TUTORIAL: Turn an Ugly Coffee Table into an Ottoman

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that I picked up this ugly, huge square coffee table from the Salvation Army last week.

I bought it for 2 reasons: It’s size and shape and the fact that it had a (drumroll)…..

a drawer!!

We’ve been wanting a square storage ottoman for our living room for ages, but we weren’t willing to shell out $300+ bucks. As soon as I saw this big square coffee table, I knew it had potential. The random drawer sent me over the edge and I convinced Reid to go back to the store with me and we bought it! It was $39 which is more than I would normally spend for a thrift store purchase, but the size was right, the drawer was a rare find and it is really solid wood in perfect condition.

So, instead of shelling out $399 for this West Elm ottoman (with NO storage)

Or this one from Ballard Designs for closer to $500

We made our own!

I will be the first to admit that it isn’t perfect. I need to tweak a few things and I am toying with the idea of adding nail head trim, but we will see. Here is how we did it:

First we removed the fabric on the bottom (pardon the fuzzy pic)

Then we easily unscrewed the top.

Next, using his handy chalk line thing, Reid mapped out where exactly the tufts would go. We decided to do 9 tufts just like the West Elm ottoman.

We drilled 9 small holes were the tufts will go.

Using spray adhesive, I glued on 1 inch foam all around the edges and top.

Then I covered everything in a layer of batting, just to smooth out the foam and make the edges more rounded.

I added a layer of foam to the bottom part because it needed to be a bit bigger to fit the top (which was made a few inches bigger by adding the foam and batting)

Then it was finally time to staple on the fabric. I scored this heavy duty woven charcoal gray fabric from Joann’s on clearance for $9 a yard. Even though I needed 3.5 yards, it was doable since the fabric was so cheap. Just to compare, another fabric I liked was $50 a yard, so $9 is a great price!

Now it was time to make the tufts.  We inserted a wooden skewer into the holes to guide us where the needle would go.

Then we inserted a long tapestry needle (with tapestry thread and our covered buttons) into the hole and pulled really tight.

I pushed on the button and pulled the thread really tight on the other end while Reid stapled a few times.

If you staple in a zig zag pattern on the back, it will help keep the tension in the buttons to create a deeper tuft.

All that was left was reattaching the top.  We should have marked where the top fit onto the bottom. It took quite awhile to figure out where it lined up, but we got it!

I love it so much! As you can see from the photo above, that one corner is definitely not perfect, it might need another staple or two. But overall it feels like an expensive piece of furniture and I LOVE that we can store toys or books in it.

I found this little tray at Target for $8 to hold coasters and set drinks on (and yes, there are toys in these pictures. This is real life, people)

I think it makes the room SO much cozier and I love that it’s on rollers so we can easily roll it away or switch it to the other couch. I believe the final cost of this project was around $90. Not too bad considering the cheaper options to buy are $300. Have you attempted a coffee table ottoman before? It really was so easy!

Linking Up with Creating With the Stars


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