Cardboard Storage Cube Ottoman




About: Stay at home, medicated, bankrupt, homeschooling mother of 3 humans 2 beagles and 1 chihuahua, married 18 years to a maker extraordinaire, I embroider, sew, paint, read, paper mache, camp, collect tattoos an...

An easy, but kind of time consuming, super cheap storage ottoman and seat.  I saw a plan for a cardboard box cube in a vintage DIY furniture book that supposedly can hold up to 400 pounds.  I used this plan to make this storage cube.

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Step 1:

Materials needed:

cardboard boxes
cutting implements
packing or duct tape


Step 2:

The main cube is 16 inches square.  The cross pieces are 20 inches by 16 inches high.  The cross pieces each have a 1/4 inch notch cut out so they can fit together.  This is what makes the box strong and able to hold some weight.  The top flaps of the box have been cut off and the bottom flaps glued and taped.

Step 3: Make a Lid

I now use all the leftover cardboard to create a lid for the cube.  The scraps are taped, cut to size, glued together, and weighted with freezer paper and big books.  The lid is cut to approximately 16 1/2 inch square with about 5 layers of cardboard.  The lip of the lid was made with 2 inch by 16 1/2 inch cardboard strips which were hot glued to the edge with a couple of small strips to reinforce the corners.

Step 4: Add Some Style!

Hot glue some quilt batting to the lid and trim.  Then hot glue on fabric to the inside edge of the lid.  Fold the corners of the fabric like gift wrap and hot glue to the inside lip of lid.  Hot glue a square inside the lid to make a clean finished look.

Step 5: The Finish

The box can certainly be left as is but I chose to spray paint the bottom a matte antique bronze to further camouflage the cardboard.  We now have some toy storage, foot stool, gaming seat, and laptop table!!!  I purchased my boxes but this could easily (and preferably) be done with recycled boxes.  Since I already had batting, fabric, glue and tape in my stash my total project cost was approximately $6 for boxes and paint!!  As you can see from the photos I am no tiny Mama and I can comfortably sit on this box!

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    7 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I have always preferred ottomans as a foot stool as compared to other regular ones you can easily find in stores. I feel that it is better to have a dual-usage furniture piece as compared to just something that holds your feet. Now that I have this easy but highly useful instructable in my hands, I might just clear space in my store room where there are a few stacks of abandoned cardboard pieces.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Have you actually tried sitting on it? Or holding storage in it? Because cardboard doesn't seem too promising.


    7 years ago on Step 5

    Beautiful! Looks very nice for cardboard - definitely going to try this!!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Amazing! i wanted to do something similar to this thnxs great tutorial!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I found it!! It's "Nomadic Furniture" by James Hennessy and Victor Papanek. It's super groovy and even has a plan to make a cardboard car seat for a child...yikes!!