Monday, August 22, 2011

Altered Crates

Turn a wooden crate into a cool footstool complete with classic casters.

To make this stylish storage ottoman, first you'll need to find a great crate. Check out your local flea market for wooden boxes that once carried whiskey, wine, or soda bottles. They should cost between $5 and $20. More-in-demand ammo and dynamite crates can be found on eBay for $20 to $50, and their amusing text makes them worth it. For example, a Trojan Powder crate stamped "High Explosives Dangerous" would make a killer footstool.

For this project, look for a medium-sized crate, at least twelve inches tall, with no splits or stains (and it wouldn't hurt to give it the old sniff-test, too). Once you get your perfect crate home, it's a few simple steps to ottoman. Just cut a lid out of plywood and cover it with batting and fabric. Then add big industrial casters and wheel it into the living room to store your magazines (or whiskey, or ammo). Slide it next to your reading chair or let it house your current craft project and take it into any room of the house.

wooden storage crate

4 casters
screws for casters
plywood rectangle for lid, 1" thick (cut to fit crate)
fabric (enough to wrap around top of lid)
polyfill batting (enough to wrap around top of lid)
staple gun & staples

Step 1
To pad the lid, place the plywood on top of the batting. Measure and cut the batting so there are two extra inches all the way around the lid. Wrap the batting around the edges of the lid and staple.

Step 2
To cover the top, place the padded lid (batting-side down) on the fabric (wrong-side up). Measure and cut the fabric so there are three extra inches all the way around the lid. To "hem" the fabric, fold the rough edges over about half an inch and iron. Wrap the fabric around the edges of the lid and staple neatly.

Step 3
To attach the casters, turn the crate over and screw the plates to the bottom four corners. (Make sure the screws are short enough not to poke through the bottom.) Now flip your crate back over, set the lovely lid on top, and put your feet up!

Above & Beyond: If you're feeling inspired, don't stop now. Try lining the inside of your storage ottoman with felt or velvet. You can also hinge the lid and even add ball fringe around the top edge. For an upholstered look, make a tufted lid with decorative furniture tacks. Now that's one fancy footstool!

Wrapper's Delight: To create tidy corners while covering your lid, just pretend you're wrapping a present. Simply fold the corners in, then up and over.

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