Repurposing a Coffee Table into a Bench-Upholstery Tutorial

Today I want to share with you a little re purposing I did this week.  I really wanted a bench in front of my bed so I was asking my mom how hard it would be to make one.  Come to find out not hard at all...especially if you have the base of it already made.   My parents had an old coffee table from who knows where and they gave it to me for my bench. 

Bench Upholstery Tutorial:
Materials and Tools required
staple gun (I used an air one but a regular old hand one would work)
fabric (I would recommend using upholstery fabric or something with a bit more weight and durability than regular old cotton quilting material.  Don't use something that is stretchy or you will be hating life and your bench will look terrible)
coffee table
4 inch thick dense foam (measure your coffee table to see what size you are needing)
lots of staples

How to:
gather all your materials.  If you are like me it took me 2 weeks to get everything I needed cause I waiting for Joann's to have their foam 50% off.  The foam is regularly $49.99/yard and I needed 1 2/3 so that would have been almost $100.  A little much for my budget but at 50% off it is way more manageable. 

Paint your table.  I used my trusty old paint sprayer and it literally took me longer to prep then it did to paint.  I painted mine black.  I didn't paint the part of my table that would be covered by fabric but if you want it's totally up to you.

Cut your foam to the right size.  I think a regular serrated kitchen knife would work but I used an electric knife and it was much easier and quicker.  When you purchase foam from Joann's it comes in 24 inch wide pieces by how long you need.  I needed mine to be 22x60 inches.  So I had to cut off 2 inches of foam.

Now take your fabric.  I needed a piece of fabric that measured 38x76.  Here's the math for 1 side: 22 inches wide + 4 inches for the foam*2 + 4 inches of fabric to staple to the table*2=38.  Same thing for the other size.  If your fabric has a certain pattern make sure that if you have to piece your fabric that you don't disrupt that pattern.  So when purchasing make sure to take into account how wide the repeated pattern is and how much it will take to piece it together.  Also, think about which way the fabric needs to face when on the bench.  You don't want a pattern going the wrong way if you know what I mean.

Now that you have your fabric ready layer the fabric on the ground or your workspace (I used my kitchen floor) with the fabric lying right side down.  Then place your foam on top and finally the top part of the table on top of that (with the top facing the foam)

Now starting in the middle on the long side.  Make sure that you have the fabric even especially if you have a pattern that needs to be centered or extremely straight with the opposite side.  I am using stripes so it was important to keep everything equal. 

Staple that entire side all the while pulling everything tight.  I first staple every 2-3 inches and then at the end when I know that it all is how I want then I go back and add one every inch or so

Now start on the opposite side and do the same.  I find it helpful to pick up the entire thing and peak under it to make sure that everything is lining up right and that I don't have any unwanted bubbles.

Now start on the short ends in the middle and do the same thing.

When you get to the corners cut away as much bulk as you can and fold the corners in very nicely.

I had to cut away some of the fabric on the underside of the corners so that my coffee table legs would fit into their holes.

I ended up cutting out more than what I took a picture just ended up being easier when I put the legs on. 

Then finish stapling anywhere that you think it could use a bit more.

Then finally I used some of that stuff that you see on the bottom of furniture.  Its black and kinda like mesh.  I stapled that over the top to make it look nice and finished.  You could also use regular old quilting material in the color that matches your top or painted table to finish it.

Reassemble your table

Voila!  Your new (and cheap) and totally custom bench is now finished.



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