Building an ottoman is as simple as building a wooden box. Cut the pieces to size or have them cut down at the home improvement center. Run a bead of wood glue down the edge of one piece and place another piece snugly against it. Nail the two pieces together. Continue until you have the frame of a box. On the inside, screw “L” brackets into each corner, top and bottom for support.
Measure the top opening from the inside edges and cut a piece to fit. This will be the bottom. Cut another piece about one inch larger all the way around, for the top. Set this piece aside. Run beads of glue along the inside edge of the bottom, secure the bottom piece, and screw it in place. Drill small pilot holes first so the screws won’t show.
Cover the sides of the box with batting, folding it over the top and bottom edges an inch or two and staple it in place (you can upholster the entire interior of the box if you like). Cover with the fabric, gently pulling until it’s tight, as you staple. You don’t need to cover the entire bottom of the box. In fact, you will probably want to add casters or “bun feet” to the bottom.
Go back to the piece you cut for the top. Mark off 1″ all the way around the edge. Add thin strips of excess wood or trim with small finish nails inside this perimeter. This will help the lid stay in place, because it will rest inside the rim of the box. If you are handy with a jigsaw, you might also want to round the corners.
Cover the outside of the lid with batting, folding it over the edge up to the trim piece. Staple it in place and repeat with fabric. The lid will come off easily when you want to place things inside or take things out.