DIY Double-Duty: A Seat for the Butt, An Ottoman for the Feet
If you are anything like me, you like to have the resources readily available to host a party at your place but you also hate having “stuff” just laying around the apartment. For one, I do not like a lot of excess “stuff” and even more importantly, I simply do not have the space to store a lot.
One of the biggest challenges I face when I have more than a few people over is having enough seating for everyone. Sure, people often do not mind standing around or even grabbing a seat on the floor, but I would not be a very good hostess if I did not at least put effort into having ample seating. (This project also makes great ottomans, giving guests a place to put their feet up instead of them throwing them up on your coffee table).
I’ll teach you how to create these great seats/ottomans, and after I am sure you will be thinking, okay, so this is a great way to provide extra seating for guests, but what do I do with it the rest of the time? So I will share some ideas for what to do with them when you are not getting ready for a party at your place.
First, gather your supplies:
- Milk crates – as many as you like (just remember the more you have, the more you have to keep around when you’re not having people over)
- Decorative chair cushions – 1 per milk crate (make your own or check out crafts and home stores like Pier 1 Imports, CostPlus World Market, Jo-Ann Fabrics, or Michael’s)
- Ribbon – 4-8 12″ pieces per milk crate (optional)
- Needle and thread (thread can be whatever color you want, I like mine to match my ribbon)
Now, for the fun part:
- Clean your milk crates.
- If you are making your own chair cushions, do that now (if you want to make your own but are not sure how, stay tuned for an upcoming blog about how to make your own chair cushions). If you have purchased chair cushions, get these out and ready for the ribbon to be sewn onto them.
- Cut four to eight 12″ pieces of ribbon – decide whether you only want ties on two sides of the cushion or on all four sides. Either way, the cushion will stay attached. It just a matter of preference. If you only want ties on two sides, cut four pieces of ribbons. If you want ties on all four sides, cut eight pieces of ribbon.
- Flip a milk crate upside down and place a chair cushion on top. Take a piece of ribbon and determine where on each side of the cushion you will attach the ribbon – of course, it should be a place along the edge where you will easily be able to tie the ribbon through a hole on the milk crate. Mark the cushion lightly with a pencil, in each place where you will attach the ribbons.
- Thread your needle and attach the ribbons in desired locations. Not the best sewer? That’s okay- no one will see your stitch. What is important here is creating a strong enough stitch to be sure the ribbon stays attached to the cushion. If you need a bit of assistance, check out about.com or sewing.org. You can do it!
- Once your ribbons are attached, place the cushion back on top of the upside-down milk crate and tie the ribbons to secure the cushion in place. Ta da! You just made an extra seat/ottoman!
Now, when you are not racing around getting ready to have a party at your place, what will you do with these cute milk crates that double as extra seating or ottomans? You have options:
- Keep them around as decorative ottomans and use them as everyday pieces. After all, they are cute enough!
- Stack them on the side, with the cushions facing out, as a unique piece of decor stacked up close against an empty wall.
- Take the cushions off, and use the crates as storage. You can store things like extra paper towel, toilet paper, Kleenex, reusable grocery bags – the possibilities are endless. I like to store things that I can easily dump out and hide in a corner of my bedroom or somewhere when people are coming over, then I can put it all back in post-party.
Share your photos of your homemade seats/ottomans when you have finished. And, if you have other ideas for what to do with them on non-party days, spread the ideas!