Want to take a junky old coffee table and turn it into something fab?
**If you’re considering giving this project a try, make sure you read my addendum at the end of the post with some suggestions for avoiding a few headaches I encountered. : )
I know it’s never a good idea to start a post with a disclaimer, so instead of a disclaimer, we’re starting with a…heads-up.
Here it is: this week’s project will be more of a before-and-after-with-some-helpful-pics than a hardcore tutorial. My only excuse for not having a pictorial blow-by-blow for you (boo! hiss!) is that I started this project before I started blogging (the nerve, I know).
It was time.
(I think I would almost feel guilty for my inconstancy if not for the fact that she now resides in the living room of my bestie, Mandy…so, see? I found her a good home. End therapy session).
Hubby asked me what I wanted instead, and I hesitated, but not because I didn’t know. I did. I was just a little afraid to tell him.
So, I turned the question around, and, to my great surprise and delight, he started describing his vision of something low and large, without sharp corners…
“Something like THIS?!” I interrupted (I might have squealed).
Do a price comparison on foam anywhere else, and you’ll quickly see this is a fantastic deal!
Here’s the part where the pics get a bit skimpy, but it’s also the boring part, so I’ll just break it down for you:
1) I decided on a twelve-button diamond tufting pattern, and my handy-dandy husband marked it out and drilled the holes for me. Here’s a view from the bottom:
2) I did the foam cutting/stacking bit that I mentioned above
using spray adhesive to hold the foam in place (yeah, that didn’t work. at. all).
3) I wrapped the whole table-top in 1” quilt batting (that I also got @ Hob Lob with another 40% coupon; Tip # 2: if you’re as obsessed with bargains as I am, have no shame, and are willing to go back to Hobby Lobby 2-3 times in one day—so you don’t run into the same cashier twice…awkward—you CAN use multiple 40% off coupons!!!) and stapled the batting under the coffee table edges.
4) I draped the beautiful and practical (Durapella microfiber) sea-foam green fabric (that I found at Hancocks for 50% off the 50% off price) over the top of the foam.
5) I stained the legs, but they never got as dark as I wanted, so I went back and painted them with a sample of Cordovan Brown that I got from Lowe’s.
6) I then proceeded to cover my upholstery buttons (that I got at Hancocks for 40% off) with a scrap of Goodwill fabric I had that happened to match the rest of the fabric per-fect-ly (after discovering that the fabric that I had bought at Hancocks was too thick/inflexible to work for covering buttons)…
…then threaded them through the pre-drilled holes using a ginormous upholstery needle (jamming a 6” needle through 4” of foam is surprisingly therapeutic!), yanked them down to create deep tufts, and secured the thread to the underside of the coffee table.
**If you want a detailed, pic-by-pic tutorial of how to do diamond tufting, this one is great! I’m not saying that’s exactly what I did, but, umm, pretty close. Sure.
7) To simulate that, I cut my fabric into four 6”X40” strips (one for each side of the ottoman, since I didn’t have a long enough strip to wrap all the way around), and stapled them underneath the “poofy” top section, like so:
…then I folded the strips underneath and stapled them to the wood.
…and at the corners.
8) To cover all the visible staples,
I added nail-head trim my hubby destroyed a bunch of nail-head trim tacks trying to do it for me (apparently that stuff wasn’t meant to be driven into aged oak covered in batting). All seemed lost (yeah, I was gonna throw the whole thing out on account of not having nail-head trim) until he got the brilliant idea to drill shallow holes for each nail-head tack to rest in before he hammered them home with a rubber mallet.
9) I turned it over, took pictures of it…
10) …showed it to you! (I was too close to an even 10 steps to quit).
::Coffee table:: $40
::Quilt batting:: $8
::Upholstery thread + Needles:: $8
::Nail-head trim:: $12
***THINGS I WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY:
1) Used “real” upholstery buttons. The ones I got at Hancocks are simply too flimsy for the deep tufting that I want (one has already popped), so I’m eventually going to replace them with true upholstery buttons. You can either salvage these from another piece of furniture or buy them from an upholsterer either in person or online (More expensive? Yes, if you buy new. But worth it in the long run).
2) Hollowed out holes in my foam like Kristi did in the tutorial that I linked to above (seriously, if you haven’t read it, DO it! It will save you a lot of time/annoyance/mess-ups).
3) Used only 2” or 3” of foam. I love how cushy my ottoman is, but I think I could have achieved the same effect with 2” of foam plus an extra layer of batting wrapped around, and the tufting process would have been easier.
I’m sure there are other things I could have changed, but the tufting is really the biggest deal with this particular project, and I think I could have save myself some headaches if I had done what I mentioned above. If you have more questions, be sure to email me or leave them in the comments, and I’ll try to answer them.
I’m so excited about everybody that is giving this a try!
I would LOVE to see pictures of your versions when you finish!
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