Submitted by Christine Allard
What do you do with an old coffee table? Turn it into a beautiful bench, and submit it to the contest Lethbridge living held online through its "Girls with Tools" article. That's what you do!
Congratulations to our DIY contest winner Christine Allard.
Here are the directions, courtesy of Christine, showing you how to DIY!
This lonely old coffee table was $10.00 at a local second hand store. With some new upholstery fabric, supplies, and creativity, it became a happy object of useable beauty.
Supplies & Tools:
- Old coffee table
- Medium-grit sandpaper and tack cloth (or damp cheesecloth)
- Primer & paint (check paint stores for mistints)
- Paintbrushes or small foam roller & tray
- Dacron or cotton batting
- 3" or 4" medium density upholstery foam (standard seat height is 18" from the floor, so choose the right thickness of foam to bring the table to bench height)
- Heavy upholstery fabric or leather/synthetic leather
- Spray adhesive
- Staple gun (heavy-duty or try a nail gun) & long staples
- Needle nose pliers/flat head screwdriver (to pull out any staples that don't go in properly)
- Remove top of coffee table and lightly sand the base and legs. Clean with tack cloth, then prime and paint the base and legs. The top doesn't need to be sanded since it will be covered with foam, Dacron, and fabric. From the photo on the left (above) you can see where there were screws that were easily removed to take off the table top. This is a much easier type of table to use to create a bench. If your tabletop is not easily removed, simply wrap it (as shown below in step 6), and finish as noted.
- Measure the length and width of the top of the table. Add 4 to 5 inches all around and take these measurements to a fabric shop to get your covering material. Use the exact dimensions of the tabletop (without the 4 to 5 extra inches) for the foam that you'll get from either a fabric shop or foam supplier. Note: Ducan Industries (3307 Sixth Ave. N., Lethbridge) makes various densities and thicknesses of foam and will cut to your specifications). Most fabric shops don't have very dense foam, and what they do offer is expensive; and they might not cut it to your exact requirements.
- Spray one side of foam with spray adhesive and centre it on top of coffee tabletop.
- Cut enough Dacron batting to fit over top of foam, plus 3 to 4 inches to overhang–enough to wrap around and be able to staple underneath.
- Starting at centre of one long side, begin stapling Dacron in place, pulling it down, diagonally and back in towards edge. Stop stapling 3 inches from the corner. Repeat on opposite side, and then move to the short sides.
- Finish corners like you're folding a crisp, flat sheet corner, folded and tucked under, pulled taut and stapled securely.
- Lay your upholstery fabric over the top of bench, centering design if necessary. Feeling where the edge is, allow five extra inches for pulling and stapling. Mark fabric and cut off excess all around.
- With this workable size of fabric, repeat steps 5 and 6, always pulling snugly and diagonally down and in towards edge so you can set staples uniformly on underside of tabletop. Work carefully to get corners nice and snug. If you need to re-do, use a flat head screwdriver and/or needle nose pliers to pull out staples. If using a screwdriver, always pushing it AWAY from your other hand.
Approximate cost of supplies: $60.00!
I'm happy because I love salvaging and re-creating, the old coffee table is happy, and my cat is very happy that I made this "just for her" (or so she thinks)!