DIY~ Tufted Coffee Table Bench

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I am super excited about today’s post since I accomplished another task that has been on my “To Do” list for a year.  This Tufted Coffee Table Bench turned out better than I visioned and now I can do tufting!  Now I can’t wait to do some more furniture finds and turn them into tufted benches and ottomans.

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This month I am sharing this piece for the Fab Fliippin’ Contest and our sponsor is Fairfield WorldFairfield is a third generation, family-owned and operated American business dedicated to providing high quality and innovative fiber-processed products.  

FFFC main graphic updated (10.2015)

This month’s theme is “Mix -n- Match”, so I figured I would turn a beat up coffee table into an ottoman. 

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I obviously had to replace the top of the table with a new piece of wood.  The stars aligned on this project as the table top was 24 x 48, Home Depot had sheets of wood already cut to that size and my 2-inch foam came in a 24-inch width.  It was meant to be. 

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I started by placing my piece of wood on top of the foam and drew a line to mark my cut line.  I used my electric knife to cut the foam.  This is so much easier than using scissors and my hand thanked me.  I used my spray adhesive and spray the wood and placed the foam on top to hold the foam in place.  I did not do the “standard style” of tufting.  After searching on Pinterest for how to do tufting, I decided I would tuft with my tools instead of a needle and thread.  I found inspiration from Addicted to Decorating but changed up a few things from her tutorial. 

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I drew a color line for the center marks.  This gives you a guide as to where to start to place your marks for the diamond tufting.  You will not have a mark in the center spot where the lines intersect.  I have a confession, I needed Mr. DD. to figure out the spacing.  I struggled with it for a while and decided this was a perfect task for him.  My brain works in whole and half numbers and even fourths, but once you get 3/8 or 3/16 in the equation, my eyes gloss over and the brain shuts down. 

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The horizontal lines are 3 inches apart and the vertical lines are 6.75 inches apart.  When I marked the vertical lines, I started from the center line and measure to the right and marked and did the same on the left side.  I had .75 inches left over, so the ends have a slightly bigger measurement than 6.75.  

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I use this 48-inch level and measuring bar to mark my lines.  This tool comes in handy for many projects, like measuring and cutting my fabric.  I placed “x” on the spots where my screws will be going.  Yes, screws, I said I was using my tools to tuft this ottoman.

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I placed a small cross cut on each X.

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I placed my finger in each cut to make it bigger.  You will need to feel the spot through the batting and fabric.  I also marked my lines down the side of the foam so I could use the line as a reference when I was trying to find the next “X” spot to drill.  Once all spots are cut, place the batting and fabric on top of the foam.  I used upholstery fabric that was 54 inches wide, so I only needed a yard of fabric for the ottoman.  The fabric was purchased at Hobby Lobby.

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I used #8 1-inch wood screws and a 3/4 washer to do my tufting.  You will need to change the size of the washer based on the size of buttons you are using as well as the size of the screw based on the depth of the wood.  I placed the screw in the marked spot on the bottom row and screwed through the foam and into the wood table top.  This pulls that fabric and foam to create the tufting.  You can do this by hand but I would highly recommend using a power drill, as I used my Ryobi drill.

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Once you get the bottom row complete, you start the next row opposite your original screws, not the offset row.  Once the second opposite row was complete, I worked my way down the offset row. 

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Here is the completed screwed tufted top.  Now it’s time to staple the fabric on the back of the top. 

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I used my Ryobi AirStrike crown stapler to get this job done.  This is so much easier than a standard staple gun. 


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You need to staple the fabric with a method and not just randomly attaching like you would a chair seat.  I started by stapling down the smooth sections between the screws, then would fold the fabric to get a nice crease before stapling down the rest.   Making sure you have the pleats on the edge before stapling down makes a big difference in the final look of your tufted ottoman. 

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Next, was making the buttons using a button cover kit.  I used the template in the kit to cut out the fabric for each button, I needed 46 circles of fabric. 

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Follow the instructions on the package on how to cover your button.  I used 7/8 size buttons for this ottoman.  I would also recommend using pliers to help close the back onto the button and fabric. 

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Next, I used E6000 to glue on the buttons.  I know, glue?  It works and they are pretty secure.  I figured if a button loosens up and came off, your tufting would not be ruined because the screw is what is holding it in place, not a button and thread.  You can always glue the button back on. 

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Now, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the beauty of your labor. 

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Stop by to visit our host blogs to see the other great link up for this month’s contest.  See Charlotte’s post from Ciburbanity or Colleen’s post from 58 Water Street.   If you are interested in joining the Fab Flippin Furniture group email:

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I am actually thinking in my mind, what can I tuft next.  It was not as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I guess anytime I can use my power tools, that is my kind of re-purposing.  Where would you use a coffee table converted to a tufted ottoman in your home?  

UPDATE:  I have received a few questions on the paint I used for the bench base.  I mixed 2 colors together since I did not have enough of one color to paint the bench.  You can achieve this same look by using Persian Blue from General Finishes, Seal with High-Performance in flat,  and apply Glaze Effects in Pitch Black

Need help making over that old furniture piece or building something with repurposed wood?  Sign up to receive my newsletter and get updates on the latest DIY projects and you will receive my “DIY’ers Guide” to help you with your next project.   


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38 Responses to DIY~ Tufted Coffee Table Bench

    • Kim, Since this was a coffee table it had supports already built into the underside. I just screwed from the bottom side of the table where the corner supports already were.

    • Kim, I flipped over the table and screwed the tufted top to the base of the coffee table. The base had wood boards to screw the top to the base. If what you work on does not have boards, you could always add boards.

  1. What type of paint did you use on the coffee table? Sorry if this is a repeat question. Beautiful job, I can’t wait to do mine!

    • Nicole, I guess I never mentioned the paint. I will have to update it! I mixed a few colors together on this one since I did not have enough of one color. You can achieve the same color with Amy Howard in One step paint in “Barefoot in the Park” I sealed it with a matte sealer and glazed with black licorice glaze from Maison Blanche.

  2. Love love love this. Thank you. I am new to diy. But I wanted a tufted bench seat. These are so expensive. I hope I can build one. Thank you and I absolutely love your your tufted coffee table. The colors are gorgeous

    • Dipa, You can make one once you find the perfect piece to makeover. Keep looking a thrift stores for a used coffee table. Good luck and I am sure yours will be great.

  3. When I saw this ottoman in my email (I subscribe) I just had to come to your site and get a better look. I had no idea that you tufted it – and what a great job you did with the tutorial Dede. You make the project look quite doable. Love the colors you chose.

  4. The ottoman turned out very beautiful. But did I miss something? How was the tufted fabric top attach to the table top. Did you attach screws thru the button openings to tie down the fabric top to the table top? I would like to try this.

    • Anne, I am sorry I did not mention that. Since this was a coffee table and it had a top, I just used the same holes and screws to attach the tufted top as the original top. I would love to see your project when you complete it! Good luck and let me know if you have anymore questions!

  5. I’ve had a coffee table in my garage for maybe 4 years now. And yes, I’ve been meaning to do the exact thing you did. I’m so glad you did this because now if I have problems I can give you a call. I love the screw/washer method. Especially for a table. Did you order your button forms online in bulk. They are a little pricey if you buy them in kits. Did you say what thickness your foam was? I think it is a good idea for the outside edges to be a little wider than the spacing of the other tufts. It gives more stability to the edges. I think that if you look at the “storebought” ones you will find that they are made that way. So you used your 54 inch width over the 24 inch width of the table? What yardage of fabric? 2 yards?

    • Karen, Get her done! I purchased a button kit at Joann’s at 50% off and bought the other buttons when Hobby Lobby had a sale. They are pricey if you don’t buy with coupons or sales. 2 inches for the foam and buy this with a 50% off coupon as well. Foam can be so pricey too! The board width was 48 x 24 and 2 yards of fabric. You know you can call me anytime! xoxo

  6. This came out just adorable love the color and the fabric is gorgeous… I can see a matching headboard

  7. This so cool and so pretty. I am in love with the color you chose and the fabric. I need to get some power tools. They really would make a lot of jobs easier to complete. Great job.

  8. Very pretty! I love everything about this.The colors are gorgeous, and after reading your how-to I think I could do one too, thanks for sharing so well 🙂 Pinning now!

  9. I just love this beautiful tufted ottoman! Great job! I see a tufting job in my future (I have all the supplies and I keep chickening out!)

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