Pallet Ottoman: My first DIY attempt…sort of

From the moment I got my new job and planned another move, I have wanted to create an ottoman out of a pallet. I had looked at projects on Pinterest and was very set on creating my own custom furniture. The problem? I’m a bit of an impatient craftswoman. So I enlisted my ever patient boyfriend (who is, might I add, quite crafty), explained my vision to him and we were off.

The first task was finding a pallet. Luckily, my boyfriend came through for me getting two broken pallets that were going to be discarded from his work. He took the two pallets apart and created one complete pallet (without my asking him to, might I add). In the end I had a beautiful, free pallet:


The next day he and I went on a little shopping adventure. Now the large ottomans I’d seen in stores had ranged from $350-700 so I was figuring that I was in good shape spending $100 or less. First stop was Home Depot. We picked up 4 “legs” (deck railing balusters $3 each), a small can of Red Delicious paint (about $10) and a cheap paint brush ($2). The balusters were equipped with screws, so no additional hardware was needed.

Joan Fabrics was our next stop. What I didn’t take into consideration was how expensive foam is! The foam alone would have cost us $95. Luckily, Joan Fabrics had a Labor Day sale, and I had a 15% off coupon, so we got the 1.5 yards of foam for a pretty good deal. I picked out textured gray upholstery fabric, originally $26 a yard, but we got it 50% off (plus my 15% off coupon) and I also picked out some batting (think quilts) to give the sides of the ottoman some cush ($9.99 for a bag). The shopping was pretty labor intensive, so we called it a day and headed over to Denny’s for some pancake poppers.

The next day we started in full force assembling the ottoman. First we painted the legs. I’m in love with the color I chose:


Then we cut the foam to fit the pallet. We were about 2 inches short! So we had to improvise with some foam around the house. My advice, make sure you have the exact measurements of your pallet. Also, looking for a quick way to cut thick (we had 4″) foam? An electric knife works wonders:

Pallet Foam

I’ll be honest, from here on out my boyfriend took the reins. He and my mother talked about my vision of the ottoman and created a game plan. He drilled pilot holes for the legs, used spray adhesive to keep the foam in place and attached the foam. We laid out the fabric and two layers of batting. We then stapled the batting to the pallet:

foam and batting

The fabric was last. We stapled the center of each side to make sure each angle of the ottoman would be even. Once we knew it was even we stapled along each side and flipped it to make sure everything looked good: top pre-folds

Next, my job came into play. I knew exactly how I wanted my corners to look. Explaining the corner folding is difficult, but it is almost like wrapping a present, creating two separate folds to make a triangle center. I folded the corners to my liking, we put in more staples, had my mother do one last inspection and put the legs on:

finished bottom

So, about $100 and 8 hours of shopping and working later, I had an amazing custom ottoman. I can’t thank my boyfriend enough for his help! Now just one more month and I can move it into my new apartment…pallet ottoman


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