Recycle Those Plastic Bottles and Make a No-Sew Denim Ottoman

Michelle Leslie
by Michelle Leslie
2 Hours
My son asked us to get him an ottoman to rest his feet on when he's relaxing in his home made hammock. Now these things come in all shapes and sizes, but none of them were quite the right height or colour, so we ended up making one. It turned out to be really, really easy, and we recycled some plastic bottles at the same time.
What you need to make a no-sew denim ottoman - 7 plastic bottles, we used 2.5 liter plastic coke bottles - 1.5 m x 1 m (59" x 39.3") stretch denim fabric - 2 wooden circles, 39 cm (15.4") in diameter. Your local hardware store should be able to cut them for you - Batting or padding (the stuff they use for quilting) - Packing tape, double sided tape, no-sew fabric glue and a staple gun
Arrange the plastic bottles in a circle and tape them together (This will form the base of the ottoman). Turn the bottles over and put some double sided tape on the bottom and attach to one of your wooden circles.
To make the seat cover cut a 50 cm (19.6") circle out of the denim fabric and 2 x 39 cm (15.4") circles out of the batting (I wanted the seat to be nice and "puffy"). Put the denim wrong side facing up on your workbench, then the two batting circles on top of that and finally the wooden circle. Carefully fold the extra bits of the denim circle over the wood and use a staple gun to attach.
Wrap the plastic bottles in batting and staple the batting to the bottom outer edge of the wooden circle. Cut a 1.2 m x 45 cm (47.2" x 17.7") strip out of your denim material and using fabric glue attach the denim skirt to the outer edge of the seat cover. Once the glue is dry (about 1/2 hour), place the seat on top of the plastic bottles and gently pull the fabric skirt down over the batting covered bottles. Staple the extra bits of denim to the underside of the bottom wooden circle.
Finally, just for love, glue a little heart on top of the seat.
Michelle Leslie
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 17 questions
  • Cheryl Sanger-Morrison Cheryl Sanger-Morrison on Sep 22, 2018

    Could you cut up old jeans & make a patchwork cover with the denim pieces. Maybe put put the pockes around the sides to hold things?

  • Terre Tulsiak Terre Tulsiak on May 12, 2020

    I'm wondering what happens if someone sits on it. But the piece looks professionally done.

  • Campbell Jill Campbell Jill on Jan 25, 2021

    Can you use small plastic bottles to make the ottoman?

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2 of 129 comments
  • Syntha Syntha on Oct 30, 2022

    Looks great. I remember when I was a kid my mom made several of these using the large metal juice cans (cleaned out of course), taped together, padded and covered with material. And yes you could sit on these. She hand sewed the top piece the one side with a large running stitch so it looked like a patch work quilt. They were very sturdy and lasted for several years. She said they were easy to make even with the hand sewing. Now a days you could use material glue to piece the material together

  • Martha Martha on Feb 13, 2023

    I also remember making a puffie using large baby food tins instead of bottles ,padding well it lasted for yrs xx