Beautiful DIY Ottoman { From a Pallet and a Mattress Topper! }

This beautiful DIY ottoman is made by one of our super creative readers, Ellen Cadeaux Gardner! When Ellen replied to my recent newsletter on pallet project ideas with photos of her stylish DIY pallet ottoman, I was instantly in love!

add cushion foam and attach legs to pallet DIY ottoman

Lucky for all of us, Ellen generously agreed to share her step by step photos and tutorial here! I am so excited because this inspiring project offers so many great ideas you can customize to make your own gorgeous DIY ottoman in any style you want!

Thank you so much Ellen for this awesome DIY ottoman tutorial!  Let’s start, with a pallet!

Step 1: build the pallet wood base of the DIY ottoman

Here’s a detailed guide on where to find and how to work with pallets-

* Some resources in article are affiliate links. Full disclosure here .

( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. )

The first thing Ellen did was to cut the pallet to size. The standard 48″ by 40″ North American pallet has stringers of 48″ and 1×3 boards of 40″. You can cut a section of around 21″ wide and a length of up to 4′. Ellen’s DIY ottoman looks like about 21″ x 24″.

a foam mattress topper and a pallet

Next they added some scrap wood( you can use 2x4s here) all the way around the bottom side. This provides places to staple the fabric to, and to attach the ottoman legs to. Drill holes for the furniture leg threading assembly.

add legs to DIY footstool

Love Pallet Projects?

Step 2: adding foam to the DIY ottoman

There are several choices we can use to create the right height and softness:

For softness on top, we can use  2″ to 3″ upholstery foam, or egg crate mattress foam.

To build up height, we can use foam or even Styrofoam!

Here is what Ellen did:

“I cut the 3″ foam in half, doubled it up and stapled it into position. It wasn’t quite the height I wanted yet so I cannibalized an old foam mattress pad that was just taking up space in a closet anyway. I layered that on top. A few dabs of hot glue held them in place for covering. Then I added the batting, trimming, smoothing and stapling it all around.”

add legs and upholstery cover to DIY ottoman

Related article: these DIY pallet coffee table and sofas are easier than you think!

12 easiest and great looking pallet sofas and coffee tables that one can make in just an afternoon. Detailed tutorials and lots of great resources! - A Piece Of Rainbow

DIY pallet coffee table and sofas

Step 3: finishing the DIY ottoman

For the final step , Ellen measured out the fabric and stitched the corner seams, creating a fabric box, instead of folding them in. This creates a nice clean look all the way around. Temporarily remove the ottoman legs, stretch and staple the fabric all around underneath.

You can cover the underside with webbing fabric, but feel free to skipped that. I would skip all things invisible and non-structural! 😉

Doesn’t Ellen’s DIY ottoman look beautiful in her living room?!?

There are so many ways you can customize it to your own style! For example: this  Folkland McKenzie Upholstered Ottoman and this Santa Maria Desert Pembroke Upholstered Storage Ottoman , look beautiful with short square wooden legs for an eclectic style.

ottoman ideas

You can make the tufted ottoman below using  turned legs like these  or these ( similar to what Ellen used in her stylish pallet ottoman ) perfect for farmhouse or traditional style. Last but not least, these hairpin furniture  legs are great for industrial or modern style.

farmhouse style ottoman ideas

The lovely fabric ottoman bench ( below ) has tapered furniture legs which looks great in many styles from traditional to mid-century modern.

The possibilities are endless with so many choices of furniture legs and fabrics! If you make something inspired by what you see here, please tag us on Instagram at @apieceofrainbow . We would love to see it!

You may also love: How to make a burlap coffee bag ottoman!

Make an unique and gorgeous Burlap Coffee Bag Ottoman from only one coffee bean bag! Triple functions: seating, side table, and storage all in one! | A Piece Of Rainbow

Thank you so much again Ellen for this inspiring DIY ottoman project!! We appreciate it SO MUCH!

make diy footstool out of a pallet

Love Creative DIYs?

Happy creating! See you next week!


  1. I love love LOVE DIY projects like this… Every time I see people throwing away pallets I automatically want to save each one because you can build so many things with them… I’ll have to give this project a try, it looks amazing, thanks!

  2. what a brilliant idea! I’m truly impressed! We DIY a lot at our home but I never ever thought that you can diy an ottoman! New project on the list!

  3. That looks lovely! You’d never know it was DIY. And I bet it gives her a sense of achievement every time she sees her creation.

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