DIY Soda Crate Ottoman Project

There have been lots of changes around Chez Savvy Seeker since the addition of our little baby, Sunny Grace. Trees have been removed, a dishwasher has been added, rooms and hallways have been painted and furniture has been re-arranged and then re-arranged again. Nothing like an addition to the family to jump start that honey-do list!


Believe it or not, this is the THIRD version of our living room. Under our huge picture window, we once had an antique Victorian sofa and then an Arts & Crafts settee. This version is not only more function, but more comfortable! What you don’t see is the toy chest hiding behind the funky patterned arm chair.

We recently swapped our den and formal living room around, when I was home on maternity leave. New furniture was purchased and older furniture was let go. Once the dust settled, we realized we were missing something…an ottoman. Everyone needs a place to kick up your feet and sit back…just hopefully not on your lovely antique coffee table!


We looked around the house to see if we had anything that we could re-purpose into an ottoman…and when the Mr. and I stared at the old wooden crate we use in our home office area to place our printer on, we got an idea. A crate ottoman!

I immediately started scouring our local Craigslist for antique crates, hoping to spot a good deal (unlike the full retail price most antique shops ask for). I was in luck! I found a gentlemen who was selling a Canada Dry soda crate from 1951. His sister once owned a small convenience store in the Virginia Beach area. He was visiting her and used the crate to bring back some goods on the car ride home. He placed it in his garage…and there is sat, untouched for 63 years!!! Amazing! And he sold it to me for $20…which was worth the story alone.


Lowes sells Valspar paint samples for under $3…which make the perfect amount for small craft/hobby/decorative projects! You can also use a clear coat wax after your paint is dry to seal in the color.

What You’ll Need

Here’s the list of supplies we used for our ottoman:

Total Cost of the project = around $60.00* (price does not include antique grain sack fabric)

How to Make a Soda Crate Ottoman

Step 1: Find a really cool old wooden crate.


Measuring is key to make sure your furniture feet line up properly.

Step 2: Paint your wooden furniture feet. When they dry, attach them to the bottom of the crate.


We used 1/2″ plywood for our lid.


Step 3: Measure and cut the plywood for the lid of the crate.


Step 4: Measure and cut your 2″ foam to fit the lid of the crate (hint: use the piece of plywood you just cut as your template). Once your foam is cut, carefully place super glue on the plywood and then affix your foam to the plywood. Let it dry for 15 minutes.


I wanted a little more “cush” to my cushion, so I wrapped the foam in polyester batting.

OPTIONAL: I wanted my ottoman to be extra soft and cushy…so I wrapped the 2″ foam with some polyester batting (mostly used for blankets and quilts). Then I stapled the batting in place to the plywood board.


I chose to use an antique grain sack to cover the top of the ottoman…a nice heavy weight, durable fabric, that also matches almost anything!

Step 5: Measure and cut your fabric so that you have a few inches of extra fabric that wrap over the foam lid and go underneath the plywood board. Once your fabric is in place, staple the fabric on the underside of the plywood board (hint: To begin, place a single staple in the middle of each side. That will keep your fabric taut and straight while you staple the rest).


Ain’t she pretty?

Step 6: Measure and drill holes for your hinges (on both the underside of your ottoman top/lid AND the outside of your crate). The bottom part of your hinges should be visible on one side of your crate from the outside. The other part of the hinges should be hidden on the underside of your lid. Once you screw the hinges in place…TA-DA! You’re done.

Step 7: Sit back and relax! Not only do you have a fun, vintage style ottoman…You also have a cute storage spot for things like magazines and remote controls!


You’re done! I think the entire project took about an hour or so. And it’s super cute and matches our quirky vintage style. I love being able to look around our house and say…”Aw, we made that! Isn’t that cool?” If you’ve made a soda crate ottoman or any other kind of DIY project from an old crate, drop me a note and tell me about it!

Copyright 2014. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s