After living in our new house for over 7 months the boyfriend and I got around to getting this project done. Here are the steps a quick and easy as possible, although we started and stopped a few times :)
Sand down the exterior very well - smooth is nice, no splinters when your rubbing your tootsies on it.
Next we added a piece of 1/4" plywood to the bottom of the crate using a nail gun. The plywood for the top and bottom was cut at Home Depot for FREE :)
We then added casters on so it would be easy to move around.
I decided to stain it using Minwax Classic Gray but you can find a huge assortment of colors on their website - http://www.minwax.com/wood-products/stains/minwax-wood-finish#Colors
For the top the boyfriend carefully measured out a diamond pattern, and marked the spots we would use for tufting later.
Next we measured out the foam we would need to use to cover the top of the ottoman. Carefully we cut it down using an electric knife, it cuts like butta. We used Loctite 200 Spray Adhesive we got at home depot to glue down the foam to the board, leaving a 1" overhang on all sides to allow for a smooth, soft edge when covered http://www.homedepot.com/p/Loctite-13-5-oz-High-Performance-Spray-Adhesive-1408028/202365672
We covered everything in batting and used a staple gun to secure it.
Next we draped our fabric over and began our tufting. Learn from our almost mistake, and be sure to have extra fabric at the end because you will run low on fabric as you tuft.
We used this amazing tutorial on tufting the easy way with screws! Take your time and go extra slow and it will turn out amazing! http://www.cape27blog.com/2013/03/tufted-headboard-tutorial/
We then added a hinge, and piano hinges (so it wouldn't' crush any fingers) to it and bam we were done! Thanks to my friend Pam for helping me hold it up while the boyfriend attached the hinges.