How to Build a Storage Ottoman

A white storage ottoman on a white background.
What You'll Need
Tape measure
Plastic storage bin
2X4 lumber
Wood screws
Wood-cutting saw
Safety glasses
Furniture casters
Thick cardboard
Hot glue gun
Glue sticks
Foam cushion
Stick on decals, buttons, bows, beads (optional)
Miniature ornaments (optional)

Having extra storage at your fingertips can be a valuable commodity. When you combine that with a handy ottoman, you can enjoy both comfort and storage. The storage ottoman is an asset whether it is used to store books and magazines in the living room, CDs and DVDs near the entertainment center, or in the kid's room for their favorite toys. This easy DIY project can be completed in a short time with some basic tools, a few supplies, and a little know how.

Step 1 - Measure

Measure the bottom of the plastic storage bin and cut a piece of plywood to those exact dimensions for the ottoman base.

Step 2 - Border

Border the piece of plywood with 2X4 lumber affixed with wood screws to create the base.

Step 3 - Drill Holes

A blue and white storage ottoman.

Drill applicable-sized holes to accommodate the caster’s bolts through each corner of the base. The holes should be positioned so that they penetrate the plywood only, not the 2X4 border.

Step 4 - Attach the Caster

Attach a furniture caster to each corner of the plywood. Casters should be attached to the bottom of the plywood board, not the inside portion where the storage bin will be positioned Do not attach casters to the 2X4 border.

Step 5 - Align the Sides

Place and position the plastic storage bin to the base and align the four sides.

Step 6 - Attach the Bin

Attach the plastic bin to the wood base by driving wood screws through the bottom of the bin and into the 2X4 border to secure it in place.

Step 7 - Cut Cardboard

Measure each of the four sides of the ottoman from the bottom of the wooden base to the top of the plastic bin. Cut four pieces of thick cardboard for each of the sides of the ottoman.

Step 8 - Prepare Fabric

A woman holds a purple storage ottomon.

Lay out your favorite fabric. You have two options. Use scissors to cut a piece of the fabric to the exact size of the cardboard (just one side), or you can cut it with about 1-inch of extra fabric around each side of the cardboard.

Step 9 - Attach Fabric

Attach the exact size piece of fabric to one side of the cardboard piece and secure it in place using a hot glue gun and hot glue sticks. For the alternative piece with the extra inch, wrap the fabric around the cardboard and secure the extra inch of fabric to the backside of the cardboard piece. This will cover all four edges of the cardboard so there is no raw seam.

Step 10 - Secure Fabric

Position and align each of the fabric/cardboard sides with the appropriate side of the ottoman and secure in place using the hot glue gun. Hold each piece in place manually allowing the hot glue to set.

Step 11 - Add Cushion

Place an applicable-sized piece of foam cushion on top of the plastic bin’s lid. Carefully wrap the lid and cushion with matching fabric and secure it using the hot glue gun.

Step 12 - Decorate

An orange storage ottoman on a white background.

If the storage ottoman is for a kid's room, buy assorted stick-on decals. Buttons, beads, bows, and miniature ornaments can also be used. The kids can take part in the project by sticking on the decals or other decorations.


Use non-marring furniture casters to prevent damage to your floors. Use a two-piece plastic bin, which is one without hinges or latches, for easier construction.


Use caution when working with power tools. Always wear protective gear and safety glasses. Hot glue can cause serious injuries, so use it with care.

Do not leave children alone when they're working with small decorative items, which could be accidentally swallowed.

With a handy storage ottoman, it's easy to keep spaces organized while still having easy access to the items you want to keep nearby.