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Fixing a Storage Ottoman

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Leather storage ottoman that has been chewed up and worn out over the years.

How to update an old storage ottoman that has been chewed on. Once this was completely redone, this storage ottoman was perfect as a Lego table and toy chest.

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Back when I was single with two cats I bought this nice storage ottoman. Then my cats sharpened their claws on their leather top. So recently I replaced the leather with fabric. Then my new puppy chewed the side of it. Yikes.

As you can see below, the padding leather exterior has some ugly wood underneath it.

Chewed corner of the leather ottoman. Note there's wood under the leather and padding.

For the record, this ottoman has inspired a couple of posts including reupholstering your ottoman and a post I wrote on repairing leather. The problem with the reupholstered version was that my kids like to eat snacks on it and fabric is harder to keep clean with kids and pets.

It was time…

…time to throw it away?

No. Time to refinish the whole thing because *meh* to buying new furniture when I still have a puppy and two toddlers.

And I love it. Even better, the kids love it. They spend HOURS playing with the legos at the ottoman. It is attractive and doesn’t look like a toy box which is even more awesome- and I can flip the lego side down to use the other side as a coffee table if I’ve got adults coming over.

Leather Storage Ottoman Update


How to Repair the Leather Ottoman

I cut off all of the old leather and padding. I removed the padding from the top of the ottoman. I decided to use this without the padding now. My husband says it’s more toy chest than ottoman now because there’s no padded place to put your feet. Whatever. I still plan to put my feet on it!

Removing the leather sides and padding from the ottoman.
Sides and padding removed.

We cut a thin lightweight wood to the right size for the sides- we used a $13 utility panel. My husband used his nail gun to attach it.

Adding wood siding where the leather used to be so it will look nicer.

My husband also added some wood trim around the top of the ottoman.

Adding a wood trim around the top of the coffee table.
Adding a wood frame around the top of the coffee table.

Painting/Distressing the Ottoman

Here’s a tutorial on distressing furniture: Distressed DIY Lego Desk, How to Distress Furniture.

For the tops, I removed the little plastic pieces that held on the top padding. I filled the holes with wood filler and let dry before I painted.

Removing the white pegs.
Filling the holes with stainable wood filler.

I painted and distressed the whole piece… including the tops. Once distressed, I used poly to seal it.

Painting the ottoman.

Adding the Liner

I wasn’t super careful so I got paint on the inside liner- which was pretty beat up anyways. I decided to just replace it. I actually put my new liner over it instead of removing the old liner, but I made sure to vacuum it out thoroughly first.

Adding new liners to the ottoman.

Just real quick, I’ll put my measurements here in case anyone has a similar piece.

I measured 2.5″ to wrap around the lip that was inside the chest.

Bottom was 24.5 x 21.5″, two sides were 6 x 24.5″ and 2 sides were 6 x 21.5″.

Cuts of fabric were (2) 25 x 22″, (4) 9 x 25″, (4) 9 x 22″.

What I did was sew my side pieces right sides together, then sewed the two ends together- this creates a big circle of fabric. I pinned that, right sides together, to the bottom fabric. Then I sewed around it all.

Once I made my liner, I just used my staple gun to put it into the toy chest.

Adding a Lego Plate

For the top of one side, I added a Lego plate. You just take the Lego plate, use some Gorilla glue for the back, and plop it down where you want it. I centered mine. There are lots of fun ideas to do with the tops of this- I’ll probably add on some at a later time.

Use gorilla glue to attach your lego plate to the top of the table.

I did paint the Lego plate black with spray paint first.

Here it is completed.

Leather storage ottoman turned into a wood toy chest and Lego table.

I didn’t take a picture with the Lego side flipped over, but if you flip it, it looks like a regular coffee table. My kids use this Lego side every. single. day. though so the other side doesn’t ever see the light.

Love furniture? Here are some other furniture projects we’ve done: Distressed Lego Desk | Easy Living Room Storage Cabinets | Built In Entertainment Center | Quick and Easy Drawer Stoppers | Gaming Table | DIY Rustic Outdoor Chairs

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This used to be a beaten up leather storage ottoman. Now it's a toy chest for Legos and more!
Legos on the storage ottoman/toy chest.

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Dede Designed Decor

Friday 3rd of November 2017

What a fun project!

WhippedGreenGirl Angie

Saturday 16th of July 2016

I am not even kidding I have the same table destroyed by my chihuahua lol Final product is a beauty! :)


Saturday 16th of July 2016

And does it not PAIN you to realize how much money they chewed?! Haha. Maaaan I stopped buying even remotely expensive furniture since cats/dogs/kids destroy everything. Yay thrift stores.


Saturday 16th of July 2016

That's so funny! It must be the tasty leather ;) Thanks! I hated to see it go to waste.

Tiffany | Pretty Real

Thursday 4th of February 2016

so clever!! what a great idea!

Charlene Morunga

Wednesday 3rd of February 2016

That looks awesome Danielle! You did a great job - and good idea stripping it back to wood. I love the lego table on the side too - brilliant.

Tiffany | Pretty Real

Wednesday 3rd of February 2016

wow, very impressive!