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August 09, 2016

An Easy DIY Wine Crate Ottoman

About 15 years ago (back when I thought spiky maroon hair was a good look for me), I worked at a local wine and cheese shop. This led to my love of both of these things, as well as one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.

Wine crates!

Wine crates!

The store received shipments of wine in these awesome wooden crates, which they then sold in the store for $7 apiece. I bought four of them to stack as bookshelves in my first apartment, and they’ve been with me ever since.

Here they are in my most recent apartment.

My old digs!

My old digs!

When I bought my new house, I gained a lot of extra square footage, which meant I needed a few items of furniture. My new place already had bookshelves built in, so I really didn’t need my wine crates anymore.

Or did I?

I really wanted a big nice new ottoman to kick my feet up on after a long day. I found a few I loved, but I didn’t really care for their price tags.

You see, what I wanted was very specific. I wanted a large green ottoman with a wooden base that I could sit a large tray on.

That’s when I decided to make my own.

I have exactly zero carpentry skills. Luckily, I didn’t need any for this project. 🙂

First, I went to Goodwill and found a set of heavy 1970’s celadon green curtains that were on sale for $1.

The heavier the fabric, the better!

The heavier the fabric, the better!

I cut off the pleated section, as well as the hems. This left me with four large perfect squares.

They're rubber-backed too, which means they're super-sturdy!

They’re rubber-backed too, which means they’re super-sturdy!

A friend recently gave me two huge garbage bags filled with his family’s old curtains he found in his attic. He knows I sew, and thought I might be able to get some use out of the fabric.

Unfortunately, the curtains were pretty damaged and yellowed with age.

They've seen better days.

They’ve seen better days.

Fortunately, this didn’t matter. I washed them and then tore them to shreds. This ended up taking a couple of hours, but was a great stress reliever. 😉

I stitched the curtains into two giant pillows, and stuffed each one with the curtain shreds. This made them nice and heavy, which was perfect for what I had in mind.

I laid out my wine crates like so:

They have to be the same size, otherwise this won't work.

They have to be the same size, otherwise this won’t work.

Each side is 33″, which is just a couple of inches smaller than my giant pillows.

I stacked the two pillows on top of the crates.

Hi Douglas!

Hi Douglas!

Then, I added a big thrifted tray, one of my favorite art books, and my remote controls. Now I’m ready to Netflix binge-watch in total relaxation.

I <3 Klimt.

I tried to get Douglas out of the shot, but he was having none of it.

I think it really works with my eclectic décor!


Not bad for $29. :)

Not bad for $29. 🙂

Even if I decide I no longer like the ottoman, I’ll still have the crates to use for other projects, and those giant pillows make great floor cushions for entertaining.

He's such a diva. :)

He’s such a diva. 🙂

What have you DIYed lately?



  1. Girl, you have got to get a staple gun and try your hand at upholstering! It’s so much fun. Your project looks great. But staple guns make it better. 🙂

  2. Put those crates on their sides and you’d have storage or display for books or artwork. Turn them open-side up and add a piece of plywood, and you have storage for blankets, pillows, and other things you might only need occasionally.

  3. Very nicely done!

  4. I enjoyed your tutorial. Thanks for posting. I like the idea of using unusable fabrics for stuffing with. I keep a five gallon ice cream pail for a waste basket right by my sewing area. Occasionally I make a draft stopper with the snippets. I do have a separate bucket with the best colors of snippets in it, and yet another for thread snippets, because I hope one day to undertake a fiber art project. We’ll see. Depends on if I can ever remain unburied from alterations. 😉 As it stands now, I have three gowns awaiting me while I sit here typing. Love your blog, though!!!

    • PS. I love the open look of your living room, and the height of the ottoman is perfect for the concept. Might you tell about those paintings?? I love art too. 🙂

  5. Did you make those paintings? I love them!

  6. Love your new digs!!
    Lovin Douglas too, he never spoils the shot!!

  7. And why SHOULDN’T Douglas be in every photo? He looks great and so does your ottoman.

  8. ❤️ The ottoman. ❤️❤️❤️Douglas!!!!

  9. Great project and love the wine crates!

    Here’s an idea: I collect feather pillows from thrift stores, take the fabric cover off them, line them with duck ticking and recover with new upholstery fabric. They look fabulous and feather pillows are THE MOST COMFY!

    You can also take the feathers out and sew any size duck ticking cover to create a new pillow from the feathers. We removed the batting from our couch pillows and replaced it with feathers for a high end look, spending less than $20 on old feather pillows.

    Happy Thrifting!

  10. Nicely done. It looks great. Enjoy!

  11. Love love love your living room. I have a big, long living space in my current apartment, and something like this would be great…if I had an actual television that I could see from that far away. One day!

    I’m wondering if you’ve noticed any issues with the crates pulling apart? I suppose it wouldn’t be too hard to hammer a few nails through each to hold them together, if need be!

    Gorgeous re-hash. And your dog is priceless.

  12. Why would you ever want Douglas to not be in a picture?!

    Great re-purpose for the crates and both kinds of curtains. I had orange ones in the 70’s just like your green ones, rubber backing and all 🙂

    I also re-purpose old clothing for stuffing. I cut into rough strips about 1-2 inches wide, depending on how stiff the fabric is, and use a mix of knit and woven and different weights. Mostly use it to make draft blockers for sale. I saved old clothing for a number of years because I couldn’t bear to send it to the landfill, then came up with this use for them. And now we can donate unwearable clothing to a local charity to be re-used in several ways, so I don’t have to worry about the landfill anymore. But it still saves money if you need to stuff something. It also gives a heavier heft than fibrefill, which is a plus in some cases such as your cushions or for draft blockers.

    Your living room colour scheme is beautiful. So happy you are enjoying your new house.

  13. Yay Douglas! Yay ottoman! Nice work!

  14. I recently bought a cute table from a thrift store that was in dire need of some love. I created a mosaic design on the top and repainted the bottom… it turned out sooo pretty! Made me think of you!!!

  15. Brava! You did it again! Great refash!

  16. Great idea! If you wanted to stick the boxes together to be more stable,you could attach stick on Velcro to the sides which should remove reasonably easily if you decide to use the boxes elsewhere.

  17. Good to hear and see what you are up to! Your new abode is coming along nicely. What’s the kitchen like?

  18. i turned an old kids headboard( from an under-the-bed-storage kind) into a book shelf for my college books, and used 2 old boxes( which I plan to cover in wrapping paper ) in the bottom for my boots

    DH thought of using a large ottoman that would also be the doggie lair if and when we get new furniture from which they would be banned…ahem! Also, I plan to “skin” the loveseat to repurpose the leather. Maybe I could copy your idea using leather instead of fabric. Thanks always for the inspirations!

  20. Go to the hardware store, get some lil furniture wheels, screw them under the corners of the wood crates, and…..Wah-Lah! A taller, roll-around coffee table! It will be great, and you can push it out of the way with your foot, while you lie on the couch, keeping both hands free for bonbons and remotes and such.