Make an Ottoman From a Coffee Table - Juniper Home

Make an Ottoman From a Coffee Table


I love the look of using an ottoman as a coffee table. But large upholstered ottomans can be so (!) expensive.
I think I shared this story before, but a few years ago we lived in Washington D.C., where there is a Restoration Hardware outlet. One magical/terrible day I walked into the store and there, right in front of me, was the most gorgeous and glorious upholstered ottoman (normally $1200). Price tag? $150. No joke. With the understanding that the salesperson knew I wanted to buy the ottoman, I stepped out of the store (no reception inside) to call my husband about the purchase (our rule is no purchases over $100 without a team discussion). I skipped back inside the store after getting the go-ahead from Michael, only to find the ottoman no where in sight. Someone else had bought it in those few short minutes and I felt like such a fool. Saddest. day. ever.

Fast forward two years and I’m still thinking about the gorgeous velvet ottoman. Since I don’t have $1200 to spend on the same RH ottoman, I decided to try and make a similar ottoman out of a coffee table.

I decided that I needed a smaller size ottoman for our living room. I thought 35-40″ would be the right size. And it couldn’t be more than 16″ tall. And I wanted a square table, not a rectangle. And I wanted sort of chunky, turned legs. I know, picky, right?

But Craig’s List came through for me again. $25 for this heavy, solid wood piece.

Perfect dimensions (36x36x16). Just needed some paint on the legs for that dark-stained look I wanted. I used Ralph Lauren’s “Galvenized” in eggshell for two coats and sealed it after that.

I marked out where I wanted my 16 tufting buttons to lay and drilled holes in the table top.

Then I used a little spray adhesive to hold my 2″ foam (from JoAnns) in place.

I also cut up some of the left over foam and adhered foam strips to the apron of the table to fill in the empty space under the lip.

Then I wrapped the apron in batting and then the whole table was covered in a sheet of quilt batting (no photo of that step, sorry).

Using the 16 drilled holes as my guide, I adhered the tufting buttons (which I made with a button kit from JoAnns) with upholstery thread and a long needle.

I used regular plastic buttons to anchor the tufts on the underside of the table.

Once all the tufts were in place, I stapled the fabric edges to the underside, being sure to pull the fabric really tight. Then I tackled the corners, which was the trickiest part.

I decided to use upholstery nails on just the leg area where I did sort of hospital bed corners with the fabric. I might end up redoing this part, but I think it’s fine for now.

Here’s the finished product. What do you think? Does my $60 project compare with the $1200 Restoration Hardware ottoman? Maybe not, but it will do for now!

What did you think?
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114 thoughts on “Make an Ottoman From a Coffee Table

  1. Hi! I’m coming over from Nesting Place and I’m SOOOO glad I did. You did an incredible job. I love your creativity and ingenuity. And truly, I think this compares with the RH version. I also love the color of the fabric you used.

    Thanks for showing us how you did this!

  2. That is AWESOME. Great job thinking through the whole process and coming up with an amazing end product! And thanks for posting all the pictures along the way!

  3. That looks fantastic!! My sister is in the process of using Galvanized on her kitchen cabs. It’s such a great color!

  4. That looks fantastic!! My sister is in the process of using Galvanized on her kitchen cabs. It’s such a great color!

  5. Thank you for posting this. Nester sent me over. i have had the fabric draped over my coffee table for a month now & just been too chicken to do it my self. Off to Jo~anns to get the foam. Thanks

  6. A few years ago I did this project using our breakfast table rather than a coffee table. Got the idea from Trading Spaces. My husband cut the legs and added casters for easy rolling. I did the foam thing as well as batting, muslin then made 2 slipcovers – one for fall/winter and one for spring summer so I can change out the look and wash at will. The ottoman is large, comfy for extra seating if needed and a creative approach to using what you have to fill a need. :o)


  7. I saw this on Apartment Therapy and WOW-I love it! What a great use of a coffee table. In fact I have the exact same one in my garage! I got it at a yard sale a few years ago and used it for board games. I would love to link to this if you don’t mind, it’s such a great project, one that is totally going on my to-do list!

  8. I have a table just like this that I HATE and now I know exactly what to do with it! HOORAY! Great idea!

  9. Oh. My. Gosh. This is the most ridiculously beautiful thing I’ve seen in such a long time! I want one. Now! :-) I would never have thought it was possible for a “normal person”- ie. not an upholsterer- to do this, but you’ve given me the confidence and tips to think I can! Just sensational. Well done.

  10. Thank you so much for posting this! I’ve been wanting to make one. Do you mind if I ask what the name of the paint color is in your room? I’ve had such a hard time finding one that shade that works.

  11. I need an ottoman and this is the inspiration I need for a diy project. I am scanning Craigslist as we “speak”.

  12. Thanks for the nice comments, everyone! After living with and using the ottoman for several weeks now, I’m still really happy with the project. I’d love to see pictures, if any of you make your own!

    Sarah – my living room color is Martha Stewart’s Moonbeam (from Lowe’s). It is the greatest shade of pale blue-gray. I think it is subtle and fresh. Love it!

  13. gorgeous job! now i'm gonna scour cl until i find a cheap coffee table to experiment on. your tufting procedure is so much easier than what i would have thought of.

    on another note, i absolutely love galvanized by ralph lauren. just enough black, just enough brown.

  14. This is awesome. I am so going to do this in June (when my Mom comes up to help). Thank you so much. I found your blog through a friends blog and LOVE it. Very creative and inspiring!

  15. Absolutely amazing!! Cant wait to get started on my own DIY Ottomon. Thank you for sharing this real easy DIY – Simply love it!!! WOW

  16. I'm curious how you do the button tufting. Does the button kit from Joann's come with more instructions? I'm having trouble envisioning how the needle/thread/button is set-up and which direction you go through… and how it becomes secure. I'd love to do this on a DIY headboard that I have plans to make. If you could e-mail to let me know, that would be great! I would so appreciate it.


  17. I've been so inspired by this post for about 2 months difficult part is finding the right table..ugh, some people in this area really think $50 is a reasonable price for a janky ol' table..but, anyway, I wanted to tell you how insanely great I think this project turned out..and how sorry I am that you didn't end up getting your 'Restoration Hardware' version..I'm sad also because the store here had their final warehouse sale @ some point last year..and I missed it :(

  18. Thanks for the inspiration!! I found an almost identical table for $12 at The Salvation Army…I couldn't believe it!! I dropped about $70 on supplies and fabric….(it would have been a lot more but JoAnn Fabrics has some sweet coupons!!). I'm at the batting stage and fingers crossed I'm doing this right! I wanted to take the legs off too but no such luck. Either way, it's fun and I can always start over. Thank you!!

  19. I am SO glad you posted this! I have my OWN coffee table that I have decided to make into an ottoman table. The top is a little messed up – but otherwise a great table. This shows me HOW to do it and I'll be doing just that in the next couple of months!

    I took on tiling my kitchen table 6 months ago and love it. I am always looking for ways to make my house more attractive on a tight budget! Thanks for sharing.

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