How To Make a Storage Ottoman

by Monday, February 2, 2015

My boyfriend didn’t come with a lot of furniture but what he did have was a two piece sectional and matching ottoman, oh excuse a Coco Chanel two piece sectional and matching ottoman #eyeroll. He honestly thought that because it was designer that it was automatically cute… nah bruh.  The color was blaaaah but the couch and ottoman was in great condition!

We don’t have any storage on the first floor so I decided to REDO the ottoman and add a storage comparement so we can store extra blankets and pillows for guests who stay the night or when we are too lazy to go upstairs to bed and fall asleep on the couch, which happens a little too often.



Here is what the ottoman looked before I tore it apart.



BUT! Before I do anything I do my research

I went to Pinterest to find examples of an ottoman turned storage ottoman and I found this awesome post from Jessica from Running With Scissors.  With her piece she had to turn her ottoman upside down to create a storage comparement and move to legs to the opposite side.  With my ottoman I did not have to turn it upside down nor move the legs so my version is relitively more simple.


First, turn the ottoman upside down and remove the legs.  If you are feeling spicy paint your legs a contrasting color for a total transformation. I did not paint the legs on my ottoman because I was tired and spice just wasn’t in my recipe that evening. lol




Upholstery Fabric

Heavy Duty Staple Gun

Heavy Duty Staples


Flathead Screwdriver

2 Door Hinges



( I did not have gloves but highly suggest wearing a pair, trust me!)

The Base

When striping the ottoman use a flat head screw driver to dig up staples that harder to pull out with just pulling at the fabric. Remember, you don’t want to tear the fabric too badly.  Use pliers to pull out any stray staples after fabric is removed. Also, save the the black mesh that covers the bottom. You will reuse it when finishing the ottoman.

Here is the base of the ottoman completely stripped.


pic logoHandy Homegirl Tip:

Take the fabric off piece by piece and keep the pieces in the order you took them apart. Trust me, this tip will help if your pieces are different sizes.


The old fabric is already cut into the shape that fits the ottoman.  Lay the old fabric fabric pieces out on top of the fabric and pin down so the pieces won’t shift.  Finally, cut each piece out following the lines of the old fabric.  The new fabric should be the same shape as the old fabric.


Pin the edges together then sew the edge seams at 5/8″ to 1″.


Turn the completely sewn piece inside out and cover the base.


Staple the fabric evenly at the top to the inside then pull the fabric tight at the bottom and staple to secure.


Staple the black mesh to the bottom of the base and screw the legs back to the bottom.

Base Complete!!!

The Top



Power Drill



3/4″ Button Covers

Upholstery Needle

Twine (a thick string)

Cotton Balls

Furniture Mesh

1″ or 1 1/2″ wood screws

IMG_0742 IMG_0960

Marking The Plywood for Tufting

I wanted to keep the tufted textured of the orginal ottoman so I decided to try my hand at something new.

To create a solid foundation for the lid you will need plywood or MDF board which can be purchased at your local hardware store.  Take measurements of your ottomans base and have the wood cut to your specific measuremants at your hardware store.

The measurements for my ottoman were 34 1/2″ x 35 1/2″.  I planned to used 9 buttons total to create the tufts.

To mark your lines and drill points evenly and little math is involved (blah). You must divide the length by even rows, not the amount of buttons in the row (learned mistake). Visual example below:


Here’s the math:

35 1/2″ divide by 4 (sections) = 8 7/8″

34 1/2 divided by 4 (sections) = 8 5/8″

Draw your lines evenly across the wood. Mark an “X” with a sharpie where the lines intersect.

Now my favorite part! The DRILLING! Drill holes where “X” marks the spot.


Once all the holes are drilled place the wood on the bottom of the cushion. To secure the cushion to the wood staple the cushion to the edge. This will also add cushion to the hard edges.  Lay the cushion on top of the fabric and staple all four sides to the wood; pulling tightly, then fold in corners and staple to the wood.



o1 o2 o3

o4 o5 o6 o7

  1. Thread the appropriate size needle for your cushion with string. Push the needle through the drill hole and cushion as straight as possible.
  2. Remove needle leave string inside the cushion.
  3. Cut a second piece of string and repeat steps 1 and 2.
  4. Thread the button.
  5. Tie a double knot under the button.
  6. Make sure knot is tight and secure.
  7. Thread the upholstery needle with one of the pieces of string.  Push the needle through a cotton ball. Pull the strings tight, secure the tuft and cotton by tieing a couple of knots.  Staple furniture mesh covering the wood.


IMG_0760 IMG_0761

IMG_0758 IMG_0759

I found two door hinges in a tool box and used them to make the top cushion open and close. Secure the hinges to the base and top with 1″ or 1 1/2″ nails.






* Cost may very depending on retailer. SO LOOK FOR SALES!

1 Response
  • JenaShay Russell
    February 9, 2015

    Love the step by step pics, very helpful!!!

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