Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Easy Make Ottoman (or hamper)

Last summer and fall my boyfriend and I did a lot of garage sale-ing in our new town. We'd see signs just about every weekend and found a lot of great cheap stuff. We got a color printer/scanner/copier/fax with cables and lots of cartridges for $50, as well as books, clothes, and other odds and ends. At one sale, we found a rattan ottoman that opened up to be a hamper. It was damaged in a few places, but it was $5.

Hamper/Ottoman, closedHamper/ottoman, open

We've been using it as a hamper in the bedroom and since we purchased it, I'd intended to cover it. The inside is nice sturdy cream cotton, so that I'll let be. I checked what was under the rattan, but it was a very flimsy wooden board, so I chose to cover it, rather than take it off and start over. All I needed now was a staple gun and some fabric. A few weeks ago at Sears, my boyfriend steered me to the hardware section and we found a cheap, household duty staple gun for $11. Score! I was in business, finally.

Tonight I set the hamper in the living room, under good light, and brought out an cheap fitted sheet.

Mound of fabric

It's a dark blue K-Mart muslin cotton sheet. When I bought it, I had no idea that sheets less than $5 were no where near soft, even as 100 percent cotton. I used the set on a double-sized futon mattress, but donated them to my own fabric stash once I graduated from that bed. The sheet had more than enough fabric to cover the hamper.

The project didn't take much time or many tools -- just the light duty staple gun and staples ($14 total, I think), some fabric scissors and the fabric, and some regular scissors.

ToolsDamage to the rattan

I used the regular scissors to trim any pieces of rattan that were sticking out and falling off of the hamper. I did it in less time than it took to wash and dry one load of laundry. It's so easy, anyone could do it (but of course be careful with the staple gun and other sharp things).

With the fabric generously draped over the closed hamper, I cut enough all the way around it for the lid -- just about an inch or less bigger than I needed so I could fold the ends under. I set the big square-ish circle on the floor and set the lid, upside down, on top of it. I stapled one side in a few places, then stretched out the fabric so it was tight and stapled all the way around. This took a few more steps of folding the corners and checking the other side so that I had enough to spare and the top was tight, etc, but you get the picture.

Covering the lidStapling the lid

For the body, I basically took a random part of the big "O" shaped piece of sheet I had left and stapled it to the upper lip of the hamper. Then I wrapped it around, stapling it at the top and bottom as I went, right on top of the rattan. This took some finagling, as I'd ended up stapling the fabric on the bias, but I did some creative snipping with the fabric scissors and folding edges under, and it all turned out OK. On two sides, one corner has staples going up the side (I tried to make it look as stylish as I could) to connect the two ends or hide where I had too much oddly angled fabric and had to fold it under. But it looks nice, even though it's not perfect.

finished ottoman/hamper, closed

Because the sheet is sort of see-through (it's the same fabric I used for covering the wicker table pedestal, which I'd tried out as curtains that were too translucent), you can see the texture of the rattan when the light shines on it. I actually like that, since it's covered in a pretty dark blue hue. I'm not sure what storage ottomans cost new, but even at Target they've got to be at least $20, right?

Finished ottoman/hamper, open

Now it matches the table, as well as one set of bed sheets (nice, soft ones) that are dark blue. I think we have a dark blue and sage green theme in the apartment -- the sage was already here, but the dark blue looks nice with it, so it isn't a bad color situation to fall into.


Kacie said...

You are amazing. You have such a great eye for repurposing things! I love it!

Acornbud said...

Tres cool!

Aya Smith said...

I love that hamper! I have a really "thing" for all things wicker.

Thank you for all your sweetness! ^-^

Aya of Strawberry Koi

Jazzy E (hivenn) said...

SO amazing. x hivenn