What did your ottoman look like before the makeover?
It was a very ordinary varnished coffee table and it had been through the mill! One of the legs was wobbly, there were coffee mug stains on the top of the table and some cobwebs underneath. It was clear it had been used for many years! I picked it up on Facebook Marketplace for only $20.
What inspired your makeover?
I was watching a catch-up episode of BHG one evening after the kids had gone to sleep (as my wind down at the end of the day) and Tara Dennis was demonstrating how to create an ottoman from an old coffee table. She made the process look so simple and her end result was beautiful. I watched the same segment four times and convinced myself I could do it!
Have you done any makeovers before?
Never! I’ve always seen other finished projects and been in awe of how someone could create something so different from the original piece, and often wondered if I could do the same.
What kind of look were you after?
I wanted something that mimicked a Hamptons-style ottoman. With light colours that were easy to match with most interior décor and it had to have tufted/sunken buttons!
What were the biggest challenges of the makeover?
There were a few challenges, but nothing that impacted the final result. I don’t have an electrical saw and I missed my opportunity to ask the staff at Bunnings to cut my MDF to size, so I had to cut it to size at home with the world's bluntest hand saw. Measuring out the placement of the buttons was also challenging as I really wanted them all to appear evenly spaced.
The renovation process
- Picked up the old coffee table and brought it home.
- Fixed the wobbly leg and cleaned the table.
- Sanded the whole table with sandpaper to remove the varnish.
- Applied 1 coat of paint primer, let it dry and then a second coat.
- After leaving that to dry overnight, applied the top coat of paint the following day (two coats).
- Cut the MDF size and had Clark rubber cut the foam to the correct size.
- Laid a double layer of wadding over the foam and MDF and stapled it down tightly, cutting away the loose edges.
- Wrapped the upholstery fabric over the wadding and stapled the fabric to the back of the MDF to create a seamless cushion, making sure to tuck the corners in tightly.
- Drilled holes in the back of the MDF to the correct measurements of the button placement.
- Used a long needle and thick thread to sew each button in to place and secure it really tightly at the back of the MDF board (It needed to be very tight or it wouldn’t create that sunken look on the finished product.)
- Flipped the table over and drilled the table to the finished cushion top.
How much did you spend?
Table: $20 second-hand
Paint MDF: $60 from Bunnings
Foam: $45 from Clark Rubber
Fabric, buttons and needles: $70 from Spotlight
Favourite part of your makeover?
During the process, there were some days that I looked at it and questioned what I was doing but the end result was nothing like the original piece. The best part of all was showing the finished product to my family, the kids love climbing on it and it is the statement piece in our bedroom now.
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