Friday, February 22, 2008

How to Make an Upholstered Bench Out of An Old Coffee Table

A trip to one of my local Goodwill stores yielded this ugly, stained wooden table, probably homemade, but perfect for a conversion. See second picture.

Where do I begin?


spray adhesive
cordless drill
button molds (fabric store)
LONG upholstery needle (some upholstery stores)
twine or string
flat head screwdriver
pliers (crescent or regular)
staples and staple gun
Electric knife and silicon spray

Lightly sand, prime and paint legs of table. Measure and drill holes where covered buttons will be.

Lay coffee table (top side down) on foam and measure out 1/2 " from all sides and draw lines with marker. Using electric knife, cut out foam on lines. Spray blades with silicon if knife gets "sticky" or slow.
Spray back side of foam, center on coffee table top and, using long needle, push up through holes in bottom of table to mark foam where buttons will be. Cut or pull out small pieces of foam for indentation of buttons.
Starting at center of each side, place three "anchor"staples, attaching dacron. Pull snugly as you staple. Always moving out from center points, pull dacron firmly down at a diagonal and back in towards the table to attach staples, moving out to within about 3 inches from corners.

Now fold corners as if you are making up a nice crisp bed with a flat sheet, pulling dacron down and under coffee table top and securing with enough staples to make a nice corners.

Center your fabric on top of prepared foam, measure 5 inches beyond staple line and cut off excess fabric, leaving 5 inches for a "pull" to get fabric snug and smooth. Starting at the center of one long side, repeat the process of attaching fabric, always working out from center points.

Now fold the corners under just like you did with the dacron, making them nice, snug, clean and smooth. If you have to remove staples, use flat head screwdriver and pliers and ALWAYS push away from you. It's really easy to slip off a staple and run the screwdriver into your hand.

Cut twine or string in 14-18 inch lengths to loop through the eyes of your already covered buttons. Perfectionists will want to see where buttons will be on fabric and cut fabric from corresponding pattern so buttons will match pattern on bench.

Thread twine ends through the eye of the needle and pull down through the foam and coffee table top. Now, you'll have to pull hard on twine and with stapler in other hand, catch the twine with the stapler and secure with a few staples. You may have to make adjustments and pull again to get the buttons to sink into the top.

Now, stand back and admire your DIY upholstered bench. (No one will know you did it yourself)


indymartin said...

I love this post. I am going to use it to help me make a removable padded top to a cedar chest in our living room.


heidikins said...

Um, this is brilliant. And I love your fabric! Heart, love and more hearts!