Bookcase + DIY = Ottoman

Alicia W
by Alicia W
15 Materials
1 Day

I had this bookcase and was no longer using it but I didn't want to throw it away. It was missing one leg and had some damage to the corner so I didn't want to give it away either.

That's when I had an idea.

Step 1:

A - There was trim underneath the top at the front of the bookcase. I pride it off with a flat head screwdriver and a hammer.

B - The top of the is bookcase was larger than the rest of the case so I had to cut off the edges that hung over (yellow lines)

C - I cut the overhanging edges with a jigsaw.

Step 2:

A - I removed the back of the bookcase which was cardboard.

B - I placed a piece of MDF on the work space. Using the backing that I removed as a template, I draw a line down the MDF.

C - I cut the MDF to size.

D - and screw the MDF to the back of the bookcase.

Step 3:

A & B - I wrapped the entire outside of the bookcase with batting and staple it in place.

C & D - Once the sides are stapled in place, I wrap it around the lip of the bookcase and staple it in place.

Step 4:

A - I draped fabric over the longer side and cut to size (yellow line)

B - I folded the fabric under and stapled to the bottom of the bookcase.

C - Pulling the fabric tight, I folded the fabric under the lip of the bookcase

D - and stapled in place.

I flipped the bookcase around and did the same steps on the other side.

Step 5:

A - The fabric on the longer sides are wrapped around to the shorter sides; however, it doesn't meet and there is gap.

B - I placed a piece of fabric that is a little bigger than the gap. I fold the edges under and measure from the right side

C - And then the left

D - I pull the fabric down the front and fold the corners in

E - then staple the fabric underneath the lip.

F - Pulling the fabric tight, I fold and staple the fabric to the bottom of the bookcase.

Step 6:

For the top of the ottoman, I cut MDF to size.

A - Placing a 3" foam pad on top of the MDF, I measured and marked six spaces that would be used for buttons.

B - I used a utility knife to cut shallow holes on the six spaces

C - I pushed a phillips head screwdriver through the foam to the MDF underneath. Using a hammer, I tapped the screwdriver to make a mark on the MDF.

D - After I removed the foam, I drilled holes on the screwdriver marks.

Step 7:

On the work space I placed -



3" foam padding


Step 8:

Beginning on one long side, I pull the fabric and batting up and over to the back. I fold the fabric and staple into place. Once this side is complete, I complete the other short side pulling the fabric tight as I staple

Once the short sides are complete, I move to the long sides and complete them.

Step 9: To add buttons,

A - I cut a long piece of upholstery thread and loop it in half

B - I thread the loop through the shank of the button

C - then I tie a slip knot so the button is secure

D - Because the padding is too thick for a sewing needle, I cut a slit in a bamboo skewer and attach the thread into the slit

Step 10: To attach the buttons,

A - Using a metal skewer, I inserted into a hole in the MDF and

B - pushed it through the 3" foam and out the other side

C - I inserted the bamboo skewer into the hole made by the metal skewer

D - and pushed it through the 3" foam

E - and out the hole in the MDF. I removed the metal skewer

F - I pulled the bamboo skewer out and pulled the thread free

Step 11: To secure the buttons,

A - I placed a small screw between two of the holes in the MDF

B - and wrapped the thread around the screw

C - I screwed the screw tightly which pulled the thread tightly

D - Then I tied both threads around the screw.

I added cotton fabric inside the lid and on the bottom.

I used a piano hinge to attach the lid to the bookcase.

And here is our new storage ottoman! I love the classic look and the storage is a plus. I didn't fasten the shelf inside so I can move the divider to make either side bigger or smaller or remove the shelf all together.

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3 of 9 questions
  • RClaire RClaire on Jul 18, 2021

    Great idea! Looks very nice. Did you add legs or casters?

  • Tina Tina on Jul 19, 2021

    So smart and clever!

  • Kelli Kelli on Jul 19, 2021

    It is BEAUTIFUL. You could also leave the bottom. cut off the other legs and just add the upholstered top?

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