How to Build a Storage Ottoman
Use plywood, foam, and fabric to create a handsome custom piece
The ottoman has had a long history of multifunctionality. It served as extra seating in early American households that had tight quarters and tighter budgets. Today, versions with under-lid storage, like the handsome example at right, push the utility ever further. It's the perfect place to stash blankets or store books, and the geometric design of the upholstery makes a bold statement.
If you're thinking of buying one, look for lids that either lift off or have safety hinges. If you'd rather have the satisfaction and creative control of building your own piece, your primary materials will be birch plywood, 2-inch-thick high-density foam, and—the most variable expense—a fabric of your liking. Customize the upholstery to fit your household decor or needs: stain resistant for pets and children, or suede for a lusher feel. And vary the height and style of the off-the-rack legs to complement existing furniture. Whether you build or buy, kick up your feet and enjoy your new focal point.
Overview of How to Build an Upholstered Storage Ottoman
Download a printable cut list here.
¾-inch birch plywood top: one @ 27½ x 38¼ inches
¾-inch birch plywood bottom: one @ 26 x 36¾ inches
¾-inch birch plywood side pieces: two @ 11½ x 27½ inches
¾-inch birch plywood front and back pieces: two @ 11½ x 36¾ inches
1x1 pine cleats: two @ 26 inches
1x1 pine cleats: two @ 35¼ inches
1x1 pine corner blocks: four @ 10 inches
Batting: 10 square feet
Fabric: one piece @ 3¾ yards*
Fabric: one piece @ 6¼ yards*
2-inch high-density foam rubber cushion: one @ 27½ x 38¼ inches
*The amount of material needed may change depending on how the pattern needs to be situated on the piece.