Coffee Table Ottoman

I've been dreaming of turning an old coffee table into an ottoman for a long time.  I spent many a summer weekend scouring yard sales, just hoping to find the perfect table.  Isn't it funny how you can come across a certain type of item over and over again...making you wonder what on earth you could re-purpose it into...then when inspiration hits you there's suddenly none to be found anywhere?

  Yeah.  Really funny.  Finally I gave up looking.  I'd grown weary of the chase.

That's when my Better Half came home with this beat up old beauty.  Just when I'd resigned myself to living without a coffee table ottoman.  He found this solid wood coffee table at a yard sale for $1.00 and brought it home to me.  Perfect price.  Perfect height and length.  Looks like I have my next makeover mark!

I flipped it over and unscrewed the table top.  It had to come off so I could paint this base.  I also needed to add foam and staple the upholstery fabric directly to the under-side of the table top which would be much easier with it off.

Do you see the patina on those little copper feet?  You can't fake that.  So pretty.  I taped those tapered copper feet off before painting the base.  I wanted the patina to stay. 

I whipped up some homemade chalk paint with some Metro Recycling Center white paint and unsanded grout.  I used a hand mixer to get it nice and smooth.

I did three coats to give the table good coverage.  I distessed a bit once it dried.

Then we went shopping for some foam.  Egads!  Have you priced foam lately?  It was $34.99 a YARD.  You've got to be kidding me!  This is supposed to be a thrifty makeover. 

We ended up finding an Ikea crib mattress still in the store wrapping for $7.00!  This left us needing only 7 inches of foam from Joann's to cover the tabletop.

I used a cloth shower curtain I had to upholster the mattress and foam to the tabletop.  I needed to merge the foam and the crib mattress together and add a bit more padding to the top.  I stretched this white fabric over the foam and stapled underneath the table top...pulling tight as I went.  This did the trick.  I love the look of the white but I know it wouldn't be this pristine for long around here.  I only wish!

I sampled this grey chevron fabric also, but decided it was too light weight to stand up to all the heavy foot traffic.

After I added the foam and the white shower curtain fabric I stretched my upholstery fabric over the top and stapled underneath. Again pulling tight as I went. After adding the button tufting I screwed the top back onto the base.

Here is what it looks like now:

This graphic fabric is a Cynthia Rowley curtain panel I picked up at Goodwill for $6.00/pair. 

I had pre-measured and drilled six holes into the tabletop before adding the foam and fabric.  I used the fabric covered buttons to tuft the ottoman.  Here's a good button tufting tutorial if you want to give it a try.  I love the tufted look on ottomans and would have loved to do MANY more buttons...but we were going for thrifty here.

Ignore the ugly couch.  ;) 

Sadie was determined to be in every picture.  I had to lure her out of the way with treats.  Hey!  Smarty pants dog!  She thinks she's so smart.

We now have a soft place to put our feet up and relax!  It's wide enough for everyone to share AND extra room for a tray.


Coffee Table    $1.00
Ikea Mattress    $7.00
Curtain Fabric    $6.00
Buttons    $7.00
7 inches of foam    $8.00
TOTAL COST        $29.00

For less than $30.00 we have a large, custom, tufted ottoman.  

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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! The fabric is fun and will be very forgiving with all of the little kids I have around. ;) Same goes for distressing the paint...I won't feel bad if it gets a little worn or chipped later. :)

  2. Love your ottoman! Your fabric/curtain choice is amazing. Are you going to do anything else with the other curtain panel?

    1. Thanks Feral Turtle! I haven't decided yet. I thought about using it on the cushion of the two dining chairs I'm making over but decided to go with the grey chevron instead. Any suggestions? I could always make pillow covers :)

  3. Beeeeutiful! Cheery fabric, great size. Isn't the price of foam crazy? IKEA mattress much better deal, so smart.

  4. Love love love!!!! In fact - jealous lots! Its gorgeous Sherry - well done you!!!!

  5. Wait Sherry i'm lost, how did you attach it all to the table top?

  6. Lol, Stacey thanks! Looks like I left out a detail or two in my editing. Sorry to confuse you! After removing the table top from the base I added foam, then stretched fabric over the top and stapled underneath. Pulling tight as I went. After adding the button tufting I screwed the top back onto the base. Hope that explains it better...now to go edit my post! :)

  7. It's fantastic Sherry, foam prices are insane, the foam for the toybox in the kids room was the most expensive item for the entire room. Next time I will check out foam mattresses. I love the tufting it really is stunning

  8. I love this... I have been on the hunt for a coffee table to make a bench for my entry way.... and finally last week I found one.. but mine was $10 :(... I know foam is expensive... so I def didn't want more than $10 in the table. I plan to paint the legs (they are a bit rough) and upholster the tabletop. We have ReSource Warehouse, where I can get paint and fabric REALLY cheap so I will head there and maybe just maybe someone has donated the perfect size piece of foam to them as well. I am hoping I can get out for $30 or less!!

  9. Beautiful job, it turned out amazing. Thanks for sharing at my Our Favorite Things Link Party.

  10. Neat idea, this. Thank you for sharing it.

  11. That is one of the best, most clever make overs I have seen! I love the fabric! Pinned!!!!! Awesome job, Sherry!!!

  12. i really like it!!! the fabric you chose really stands out and looks lovely!!

    dropping by from chic on a shoestring, come and visit me back at:


  13. What a great idea. I will be featuring this tonight at my Fall into Fall party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I've Been Featured button. Thanks.

  14. It's gorgeous!!! Love the fabric you ended up choosing and the tufting is simply perfect :)

  15. It's so gorgeous; I love it!!! I can't believe how little you spent either- so freaking awesome! Thanks a ton for linking up to my tufting tutorial in your post! I love the fabric you used- it's so bright and pretty!!

  16. Oh-so-awesome! And I love the fabric, too! Great job, and thanks for the inspiration.

  17. An IKEA mattress is genius! I love it!
    Thanks so much for linking up and linking back last week at the Humble Brag! Hope to see you back tomorrow to link up more great projects and see if you were featured. Don't forget, we will be giving away more free ad space! :)

  18. This looks great! We have been talking about doing something similar to this. And now that I see your project I think I am going to bump this one up on our project list ;)

  19. Love it. Also, loved the handmixer use! I was just thinking about using one that way the other day. Now, you have made me feel like its ok!

  20. Love it! I have a similar coffee table that I've been waiting to do like this. So excited to give it a try!

  21. AMAZING! Love your chevron rug and painting on the wall.

  22. This turned out great - and you can't beat $1 for the initial piece! I'm visiting your from Sumo's Sweet Stuff Linky Party. I am your newest follower on GFC and would love if you could come visit me too at http://sarahsaturdiy.blogspot.com. Have a great weekend!

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  24. I love the fabric. It's perfect to tie everything in your space together. Now I want to go find an old coffee table to redo... Oh the possibilities!

  25. Very well done. I love the fabric and cost is also very low nice job thanks for sharing i see some new styles if you want to see them click here

  26. Stopping in from the blog hop and this project caught my eye. I love it! I've been wanting to turn our coffee table into an ottoman. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Beautiful job. I'm wondering...what are the proportions of grout and paint to make the chalk paint? and how did you come up with the formula? Thanks.