Repurpose: From toy chest to ottoman bench

We’ve been making some decor changes in the house since the kids are transitioning from toddler, preschooler setup to elementary setup. I have been trying to get rid of unused items through craigslist or simply by donating. I also try move around some items to reintroduce them with a better purpose. This almost-7-year-old IKEA toy chest is one of these repurpose projects.

We took the toy chest out of the children’s room and placed it in the living room. I made a new cushion on top of it and it became an ottoman bench. The color of the fabric that my kids particularly chose, matches the color scheme of the living room. It’s not a traditional upholstery fabric. It is one of those kind of faux fur looking, fluffy fabrics, . They liked it so much that now they are petting the cushion like a new pet.

Making the cushion was quite simple:
My son took the measurements of the toy chest. We got a block of 3″ foam and the fabric from Jo-Ann’s after Thanksgiving 3-day sale. My plan was to cut the foam and put a piece of wood board behind the foam and staple the fabric around the foam onto the board. However, the ones I had at home (from IKEA as-is) were either to long and narrow, or too wide and short. So I decided to sew a cushion cover instead of going out to find and purchase a new board. Luckily, I had enough fabric.
First, we marked the foam and used our electrical bread knife, that we only use for these kind of craft projects, to cut the foam.
Then I sewed around the fabric and attached a 14″ zipper. The furry content of the fabric spreaded around everytime I had to cut the fabric. I sewed around those edges with overcast stitches to avoid further breakup. The fur also made the zipper-work a bit more challenging.
Once the cover was sewn, I put the foam in it. I placed the new cushion on top of the toy chest. Ta daa. Our new ottoman bench is ready. The kids can use it as a reading corner, but most importantly, now we have extra seating available for crowded parties.

I was inspired for this idea by a post on I Heart Organizing blog.

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