In case it’s your first time to casa de Bean In Love, here’s the nutshell about what this post is all about. We had a rectangular coffee table, bought a sectional a few years later, rectangular coffee table didn’t jive well with new sectional, sought out new, round coffee table, found octagonal one at Goodwill for $12 in hopes to turn it into an ottoman for our footsies. Got it? Good. :)
Here’s how we did it and how you can make your very own.
Let’s start with…
The coffee table came home with us from thrifting pretty beat up but I did the usual light sanding (because it was so worn I barely had to sand this piece), a couple of thin and even coats of white spray primer (Rustoleum from Walmart), and a few thin and even coats of white spray paint (Rustoleum American Accents).
THE CUSHION BASE/WOOD
The original plan was to cut a piece of wood that was the exact same size as the glass top, thereby fitting right into it’s spot. Then we were just going to upholster the entire top of the coffee table; wrapping and stapling the fabric over and under the existing ledge. But, to keep the ottoman from looking too much like a large mushroom, we (Anthony) came up with a better idea to upholster a piece of wood slightly larger than the existing glass but smaller than the top of the table.
The red line in the picture below represents the size the wood was cut to and the red dots represent the holes Anthony drilled and how/where the screws that held the cushion on would go.
We used 1/2 thick plywood from Home Depot and (bonus!) actually bought a large piece that gave us two wood bases instead of one. The plan is to make a second cushion we can switch out with the first one when the need for change strikes. But that’s on the back burner with baby #3 coming in a month. We might add a 2x4 underneath and across the base and for added support but the 1/2 plywood was strong enough to withstand Anthony standing on the ottoman and will definitely hold up to our resting feet and the climbing tots.
Home Depot cut the plywood into two large squares for us so all Anthony had to do was cut off the corners to get the octagon shape we needed. He used some fancy measuring and a circular saw and that’s all I know about that. If you have any questions about cutting wood, inbox me or comment and I’ll refer them to the pro. :)
You might remember it took me forever to find foam. Working on a budget, we didn’t want to spend the $44 it would have cost to buy a three-inch thick slab of foam from the fabric store (and that was during a 50% off sale!) so I scoured the interweb and after a few frustrating surfs, found this post over at The Shabby Creek Cottage. Gina upholstered a coffee table using an egg crate mattress and it looked pretty darn good. My friend Jenn also used the same thing to upholster a headboard and it too looked and still looks awesome. So, my decision was made. I made a trip to Walmart and grabbed two full-size foam mattresses (one-inch thick). (Side note: I couldn’t find “egg crate” mattresses so settled on the “5-zone” kind hoping it’d all still pan out the same, which it did.) The plan was to layer the mattresses to give us the height and cushion we were looking for.
So first I traced the wood base onto the smooth side of the mattress with a sharpie.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to layer three or four together so I cut four just in case – two on each mattress. I ended up using three layers.
For extra staying power, I glued two of the layers of foam “zone” or rippled sides together with some spray adhesive we had on hand. (Side note: Make sure to do this outside!! It smells and surely you don’t want glue all over your stuff!)
Next I stacked the layers onto the wood base like so:
It was single layer, smooth side down first (or against the wood) on top of which were the two glued-together layers.
I didn’t glue the bottom layer to the wood because it stayed put well on its own and would even more so once the tufting was done and the fabric was over it.
THE BUTTONS AND TUFTING
We wanted our ottoman to be tufted and we wanted some deep tufting. So I picked up a craft cover button kit from JoAnn fabrics (brand: Dritz, size: 45 or 1 1/8 inch, direct link here).
Verses using a different, coordinating or contrasting fabric for the buttons, we used the same fabric we were using to upholster the cushion.
I won’t go into the details of how to assemble the buttons because the instructions on the button kit are awesome but I will say that, per the recommendation of a few experienced tufters in blogland, we added a dab of Liquid Nails to each button before securing the backs to keep them from popping off. We let them sit and dry for several hours before we used them.
Behold, the buttons:
Next up, the tufting. This is where I ran into a little dilemma. I wasn’t sure how to pattern the tufting. If you’re an Instagram or Facebook friend, you might’ve have seen my plea for help. Which one? The top pattern or the bottom?
Well, the majority went for the bottom pattern along with Anthony but my initial thought was towards the top pattern. After deciding, redeciding, checking what y’all had to say, and redeciding again, we both decided we liked the top pattern best. (A BIG THANK you to my good friend Lauren who supplied me with picture texts of their round, tufted ottoman during this whole process so I could see how it was tufted/constructed, not to mention for dealing with my panicked text pleas for advice.) :)
(Side note: We tufted before we upholstered/stapled the fabric around the edges so that we could get our buttons fairly deep into the cushion. If you’re going for shallow tufting, I’d upholster first.) Before we started installing buttons, we made sure the fabric was centered over the ottoman (and if you’re using batting, make sure you grab it and lay it under your fabric. We were planning on using some and completely forgot! It shouldn’t be a big deal though.) Then we started with the center button and moved out to the circle, doing one button and then the one on the opposite side of it until all the buttons were installed.
Also, to make sure the fabric was evenly laid out around the ottoman and folds were where they should be, we pinned fabric together around the center button over the place where each outer button would be. Make sense? I hope so.
It’s probably not necessary to do this if you’re not tufting in a circle but we found it kept us from pulling too much fabric towards one button or another.
But, let’s backtrack a little to the how-to of tufting. I mentioned above that we wanted deep(er) tufting. (We used this tutorial on deep tufting at Sarah M. Dorsey Designs. It was so helpful and we couldn’t have done it without it!!)
Here’s what you’ll need to get in deep:
A long upholstery needle
Thick thread or twine (we used the same twine I wrapped these soap dispensers with)
Your covered buttons
A staple gun
With the entire cushion set on two of our dining room chairs acting as saw horses, Anthony laid underneath the cushion, working from the bottom as I worked from the top.
First, thread the needle and push it up through the pre-drilled hole from underneath the cushion.
Next, pull one end of the string up and out of the hole and remove the needle. Make sure not to pull out the other end!
Then, thread on your button followed by the needle and insert the needle back down through the pre-drilled hole to person numero dos below. I found that using the end of the screwdriver to push the needle down through the fabric and foam saved my fingers from distress. You might too. :)
Once person #2 has the needle and thread pulled all the way through, push on the button until it sits as deep as you’d like…
…until person #2 can tie a knot in the string and staple it to the wood to hold it in place like so:
(For even deeper tufting, you can also carve out a little more room into the foam below each button, like Sarah did. We skipped that step.)
Like I noted above, we tufted before upholstering to get our buttons in deep. Because of this, our foam and fabric were both now secured to the cushion so all that was left to do was staple the fabric to the underside of the wood base.
Before stapling though, I cut off the upper corner of the top layer of foam to make getting a rounded top edge of the cushion a little easier.
Then we set the entire cushion on its side and began working our way around. Starting in the middle of one straight edge, we pulled the fabric tight and popped in a staple, then stapling towards the corners on the underside of the wood. We placed the staples about 2-3 inches in from the edge. The process wasn’t any different than upholstering a chair seat, like this desk chair we did a couple of months back.
Staple the middle of one side, staple to each corner, staple at corner, turn to next side, repeat process x 8 until all sides were nice and tight.
When we were done, there was a lot of excess fabric hanging around, not to mention the excess string hanging from the tufting knots.
But, a little trim later and we had a nice, clean undercarriage and enough extra fabric to make a couple of throw pillows later.
Before we attached the cushion to the table base the next morning (because by this time it was close to midnight), I took the entire cushion outside and gave it a nice spray-down with Scotch Gard for protection from stains and spills, heaven forbid.
This is another must-do-outside because this stuff will burn your nose hairs right off.
And finally, our new cottoman, coined by my bestie Megan Rose.
Originally I loved the shelf underneath this particular coffee table and envisioned baskets upon it hiding toys but now I think it makes the whole ottoman look a little too “country” for my taste. What do you think? It comes off with a twist of a few screws and I think we’re leaning towards taking it off for a more open feel. Stay tuned.
I know what you’re thinking, “Something’s off in the picture above…”. Yep, we split up the sectional hence the lack of an arm that loveseat’s not sporting. We rearranged our living room so the girls could have a larger space of their own in the corner (no more toys stashed everywhere; they’re all in that corner now) and we’re still not sure what we think of it. Time will tell…
The cottoman is definitely the bright spot in the room and makes all of the undone decorating in the room even more obvious and, well, majorly wanting. My first thought upon seeing it all set up in the room was how bad it clashed with our $35 rug. I was tempted to run out right then and there to grab another. Patience be with me though. Change be acomin’!
I wrote a little post about our plans for this room several months back but just for another quick overview, here they are in a nutshell:
And last but never least, a budget breakdown:
Coffee table: $12 (Goodwill)
Spray primer and paint: $8 (Walmart)
Plywood: $9 (Home Depot) We only used half; the remaining half is cut and stored to make a second cushion.
Foam: $21 (mattress foam from Walmart)
Fabric: $29 (Dena Nadia Green Tea from eBay but originally found at JoAnn Fabrics) I still have 20 inches to use for a couple of throw pillows or whatever else I can come up with.
Button kit: $5 (with a 50% off coupon at JoAnn Fabrics)
Twine, staple gun, staples, and screws: already had
Liquid Nails: already had
Scotch Gard: already had (Walmart)
GRAND TOTAL: $84
Not the cheapest project to date but definitely worth every penny (and because we spent it all over a long period of time, it didn’t seem so hard on our bank account). Just ask our feet. :)
Anyway, with the budget breakdown I’ve hit 2212 words so I think wrapping up is probably a good idea. Like always, if you have any questions or if I need to explain anything better, just holler! If you find this tutorial useful and create your own coffee-table-turned-ottoman or tufted whatever, we’d love to know and see what you’ve created! Use the hashtag #heybeanlook on Instagram or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or find us on our Facebook page or leave comment. I’ll get back to you asap!
That’s it…until we reupholster the extra cushion that is. Let’s get this baby out first though and see what 3 under 2 gives us time-wise. :)
Have a great Monday everybody!