Day 15: Repurposed Styrofoam Box to Ottoman

Today is a very special day in the Green series, because I am showing something BIG that I repurposed. No list today, just one big, epic tutorial!! And come back tonight to link up your repurposed projects!!

I am SO happy to finally be sharing with you this post.

It's been over a year in the making, from the time I got the first piece in August last year, to when I got the perfect fabric on super sale in January of this year, and finally to when I decided to do this series and realized this project would be perfect for it. I was so afraid it wouldn't turn out so I kept procrastinating... but I'm so glad I finally did it!

I present to you, my Styrofoam Box Ottoman:

(clouds part and the angels go aaaaaaaaaaaaah- that is how I feel about it)

Can you believe this thing is made from a giant styrofoam box? I got it from my lab. We get products in styrofoam coolers all the time, but I'd never seen one so big and sturdy.

As soon as I saw it there in the corner of the hallway ready to be thrown out (though I think they do recycle it here, there's a special spot for them to be left and they are picked up seperately), I saw potential. I saw an ottoman.

This was actually taken last week when I saw some again, hadn't taken a pic last year. And s'cuse the horrible phone pic (not an iPhone...).

Sure everyone thought I was crazy when I sneakily grabbed it and stashed it in a corner of the lab until I could bring it home (I'm on bike, I couldn't just strap something that size, though very light, to my bike and go home...), but I didn't care. I was gonna be fanta- what for it- bulous!!

Fast forward 5 months to January, I was at Fabricland, again, searching for the perfect fabric. And I found it. It matched the colors of my curtains in the living room. And it was on sale 3 meters for the price of 1. Oh yeah! Walked out with 14$ worth of fabric, and 3 meters! More than I needed but the extra meter was free.

But yeah, I thought I'd get straight on it when the snow melted, but I procrastinated. I wasn't sure it was gonna hold, or that the spray adhesive would work on the styrofoam box (cuz it's not craft styrofoam). Finally I tackled it last month (during the time I was suppose to be preparing for my oral presentation- procrastination at its finest my friends).

I laid out the fabric in our bedroom, cuz it's the biggest floor surface we have (I did have to tidy up, though), and cut my pieces.

I practiced laying the fabric on the styrofoam box a couple of times. Because it's striped, I needed it to align perfectly or else it would look weird. I quickly realized that something was wrong- the top perimeter was slightly larger than the bottom perimeter. This meant that no matter that I tried to lay it flat and smooth it out, it would never meet perfectly.

So I had to fake it. It doesn't show in the end, but there's an air bubble around the bottom corners.

Also, because the styrofoam box was, well, styrofoam, I could just pin it right into place to practice!

When it came to do the corners of the top lid, because all the edges of the box are rounded, I thought this would be the easiest and prettiest way.

So I had an action plan, but I still had to actually glue it down. So I took it outside. It looked pretty awesome just pinned, and I was, again scared I would mess up the glueing part.

I tackled the inside first, for practice. As you can see, it's pretty big on the inside as well, which will give me some more much needed concealed storage space.

(Pardon the change in color, that's the difference between sunlight and no sunlight)

I laid out the bottom piece first, which was bigger than the actual bottom. So I snipped the corner a bit to be able to lay it flat.

Then the other sides went on.

For the biggest piece, the one that wraps around the box, I unpinned halfway, sprayed the adhesive glue, and glued to the box. Note:I only sprayed the fabric, not the styrofoam. I did a test swatch and when sprayed with the adhesive spray, the box disintegrates a bit, so it's a no no!

I snipped the corners again so they would lay flat:

And here's the adhesive spray I used, from Krylon.

For the bottom, I just folded the edges, kinda like a present.

Then for the top I did the same. Unpinned half, sprayed, glued on. And for the corners, I had already figured how I should fold them, but actually folding nice and tight was an other story. I just pinched the sides together, folded in one side, then the other, snipped as much as I could, and held it all into place with pins until it dried completely.

And my Styrofoam Box Ottoman was born! I think it's pretty shnazzy. My boyfriend is glad it no longer squeaks when we move it around, cuz we've still been using it for 8 months. I just smile every time I see it.

We mostly use it as a table, cuz it is a little too high to rest my feet (no matter what this picture might suggest); our couch is really low. But it's sturdy enough to sit on, and I think I could stand on it, though not anyone heavier than me.

So what do you think? Would you consider saving a styrofoam box and turn it into an ottoman?

I've also seen someone turn an old tire into and ottoman by covering it with jute twine, it's also pretty cool and something I would consider doing!!

from That Was a What?

Please come link up your own repurposed projects at the linky party!!

I party at these parties.


  1. Holy cool! I love re-purpose projects

    I have a weekend link party going if you'd like to join in:

  2. This is awesome! I've created covers for those plastic totes that everyone uses for storage but never for styrophone. I've used these for fishing before and I've also kicked a hole it one, so I'd be careful. Should be fine as long as you don't plop down on it. Here is the link to mine....

  3. Great idea, there are a lot of these types of boxes around, all different sizes. Could be used for many things.

  4. Wow, awesome i mean how you wrapped that sheet all around that styrofoam box that's just awesome.

  5. Beautiful!
    Any other ideas of what to do with one of these?

  6. I am thinking of a time capsule or treasure chest too.

  7. Thanks for this! I made minus the padding (it was more for a table type purpose) and it came out GREAT! I used thin nails to hold the fabric in place and it totally worked!

  8. Good idea! We all know that Styrofoam is full of air and difficult to transport. However, our company INTCO has several machines which can deal with the problem.The machine can compact or melt the Styrofoam into blocks or ingots. And then we can reuse the resources to do other products such as floor bricks. You can get more information from our website:

  9. I was searching for DYI ottomans because I need one and they're just so expensive. I squealed when I saw this on Pinterest! We get boxes like this at my office all...the...time! So I'll be watching for the next delivery. This is such a great re-purpose! Thanks for sharing!


I'm so happy you're taking the time to leave me a message! Just make sure you're not a No-Reply Blogger (if you want to check, there's a link to instructions at the bottom of the blog), and if you're entering your Name/URL make sure I have a way of finding an email somewhere on your website, or just include it in your comment :)