January 22, 2014

Upcycled Ottoman and Library Ladder

My house is pretty much on a quarterly schedule to be purged. I like getting rid, donating and selling things. I don't like clutter. "Everything has a place and everything is in it's place", is my motto.  In the past I have shared a few toy organization with you. I do have one new toy space I have made. It was a bit of a DIY project as well. I don't have any pictures of the before but I had a black pleather ottoman that was just wearing out. We purchased it from Target many years back. I'm sure you've seen them around. I loved having that ottoman because I kept throws in it. I thought about it and figured I could probably recover it and it would be perfect in my little girl's room. She has a lot of small toys that need to be put away and it was the perfect solution.
Here is a picture of the sweet ottoman in her room. All the fabric was purchased from my local Joann's store.  They were probably all on sale too. I have had them a while. 
There are 4 fabrics in total. The checkered fabric was 1 yard and the white fabric lining the top of the ottoman on the inside was one yard. The other two fabrics I used were two yards. This was a fairly easy project to tackle.  

Above is the fabric lining the bottom of the ottoman. I folded it under and just stapled. Honestly, it was more difficult getting the original pleather off than adding fabric. I just tucked stapled, cut, stapled. It was really like wrapping a present. 

This picture (above) is the fabric inside the chest and how I folded this section and stabled. I plan on covering the staples with ribbon and fabric tape but I haven't found the ribbon yet. I hope you like this upcycled project. I had that black ottoman for over 6 years and now it's really a lot more functional.  

My daughter loves this ottoman, she thinks it's a bed. :) She wanted to sleep in it the first night, it was pretty cute. I'm glad she has a place for her toys now. 

Then I needed to find a place to put my throws. My wonderful father in-law goes to all sorts of Estate and Garage sales. He even searches out specific items on Craigslist. Well, he came across these beautiful library ladders...5 of them to be exact and he said I could have one. I love beautiful old ladders like this. They are so gorgeous. Now, I have small children so I can't have ladders where the babies can get to them but in our Master bedroom, where we don't let them come in that often......I can.
  I decided to put my throws on the ladder so it's useful and I am able to enjoy it without fear of one of my little ones getting hurt. Win, win! I've thought about shortening the ladder but for now it's ok. It can hold 8 throws on it! 

Look at the detail on this. Am I weird? I really appreciate good craftsmanship. Wow, and it was probably in some library. I've resisted the urge to see if it smells like books. I wish I knew the story behind them. 
I just cleaned up the ladder and my husband took off the wheels. Yea, it had wheels, super cool! We kept them too. I just love the look of the wood and the hardware is just amazing. 

Maybe one of these days I will add shelving and make a bookcase out of it or hang it from the ceiling. There are so many possibilities with ladders. I think for now, it has a good spot with my throws. 



  1. Hi!! My grandparents gave me a ladder like this, but were never able to find the wheels out in the barn. Any chance you'd be willing to sell the ones you took off?? I came across your big and figured it can't hurt to ask! Thanks!! Mirb519@gmail.com

    1. Hi MirB, Where are you going to be placing your ladder? I'd love to know how you are going to decorate with it.
      I appreciate your offer but I would like to keep the casters for now. If I ever change my mind I'll get in touch with you. Thanks for checking out my blog. Good Luck!