Coffee Table Upcycle

What do you do when you want a bench but don’t want to spend the money on a new one OR your hubby isn’t in town long enough to build you one?
You buy a coffee table and turn it into a bench, of course!
(I just want to warn you. This is a LONG, picture HEAVY post! So bear with me!)

We were out and about one day and made a stop at the Habitat for Humanity Restore and I came across this coffee table. I immediately pulled out my tape measure (have to carry a tape measure around) and measured it out. I examined it and even sat on it. 🙂 So I called Travis over to ask what he thought. He agreed that it would work and that he could do what I wanted him to do to it. So… it came home with us for only a couple bucks.

Brought the table inside and placed it in its new home. I wanted a bench just inside our garage door and put baskets or something under it to keep our lovely pile of shoes that tended to pile up right there.

It fit perfectly but… I wanted it a little shorter in length.

Call the hubby in for a consult… if you notice there is a drawer so can he make it shorter like I want? He said yes. Great!

The table was just shy of 40 inches and I wanted it to be 30 inches.

I told Travis I don’t care if there is still a drawer (what would we use if for anyways?) but he wanted to challenge himself and said that we are keeping it. Alright, that’s settled.

He was pretty excited about this project and got to work right away.

First up- cutting the table in half. He cut about 9 1/2 inches out of the center of the table to make it 30 inches.

Remember that drawer… yeah he had to cut that in half too. Here is the drawer cut in half and glued back together.

Time to make the table one piece again!

Here are the supplies that Travis used:
-wood filler
-small wooden dowels
-metal brackets
-wood glue

He measured out the center of the edges and marked every few inches. (He did this on both pieces.)

Then he found a drill bit that was the same size as the dowels, and drilled holes where he had previously marked. Pushed in the dowels with a little wood glue on the end.

Now, just push the dowels into the holes on the other side. Make sure to put wood glue between the pieces as well for extra hold.

Once the table was glued, he used straps to hold it together tight until the glue completely dried.

Then fill the gaps with wood filler.

He then used the metal brackets to attach on the bottom to ensure that the table will not break on us when we sat on it.

Time to sand it all down! Halfway done.

This picture is to show how much Travis cut out of the center of the table.

Travis did his part super fast and well… I wasn’t ready for it! So it sat, and sat, and sat in our garage for about a month.

My plan was to paint it and put a cushion on top but I had to find fabric first that I like and then buy the paint. I just couldn’t find anything that I liked. Travis really wanted me to finish it so we drove up to Louisville Labor Day weekend to some fabric stores so I can find something to use. Which I did and he was thrilled about.

So time to finish!

I primed the table first and then bought cream spray paint. I also did a clear matte coat over the top for added protection.

On to the cushion:

-Piece of plywood (found at the H4H Restore for $1- the exact size we needed)
-staple gun
-Spray adhesive
-foam (For a cheaper route, I bought a cheap twin sized egg crate mattress and cut it up to fit instead of buying the large foam pieces.

To begin:
1.) Spread out the foam mattress and lay plywood on top.
2.) Pull the foam to stretch it out a little and make sure the whole board would be covered.
(The foam was folded so tight in the bag it came in, this was a must to make it all even.)
3.) Take a sharpie marker and outline the board.
4.) Cut on the lines.
5.) Repeat process until you cannot make a full piece.
(I got 3 full size pieces, and then used scraps to piece together a forth layer.)

Making cushion:
1. & 2.) Spray the adhesive onto the plywood.
3.) Place first layer on wood, bubble side up. Press firmly all over.
4.) Spray more adhesive on top of foam.
5.) Place next layer, bubble side down. Press firmly.
Repeat with as many layers as you have, alternating as you go.
6.) Trim off excess foam.

To give the cushion a smoother look, I wrapped the whole board in batting before my fabric.

1.) Place board in center of batting.
2.) Place one staple in center on long sides. Be sure to pull batting tight.
3.) Place one staple on center of short sides. Pull tight again.
4.) Staple all the way around pulling batting tight as you go.

For the corners:
1. & 2.) Cut off extra batting.
3.) Tuck in batting from the short end under the long side.
4.) Fold long side on top and staple down.
5.) Cut off extra batting.
6.) Complete.

Time for fabric:
This is pretty much the same steps as the batting.
1.) Cut fabric the proper size. Center cushion on fabric.
2. & 3.) Place one staple in center on all sides. Pulling fabric tightly.
4.) Staple all the way around, stopping before the corners.

1.) Gather fabric at the corner. Cut off extra- just not too much!
2.) Try to smooth out the fabric as best you can. The fabric will be folded in toward the center of the cushion unlike how we attached the batting. You can leave pleats/creases if you like or smooth it out .
3.) I choose to smooth the edges. I folded the fabric in, and then just tucked and pulled it until I got the look I wanted.
4.) Then staple down. Put one in the center near the edge. Then a few more about it to secure.

Complete cushion.

Time to attach it!

The top of the table was lower in the center so I bought a thin 1/8 piece of plywood from Michael’s to help fill the gap for the screws.

Travis then took 8 screws and screwed up through the bottom into the plywood on the cushion.

And it’s complete! 🙂

I love how it came out! I bought a blue basket from Michael’s that matched perfectly.

We have a very small but functionally drawer. I doubt anything will ever go in it but it looks good.

Don’t mind Patton… this is his new favorite spot!

But I am so happy that I stumbled upon this table. It is a great bench to sit down at and take off those dirty shoes.

This just proves that just because something was given one purpose that you can think outside the box and give it a whole new purpose! 🙂

Linking to some of these parties.

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  • Suzy @ Joy Is At Home
    September 9, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    I love it! This makes me want to go buy a coffee table right now! I have an entry way that is desperate for a bench or table. What a great idea!

  • Kim
    September 9, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    How talented you both are – I never would have thought to try to make that table shorter. It looks wonderful.

  • Mandy [Mandy's Yellow Corner]
    September 9, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    O my word, girlie, you are amazing!!! It looks absolutely fabulous, and I would have NEVER thought to use a coffee table :]

  • Dlsarmywife
    September 9, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    What a fabulous bench!!! And a great way to repurpose a coffee table too!

  • Lenore
    September 10, 2010 at 2:00 am

    Wow, Wow, Wow!!! That is a fabulous redo…love it!

  • Jemsmom
    September 10, 2010 at 2:18 am

    Wow!! That is about all I can say is WOW!!! You two are awesome!!!! I have been toying with doing that for a ottoman style coffee table in our living room. I may just have to go for it!!

  • Miranda
    September 10, 2010 at 3:45 am

    OMG girl – this is amazing!!! I LOVE IT!

  • Lulu
    September 10, 2010 at 4:50 am

    Wow, this is an awesome bench. You are amazing!!

  • Sarah @ Hennessey House
    September 10, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    wow, this is so impressive and wonderful. and the kitty is a nice touch 😉

  • Ann
    September 10, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Great Job! Its completely transformed.

  • Amanda@The Hand Me Down House
    September 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    SO cute, Allison! I love your transformation! What a perfect little bench now! 🙂

  • Kelly
    September 10, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    This is great! I've been looking for a bench for a long time… I might have to get creative. Isn't that fabric wonderful? I just recovered some chairs with it, and love it!

  • oops!
    September 10, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    What a lot of work! I would say worth it! Beautiful!!!

  • Kim
    September 10, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I wish I was that handy. It turned out beautiful! I'm following from tatertots and jello.

  • Atticmag
    September 10, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    That's an absolutely sensational redo of the table. You'd never, ever guess it came from anywhere but a fine furniture store. You're running one, for sure.

    We have the sweetest Roxy bedding giveaway, $100 value and please join in our new Giveaway Friday! link up party. Jane F.

  • Gwen @ Gwenny Penny
    September 11, 2010 at 12:57 am

    This turned out great. Love the color you chose, and that mini drawer is hilarious… it's so cute. Amazing detail on the how-to. Thanks for sharing.

  • Amy @MaisonDecor
    September 11, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Thats a great idea…turning a coffee table into a bench! I love how it came out.

  • Funky Junk Interiors
    September 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    What a truly stunning outcome! When you can't even believe it's the same piece, you KNOW you've done something very special. Lovely!


  • Becca
    September 11, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Picture heavy is a good thing. Thanks for linking up! It turned out great!


  • Angela Cappetta
    September 11, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Genius. That tiny drawer is my favorite part. FYI, I think the cat will never let you use that bench you spent so much time upcycyling 😉

  • Keep Calm and Decorate
    September 11, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    This is awesome! I bought a coffee table for $1.00 at a garage sale a few months ago and have been wanting to make it into bench. I have been scared to try it because I had no idea how to make the cushion on top. Now, I know exactly what to do. Thanks for the tutorial. On a side note, maybe you can put cat treats in that little drawer. LOL!

  • Amanda
    September 12, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Hi Allison 🙂 I've featured this today, nice job!

  • Anonymous
    September 12, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Such a sweet idea and I love that tiny little drawer!! Kitty looks like she is not about to share her pretty new lounging place with anyone!

    bee blessed

  • Lolly Jane
    September 12, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    holy smokes thats a LOT of work!! looks FAB! my fave part is you two working together, so sweet! 🙂

    your newest follower from i heart naptime! come check out our diy's sometime.

    :)kelli & kristi

  • Catch A Falling Star
    September 12, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    I am in complete agreement with Paton. I think that would be my favorite new spot as well.
    You both did a very amazing job, it looks wonderful!

    September 12, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Great job this looks so neat.

  • susan
    September 13, 2010 at 1:34 am

    I love a man who accepts a challeng—the drawer is cute! You both did a great job!

  • gena
    September 13, 2010 at 2:13 am

    WOW – that looks just fantastic !
    thanks for sharing,

  • Entertaining Women
    September 13, 2010 at 3:53 am

    You have a great eye and a wonderful partner in your husband. You all did a magnificent job on your wonderful bench. Thank you for sharing the process. Cherry Kay

  • Heather
    September 13, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Oh Wow I love the transformation, you both did such a great job on it! Thanks for linking up!

  • Judy
    September 13, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Great job! Is there a Restore in Louisville? I live a little over an hour from there and would love to go to one.

  • Michelle
    September 14, 2010 at 4:11 am

    Very nice transformation! Great job! 🙂

  • Lori@Paisley Passions
    September 14, 2010 at 4:45 am

    Wow! That turned out great! Thanks for linking up to Thrilling Thursday @ Paisley Passions. Hope to see you again soon! 🙂

  • Lisa@itlookspretty...
    September 14, 2010 at 4:50 am

    Amazing job!! Looks like it was originally made that way. You guys are awesome!

  • Joy
    September 14, 2010 at 6:57 am

    I love your bench, what a great transformation!

  • Anonymous
    September 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Awesome project. Love the end result.

  • Vintagesouthernlife
    September 14, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    I love your bench! You are so creative.Kitty looks happy too.

  • cushycottage
    September 14, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    nice tutorial! i'll definitely look this up again if i ever need a bench.

  • AmericKim
    September 14, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Brilliant! Great tutorial. Love your new bench and the fabric is great!


  • Donene
    September 15, 2010 at 2:46 am

    What a great repurpose! It looks fabulous!
    I have a big favor to ask of you, recently I had a post on some weight that I lost and now there is a contest and I am in it. You win by getting the most votes so I really need your vote! Could you please go to my blog and follow the directions to vote? I can't thank you enough! just click below and then vote!!!

  • Sabrina
    September 15, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    First of all GREAT tutorial! I'm doing a similar project and your upholstery steps are the BEST by far. Second, I actually own a sister table to the one you redid but it's a console. Got it from Target 10 years ago! Ha! Again FAB job!

  • Megan - A Ruffle In Time
    September 15, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    i love love LOVE this bench! i'm totally jealous right now 😉

  • Crystal
    September 15, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Wow! That bench is so pretty!

  • Remodelaholic
    September 16, 2010 at 2:12 am

    We love this party link and I wanted to let you know that we are planning on featuring it. We hope that you get a bunch of new visitors.

  • Heather
    September 17, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    I featured your bench on "Featuring You Friday". Have a great weekend!

  • Debbie
    September 18, 2010 at 11:44 am

    This is awesome Allison! You really had vision on this one. Love the fabric too. Great tutorial for all us challenged peeps. Thanks for joining me. Have a great weekend. Debbie

  • Kathy@ Gone North
    September 21, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Wow! Just beautiful!!
    & the little drawer… keys… you will always know where they are : ) Great job!!

  • Katie
    September 21, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Visiting from Better After ~ just LOVE this!! Thanks also for posting a tutorial of the cushion, I have a bench that's in desperate need!

  • Anonymous
    December 1, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Only tonight I was sitting there staring at my coffee table wondering how I could transform it. You've inspired me! Yours looks so lovely.
    Megs 🙂

  • Pam
    December 11, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Great job…and the kitty seams to love it to

  • Trunks Depot
    February 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    This visit was most useful. Content is really very good. Thanks for providing information about Coffee Table.

  • Anonymous
    February 23, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Followed your coffee table>bench from Food,Wine&ModgePodge – too funny b/c I am 99.9% certain that table is originally from Target b/c I own it and use it as a bench!

    After years of abuse, I got a new coffee table and re-assigned this one to the guest room as a bench/luggage table. I am wannabe-crafty, so instead of making my own cushion, I just bought 2 square floor pillows to place on top.
    looking forward to seeing more of your site!
    -Melissa H

  • bunk beds for kids
    June 4, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Great transformation ! I just love visiting your blog. I'll be back for more.

  • Thomas Watson
    January 12, 2015 at 2:03 am

    Great job! This may very well be our first DIY project for our new living room.