Outdoor Storage Ottoman Tutorial

For those of you who follow me on social media, I have slowly been putting together one of my outdoor spaces. 

Very slowly.

It’s been a really damp start to summer around here, inevitably setting back my plans to stain, build, and create. The first dry day in 8 bazillion days, in a few days I quickly throw together this little gem.

When decor meets function! Follow along as see how I repurpose this old crate into an outdoor storage ottoman with a concrete top! I just love it! #DIY #blog #decor #repurpose

Recently, a good friend of mine found these old “Irwin” boxes in her garage. What an amazing find. 

Vintage Box

Ridley, always inspecting…

Vintage Wooden Box

The print on the box even says “Baltimore” on it. What a unique and personal touch. I love good free “junk.” 

Somehow my brain instantly saw a repurposed project; an old shipping crate turned into an outdoor storage ottoman. Nothing like functional design coupled with industrial decor.

Follow along and see how I turned this old box into a fantastic storage ottoman for my outdoor space.

What You'll Need

So here’s what I used to create this project. 

Supplies:

  • Old shipping crate {shout out to Amy! Thank you!}
  • 1 – 2x4x6’
  • 4 Casters
  • Wood Screws
  • Stain
  • Hinges
  • ¾” plywood {we had some leftover from previous projects}
  • Ardex Feather Concrete {left over from previous projects}
  • Sandpaper – 220 grit
  • Sealer {left over from our concrete flower pot tutorial}

Tools:

  • Table Saw
  • Impact Driver
  • Orbital Sander
  • Trowl

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THE BASE:

The crate, while sturdy, was not made from thick wood. Therefore, I decided to add a base to the crate constructed out of 2x4s. This gave some height to the original crate and provided a good foundation to anchor the casters. 

Once the frame was established, I then screwed in these metal casters into the frame. {I picked up these casters at Home Depot, but it wasn’t till after I realized they were so much cheaper on Amazon.com. Who’s shocked?

I really wanted to compliment the industrial look of the crate, and these metal casters did just that. Additionally, they were super easy to install. 

Once the casters were in place, I used some stain I already had around the house to stain the new 2×4 wood. This helped blend the new wood together with the original color of the crate, giving it a uniform look. 

THE TOP:

Once the frame was established, I cut a piece of ¾” plywood  top to use as the foundation of the concrete top. Next, I made sure there was a 2” overhang all the way around. A few quick cuts on my table saw, and they were ready to install. Centering the box onto the plywood I traced the edges. This insured me that the lid would be centered once the hinges were installed.

Then, I attached the plywood to the crate using two bull hinges set in 2” in from the edges. Actually, I was worried the hinges would cause the lid not to be level. Much to my surprise, the lid rests completely level! If yours is not level you can recess the hinges into the wood. Tricky, but doable.

Storage Ottoman

Once the plywood top was attached, I mixed Ardex Feathering Concrete and applied a few 2 thin coats. Consequently, I didn’t want the top to be too heavy. Keep in mind, if the lid becomes too heavy, it may cause the entire piece to flip when the lid is opened. No bueno! Thankfully, this was not a problem for me! Phew!  

Feather Concrete

Next, when mixing the feathering concrete, make sure you follow the packaging ratio. The consistency I like best is similar to smooth pancake batter. Now, the mixture will dry fast so work quickly! As it dries, use your fingers to smooth out any perfections.

Feather Concrete

Side Note: I absolutely LOVE Ardex Feathering Concrete {I’m not paid for this I promise, just being completely honest.} I’ve used other feathering concrete materials and they are gritty and difficult to work with. Ardex Feathering Concrete mix is so easy to use and spread. This stuff is self leveling and leaves a beautiful finish. Trust me, you’ll love it! #notanad

When decor meets function! Follow along as see how I repurpose this old crate into an outdoor storage ottoman with a concrete top! I just love it! #DIY #blog #decor #repurpose

In between layers, I did a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper, using my orbital sander. This helped level out any major imperfections. Eventually, it starts looking more like finished concrete. 

I like how there are little imperfections, I feel like it gives the piece character.

Once I let the top dry for 24 hours, I applied a matte clear sealer to the top to ensure it was weatherproof. I applied two coats, giving ample dry time in between. Ultimately, this will ensure the longevity of this piece.

When decor meets function! Follow along as see how I repurpose this old crate into an outdoor storage ottoman with a concrete top! I just love it! #DIY #blog #decor #repurpose
When decor meets function! Follow along as see how I repurpose this old crate into an outdoor storage ottoman with a concrete top! I just love it! #DIY #blog #decor #repurpose
Pink Flowers in white vase

Obviously, Duncan loves being a model. He was born to be in front of the camera!

Outdoor Storage Ottoman

Here is a sneak peak into my finished outdoor space! I just love how it turned out! This ottoman totally completes the space while also giving me some extra storage. In the winter it’ll move inside and become a home for some plants, and did I mention…more storage!

Hope this project gives you a little inspiration! If you want to save it for later, don’t forget to pin it below.

OXOX,

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When decor meets function! Follow along as see how I repurpose this old crate into an outdoor storage ottoman with a concrete top! I just love it! #DIY #blog #decor #repurpose

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