Ottoman Storage Planter How-To

Bring your favorite planter inside and add a floral cushion to create a beautiful, functional ottoman.

Storage Planter

This cute and functional container is a great way to quickly stash those things you need easy access to but don't want cluttering up your room. It's perfect for kids to throw their backpacks in when they get back from school, or to drop shoes it. Choose a beautiful planter, place a cushioned lid on top, and everything is hidden away in a cute ottoman.


To create your storage ottoman you will need a large clay planter. You can use a plain terracotta pot if you like, but take the opportunity to choose one of those beautiful glazed ones you've had your eye on. Choose a heavyweight floral fabric in colors that compliment your pot, and stuffing for your cushion. For the construction of your ottoman cushion you will need plywood, at least 4 ply and large enough to cover the top of your pot with some overlap, as well as a narrow board to create the lip, approximately 1 inch by half an inch. You'll also need wood glue, a new roll of tape, a pencil, screws, work gloves, staple gun, power hand saw and sandpaper or power sander.

Creating A Guideline

In order to cut a circle out of your plywood, you'll need to first draw a guideline. To do this, turn the pot upside down and place it on the board. Lay your new roll of tape flat on the board so that it touches the edge of the pot. Place a pencil in the center of the roll of tape and press it against the edge closest to the pot so you are pushing the roll of tape against the pot. Draw around the pot, letting the tape roll around the edge as you move the pencil. This will give you an even guideline of the perfect size and shape.

Cutting The Board

A jigsaw works best for cutting the curve required for this project, but you can also use a reciprocating saw. Cut along the outside of the curved line you drew. Err on the side of cutting your circle too big rather than too small. Once your circle is cut, sand down any splinters and rough edges. Be sure to wear eye protection while working with power tools, and take all necessary safety precautions.

Stuffing The Cushion

You can use a variety of different types of stuffing for your cushion. You can cut down a piece of thick foam, use polyester stuffing, or recycle the filling from an old pillow or cushion. Use enough to cover the surface of the wood and make it comfortable for sitting.

Stretching Fabric

The amount of fabric you will need to cover your cushion depends on the size of pot you are using, but if you aren't sure how much you'll need it's safe to start with a yard. You can use a single piece of fabric or cut and resew it to create a quilting effect if you like. Cover the stuffing with your fabric, and flip it over so the board is facing up. Pull one edge of the fabric over the back of the board and staple it to the board near the edge. Pull the opposite edge of the fabric tight across the board and staple it. Then move a quarter turn to the right and gently stretch and staple the fabric. Continue to stretch and staple, moving evenly back and forth across the circle.

Staples and Glue

As you move around the circle you will need to fold the fabric to help it wrap closely around the edge of the board. Add a bit of wood or multipurpose glue under the edge of the fabric for extra security before you staple. Glue and staple until the fabric is securely attached to the underside of the board, and no stuffing can leak out.

Trimming Fabric

Once your fabric is securely attached, trim off all the excess fabric. Use a bit of glue along the raw edges to keep the from unraveling, or fold them under and glue.

Cut Edge Pieces

Now that your ottoman cushion is completed you will need to attach extra pieces around the edge to keep it from sliding off the top of the pot. You should use at least eight pieces, each about 2 inches long, but you can use more pieces if you would like. Cut them from your narrow board and sand down any rough edges.

Covering Edge Pieces

Use the extra fabric to cover your small wood pieces. Although you can wrap it any way you like, here's a quick way to add an extra decorative touch. Place your wood block in the center of piece of fabric large enough to completely cover it. Glue one of the long narrow ends in the center of this fabric. Add glue to the sides and ends of the block and press the sides of the fabric up against it to create four corners. Fold these corners in one at a time across the front and glue to secure. Then fold the top closed to finish.

Placing The Edge Pieces

Add wood or multipurpose glue to the top of each of the wood pieces and place them evenly around the edge of the cushion with the decorative folded side facing out. Clamp each piece down and allow to dry for at least an hour.

Screwing Pieces Together

After the glue has set, secure the connection between the edge pieces and the center cushion by screwing them together. You'll need screws that are long enough to pass through the entire block of wood and into the plywood, but not so long that they go all the way through the plywood. The exact length will depend on what kind of plywood you use and how big your blocks are, so measure it out to be sure.

Painting The Screws

Once all your screws are in place you can paint them to match the background color of the fabric. Although this isn't necessary, it's a nice touch that makes it look a little more polished.

Finishing Touches

Finally, you can paint the bottom of your cushion. Again, if you aren't worried about anyone seeing the bottom, you can skip this step. But if you're going to be lifting it and placing things underneath everyday, the finishing touches can make a difference.

Ready To Use!

Let the glue on your cushion dry for 24 hours, and it's ready to use. Place your floral cushion on top of your planter and imagine that those beautiful flowers are growing out of it! Any time you need a quick storage space simply remove the top, throw your things in, and replace the cushion.

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