Cheap and Easy Home Decor Project: Slipcovered crate ottoman

Have you seen the outrageous price tags on ottomans? They cost nearly as much as the chairs they accompany. This homemade version has humble bones, but you can splurge on fabric to make the outcome look high-end. I recommend staples to assemble the fabric and trim for all you non-sewers out there, but machine stitches make this project more durable.

What you'll need:

  • At least 8 square feet of 1-inch-thick foam
  • Long ruler
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • 14 x 7 x 10 1/2-inch plastic crate
  • Cake of 4-inch-thick foam at least 16 x 19 inches
  • Long serrated knife
  • 1 1/2 yards upholstery-weight fabric
  • Pencil
  • 4 yards coordinating piping
  • Straight pins
  • Office-type stapler and staples



1. Draw the following dimensions on the 1-inch foam using the ruler and marker: two rectangles at 10 1/2 x 16 inches and two at 10 1/2 x 17. Cut out the foam with scissors.

2. Hot glue the 17-inch-long foam pieces to the crate sides of that length. Glue the 16-inch-long pieces to the 14-inch-long sides (they will overlap the foam on the adjacent side). If your crate has protrusions for stacking, apply the glue to these.

3. Draw a 16-x-19-inch rectangle on the 4-inch foam and cut it out with the serrated knife. Hot glue the foam to the crate bottom (which henceforth will be called the top, since it's the ottoman's seat).

4. On the wrong side of the fabric, use the pencil to mark the dimensions of the slipcover. For the ottoman's sides, two panels at 17 1/2 x 17 inches and two at 17 1/2 x 20 inches. For the top, 17 x 20 inches. Cut out the fabric panels and separate them by size.

5. Cut four 17 1/2-inch lengths of piping and set aside the remainder.

6. Join the side panels like this: Lay down a 17 1/2 x 17-inch panel, pattern side up, with the 17 1/2-inch edge near you. Lay a piece of cut piping, with its flat part facing you, 1/2 inch in from the fabric's near edge. Pin it in place. Lay down a 17 1/2 x 20-inch panel, pattern side down, with its 17 1/2-inch edge in line with the near edge of the bottom fabric and pin it in place. With the stapler in one hand, feel for the round part of the piping with your free hand and apply staples through the three layers, about 1/2 inch apart, as close as possible to the round part of the piping. Remove the pins. Continue to attach the remaining side panels by alternating the sizes and lining up the 17 1/2-inch edges. (See figure.)

7. Lay down the top fabric panel, pattern side up, and pin the remaining piping along all four edges, beginning and ending at the same corner. The flat part of the piping should be 1/2 inch from the edge and facing outward. Cut off any excess piping.

8. To join the top panel to the side panels, slip the sides onto the ottoman inside out. Center the top panel over the top of the ottoman, pattern side down, and pin its edges to the side panels' edges. All around the perimeter, staple through the two fabrics and the flat part of the piping as in step 6. Remove the pins.

9. Turn the slipcover right side out and put it back on the ottoman. Pull down the fabric firmly. Flip over the ottoman, turn under the loose edges and hot glue them to the inside of the crate.


Excerpt from Abode à la Mode: 44 Projects for Hip Home Decor by Jeanée Ledoux. ©2005. Used with permission of Sterling Publishing Co.

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