Upholstered Bucket Ottoman: A How-To

Sometimes when I see a project, it takes over my mind and body until it becomes an obsession to get it done. That’s what happened yesterday when I saw this image on Curbly.

These amazing bucket ottomans come from a fabulous shop in South Africa, Recreate. This particular one has sold, but there’s another fabulous white one available for about $150 us, if I did my math correctly. I don’t have $150 lying around, and if I did I would be buying an amazing antler chandelier I saw on Craigslist yesterday. I just so happened to have an old galvanized tub that sits under our water spigot outside, some spare MDF, and some fabric. All

38 thoughts on “Upholstered Bucket Ottoman: A How-To

  1. I like the original, but I LOVE your version. The extra cushioning popping up over the rim makes it much more inviting and plush-looking. Nice work!

    1. Thank you so much! I wanted it to be more like a seat or plush ottoman than just a top, and the 2 inch foam is only a couple bucks more than the 1 inch. I think I’ll have to make a few more for friends soon, since it was so much fun to make!

  2. I have an old galvenized bucket sitting in my yard that I will be doing this to THIS WEEK! I need to find a place to store all of my garden tools on my patio and having the extra seating will be awesome. Thanks for showing this off and thanks to Grosgrain for showing it off too! That’s how I found your blog.

    1. Isn’t this just the cutest?! What a beautiful addition to the room — love the colors you’re using in there! Great tutorial with excellent pics!

  3. this is awesome! linked here from tip junkie..so cute, what a great idea…thanks for sharing and I will def be making one soon!!!

  4. You, my friend, are a GENIUS. This is SO cute!! I have a galvanized metal bucket that I *almost* gave away, but decided to keep at the last minute…SO glad I did! Now I can make this to hold the extra blankets in our living room! Thanks so much for sharing!

    PS: I’m your newest follower…can’t wait to see what else you have up your sleeve! 🙂

  5. This is spectacular! Thank you, I am so doing this. One question: If you don’t have a router, can you attach a smaller circle of MDF to the bottom of the larger circle to make a lip? Or will this be too wonky/heavy/not work?

    1. That’s a great idea! Actually, a 1/4″ piece of plywood or backer board would probably work just as well, or even a really thick bead of hot glue. Just something to create a border that keeps the lid in place

      1. I think some of that thick,rope-like upholstery cording would work for a center for the MDF.

  6. I love it!! I’m planning a similar one in my head as reading yours, lol. I am right with you with remnants and finding the cheapest way out, but I’m also all for finding easy, durable made-to-last ways to do things. Though not as easy as it used to be to find, (I’m a sewer coming out of a long hiatus is I ever get a workspace that isn’t commandeered before I cover it with my stuff) button and carpet thread is a wonder. I have sewn leather, vinyl, and even buttons and carpet believe it or not. When I get my space (did something that took a couple hours on the dining table and showed my husbane of 35 years–I’m stealing that–I NEED a space), I’ll have to share my projects.

    1. I’d love to see what you come up with! I’ll have to invest in some quality upholstery materials (and lessons!) once I get into more projects. It’s such a fun way to revamp and reinvent furniture

  7. Wow, this is awesome. I wonder if I can do this for a toy box – love that it has no corners for little ones to bump into! Thanks for sharing this great tutorial 🙂

  8. I found a link to your blog purely by chance, and love what you’re doing!! Keep it up. Will definitely be checking back in here.

  9. You are very creative and thanks for the excellent details. The bucket is non-chew proof for my German shepherd dogs so I already like it. I would want a rug top on mine for extra durability. Nice way to shop at thrift stores and recycle found items.

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