I made a coffee table into an ottoman, this was one of my first projects and it set the bar high for me.
I started by finding a cheap but durable coffee table from a second hand store. $40 was what I spent..
I wanted my ottoman tufted so I drilled holes in the table (9 total), before doing anything else.
This step is annoying simply because you have to measure equal measurements so that your peice is symmetrical.
After drilling the holes in the table I realized that the sides had a sort of trim which would stick out and be a huge bruising situation if not addressed properly. I squared off the sides by using plywood to create a smoother edge, much less dangerous for knees and clumsy people such as myself.
I then cut the 5 inch foam which was very overpriced at Joanne fabrics, make sure you bring a coupon.
I made sure to cut the foam so that it was flush with the table.
Then you simply spray an adhesive spray on the table top wood and stick your foam on carefully. Give it about a minute to dry.
Roll out the batting on the floor so it’s flat and place your table, with foam attached top side down on top of it.
You can now gently pull the batting to wrap it and then staple (with a staple gun) under the table. No one is looking under the table so it doesn’t need to be perfect but it does need to be tight enough so don’t pull too hard so it rips but keep it secure.
You are basically wrapping it as if it were a present.
Now comes the exciting part. The fabric! If you are like me you want a pattern and that’s great but make sure you are extra careful when placing the fabric because if it’s crooked… You will not be happy.
Follow a line that is the easiest way.
When you are securing the fabric attach one side and then pull the parallel side and secure it before doing the perpendicular side. This way everything stays secure, but don’t pull too tight or tufting will not be an option.
The corners are tricky but you just want to pretend you are wrapping a present and fold them uniformly so each corner will look the same, and staple under the table
Going around the legs is tricky but I’m sure if you’ve gotten this far that you can dig it right.
Now for the tufting. This part requires two people. Flip your now fully stapled ottoman on its side.
**Make sure your thread is through the needle so the thred is double length.
Remember those holes we drilled in the begining… Take a large sewing needle preferably 8-10 inches. Using fishing line or a strong vinyl thread, thread your needle, go through the center hole of your ottoman being careful to go straight through once you’ve gotten it through and it’s straight you can thred your button on.
The button can be a fabric one, you buy the kits for those, and they are a pain but they look nice, or any button you want.
So you have your giant needle through and you have a button, thred the needle through the button hole and you can cut the thread to release the needle keeping the two peices of thread together tie a knot to secure the thread to your button. This step is crucial because you must make sure that the thread is doubled on the button knot but also that the thred is doubled through to the other side because the tufting is literally being held by a thred.
Now you need a partner. One person pushes the button into the foam and the other pulls the thread tight on the other side, and places a staple on the back near the drilled hole. The staple should be lose enough to thread but tight enough so that is is secured. I did more than one staple after tying it to the first.
Let me tell you that tufting is a bitch, there’s no sugar coating it. You pull you push you secure it and you just get frustrated, but once you do one, even though you want to give up don’t! It’s worth it!
It is now a chic peice of fabulous furniture… You made it, sweat, tears… and hopefully no blood… But it’s perfect and it would have cost close to $500 for a comparable size and pattern. For about a $100. Good work!
Now you can reupholster anything! You don’t have to necessarily tuft everything but at least you have the skills!
Bravo and cheers!