coffee table transformed into a bench.

Hey, hey, hey!

I’m in pretty good spirits right now. It could be the yummy pull apart pizza bread I just had (left overs from New Years eve) :) or it could be the fact that last night I tackled a project that’s been sitting around in our cramped office for a year awaiting transformation. Probably both.

I’ve been wanting a hallway bench for quite some time, but could never find something that I liked that was in my price range (or at least the range I would like to pay). So what better way to get it than make it yourself?!

I took this $10 coffee table in all of it’s scratched up glory (sigh, that picture makes my heart ache for summer), and gave it a couple of coats of this:

I have been searching for a good fabric that had a pattern (much to my husband’s disdain. He’s not one for anything ‘wild’, but prefers things simple n’ plain), and found one I liked one here for $8.98/yd. I purchased 3 yards, which was plenty.

the great thing about the fabric was that it is stain & water resistant and is made for indoor or outdoor use; perfect for a bench to have outer gear thrown on it!

I slowly started collecting the materials for the bench which included:

  • three 18″x18″x3″ foam cushion pads from Wal-mart @ $6 a piece – a great price for 3 inch foam!
  • one 45″x 60″ Craft batting (@ $5.99, but received as a gift from my thoughtful MIL)
  • a staple gun (I forget the price, but it was bought with a 50% off coupon)
  • an MDF board cut to size (for free) from Home Depot (under $10), which was measured to exact size as the top of the coffee table
 I laid the materials face down on the ground
and duct taped the cushions together
(it was flimsy, but after everything is stapled together, it would be secure)
“really? duct tape?” 

When all three pieces were taped together, it was longer than the MDF board, so I just eyed about an inch & used my handy new carve & serve knife from my MIL… it worked like a charm :)

 hootchie hoops & a carving knife? don’t mess! :)
 this is what it looked like after it was cut. After I eyed the length of the material, I cut off the excess & carefully piled everything in place.
I realized that because the 3-inch foam perfectly fit along the edges of the coffee table, I spread out the batting (it made for softer edges after the material covered the seat).

with my husband’s help (that material needed some MAJOR pullage around the corners to get it taut & stapled in place), we started with the corners, and stapled our way around the edges (we found that the sides didn’t need to be as tight as the edges because it caused the seat to have lumps in between staples). We also made sure that the pattern was straight with every section we stapled.

trim off the excess fabric on the corners & you have your cushion!
 I realized that a bit of the edges of the table showed when the cushion was in place,
so… in -12 degree weather, I spray painted the edges (the paint surprisingly didn’t bubble or react to the weather)!
with heavy duty deck nails (that sucka ain’t goin’ anywhere!) we nailed the cushion in place.
 et voila~
With our bench finished, we saw in our mind’s eye the many uses…
 a time-out bench for future kiddies? ;)
 a reading corner? (tray seen here)
but we decided the entryway could use a comfortable seat for those hard-to-put-on shoes.

We’re loving the new bench & I can’t believe how easy it was to make
(once I got it all pulled together!)
aaaand my hubby admitted that it looked really good (considering this pattern was not his usual cup of tea!). :)

2012 is off to a fantastic start!


  1. Anonymous says


    That is actually incredible! It looks amazing~~ stop pretending you don't know how to sew/do fancy things! My old curtains are here waiting for you to turn into outfits for me and me students!

    xoxo Karen

  2. says

    So nice. Very glad the knife was useful. They said it would saw wood:)
    I am really impressed. Can't wait to try the bench. Mike says it sure looks good.

  3. says

    Hi Jenny! I'd love to! :) thanks for checking it out.

    Hi Lindsey! the bench can actually hold up a lot of weight (both my husband and I sat on it without it creaking or breaking, so that's a good sign). :) I find the older coffee tables are constructed well & can probably withstand more weight. Hope that helps!

  4. says

    I saw your link at a blonde's diy life link party. This bench is fabulous! I'm a huge fan of upholstered benches- especially the kind that are DIY projects. The MDF board is genius. Why haven't I thought of that? I usually end up hand sewing the fabric together which never works out as well as I want it to. Next time, I'll definitely use a board to staple the fabric to. I love

  5. says

    Your bench turned out beautifully! I love the fabric choice and appreciate the detailed tutorial! Since you joined our party on the very last day, feel free to come by and link up to our current party so more friends get to check out your wonderful project! Thanks for linking up and don't forget to link back!

  6. says

    Jane, LOVE your bench! So excited to look for a coffee table at a thrift store to copy your project!!
    Thanks for linking it up to Before & After at Shine Your Light….happy to meet you and your blog!

  7. says

    I have been looking at the thrift stores for a coffee table to do this same project. You found the perfect piece and did a fabulous job with it! I love your fabric choice!

  8. says

    hi! Saw you at before and after and just wanted to say that I love your bench!! Glad your hub's likes the fabric…cause it's beautiful and looks great in your entryway.

  9. says

    Wow! This is such an awesome transformation! I love it! Thanks so much for sharing with the Pink Hippo party.. can't wait to see what you share next.. so I am your newest follower!

  10. says

    Love this I just found a coffee table just like that one and it is sitting in my carport waiting for me!

    I'm walking through your steps and I can see that you or your hubby have added extra support to the underside of the table itself as it doesn't match the table. Do you have any tips for how to do that part? I want to turn my table into a kitchen bench so it will need to

  11. says

    Finally found a cheap sturdy table. $10
    Fabric from a ReStore Warehouse $1 (yes $1)
    Paint – no need to purchase have plenty
    Need – foam (thanks for the walmart suggestion)
    My favorite thing about making this table…
    My hubby is an upholster… He can tackle covering it with his eyes closed.
    Visiting from Frugal Friday…. makes me want to head out and get my

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  13. says

    This is great! Perfect inspiration for my completely 'blah' entry way! Or maybe in our upstairs hallway nook as a 'reading' bench? Either way, very resourceful and the fabric is lovely.

    Erin @diypassion

  14. says

    Perfect!!! I have been looking for a tutorial for turning my coffee table into a bench! Thank you.

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