IKEA Hack – Tufted Storage Ottoman

free tutorial on how to make your very own diy storage ottoman with tufting

As I have to consider myself sort of a pack rat, there’s never enough room for storage in my house. With all my crafting supplies, which I mostly buy when I stumble over them, not when I actually need them #PalmToFace, it’s a no brainer, that I try to create more storage in my home whenever I can. A storage ottoman is like catching two birds with one stone, right?

I collected ideas for making a storage ottoman on Pinterest forever. But I always dreaded making the wooden base myself. I have found some darling old wooden crates over the time, but never trusted their stability enough to get going on this little project. A couple of weeks ago I stumbled over an IKEA brochure that had all the new stuff in it. And voilà – they started carrying a wooden box which is just perfect!

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You know, with my long list of “projects to make” I sometimes get overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. But with my friends upcoming birthday I had a deadline for this project. I decided she is in desperate need of a little stool for her wardrobe, so her two darling girls can put on their shoes more easily and a family of four ALWAYS needs more storage, right? So the decision was made and I had a goal to achieve!

Learn to make your Tufted Storage Ottoman

For those who don’t like to read, there’s also a video tutorial at the very bottom 😉

Pin it for later!


If you want to make one or even several of these ottomans (I made two, one for my friend and one for me 😉 ), go check your supplies, stock up in case you haven’t everything in your stash and take a trip to IKEA for KNAGGLIG.

SUPPLIES you’ll need

  • IKEA pine box KNAGGLIG – 9,99 $
  • pine board for the lid (46,5 x 31,5 cm   or   18 x 12,5 inch)
  • piece of foam (same measurements as the pine board)
  • 2 hinges + wood screws (not too long ones, so the screws won’t come through the back of the ottoman)
  • fabric (60 x 70 cm   or   23,5 x 27,5 inch)

Optional Supplies

  • 4 wheels (I bought these in my local hardware store) + wood screws
  • 6 upholstery  nails (to create the dents in the padding)
  • paint or stain
  • carpet tape

TOOLS you’ll need

  • template to cut fabric for tufting (free download here)
  • cordless drill/driver or screwdriver matching to the screws you’ve bought
  • very small wood drill (I used my No. 2,5 and 3)
  • sanding paper (if the pine board has rough edges, that is)
  • cutting tool for the foam (if you can’t get it in the right size,  I used my X-Acto knife, a carpet knife should work, too)
  • stapler + staples
  • fabric scissors or rotary cutter + cutting board
  • measuring tape or ruler
  • pen or pencil

Optional tools

  • hammer
  • paint brush
  • stencil
  • gloves

10 steps to your Tufted Storage Ottoman

1. Assembling the base


Assemble the KNAGGLIG pine box as instructed, but don’t attach the base just yet. You’ll need this opening to put the hinges in place.

2. Decorating the base

Paint or stain the box and one side of the lid to your liking. Let it dry properly. If you want, you could also sand it for a little distressed look or you could use a stencil and write something on it or add a happy pattern.

There’s always time and room for a little creativity!

3. Preparing the covering


Iron the fabric if necessary. Cut it according to the template I’ve made for you. This way you won’t have excess fabric at the edges when folding an tucking it under. I ended up with way to much excess fabric at my first trial and I wasn’t very happy with the outcome of the looks, so I sat down and created a template for my second storage ottoman and you.


To have an extra nice finish, you could iron a fold over at the outer edges. This also will help you later on in this project.

4. Preparing the tufting

Cut your foam to size if need be.


If you want to tuft your ottoman, next you’ll mark the places both on the wooden lid and foam you want the upholstery nails to go.


Use something sharp to push through the foam and twist it around a bit, so the top opening gets a little wider. I used one of my drills.


5. Assembling the three layers of the lid 

Place the foam on the lid. If you want you could fix the foam with carpet tape to the pine board (I had all the supplies ready, but forgot doing it #TooManyThingsOnMyMind #ItWorkedAnyways). But spare the places where you want the upholstery nails to go. Place the fabric on top of the foam, and find the first pre-marked whole for the first upholstery nail with your finger.


Hold the nail in place, and punch hard with the hammer. Please take care of your fingers, though! Done! Repeat with the other 5 upholstery tacks. You might want to adjust the fabric during this process so you won’t end up with too many folds.

6. Finishing the upholstery


Turn the halfway upholstered lid around and begin to staple the fabric to the lid. I started with the long sides. From the middle to the outside. Tuck slightly on the fabric, fold it over (when you ironed it before, this is quite simple) and staple the fabric closely to the edge in place. I recommend maybe 5 staples per side. Continue on the opposite side. After you’ve done the two long edges facing each other, staple the fabric of the short side of the lid. Repeat on the other side. Done!

7. Attaching hinges to the base


Find the place you want to fix the hinges to the base, and mark the wholes with your pen or pencil. Use your wood drill and pre-drill wholes so the assembly will be easier. Pay attention to not drill through to the outside. Use your cordless driver to fix the hinges in place.

Pro-Tip by Habiba:
Cause I had to learn this the hard way…

The joint, the round middle part of the hinges, needs to be over the edge of the wood!!! Duh! Else the lid won’t open completely and you’ll have to start over again…in my case 3 times 😉

8. Attaching the lid to the base


Lay the box flat on the side you fixed the hinges to. Place the lid upside down next to it. Flip the hinges open and mark where the wholes in the lid need to go. Drill the wholes. Now, I find it easiest to place the box on top of the upside down lid to fixate the hinges to the lid (that’s why we didn’t assemble the base of the box just yet). If you’re satisfied with the functionality of the lid, you can continue with the next step.

9. Adding wheels


Place the bottom on your workspace and mark, where you want the wheels to go. Pre-drill wholes and screw the wheels in place.

Decide now if you want the box to slide forward or sideways.

10. Finishing up

Yay – you’ve made it to the last step: Turn your almost finished storage ottoman upside down and place the bottom on top of it (wheels looking at you). Use the, by IKEA provided, screws to fix it in place. Done!


Put your storage ottoman to use


I dedicated this new created storage space to craft supplies for my god-daughter. Whenever she comes visiting, she can open it up and start crafting happily away.


Initially I placed it next to a wonderful dresser in my living room, but I think my tufted storage ottoman found its happy place – next to my couch – so I can lounge comfortably while crafting or writing new tutorials 😉




PS: Please let me know what you think about this tutorial?

Video tutorial – How to make a tufted storage ottoman


You might be interested in my other IKEA Hack:

This image shows the finished IKEA Hack TARVA oriental inspired.


IKEA Hack TARVA – Oriental Vibes With Stain and Stencils

Comments (4)

  1. I ❤ this Habiba! How sweet of you to make one for your friends family. I ❤ the grey topper

    1. I love giving away my crafts as presents. I think giving away my time is more valuable than spending money on expensive gifts.

  2. I love this! Can people sit on it/do you think there is a weight capacity?!

    1. Children and teens for sure. But I guess it should hold adults as well. I’m glad you like it.

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