Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bye Bye Table, Hello Ottoman!

We all know I'm cheap.  No surprise there.  We also know I am all about refinishing furniture because of said cheapness.  Sooooo, when I knew we had this old coffee table in the basement that wasn't being used (and frankly had seen better days), I had the ingenious idea to transform it into an ottoman! 

Here was the table before, in all it's water stained glory.

First thing was to sand down the legs and stain them to a darker, walnut brown to match the legs of the rest of my furniture.

The sides of the table were too short - I wanted them to be longer so it would look more like an ottoman rather than a table.  So we glued and screwed some MDF boards onto the sides.

I bought some 2" foam and batting from the local fabric store.  We cut and sized the foam to fit the top and glued it on with some adhesive spray (I had to do it in 3 pieces, but just make sure the seams are tight and there won't be any problems.)  Then we wrapped the batting around the entire thing and stapled underneath.

We added a few extra pieces of batting on the sides and on the corners to beef them up a bit.  We tried gluing them, but it didn't stick very well, so we simply stitched everything on by hand with long stitches.

Then I did what any normal DIYer would do and browsed Pintrest one night when I was bored.  Welllllll, I found the picture from last year that had inspired me to create this ottoman.

Pinned Image
Source: via Melanie on Pinterest

See what's so special about that ottoman, besides the really cool fabric?  THE PIPING!  Since my ottoman was going to be all one fabric, I really liked how the piping defined the top from the sides.  So, after much research on how to make and sew piping we attempted it!

I bought rope at the hardware store for 35 cents a foot...way cheaper than buying real piping at a fabric store.  We rolled a strip of fabric around the rope, and sewed it in place.  Then it was attched to the top piece of the fabric that had already been cut.

Then, the sides were all sewn together and then sewn to the top.

The fabric was stapled underneath.  The corners were left to hang down for the time being.  (See that set-up there?  Garbage pails + old wood + kitchen table = newfound way to staple fabric)

I had bought the "fancy nailhead trim" as it's called from Lee Valley Tools, and used it to pretty up the bottom.  We folded the fabric in around the corners and applied the nailheads to secure it all in place.  (Helpful tip: stick a felt floor protector pad onto the end of your hammer to nail in the trim.  This way you won't damage the trim!)

It was tough getting the nailheads into the MDF sides.  The veneer on the outside was really tough to pierce.  My dad saved the day with his sticky glove and tool.  Ha! - it was a corn on the cob skewer.  That pierced right through the veneer and allowed for the nail to be hammered.

It turned out so well - better than we thought it would actually!  I love that I can use it as a footstool and as a coffee table just by putting a tray on it!  But let's have one last look at what it looked like before:

And after: 


  1. It looks great Melanie! Oh how I wish I could sew.. Those nailhead trim kits don't look all that intimidating.. Maybe I'll go for it!

    1. They're super easy to work with! Hammering into very hard wood is challenging though since they bend pretty easily. But they definitely add some nice bling to projects!

  2. Yowza! That turned out superbly...good job!

    My best, Lynn

  3. Wow, beautiful. You did an awesome job!

  4. Wow, amazing. I just signed up to follow your blog, visiting from DIY Showoff.

    1. Thanks for visiting and following along Adrienne!

  5. Great job. I always pass up that type of table, but now I know what to do with it if I find more.

  6. The piping makes it look so professional. Who would have thought that was an ugly old coffee table. You did a great job!

  7. WOW, you did such an amazing job. The ottoman looks great!

  8. Great job making over that old table! I know how much of a pain that nailhead trim can be.

  9. Really nicely done - great sewing really polishes it off!

  10. Lol looks nothing like mine! I should post mine as a pinterest fail :( wanted to make mine more like a fitted table cloth, that gave the look of an ottoman but i could take the cover off and wash it and create different ones that were interchangable, one for the kids to wreak (they use the table to eat and draw at) and a nice one for when we had people over. Looks like the sagy bagy ellephant :( couldnt get the corners right they stick up and out


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