How to Make an Ottoman from a Milk Crate

Take Charge on 04.10.13
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Photos by Britt Reints

My coffee table is not expensive. I bought it – along with two end tables – for $10 on Craigslist, and then painted it in an aquamarine color I found in the oops bin at the hardware store. Even so, I’d rather my family not put their feet on it constantly, which is what happened for six months while I searched for the perfect upcycled-ottoman project. Then, I was struck with a dose of creative genius and a surplus of milk crates.

I started with a bright orange crate that didn’t match my living room décor at all. It was, however, the perfect height for putting your feet up when sitting in our chairs. (I discovered this when I brought the milk crate into the living room to give the coffee table a temporary reprieve.)

I had my husband cut a plywood square from a piece we had leftover from making our platform bed. We then cut another, slightly smaller square from a thicker piece of wood (which we also had lying around – I don’t know where all this scrap wood came from). We attached the small square to the plywood square to make the lid of the ottoman.

Next, I covered the top of the lid (the side that the small square wasn’t attached to) with leftover batting and a scrap of white vinyl. I used my staple gun to attach the batting and fabric.

ottoman lid

Finally, I invested about $6 in spray paint primer and another $6 in a can of chrome spray paint. I used one coat of primer and two coats of chrome paint to turn the orange milk crate into a shiny cube that coordinated with the legs on our IKEA couch.

We tossed in a few blankets, slapped on the lid, and kicked up our heels – and not on my coffee table.

diy ottoman

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