How to Build a Storage Ottoman

If you're looking for a little more storage space and a fun weekend project, this little gem is just for you. A storage ottoman will add both space and comfort to your living room as well as extra seating and a place to prop up your feet.

  1. Make these cuts from the plywood: 2 pieces @ 13 1/4 inches x 20 inches 2 pieces @ 13 1/4 inches x 15 inches 2 pieces @ 15 inches x 20 inches 4 pieces @ 13 1/4 inches x 2 inches 2 pieces @ 12 inches x 1 inch 2 pieces @ 18 1/2 inches x 1 inch

  2. miter example
  3. On the 2 pieces that measure 13 1/4 inches x 20 inches and the 2 pieces that measure 13 1/4 inches x 15 inches, miter all the 13 1/4 inch edges @ 45 degrees. See diagram.

  4. Sand all surfaces.

  5. add pieces
  6. Attach the 13 1/4 inch x 2 inch pieces to the mitered side of the 13 1/4 inch x 20 inch pieces using screws. Make sure you are flush with the miter, top and bottom.

  7. square
  8. Put a bead of glue on the mitered edges. Combine the 13 1/4 inch x 15 inch pieces and the 13 1/4 inch x 20 inch pieces into a square that measures 13 1/4 inches x 15 inches x 20 inches. Make sure it is square (it's supposed to have (4) 90 degree angles). To attach the pieces together you can use brads or screws, just make sure not to come through the outside edge.

  9. Attach (1) 15 inch x 20 inch piece to the top of the square using screws. Flip it over and this is the bottom of your ottoman.

  10. Attach the feet. You can screw into them from the inside of the ottoman. Make sure that the center of each foot is 2 inches from both of the edges that it is near. (Any closer and you won't be able to screw through the middle.)

  11. smaller square
  12. Build the top. Measure in 3/4 inch from each of the edges and attach the 1 inch wide pieces. They will form a smaller square measuring 13 1/2 inches x 18 1/2 inches. Use screws.

  13. Place the cloth face down and center the foam on top of it. Place the top of the ottoman top (the side without the smaller square) on top of that. Pulling the cloth taught, staple the cloth to the underside of the top. Make sure you don't leave any wrinkles and make sure the foam is centered. Cut away any excess.

  14. Stain or paint the ottoman to your liking. Finish it with two or three coats of lacquer sanding lightly in between each coat.


  • Never paint or stain without proper ventilation.