How To: Turn a Coffee Table into an Upholstered Bench

Okay, here it is... a finished project!  And, I thought I would give you a how- to in case you have a coffee table that needs a transformation. A warning: some of the photos are not the best since I only had an assistant part of the time and part of the project was completed in the evening (dark photos taken with one hand = ugly)  but, you will get the idea. 

 Here is a little background on the project:  
Baby Hughes was clearing tables to play cars on... basically throwing photo frames on the floor.  We needed a coffee table since we were using baskets in the place of a table... wicker baskets = not a good "road" surface.  Plus, Mr. Hughes likes to put up his feet when he's watching the TV (but not Cable!)  So, we relocated a table that was in the library to downstairs.  Only problem is, sharp corners.  And, I didn't want to use corner guards.  So, I decided to cover the coffee table.  It is very sturdy and can actually be used as a bench.

Here is where we started.  This table had already been stripped and refinished once.  We seriously got it for $15 at Goodwill... sometimes I have the tendency to exaggerate the deals I get, but not this time.  I painted the legs and apron of the table with 2 coats of black paint.

Here is what you will need:
Spray Adhesive
Utility knife (or a serrated knife)
Staple gun
Batting ( I used a twin size quilt roll)
Foam (get the store to cut it to size, I used 2" thick)
Scissors (ones that are sharp that you only use for fabric)
A rotary cutter
Glue gun
and an assistant will make it go faster (the handsomer the better *wink*)

Start by laying the foam on the floor and turning the table upside down on top the foam.  Then cut your foam to size with your knife... be careful not to cut through to your floor!  (If you get a little jagged edge, don't worry, the batting will help cover it.)

Next, take your foam outside and spray one side of it with spray adhesive.  Let it dry for a minute, then place the sticky side down on the table top.  

Next, lay out your batting.  Place the foam covered table upside down and make sure the batting is very flat with no wrinkles.  Trim your batting so that it will cover the foam edge and fold over so that you can attach it to the under side edge of the table.  (Someone needs a manicure!!)

So, here is the table laid out on top of the trimmed batting.  Notice the detail in the table's edge... that wouldn't look great if I simply stapled my batting and fabric over it.  So here is how I solved that problem:

I used the extra batting to fill in the detail of the table.  It was a narrow piece folded in half.

Then I just stapled it on the edge of table.

This is how the detail looks covered.

Then I took the batting that I trimmed and covered the foam and the extra batting I added.  I just wrapped it like a present and stapled it.  Be careful around the corners and trim the extra batting, otherwise your finished bench will have lumpy corners.

I flipped it over to give you an idea of what it looks like at this stage.  Now you are ready for the fabric.

Roll your fabric out face down (make sure you iron it if it has been folded.)  This fabric was easy to measure and cut because it was geometric, but it was harder to get straight and even because it was geometric.  If you are using a geometric pattern or a stripe, be sure that you have it even or the lines will be all wonky.  Florals and solids are easier to work with.

Now flip your table over on top of it and make sure your fabric is straight and taut.  Trim the fabric, but leave enough that you don't end up short.

Pull your fabric taut and staple once in the middle of one side.  Now, go to the opposite side and staple once in the middle.  Repeat on the other 2 sides.  I flipped it over at this point to make sure the pattern was straight.  Then, flip it back over and staple one side, stopping a few inches from the corner.  Go to the opposite side and repeat.  Then staple the 3rd side, again stopping a few inches from the corner. And repeat on the 4th side.

Now for the corners:  I had Mr. Hughes do this so I could attempt to photo the play by play.  You may have to add a staple so there isn't as much fabric to get in the way like he did here.  Regardless of which way you fold, just make sure they are all identical.  And, it may take you a few tries to get it just how you want it.

You are going to fold down one side and staple it to the opposite side of the corner to secure.

Make your fold and try to stay along the corner.

Tuck the extra fabric from the opposite side into the pocket that is created by the fold

Pull the fabric taut and keep your fold in place.

Staple to the underside of the table.  Make sure you like the way it turned out before doing the other corners or trimming.  Repeat on all 4 corners.

This is what it looks like trimmed... I didn't get a photo of us trimming it with the rotary cutter.  It definitely needed some trim.

I wanted something a little more fun than this trim, but I couldn't find anything that I liked in Jo Ann's and I wanted the project finished, so I went with a basic black braided flat trim.

I just added the trim with a hot glue gun (and took off some paint in the process!)  Keep your trim level, taut and flat while you are gluing.

Then, you are finished!

Here is a shot of the corner once it is all complete.

And, here is the finished project. I would have liked to do tufting, but as Mr. Hughes wisely pointed out, cars don't roll on tufting.  Plus, this pattern might not look great with it.  I also thought about piping, but that is a crumb catcher and my little boy loves to eat Goldfish crackers.

Now,  I really want a white lacquer tray for Baby Hughes to throw on the floor, I mean, to put lovely things on.  And, I know I saw one at Target, but now I can't find it.  So, the books will do for now... they will be gone by tomorrow I am sure and replaced with cars and other books!

I hope to finish Baby Hughes' bathroom this weekend... actually got the towels from Pottery Barn Kids yesterday, instead of March 6th!  Love it when that happens!  So, maybe I will get one more project marked off my list.

I am joining Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday!

and Maryann at Domestically Speaking!

Whole lot of progress

Image Found at Southern Accents- my 2nd favorite flower!

I have been quite busy, busy, busy with projects and I finally got one finished (the coffee table to ottoman) but it has been too dark to take photos.  I have painted Baby Hughes' bathroom-- walls and cabinets.  I wish the towels were here, but they are backordered until March 6...grrrrrr!  I have almost everything completed in there, just needs the towels and some finishing touches. I have ordered my stencil and it is on its way and I hope to start on the laundry room soon.  But, if you are coming here to see photos, you are outta luck!  I have nothing!  And, (don't laugh... okay you can, it is pretty humorous) I have started planning Baby Hughes' 2nd Birthday.  In August.  Now, my mom was here this weekend and her and Mr. Hughes gave me a hard time... but they sure threw around some ideas when I told them the theme.  So, I hope to be back soon with photos and a How- to (didn't hurt my self this time) turn a coffee table into a upholstered bench.  For now, dream of lovely springy things, I know I am!

If you have communicated with me through comments or email in the past 2 weeks and you think that I am ignoring you or haven't gotten back with you, please check your junk mail.... alot of my emails to Mr. Hughes have gone there recently.  I haven't heard back from some of you that  were messaging me back and forth so I don't want you to think that I never wrote back!

I Just Keep Adding to the List

We got the latest Southern Living at work yesterday and it was really pretty incredible.  They are becoming more like my beloved Cottage Living.  One photo in particular made me take the magazine home and scan it so I could show you a potential project:

First of all, amazing room.  But, this maybe the perfect solution to my 2 story foyer problem.  It is a big expanse of white and a little dull.  And, I have been tempted to put some mirrors or photos going up the stairs, but most things just get lost.  I really wanted to add wainscoting to break up the wall and white a bit, but I promised no major projects... I think that Mr. Hughes would consider cutting many miters to make up the little boxes like we have in the dining room major.  So, I am thinking about adding a picture rail on wall and doing this.  We are going to tack up a piece of molding this week to see if it looks silly just on one wall.  If it does, then I will find a place, either in our powder room or in the upstairs hall.

Then, during my daily blog reading, Little Green Notebook introduced me to Whitewall & Co.  I have been wanting to do wallpaper in a small dose for awhile now.  And, I had considered stenciling, but it seemed so....ehhhh...  Plus, I hadn't seen many I liked and I didn't know if I had the patience to do it.  But, these stencils are really amazing.  Take a look:

And, they have registration marks to make it easy to line up and do the pattern repeat.  So, this will be happening... maybe in the upstairs hall, maybe in our little water closet (knowing my level of patience, it will probably be the water closet.)

I just keep adding to my list...  I did go buy and get the paint for Baby Hughes' bathroom last night and Mr. Hughes found something out in the garage that I had forgotten all about and it is going to be perfect.  But, the pirate towels from PBK won't be in till February and they are one of the really important parts.  So, what are you working on....

Musings of a Cableless Girl and the Beginnings of Another Project.

So, I never thought I watched all that much TV.  Just The Office and a little of the Kardashians here and there.  Well, since we are moving forward with The Plan, we thought it would be a good idea to trim some luxuries here and there.  And, since we really do only watch a few of the gazillon channels we had, cable went.  It is much quieter.  I am having dreams about Kim Kardashian and I getting in a fight.  So, maybe, maybe,  I miss it. 

I am finding that I am getting more accomplished though, with time to spare.  Which brings me to my new favorite thing in the whole world... let me begin by telling you that I have a love/hate relationship with Target.  I had some gift cards burning a hole in my wristlet and I had some rare child and husband less hours.  So, I decided to go there to check out some Bamboo and organic cotton sheets that I had seen there.  Almost all the sheets in the entire place were on sale.  Do you think that they had any queen size in a normal, non icky color that brought back memories of the suede jackets that everyone used to wear?  Nope. Hate Target.  Then I saw these:

Love Target!  They are much more aqua in person.  But so fun!  So, I walked out of Target with a candle, 2 candy bars for the Mr. (he has a BIT of a sweet tooth) and some of this:

Now, I have heard of this before.  But, I really thought it was to get sparkly stainless steel sinks.  And, I can usually do that with my green cleaners.  I went to Target in search of sheets and something to clean my shower with... I hate our shower stall.  I would rather have an all in one bathtub in a tiny bathroom than that stinking shower that can't be cleaned.  And, I really do try to be as green as possible.  We recycle almost everything.  We buy vintage furniture.  Sometimes I make my own cleaner.  But, nothing, NOTHING would work on that nonslip surface that they put on the bottom of the bathtubs and showers now.  So, since I have all these TV free hours, I thought I would tackle the shower... I didn't have high hopes... I just had taken Mrs. Meyer's scrub to it recently and the dirt wouldn't budge.  Well, it cleaned it almost instantly... I was shocked!  I called Mr. Hughes in there to make sure that I hadn't gotten some in my eyes and that I could really see a difference.  Can you believe this is like a 1.63 a can and that it is on the bottom shelf?  How dare they? I guess toxic cleaners = cheap.  Kind of how you can buy a McDonald's hamburger for 39 cents but a salad is 15 dollars.

I had enough time with all of the time saved while Baby Hughes was napping to start a project that will eventually make him and the hubs pretty happy.  You see, we got rid of our coffee tables when he started moving around.  We replaced them with 2 square baskets that hold all his downstairs toys.


Lately I have been noticing that he is clearing off my end table (which involves moving frames and a glass urn) in order to play cars.  Luckily he hasn't moved my lamp yet.  So, I brought down a coffee table that we removed from the library when we moved Mr. Hughes' office in there.  And, he was so happy to have a place to play cars.  But, it still has some sharp corners (Baby Hughes is a 11 on the Wild Scale of 1-10!) and I have been itching to use some fabric.... I am going to take this:

and this:

(the cane print)
and turn it into this:


I was going to do button tufting but, as only a father would point out, the cars won't drive very well on a button tufted bench.  Mr. Hughes likes it because he can put his feet up again.  I have already painted the base and legs black.  The fabric is reversible, and I would love to use the predominately white side.  But, I just don't think that would be the wisest choice with Strawberry Banana Juicy Juice being splattered all about as it is in our home.  My wonderful mommy purchased the foam half off and is bringing it with her this weekend, so hopefully it will be completed this weekend.  Now I didn't forget about my other projects, in fact, on the way home tonight, I am going by Home Depot to get the paint mixed for both rooms.  I have the shower curtain hanging and just trying to decide which towels to get.  So, I hope to share some afters... okay I am done... I have rambled... must be the lack of the TV!!

Colporter London

You know, sometimes, I wish I was a Brit.  I mean, I have crushes on British men, ahem Robert and Jude.  I adore my Dundee Marmalade jars ( I think they started in Scotland though.) Love English gardens.  Boden and Mini Boden. And, I have a soft spot for the Union Jack.  Now, I have one more reason to hop the pond... Colporter London.  Catherine sent me such a sweet email flattering my taste (a sure way to butter me up) and asked me to take a peek at her and her husband's newest venture.  She even said I inspired their cards... wow!  When you see what they offer, you will understand why I am so, so flattered.  Their taste is impeccable and what they offer is amazing.  Things you don't see here every day.  I have my eye on the Union Jack pillows made of the different fabrics.   I would have totally posted some photos from the site, but I can't get the photos to drag on my Mac.  They have one of the greatest ideas I have ever heard:  a Colporter party:  this is where you get together for drinks and a bite and they show you their treasures.  And you get 10% off!  And the hostess gets 10% of the nights sales towards Colporter merchandise.  Wouldn't that be great for a housewarming?  It is like the best Tupperware party EVER.  So, go on over and look at their beauties.  And, Catherine is on Twitter, so you can follow her.  Now, if I can just convince my husband to let me go to London and host a Colporter party from the hotel room....

In the Meantime

In the spirit of loving the one I am with (still can't get that house out of my mind though) I thought I would share with you some plans for the less desirable parts of our  home.  The downstairs is finished except for the tweaking and fluffing that I do on a daily basis.  I decided to nix the dream for turning our pantry into a Butler's Pantry... 1. Because this isn't going to be our Forever Home 2. Baby Hughes will totally get into much, much more trouble with my design.  So, that leaves the upstairs.  And, I have agreed that I won't do any major home improvements (tile, ripping out our shower and tub, etc) if The Plan has a 5 year projected date, rather than 7-10.  But, I can paint! And, I will....

So, moving upstairs....

This is our staircase with the nasty builder grade carpet.  It gets ALOT of traffic every day and is so not pretty after 3 and a half years.  In fact, all the carpet is matted and old looking.  So, we are going to rip this up and put down wood.  I am also going to paint the rail and posts white.   Here is the runner we are going to use

It is from Dash and Albert... I adore their rugs.  I have them in front of all the doors. They wash and wear so well... not getting paid to give you this info, just letting you know.  You can't go wrong with them.  This one is the Vanilla Sky but the Margarita Stripe graces the downstairs in a few places.  I am even thinking about getting a huge one to attempt to cover up the nasty carpet in our bedroom. (Just so you know, the nastiness is limited to matting... not REALLY nasty stuff.)  I hope to get this project started soon since I hate, hate, hate the carpet.  Then, the 2 rooms upstairs that are not the cutest are Baby Hughes' bathroom and the laundry room.

Here is the laundry.  Boring.  Mr. Hughes' least favorite room due to the bore factor.  My plan for this room is paint and possibly changing out the wire shelves with some wooden shelves with brackets... not sure if that is in the guidelines set by the Mr. or not. I am thinking a light blue or grey... whatever looks better with this:

A vintage swing arm clothes drying rack.   And this:

is something that I am working with.  I love my Housekeepers box even though she hasn't been here in ages...

So, I ordered this:

Cute huh?  I adore etsy... this is from City Chic Country Mouse.

So, moving on...

This is Baby Hughes' bathroom.  ehhh.  I love the shower curtain, will probably never part with it, but it just isn't boy.  And, I am not so much on themes and what not, but this room needs a lift. I have always wanted something a little beachy because of the beachy watercolor that we got on our honeymoon in St. Martin.   And, I decided what to do when I saw this:

We like pirates here.  Adorable, but too pricy for a shower curtain when I also must have these:

Or these:

Now Pottery Barn Kids isn't paying me either, they used to though.... gosh if I still had that discount then this wouldn't be an issue.  I need to decide between the 2 sets...

So, I ordered this:

It is a classic and will keep it from being pirate overkill.  I will probably paint the walls a pale beachy blue and the cabinets will be painted white.  And, I will probably get Mr. Hughes to add some trim around the mirror.  And, some new rugs.

Now, I just need to figure with towels to choose.

So, this should keep me busy for awhile... maybe take my mind off a certain house...

You guys....

.....are incredible!  You have given me so many suggestions on places we should visit to find where we belong.

Seriously, you really came through and I so appreciate it.  I don't know if it is the weather (very cold and snowy here) or thinking about The Plan, but I have been feeling a little ehhhh.  Well, I know what part of it is, I have been obsessing over this house (and glass towel bars... more on that later.)  Mr. Hughes and I started looking on just looking.  Well, he found one he liked in Tennessee.... then I found one I loved...

  maybe it is lust.  I am a dreamer for the most part.  Mr. Hughes, he's practical.  I will spend unmentionable amounts of money on purses, but all my socks will have holes in them, that sort of thing.  Well, I just couldn't get this house out of my mind, still can't actually.  I told him that he needed to find something wrong (besides the fact that we are totally not ready or able to move, because that wouldn't work.)  Well, he didn't like the crime rate of where it was.  Burst my bubble, but not enough.  So you want to see what it looks like... go take a look, and come right back....

..... so what did you think?  Of those moldings?  of that brick wall in the  kitchen?  Of the fact that the electrical and plumbing and HVAC are new?  And, totally within our price range.   So, I have resigned myself to convincing myself that it used to be a brothel and is haunted by angry ghosts of Ladies of the Night.  And raccoons are inhabiting it (saw some VERY disturbing things about raccoons on Dirty Jobs this week.)  And, also because I read a post from a much wiser woman than me: Mrs. Flower Patch Farm Girl.

What can I say?  The post spoke to me.  I still have that house redecorated in my head, but I am loving the one that I am with.  I truly do love our home and all the work that we have put into it.  So I am going to love the daylights out of this house.  The Plan is still on, but I am not finished with this lady yet.  I have a whole list of things that I still want to do here and we plan on being here for a while longer.  By all means, keep sending new towns my way.

oh by the way, the winners were drawn by this rockstar...

....kind of a crazy eye huh?  And here they are: Susan of Found Around  and Kiera of ChambersMade.

They won the pillows... ladies, please email me your addresses and I will ship them right out!

A Favor

 small town USA
I am not content.  Mr. Hughes is not content.    Things have been festering for awhile and we are thinking about making some changes.  Some major changes.  We have been sitting around during the little vacation time we had talking, planning, dreaming.   We want a different life.  In a different place. We want to move.  You see, while we love our home, we don't like where we live.  Our town lacks character.   We are in a subdivision with less than ideal neighbors.  And, there is nothing to do here, that we enjoy, that is. We often drive to nearby Franklin to just be there.  But, we can't get what we want there.  Too expensive for what we would like to have. 

Franklin Tennessee

So this is the favor that I ask all of you:  simply tell us a great place to live.  Okay, not so simple.  Here is what we are looking for:
  • Small to medium affordable town within an hour of a city
  • Historic... character... something besides chain restaurants and Bed, Bath and BeyondYou know, some place with little festivals and antique shops.  I would love a "walking" type town.
  • Temperate weather... southeast preferably (both of our mothers live in TN)
  • Safe... low crime
  • Cute, old houses that aren't VERY expensive close to the downtown.  We want an older home.
  • A Catholic Church... sounds silly, but many towns in the South don't have one.
We want to take little trips to places in the next few years to see what we like.


You know, I adore Savannah.  I love it.  But, Mr. Hughes doesn't like the crime rate.  And, where we would want to live wouldn't exactly be affordable.  And, if you could suggest a place closer to the coast... 
Mr. Hughes can work from wherever and I am pretty resourceful, I can find something.  Again, we aren't looking to make this move soon.  We would be crazy to put our house up right now.  But, we both agree that we would need to make this before Baby Hughes gets too old.  This is something we want to do for us.  Yes, I am sure it will be scary to just pick up and move, especially if it is far away.  And, we wouldn't even have a job to blame it on. 

And, who knows, maybe something affordable will come up where we would want to be in Franklin.   But, like I said, closer to the ocean... 

So, what do you think?  Can you help us?  Oh, and those of you who live in older homes... I want to know your horror stories... electrical, plumbing, eh....ghosts?!

And, if any of you are just crazy in love with a place and want to write a post, email me and let me know and I will set up a McKlinky party or a blogroll.

Oh, and there is still time to enter my 100th post giveaway.   I will draw the winners tomorrow!



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