Home Green DIY Guide Make an ottoman from an old suitcase

Make an ottoman from an old suitcase


Did you ever think that an old, torn suitcase, which is useless in your home could become a useful piece of furniture. Well, if not, then we must tell you that it is possible. The cute looking thing that you see in the above picture is an ecofriendly ottoman made from an old suitcase.

This ottoman is super easy to make without making a hole in your pocket. All you need to do at the very moment is to just read on this article to know how to make this creative piece:

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Time required: 1 hour

Resources required

Staple gun



Utility knife


Upholstery Fabric




Bamboo fiber

Plumbing fittings and nipple

Estimated cost N/A


Step 1. Remove the top portion of the suitcase
Take off the top portion of the suitcase. You can do this by simply unstitching the stitches that had kept it attached to the lower part. You can also remove the whole top including the latches. But the latches give it a nice look. So, it’s better to leave them unlatched.

Step 2. Cut the plywood and upholster it
The plywood will provide the ottoman the structural strength to bear the weight. The plumbing fittings will be affixed to the plywood.

a. Cut the plywood in right size. Keep it an inch or so smaller than the suitcase on all sides. Make sure to leave some space. It is because when you will wrap the upholstery around the plywood, it will fit into the suitcase well.

b. The foam also needs to be cut to the same size as the plywood.

c. Put some amount of muslin on the ground and place the foam on its top. Then put the plywood over the foam.

d. Now with the help of the stable gun, the muslin needs to be stapled to the plywood. The same process should be repeated on the opposite side.

e. After you are done with the muslin, do the same with your upholstery fabric. The bamboo fiber needs to be placed in between the muslin and the fabric.

Step 3. Add legs
Now, put the upholstered cushion into the suitcase. Push it nicely. Now, turn the suitcase over and put the plumbing fittings at appropriate places and drill them. Make sure to attach the fittings tightly. And lastly just screw in the pipes. And your amazing ottoman is ready.

Frequently asked questions

What kind of suitcase is needed to make the ottoman?
A semi-soft suitcase has been used to make this suitcase (pictured above). It’s basically made of cardboard-reinforce naugahyde. However, you can also use the hard ones.

What kind of upholstery fabric is required?
The ottoman has been made using heavy fabric. However, you can use any fabric of your choice. You can even use an old wool coat.

What type of foam can I use?
It totally depends on your preferences.

I feel nervous about using it? Is it safe to sit on it?
Its strength depends upon how well you have screwed it up and what type of material you have used.

Will it be heavy or light-weighted?
The ottoman is quiet heavy.

Can we store stuff inside this ottoman?
No, as the suitcase is filled with foam, you don’t get an option to store stuff inside it. It could either be used as a suitcase or as an ottoman.

Quick tips
1. Ripping the stitches will help you to remove the top of the suitcase quite easily.

2. Use 4 pieces of steel nipple and the associated plumbing fittings for the legs as they are cheap.

Things to watch out for

1. Make sure that sufficient structural integrity of the suitcase must be maintained.

2. Make sure to turn the screws well and tightly attach the fittings in order to provide appropriate strength.

3. The surface of the suitcase should not bend much.