DIY Sisal Rope Ottoman From a Milk Crate!

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HOW is July already half over?! This summer is seriously flying by. I think it needs to slow down just a tad. But, you know what the 15th of every month brings, right? A new Home Depot Gift Challenge!


If you’re new around these parts, The Home Depot Gift Challenge is a monthly challenge where a group of fabulous bloggers and myself get together and make something from a chosen item from Home Depot. The person who chooses the item also chooses a person to gift it too (you can check out my previous projects using these other items: copper tee, wooden dowel, pegboard, 2×4 wood, cement).

New graphic(We are in no way associated with Home Depot; we just love their stuff!)

For July, manila/sisal rope was chosen, and the gift was to be made for our best friend. I scoured Pinterest for inspiration; but it actually made it harder to think of an idea! Does that ever happen to you? Despite having 50 different ideas in my head, I finally came up with a winner as I was cleaning up one day. In our garage, we have several mismatched plastic milk crates that store some of my paint and craft supplies. As I was putting some paint away, it came to me; a storage ottoman!

I ran to Home Depot and got my supplies. While this project is super easy, I will advise it is not quick. It took me 3 days (3 natpimes, to be exact!) to get the sisal rope wrapped around the milk crate. But I gotta say, I’m totally in love with the end result, and it’s so worth the time!

To make your own DIY sisal rope ottoman, you’ll need:


  • Three 50ft sisal rope packs (the picture shows 2 but I ended up needing 3!)
  • Plastic milk crate with “filing ledges” inside for wood to rest on (I had this one in green)
  • Glue gun + LOTS of glue sticks (I used upwards of 30!)
  • Staple gun + staples
  • Fabric (I just got 1 yard, but 1/2 yard should be plenty!)
  • 1/4 to 1/2″ thick plywood, cut to fit inside the lip of the crate
  • 1″ thick regular density cushion foam (I got mine at Joann’s)
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Optional: duct tape

I started by gluing down one end of the sisal rope to a bottom corner of the crate.

StartingI continued wrapping the twine around the bottom of the crate, gluing every inch or so as I went, and pulling tight and holding to dry.

GluingI used the sides to put glue on so the rope would have something to stick to, since there’s so much open space to the crate.

1st-rowFor each new row of rope, I’d add glue to the rope below it and push down so there’d be no major gaps between the rope.

DSC_0184This is what took so long, and I used a LOT of glue sticks. I probably didn’t need to, but I wanted to make sure there were no gaps and that the rope was really going to stay put! At first I was going to leave the very top of the crate without rope, but decided it looked bare. I didn’t want any of the crate showing, so I ended up going all the way to the top with rope. When the lid is on, you can’t see the crate at all!

DSC_0186After it was all wrapped, it was time to work on the wood top. I ended up using particle board because I only needed a small piece (and it was so much cheaper!), but a piece of 1/2″ thick plywood would also be perfect.

cutting-woodWe measured the inside of the crate where the little lip was, and cut out the wood to fit perfectly inside.

wood-in-boxI then took the board out, and traced it on the cushion foam.

tracingI carefully cut out my cushion and set it on top of the wood.

cutting-foamI flipped them both over and laid them on top of the fabric. I cut the fabric to fit around the wood and cushion, leaving about 6 inches on each side so I could fold it up around both the cushion and the board, and still be able to staple it down on the back.

cut-fabricThis would have been easier if I had an extra hand helping to pull the fabric and hold while I staple, but it worked just fine with 1 person. I started on one edge, and pulled up the fabric over the wood and cushion. Be careful to make sure your cushion stays in place and doesn’t shift around (to help, you could also spray some adhesive on the cushion and press into the wood so they’ll stick together).

StaplingWhile pulling the fabric tight, I stapled along the edge. Unfortunately the staples didn’t go into the particle board very well, so I ended up hammering most of them in afterwards. For the corners, I folded them in like a present and then stapled the extra fabric on top.

cornerIn the end, the back of the wood didn’t look super pretty because of the staples and the fabric shifted a little, but it all worked just fine!

StapledI wanted something to help me get the top out easily so we could store whatever we wanted to inside, so I found some thicker matching ribbon and stapled it to the back. That way, I could easily just pull the ribbon “tab” and the top of the ottoman will come right off.

RibbonAnd that was it! While the process was quite easy, it just required a little bit of patience on the sisal rope wrapping. I think I’ll even go as far as adding a little piece of plywood on the bottom of the crate as well and attach some casters so I can move it around easier. It’ll also help to keep smaller things from falling out of the bottom of the crate.

roomIt’s the perfect storage for toys, blankets, books, etc. And, it’s super cute! I love how the sisal rope makes it look much more rustic than having the green milk crate show through.




mainI’m so happy with it!! What best friend wouldn’t love something they can relax on all the while organizing their stuff, too? 🙂

If you want to see some other fabulous manila/sisal rope projects, check out what my bloggy friends have created by clicking on the pictures below!

Have a great rest of the week!

(I link up at these fun parties!)

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87 thoughts on “DIY Sisal Rope Ottoman From a Milk Crate!

    1. Thank you, Emily! Storage is something we like to have LOTS of in our house, so this was so perfect! Have a great rest of the week!

      1. Hello Amanda, I have scoured the internet, CG, Ebay, etc looking for a crate that has the inner filing ledges. I have even gone behind grocery stores. Do you have any other idea of where I can buy one of those crates??

        1. Hi! In my post above where I list the materials needed for this project, I actually link to one on Amazon that has the filing ledges! I think I’ve also seen them at Walmart, but it might depend on the store. Hope that helps you find one!! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Katie! I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to cover all of the green crate, but I’m so glad I did. Hope you’re having an awesome Thursday! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Carrie!! It’s definitely been a challenge each month, but I’ve always been so pleased with all our projects! 🙂 Hope your week is going great!

    1. Aw thank you Cat!! And thanks for the pin! If you ever have a few extra days you should def. make one. 😉 They really are worth the time! And, are super cute with fabric that matches wherever you’re putting it!

    1. Thank you, Jenny!! I’ve had a few teacher friends who have made these too, and I’ve always wanted to make myself some! I want to make a few more just to put in my daughter’s room, too. 🙂 The sisal rope is definitely the perfect touch, though my little one doesn’t like the way it feels on her legs when she sits. Oh well. 😉

    1. Thank you, Roxanne! Time consuming isn’t always a bad thing; I think our projects all came out so great! Rope was so fun to work with. 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week!

  1. Amanda, you rock! Amazing idea… and well worth the time, I’d say! Totally looks like something you’d pay big bucks for at Home Sense! And yes, I want the next few weeks to craaaaaawl by!! xo

    1. Aww thank you SO much, Kendra!! It was tooootally worth the time. 🙂 I love how it came out!! And I hear ya, it’d be great if summer could last another few months. 🙂

  2. I have one of these crates that is being used for my boy’s superhero dress up clothes. I had actually been thinking of putting some rope around the outside (I always seem to have some around the house) but was not sure if I should weave it into the crate or glue it around it. I adore this look, and you helped make my decision! BTW I adore the fun fabric you chose for the top!
    Emily, Our house now a home recently posted…Question of the day- FridayMy Profile

    1. Yay! You should totally do these, too!! I actually started out by weaving it to see how it’d look, but I didn’t like it. The rope I chose was too thick, but if the rope was thinner it might look better. Perfect storage for superhero clothes! Send me pictures if you make some! 🙂

    1. Thank you, friend!! I’m so glad this idea came to me, I love how it all came together! Those projects are the best. 😉 Hope you’re having an awesome weekend!

  3. Amanda, it won’t let me click on either the family sign w/arrow & heart or the tire table, could you please get me the blog info so I can go directly yo their website? Thank you!!!

  4. This is great. What a super idea you came up with. I would love to make a few of these for the house and for a few friends. The only problem is I don’t have milk crates & I have no idea where to get them either. Where can you get them? Can you buy them somewhere? I hope you can help me out on where to find them. Thanks for a great tutorial! God bless.

    1. Hi Glenda! You can find Sterilite crates at Walmart, Staples, and also at Amazon (there’s a link to one in my “materials” list). I also recently saw them at Big Lots, too! As long as they have the little “lip” on the inside which is normally used for hanging files, then you’re good! Thanks so much for stopping by, I’m so happy to hear you liked it! I’d love to see a pictures if you decide to make some, too! Happy Sunday. 🙂

    1. Thank you Carole! It definitely looks bette with the sisal rope than the plain ugly crate! 🙂 I’m so in love with sisal rope, and I want to rope everything! Ha! Have a great weekend. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Angela! I was so happy with how it turned out too, and my daughter loves to sit on it. 😉 It’d be perfect for a beachy/nautical themed room! Thanks for visiting!

    1. Thank you, Candi! It totally was easy, just really time consuming. 🙂 But I’m happy with how it turned out! Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Thanks Amanda!! I’m so so happy with how it turned out. It was one of those projects where you reeeeeally hope it’ll work out and also be cute, and I was thrilled when it was! 🙂

    1. Thanks Ruthie! The rope idea just sort of came to me, and I’m so glad it did! Thanks for checking it out! Have a great weekend. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Samantha! I really tried to hide that ugly milk crate, and I’m so glad I was able to! 🙂 Hope your week is going great!

    1. Thanks Heather! I’m so happy with how it turned out, and it still surprises me that it was an ugly milk crate once before! So glad you love it! 🙂

  5. You did splendid job gluing rope around crate. Know I’d need help holding it and getting rope tight enough. Definitely think the rope gives it decorator touch then with gorgeous fabric you used, wowsa gal. Think this would make great gift for our daughter for her living room or tv room. She has nice sized living room and the foot stool/ottoman would be perfect. I need to put my feet up when I’m sitting and this would be perfect. She hollers at me when I put feet up on her coffee table.
    You really should make one for your own home, why not? Love your pillows on couch, great fabrics. I never seem to get enuf pillow covers, am always making new ones when I get tired of what been using for while. You did fantastic job, using ribbon to pull top off smart idea. Happy week

    1. Thank you, Jane Ellen! It wasn’t easy getting all that rope glued, but I’m so happy with how it turned out. This would definitely make a fabulous gift! It really is the perfect ottoman to put your feet up on, and to store items. Thank you, I got those pillow covers on Amazon. They were so cheap, too! Thanks for stopping by as always! Hope you have a fantastic week! 🙂

  6. Hi, love the crate! I have 6 rectangular plastic crates old!! Unfortunately there is no LIP inside!!! I’ve already finished roping 1 and on to second one! But still trying to figure out how to get top to stay? I used thick foam board on first but didn’t stay I think I am going to have to have it rest on top??? Or ???? Where can I send pics to you so you can c what I mean???

    1. Hi Francesca! Hmm, you might have to cut the wood to rest on top instead of inside, since the lip helps it stay without falling. Or maybe there’s some way you can attach a “hinge” of sorts? You can e-mail me the pictures to dwellinginhappiness@gmail if you need more help! 🙂

  7. I have a question regarding the wrapping at the top. Since the top have a section that sticks out more than the base of the crate, I was wondering how you wrapped it to look so flush.

    Any help is greatly appreciated. Love, love this idea.

    1. So glad you like my idea, Kay! It wasn’t easy trying to make it all look flush, and there is one section of the rope on top that sticks out. I just did my best to push the rope in where it needed to be with the hot glue to help hide too much of that lip. Let me know if you need anymore help! 🙂

    1. Hi Linda! Thanks so much! Unfortunately I don’t remember how thick the rope was (I wish I had written that down!) but I’d say it’s probably 1/4in or 1/2 thick. Hope that helps! 🙂

    1. Hi Sharon! Unfortunately I don’t remember who the maker or name of the fabric is! However I’ve been getting so many people asking about it I’ll look into it and see if I can’t find it! 🙂

  8. I came across this post as I was pinteresting. I LOVE the fabric that you used. Would you happen to remember where you found it and perhaps even the manufacturer?

  9. Would like to have these for our RV. Weight is always an issue. Can you tell me approx. how heavy one is complete?

    1. Hi Kay! I would say it weighs a couple pounds when complete. It’ll of course be heavier depending on what you store inside. 🙂 Hope that helps!

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