Hi, I'm Abbie from Five days...5 ways!
Want to take a junky old coffee table and transform it into a gorgeous tufted ottoman that's way easier on the eyes and your kiddo's soft skin?
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Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
I combined coupons with sales to get my foam and fabric as cheaply as possible. And I scored a 100% wood (pine) table on Craigslist for $40. (Also, I ended up using a deep espresso paint instead of stain for the legs).
The entire cost breakdown for this project was:
::Coffee table:: $40
::Quilt batting:: $8
::Upholstery thread + Needles:: $8
::Nail-head trim:: $12
The closest comparable ottoman I could find was from Ballard Designs for $500 (AND it was 10 sq./in. smaller).
Step 2: Modify Your Coffee Table
I started with this $40 Craigslist 100% pine coffee table (talked him down from $75--woot!) and had the hubster shorten the legs by about 3 inches each (so I wouldn't have a pub table ottoman) and drill a 12-hole diamond grid for the tufting.
Step 3: Foam
I bought my foam in two 39”X78” rolls from Hobby Lobby and used a 40% coupon for each, which brought the total to: $24. I cut it into 39"X39" squares and stacked all four of them on top of the 38"X38" table (you could get away with less foam if you don't want to fight the stiffness.
Once my foam was prepared, I laid a layer of 1" quilt batting over the top for even more padding.
I don't have any pics of this part, but if you want a great tute on how to prepare your foam for the tufting process, be sure to check this one out.
Step 4: Paint Your Legs
To add color to the legs, I started out with a stain, but the pine on my coffee table was fairly hard and resistant to it, even after sanding, so I switched to a deep espresso paint called Cordovan Brown (which is actually the paint version of a stain of the same name) in a sample size I got from Lowe's.
Worked like a charm! I didn't even seal it, and it's held up perfectly!
Step 5: Wrap Your Fabric
Next, I draped my fabric (approximately 1 1/2 sq./yds. for the size of this table) over the top of the foam and secured it with a strategically placed staple or four (these are also what held the foam in place, so make sure you draw your fabric fairly taut so that nothing slides).
Step 6: Threading the Buttons/Making the Tufts
I threaded my upholstery thread (doubled up and and knotted) through a 6" upholstery needle and then attached that thread to the metal loops on the bottom of the upholstery buttons that I recovered to match my ottoman fabric (be sure to use the real, extra-sturdy kind--NOT the kind from the fabric store...they fall apart, which I found out from experience).
Then, I pushed the needle down through the layers of batting/foam until I found the holes my husband had drilled.
I pulled the thread taut, which in turn pulled the buttons down into the foam and then secured the end of the thread to the underside of the table with a couple of staples each.
Your fabric will "poof" up some around the edges, but when you staple them all down, you'll begin to see the diamond pattern emerge!
Step 7: Securing the Fabric
I used my staple gun to secure the edges of the fabric underneath the lip of the coffee table top, creating a "muffin top" effect.
Step 8: Making "the Band"
And no, I'm not talking about the TV show.
One thing that makes my tufted ottoman unique is the tailored "band" of fabric that runs the length of the ottoman underneath the "muffin top."
To achieve this, I cut 4 equal lengths of fabric, approximately 6" wide (the width would depend on your coffee table), and stapled them up underneath the "muffin top" where the staples couldn't be seen, underneath the coffee table, also out of sight, and at the four corners of the table.
Step 9: Adding Nailhead Trim
Finally, I (or my husband, rather) made tiny holes at even intervals along the bottom edges of the ottoman and vertically on the corners and then used a rubber mallet to drive home the nail head embellishments.
Making the hole first is time-consuming but essential to ensuring that the nail trim goes in straight and doesn't bend--especially if you're working with real (in my case, weathered) wood!
Step 10: Lean Back and Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor!
You're done! Whew! It took a fair bit of work, but it sure was worth it!
(My feet are propped up on Emmeline, the tufted ottoman, as I type this!)
If you want to see a more detailed list of instructions, you can view the original post here.
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