base on top of the foam with the wood trim pieces facing up.
Beginning in the center of each side, pull the fabric taut and attach it to the wood base using either screws or staples. Once you have attached the center of each side, continue working around the remainder of the wood base, folding and tucking as you go, until all of the fabric is attached.
I can’t tell you how much I love this little ottoman. It is just the perfect size to give me a spot to prop my feet without taking up too much floor space. Guests seem to love it too. When we had the larger ottoman, guests would avoid sitting in that spot since it basically required them crawling across or moving the ottoman to get to the seating. For this reason, I had gotten into the habit of moving the ottoman into another room when we had guests. Now I can leave it in place, and I’ve noticed that guests use it to prop their feet up on. I love that they feel at home enough to do so.
Side bonus: this DIY wood crate storage ottoman is a great spot to store your personal stash of magazines, books, that travel brochure with your dream vacation, the latest Pottery Barn catalog and maybe, possibly, your favorite chocolate that you don’t want the kids to find. I would never do that of course (wink), but if you want to I won’t judge.