Tuesday, July 5, 2016

My ottoman empire

Since no three-day weekend is complete without a D-I-Y project,
I spent part of mine re-purposing a drawer
that I'd been tripping over in the garage for many years. 

I'd rather bruise my shins on a regular basis than ever throw away
something that could eventually prove useful.

The drawer is one of a pair that is supposed to be used for storage at the bottom of this bench.
The only things it ever stored were: a snake, a squirrel, lizards and a wide variety of rodents,
hence its relegation to the garage.

Anyway, I added some casters to the bottom...

...and a faux leather-covered lid to the top,

which I attached to the drawer with a "piano hinge." 

Me to Home Depot Man: "I'm looking for a hinge, 
but not one of those little ones that goes on a door."

Home Depot Man: "?"

Me: "You know, one of those really long ones." 

Home Depot Man: "???" 

Then ensued a bit of pantomime on my part, after which 
a light bulb appeared over Home Depot Man's head
which flashed "piano hinge."  

There's no way this thing would hold up the lid of a piano 
but it worked for the lid on my drawer...

...which is now an ottoman.

One guess as to what I'm storing inside of it.

You were right!

Smooch – queen of my ottoman empire.


  1. and you are the Queen of Re-purposing! love the idea of wool versus snake!

  2. I love it! I think Smooch does too.

  3. LOL. Piano hinges are used on the bench seats for pianos. (Not the piano lid...) :)

    Nice job!

  4. love the bench, love the depot story, love Smooch and so glad it is not a snake in there.. it really is pretty and makes smooch a nice step to get in the chair.. you are soooo talented

  5. Lovely!

    I hate having those conversations at the store. So often I am calling something by the name my father-in-law, and thus my husband, called it, which is nowhere near the correct name.

  6. Agree with all above comments and wonder if the the other drawer is still in the garage so it can become something. Also wonder if Smooch will jump out of the chair, onto the ottoman, and shoot across the floor. Get your GoPro.

  7. Good job. Smooch approved. Always good to know where the yarn is.

  8. I'm with Ann Boleyn. I know that if my Cody was allowed up on a chair, right off the bat would be a flying lesson. Maybe the wheels have a brake on them?

  9. great job! and danged ingenious too!

  10. Great idea to use old drawer and place wheels on it and a faux leather-covered lid to the top. You are lucky because you have that old piece maid of real wood. Today all drawers are maid of plywood which is not restoration material. Thanks for sharing this inspiring story.

  11. Nice. Looks great with the awesome chair! Aunt Jean

  12. Cool, but I guessed you were storing bones in there.
    Off of the topic question.....do you collect rocks?

  13. Did you tell them the best part? That it fits underneath the chair or maybe it doesn't now?
    Looks great!!!

    1. I'm still trying to solve that part. Damn chair springs hang down just a little too far, so it gets stuck when I slide it under. I think it will be easier to raise the chair legs a little than to find smaller casters.

    2. Northern AB gal7/5/16, 10:34 AM

      Wish I had your ingenuity, nice job! Rather than raise the chair legs, could you raise the drawer bottom? Not knowing how the drawer is put together (dove joints?), this might be impossible.

    3. An American in Tokyo7/5/16, 5:55 PM

      I think I saw somewhere where they sell these plastic "footies" that you can put on the legs of the chair (or a table) to raise it up an inch or so. They look like a tiny plastic cup and you just slip them on the bottom. They might have them at Home Depot??

    4. An American in Tokyo7/5/16, 5:55 PM

      Awesome project, by the way!! =D

  14. If you pick up the chair and place it over the ottoman, do the chair legs touch the floor? If they do, I'd just let it go. The chair looks light enough to be easily lifted onto the ottoman and you won't be moving it a lot. If someone comes, move it out or maybe just let your guest sit on the chair and let it press firmly down on the lid. You might try it and see how it looks and feels. If it's not doable, chair glides will raise the chair or smaller casters will lower the ottoman. Either way, it's a brilliant use of the old drawer and it looks good, too!

    I recognize that faux leather. You never know when leftover supplies will come in handy. I like the light color fabric on the inside of the lid.

    1. Problem solved temporarily, thanks to your idea of lifting the chair instead of sliding the ottoman under. Thanks! Why didn't I think of that? The chair is heavier than it looks, though, so I'm going to look for suitable chair glides.

  15. How cool! You are very handy!