Are you in love with the look of tufting? Have you wanted to give it a try and the tutorials always look so complicated? Stick with me because I am going to share how to do tufting WITHOUT sewing, stitching or needles. 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 repurposed coffee tables and turn them into DIY tufted ottomans.
I am super excited about today’s post since I accomplished another task that has been on my “To Do” list for a year. I accomplished tufting without sewing or needles and I am going to show you how you can do this too with a few simple tools. 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.
This post contains some affiliate links. Click here for my full disclosure policy.
This coffee table was thrown in the trash because of the large hole in the top, makes you wonder how it got there. I obviously had to replace the top of the table with a new piece of wood. The stars aligned on this project as the tabletop 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.
- 1 yard of fabric
- Foam Cushion
- Button Covers
- Spray Adhesive
- Table or Bench
- Staple Gun
- straight edge
- measuring tape
- Cut Foam Cushion
- Measure and Mark Foam Cushion
- Cut marks for tufting holes
- Tuft fabric using screws, washers, and drill
- Secure Tufted fabric to the underside of the top
- Attach the tufted top to the table base
- Make button covers and glue on
Step 1 – Cut Foam:
Start by placing the piece of wood from the tabletop on top of the foam and draw a line to mark the cut line.
Tip: use an electric knife to cut the foam. This is so much easier than using scissors and your hands will thank you. Spray the wood with a spray adhesive and place the foam on top of the sprayed wood piece to hold the foam in place.
Step 2 – Mark Foam for Tufting
Start by drawing 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. Can you relate to this?
The horizontal lines are 3 inches apart and the vertical lines are 6 3/4 inches apart. When I marked the vertical lines, I started from the centerline, measured to the right and placed a line vertically and did the same on the left side. I had 3/4 inches left over, so the ends have a slightly bigger measurement than 6 3/4.
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 fabric. Place an “x” on the spots where the screws/buttons will be going. Yes, screws, I said I was using my tools to tuft this ottoman.
Step 3 – Cut Marked Foam
Cut a small cross cut on each X using sharp scissors.
Tip: Place your finger in each cut to make it bigger. You will need to feel the spot through the batting and fabric. Also run your mark lines down the side of the foam so you can use the line as a reference when 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.
Step 4 – Begin Tufting
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 the buttons you are using as well as the size of the screw, based on the depth of the wood. Place the first screw with the 3/4 washer in the marked spot on the bottom row and screw through the foam and into the wood tabletop. This pulls that fabric and foam to create the tufting. Tip: Do not screw all the way down, you want to just go deep enough to secure the screw and washer. You can do this by hand but I would highly recommend using a power drill, as I used my Ryobi drill.
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 is complete, work your way down the offset row.
Step 5 – Securing Fabric to Back
Here is the completed screwed tufted top. Now it’s time to staple the fabric on the back of the top.
I used my Ryobi AirStrike crown stapler to get this job done. This is so much easier than a standard staple gun.
You need to staple the fabric with a method and not just randomly attaching like you would a chair seat. Start by stapling down the smooth sections between the screws, then fold the fabric to get a nice crease before stapling down the rest of the fabric. Make sure you have the pleats on the edge before stapling down, as this makes a big difference in the final look of your tufted ottoman.
Step 6 – Attach Top to Table
I only had to use the existing screw holes on the bottom of the table to the new tufted top. Depending on your table or bench, you may have to predrill holes and secure the tufted top to an existing top.
Step 7 – Button Covers
Next, is 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.
Follow the instructions on the package on how to cover your button. I used 7/8 size(#30) buttons for this ottoman. Tip: Use pliers to help close the back onto the button and fabric, again your hands will thank you.
Next, use E6000 to glue on the buttons. I know, glue? It works and they are pretty secure. I figured if a button loosens up and comes off, your tufting would not be ruined because the screw is what is holding the tufting in place, not a button and thread. You can always glue the button back on.
Now, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the beauty of your labor.
Since making this tufted ottoman coffee table, 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 DIY tufted bench 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.
Join the DD Community!
Join the Designed Decor Community and receive weekly free tips on DIY home projects, painted furniture, decorating, and much more.