Thrift Store Coffee Table -turned- DIY Tufted Ottoman

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Coffee table turned DIY tufted ottoman.

Search that on Google and see how many hits you come up with. A lot.

And here’s another to add to the long list. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Except I’m not going to bore you with a full on tutorial since there are plenty of those out there already.

Thrifty Coffee Table turned Ottoman - top after - #coffeetable #ottoman #diy

Let’s start at the beginning ….with this…

Thrifty Coffee Table turned Ottoman - before, glass removed - #coffeetable #ottoman #diy

It came from the thrift store and was pretty beat up but had really gorgeous woodwork detail.
I had been looking for an old table to turn into an ottoman and this one was perfect!
It had glass in it but I’d already removed it and the framework underneath when I took this photo. (you can see some of the old framework in the photo)

With all that gorgeous detail I decided not to wrap it around the whole top and instead created an “ottoman” that fits right inside the square.

My husband took the legs off and started by creating a sturdy frame for it with his Kreg jig.
Thrifty Coffee Table turned Ottoman - frame - #coffeetable #ottoman #diy
He’s pretty handy like that..and that’s a fabulous tool, the Kreg Jig.
I stick to the painting and he sticks to the measuring, sawing and MATH. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Not that this required math. I just don’t do that. Ever.

Well, unless he’s not here, then I will reluctantly tackle it.
But never sawing. That’s wimpy, I know, but it is what it is.

I do hammer, nail, screw and staple quite a bit. I just don’t saw…and have no desire to!
Kind of like sewing, no desire–I’ll stick to painting and creating–the fun stuff ๐Ÿ˜‰

Nice and sturdy base….
Thrifty Coffee Table turned Ottoman - building frame with Kreg - #coffeetable #ottoman #diy

Then we put a top piece on for support.

Thrifty Coffee Table turned Ottoman - recycled frame piece- #coffeetable #ottoman #diy

Which just happens to also be the panel that came out of the back of this “Baker’s Hutch” I created awhile back.
(I’m a big fan of saving and reusing anything and everything!)


Thrifty Coffee Table turned Ottoman - frame with top - #coffeetable #ottoman #diy

For the paint, I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in a mix of Old White/Pure White.
Heavy on the Pure White.  (sealed with Annie Sloan Clear Wax)

Take a look at that fabulous detail once distressed.

Thrifty Coffee Table turned Ottoman - leg detail - #coffeetable #ottoman #diy

It just pops right out at ya! Totally lost before, in my opinion.

Thrifty Coffee Table turned Ottoman - distressing detail - #coffeetable #ottoman #diy

Creating the buttons for the top……

Thrifty Coffee Table turned Ottoman - making buttons - #coffeetable #ottoman #diy

Eh. Not my kind of project. I’m a bit impatient to sit and cut circle after circle.
But I survived it. :)

Next we created the pattern for the top/button placement.
(on another piece of board that the ottoman will be made on top of)

Thrifty Coffee Table turned Ottoman - button layout - #coffeetable #ottoman #diy

I used spray adhesive to attach the foam to the board, cut holes for the buttons and then I started on the FUN part. heh heh
…..using that ginormous needle.


I kid.
It was not fun. It hurt me many times. :(
Stoooopid needle.

And after all that work …I didn’t love it. No, not so much.

Real deal here.

I liked it but it was plain and not as “tufty” as I’d have liked.

But no worries, I have a plan!! Well, it’s not my plan because I didn’t come up with it but I’m going to implement it.
Tell you about it in just a bit.

You’re on the edge of your seat, I can tell. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But first…on with the process of sewing buttons on. (Hint: I won’t be doing that again)

Fabric all laid out and first button going in! Yay! Only 12 more to go.

Thrifty Coffee Table turned Ottoman - first button - #coffeetable #ottoman #diy

By the way, there is also batting on top of the foam under the fabric.

So there you have it. All finished! Just… like…that.

Um, yeah, not so much.

It was pretty time intensive and I might have said a bad word or two. (remember that needle?)

But it was very do-able….and saved me a ton of money.

DIY tufted ottoman….even though it’s not very “tufty”, I know.

But it looks pretty nice all styled up a bit, even so.
We use it as an ottoman (feet and all!) and a coffee table. Love that!!
Thrifty Coffee Table turned Ottoman - top finished - #coffeetable #ottoman #diy

Did I mention that the “fabric” is actually a drop cloth from Lowe’s. $6.99, I think it was.

Look, drop cloth under….drop cloth over.
Not the same one obviously. ๐Ÿ˜‰
That top one’s had some real drop cloth use!

Coffee Table turned Ottoman before and after - #makeover #ottoman #diy You can see this ottoman “in action” in my Holiday Home Tour …here.

The little box on top is also a thrift store find. I painted and added the graphic with a water slide decal.

Thrifty Coffee Table turned Ottoman - Top finished w box- #coffeetable #ottoman #diy

It’s perfect for all those controllers…. that no one ever uses. ๐Ÿ˜‰
You can read about that project here.
The metal tray was painted with Scandinavian Pink Chalk Paintยฎ because I end up painting everything with it. Don’t believe?
Check out this post here… Chalk Paint-It’s Not Just For Furniture.

So obviously this tufted ottoman has been completed for awhile (it was shown in my Holiday Home Tour) but I’ve hesitated to post about it.
Why? Mainly because I don’t love it.

Well that’s not completely true, I do love the wood base and have truly enjoyed it as an ottoman.
But I’m not loving the dropcloth or the tufting. I want them deeper, better, stronger and “tuftier”.
And I want fun, colorful, pretty patterned fabric.

But like I said, I have a plan. (my husband is always super excited to hear those words… ha!)

My plan is….new fabric (which isn’t too much of a loss since this was a $6 drop cloth) and a totally new tufting technique here.
Let me tell you, that is a big ole smack in the head right there!
I have had one button “pop” since I did this project. It’s not really noticeable, but I know it, so therefore it drives me crazy!
(and yep, I used upholstery thread)
But how super smart of Kristi over at Addicted 2 Decorating to come up with such a fabulous solution.
I will most definitely be doing it that way on the re-do!

It’s a total no brainer. Except it wasn’t my brain that came up with it! ๐Ÿ˜‰
And no more needle!!!! Hallelujah to that.

So, no, this project didn’t turn out exactly as I’d imagined.
BUT it was still a “win” in my book.
I did get a sense of accomplishment from doing it myself AND I know I am going to be totally in love with it once it’s redone.

I’ll be sure to post photos once it’s finished…which I hope is very soon!!
Now to find the perfect fabric…which has continued to elude me so far. ๐Ÿ˜‰


UPDATE: Click here to see what I added to the ottoman to change it up a bit and give me a bit of the yellow I was after. 
This will do for now…until I find that elusive fabric!

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    • Nancy says

      hah! Yes, that stupid needle!! SOOOO glad I don’t have to use it for the re-do!! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      …and thanks!! xo


  1. Karen H says

    Nancy, this is AMAZING!! You did a simply fabulous job on it! And what a find at the thrift store…. I never find good stuff like that. Or maybe I just don’t have the eye you have! Anyway, great job! I’m envious! xo, K

    • Nancy says

      Thank you Debbie :) We are enjoying it! My husband is LOVING having a place to put his feet! lol


  2. says

    I love this project! …But know what you mean when you don’t L-O-V-E it. I have to love my projects too. The painted base is great and using a pattern for the button placement was smart. Thanks for sharing..I learned some new things:)

    • Nancy says

      Thank you Wendi! Yes, so glad someone gets it!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I actually bought a pretty yellow throw at Target this weekend and laid it over part of the ottoman. I’m LOVING it! Just a nice splash of color. I think it may stay that way for awhile!! (I have way too many other projects and will revisit this one some day..for now, it’s good!)
      Happy week to you!!

    • Nancy says

      Thank you Andi! I bought a yellow throw at Target over the weekend that I “threw” over half of the top of the ottoman. I’m loving it! It may just stay this way for awhile as I complete (and start,lol) other projects! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Happy week to ya!!

    • Nancy says

      Thanks Krista! We are really enjoying it! (especially my husband and son!! lol)
      Have a great week!

    • Nancy says

      Thanks Amy!! :) It is very sturdy, yep! My husband made sure it was “sittable”. ๐Ÿ˜‰ My teenage son sits on the edge of it all the time. (which drives me a little crazy but that’s what we made it for, right? lol)

  3. Lori says

    Very nice. Can you tell me the width and length of the coffee table you used? I used a drop cloth to re-cover a slipper chair not long ago.

    • Nancy says

      Thanks Christy! :) I found a yellow throw I like and have “thrown” it partway over top of it…for now! The re-do some day when I get back around to it!lol

  4. Debbie says

    I did a tufted headboard that wasn’t tufted enough too. I went back with poly fill and my staple gun . The fill gave more poof and the staples gave more depth. Turned out great and the buttons totally hid the staples.

  5. Nicole says

    I just wanted to suggest – to get it to be “tuftier” and keep buttons from popping off – cut out small holes (a small drill bit works to help with that process) where the buttons go. This way you will be attaching the buttons directly to the wood (less movement and play) and the holes will be deeper because of the missing cushion thereby making it appear more tuftier!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Nicole!!
      Thanks so much for the tip! I actually did do that a bit (like the tutorial I linked up to) but maybe not enough. :) I haven’t tackled a redo yet!! lol Too many other things taking me away from it so it’s just hanging out until I get back to it! I’ll be sure to cut bigger circles though! I definitely want it tuftier!
      Thanks again!
      Nancy online furniture


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