You know how I said I wanted to feature more of your projects in 2011? Well, this post proves why I want to do this – you guys are amazing! Meet Angie Zahler. She’s a good friend of mine and has done quite the job of recovering a tired table and transforming it into a practical, yet stylish ottoman. I’ll let her do the talking, but before I go, a big thanks to Angie for sharing this fabulous project with me.
In Angie’s words:
Our coffee table had been owned by 4 members of Stephen’s (Angie’s husband) extended family. It came our way when Stephen bought his house – he took anything he could get his hands on to get started. When I moved in, I started projects around the house, and this was not on my list because I thought I would just replace it with a new ottoman. After reading your blog, I was inspired to start trying a few projects (for the record, I am not crafty and this pushed me outside my comfort zone). I started looking at other blogs as well to see if someone had written about turning a table into an ottoman.
I realized I had several big obstacles. The first problem being that the tables shown had multiple pieces or removable legs which make upholstering much easier. Our table had no such features and we were left to create our own upholstering technique, and let me tell you, corners are HARD. The second problem was a lip on the top of the table. The problem created an uneven surface, which made the foam and batting sink. Sunken stuffed coffee table? I don’t think that would work. So, we used a piece of plywood to fill the gap and secured it with an adhesive to the table top. Problem solved.
I found the fabric at Jo-Ann’s and since this was a project that could crash and burn, I didn’t want to invest in super expensive material. The fabric was on special for 50% off and I spent less than $20. The most expensive aspect was the foam which ranges in price depending on the thickness. Batting comes in many grades, and the batting specifically for upholstering can get pricey, so I used one that seemed sturdy and was less than $6/yd. I bought 2 yards to be safe. Make sure to buy foam on discount days or with your Sunday coupon from Jo-Ann’s and you will really save.
3/4 in piece of plywood.
The first thing we did was attach the plywood. After that was secure, we wrapped the foam around the table and cut the excess. Because the table top and legs were glued/nailed together, we had to trim around the legs carefully to ensure the padding was not too thick and even on all 4 corners. We repeated this step with batting and stapled this to the underside of the table. The batting smoothed out the lines of the foam and made a consistent surface. Again we had to trim the material so the corners would be even and not overly bulky.
The fabric was the tricky part. We laid the fabric over the batting and secured it on the underside of the table on the four sides of the table, I left the corners undone for a few days while I played with them and brainstormed how I would make the corners work with attached legs. After some help from my mother-in-law, I came to the conclusion that I needed to created a fold that looked okay and was uniform on all the corners. Once I figured out what looked good, I merely tucked the fabric up into the batting and foam and secured it with a few staples to make sure it wouldn’t unravel.
I found a tray that I already had to put on top and still haven’t found the accessories I like, but will get there in no time.
For me, this was an ambitious project and we pretty much winged it. But I am happy with the result. The best part is that we stapled the fabric separate from the foam and batting which means I can change the look for the cost of fabric whenever I want a new look. Not bad for a few hours of work and less then $80.
Did Angie do an incredible job or what? I love that she persevered and stuck with the project – proof that anything can be recovered with a little patience, hard work and creativity. I personally took note of the fact that she didn’t rush to finish the corners. She let them rest, while she thought of a crafty way to get around the legs. I would have stapled them all wrong just because I wanted to put the project to rest. Your tip has been noted! Thanks again for the tutorial, Angie. Great stuff.