Coffee Table Turned Tufted Bench

Friday, May 2, 2014 -
I was browsing through my old photos and found this post. I originally shared it over at Home Coming. You can read how I took a old, oddly proportioned coffee table and turned it into a diamond-tufted, upholstered bench.

I can't believe I forgot to take a "before" photo! The original color was that yellow-ish, cream color every piece of french furniture was painted last century. The top was a slab of cultured marble that looked like it was added later. The plan was to incorporate the marble into a different table, but... I have small children. I pulled it off and had it leaning against the wall in the garage, my boys found it, and there went my grand idea. I was able to save one larger piece at least.

With some pieces of furniture I have to get really creative, or put a lot of thought into what I want it to look like. As soon as I saw this table base, I got an idea. Go glam.

I gave the whole thing a light sanding, and then went for the spray lacquer. Noticed I skipped an important step? This is what happens when you don't wipe a grimy piece of furniture down with TSP

So back to the sandpaper I went. Sigh. 

Luckily, once I sanded off the orange-peel, thoroughly cleaned the surface, 2 coats of lacquer sprayed on nicely. I followed up with 3 coats of clear gloss to protect my lacquer and give it a mirror finish.

Next, was time to address the cushion. 

I cut a piece of 1/2 inch OSB  and 3" foam down to the same size of frame. Using spray adhesive, I attached the foam to the OSB, and began to lay out my tufting pattern. I started by drawing my horizontal lines, then made a mark every 5 inches on the top and bottom lines. The next step was to line up diagonal marks with a ruler, and where the ruler intersected the center line, create my center mark. 

I wanted to create a lush, deep tufted look. In order to get my tufts deep enough, I needed to cut out holes in the foam where the marks are. Necessity is the mother of invention. I dug around my kitchen and found this little device. I think it came free with some cheap knifes we bought once. It supposed to be a citrus juicer. It worked great, but if I were going to do this again, I'd use an apple corer, like this one: OXO Good Grips Corer.

It worked like a champ! After a few minutes and a whole lot of twisting, I had myself a nice little pile of DIY packing peanuts and a piece of swiss cheese foam.

After searching the fabric store, I couldn't find the right white fabric. Enter curtain panel. Its a nice, heavy weight fabric and I got two for around $10.

To ensure plushness, I draped the foam in 2 layers of batting, then the curtain panel. 

Time for the fun part! Tufting. No, I'm not kidding. Tufting can be fun!

I've tufted several pieces of furniture before, and hands-down my favorite method is The Easy Way

Another tip I would add about upholstering a deeply tufted piece is, don't just flip the foam over and start stapling  the fabric down. Locate where the tufts are on the top, pull down tightly and secure that area first. 

That creates rounded, plush sections around the perimeter. 

Once I tightly secured all the fabric to the back of the foam and OSB, it still looked a little unfinished. I decided to make some piping to finish off the edges. You can buy cotton cord at a fabric store, but I use a much cheaper option. I bought this 100 ft spool of cotton clothes line for less than $12 and honestly, I can't tell a difference between it and the expensive stuff. You can find it here: Household Essentials Cotton Clothesline, 3/16-Inch.

I added the piping to the bottom side of the OSB with hot glue (believe it or not, hot glue it actually what professionals use for applying trim) and more staples. I then attached the cushion to the frame with pocket holes drilled through the apron. 

Here's what it looks like all done.

Gotta love those glossy, curvy legs. It reminds me of red lipstick or patent leather heels. Totally glamorous.

I'm really happy I added the piping. Its a much more polished look. Wanna make you DIY upholstery look professional? Add some matching piping.

Not my "usual" style, but I'm digging it. Its still a tad on the short side for me, so I think I'll add some small, brass casters. What do you think?

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  1. Looks great. You did a really nice neat job with the tufting!

  2. Love your bench and how you did the tufting. That's genius with the apple corer! and you picked a gorgeous color for the base, the red looks really good!

  3. Looks fabulous! I was wondering about your buttons to cover up the screws. Did you cover those or get lucky and found ones that matched? Pinned! xoxo

    1. Thanks Clydia! Yes, I covered the buttons. I've covered so many buttons, it goes pretty quickly now.

  4. Wow...that tufting is's so professional!!


  5. Beautiful! I made one not too long ago and love it!

  6. Oh wow, what a fabulous bench and the tufting is stunning. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me.

  7. Very cool! I love the idea with the apple core remover ; ).And trim is great - especially cause I always mess up my borders.

  8. Very nice! I am wondering if you have any additional support underneath to make it sturdier as a bench? It would seem by the design that it would have quite a bit of flex if something wasn't added--such as a cross-brace, etc.

  9. I am curious if you put any additional support under the top, such as a cross-brace, etc. to give it more stability as a bench? I had a similar table that I was planning on making into bench, but kept it a table (Sigh) after being told by my carpentry-savvy boyfriend that it had too much flex in the top to be able to reliably bear adult weight. I still keep seeing it as a bench every time I look at it!

    1. Luckily, I didn't need to. Since the original top was heavy marble, there was already a center support. You're totally right about needing it!


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