Furniture Reclaim: Coffee Table turned Tufted Bench

Hi folks!

I must say, we are still in recovery mode from Phase Two of the Nook. We’re exhausted, but invigorated at the same time because we are starting to see this living room and entry way really come together.

One piece I’ve been wanting to add into the space is a tufted bench. There is an awkward sliver of floor between the now-covered bookshelf and the edge of the nook. I thought a ‘shoes on’ bench would be ideal for that spot, but most I saw online or in-store were well over $200. Ouch.

So I decided to make my own. Here’s how it began as a $6 coffee table I found while thrifting one day. I managed to do this whole project for less than $70. I included a budget breakdown at the end of this post.

Tufted Bench BEFOREAnd here, after some DIY’ing, is how it turned out! It was fairly straightforward once I figured it out – so read beyond the jump and I’ll explain how I did it!Tufted Bench 19As always. let’s start at the beginning.

Using about 1.5 cans of Krylon spray paint in plum, I coated the legs and the sides of the table. I let it cure for a couple of days like this. Tufted Bench 1

Then, I measured and marked where I was going to want my buttons to go. I had six, so I measured the two holes equidistant from the middle and then each end. Then drill holes where those marks are. My first mistake was not drilling big enough holes. Use a larger drill bit, like 1/4 inch – trust me, you’ll want the holes bigger rather than smaller. Because I didn’t do this, I ended up drilling bigger holes later on, which was a pain in the rear.

Tufted Bench 2

I bought enough 2″ thick foam at Atlantic Fabrics to more than cover my bench, which is 42″ long by 20″ wide. Because I had to buy two pieces, I duct taped them together. Then I sprayed them with spray glue and flipped my table squarely on top. Using a serrated kitchen knife, I cut the excess foam off.

Tufted Bench 4Before I was totally finished trimming the foam, I flipped my table onto some cotton batting to cover the top. From here, I trimmed my foam as close to the edge of the table as I could get. The batting will hopefully cover any imperfections in your cutting. Tufted Bench 5Now, using your staple gun, pull the batting tight and secure it on the middle of each side and end and then maybe a couple more times along the long sides. You don’t want it too tight because it will rip and it’s going to be better to have it flexible when you add your fabric.Tufted Bench 6Speaking of which, flip your table onto your ironed piece of fabric of your choosing and size it out. I gave myself 4 inches around each table edge, which was plenty. I even have enough of this French Toile left to make little make-up brush holders or cosmetic bags! So cute! Tufted Bench 7

Carefully fold over the fabric edge to make a nice line and proceed to staple it to the underside of the table – in the middle of all sides and then once more about 4-5 inches from the middle of each long side. Tufted Bench 8Then stop. Time to tuft to make sure the fabric isn’t pulled too tightly.Tufted Bench 9

I bought these little button kits, two long needles and (this was probably a mistake) some jewelry thread. I would recommend upholstery grade thread for tufting instead … I will probably at some point re-do this bench using the proper thread so my tufts go deeper. Anyway – fishing line, jewelry thread, upholstery thread – use what you’ve got. Just be aware, it will slightly impact your tufting results.Tufted Bench 10

The button kit was straight forward. Using the size chart on the back, cut circles of scrap fabric to the size of your buttons and put it into the little button maker thingy.Tufted Bench 11(Yes, there is paint on my floor…and yes, I intend to clean it up… soon…once we are finished painting this week…lol) Then press in the sides of the fabric and press down on the other side of the button.Tufted Bench 12And voila! Buttons!

Tufted Bench 13Now flip your table over, thread your needle along with something larger. You could use a strong button. I used a washer as I had six spare ones in our tool kit (30-day challenge FTW!). Tufted Bench 14

Push the needle through the bottom of the table and into the top. Then thread it onto the button. Now here’s the tricky part where it helps to have another person. You have to now push that needle back through to find the original hole it came from. Then pull your button as tightly as you can (it helps to have someone else push the button too) and secure your washer and the end of your thread to the bottom of the bench. You might cry. You might scream. You might prick yourself with a giant needle… but it will work out, I promise.Tufted Bench 15

The bottom of your bench will look something like this.Tufted Bench 17And your tufts will look something like this.Tufted Bench 16

As I said, I think I could have tufted more deeply if I had stronger thread. The jewelry thread is good to a point, but then it gets really stretchy and hard to work with. I don’t recommend it.

Moving on, finish up stapling the corners and around the edges of the fabric and you’re finished! Wahoo!Tufted Bench 18My new tufted bench in its new home by the nook! See our newly framed art work? I think it looks really nice there. *pats self on back that is killing from being bent over button tufts for minutes hours*

Tufted Bench 20I started this project to save us money. I can safely say that I did! Here’s the budget breakdown.

  • Table $6
  • Fabric $15 per meter (I bought 1.5 meters to be safe and now have lots left!)
  • Foam $20
  • Batting $5
  • Spray paint $10
  • Buttons, needles, thread $11
  • Washers, spray glue and duct tape I already had

Total cost? $67Tufted Bench 21

I think it will fit in nicely to our new space as things start to come together. We are still saving up a bit of money before we place our next Ikea order, which will include a new console cabinet for the hallway. And of course, our giant mirror will soon hang above our new ‘mantle’ on the nook.Tufted Bench 22

Here’s the bench within the context of all the work we did this weekend. *Le Sigh* I love saving money :) Tufted Bench 23

Hopefully next time you see this space, it’s painted and close to being finished!  Anyone have any coffee tables in need of tufting?🙂

As always, thanks for reading!


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The DIYers, Thrifty Decor Chick, Making Mondays, Creatively Living, Home Stories A to Z, 52 Mantels. Work it Wednesday, Love of Family and Home, Miss Mustard Seed, Tatertots and Jello

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