Repurposing A Thrift Store Coffee Table into a Bench

Several years ago I purchased a coffee table and two end tables at a thrift store for $75.00 for all three tables. Since then, we’ve moved to our home on the lake and the tables just didn’t ‘work’ here. I’ve had the coffee table at the foot of my bed as a pseudo bench, but the black wrought iron frame and reddish wood top just looked fonky.

I had been looking around on the web for a *real* bench to put at the foot of the bed, one that would go with my tufted leather headboard. But, after seeing the prices… then the shipping charges… there was no way I would be going that route. That’s when it dawned on me that I could use the coffee table! Repaint the frame to coordinate with the metal wall art above the headboard, and pad, cover, and tuft the top of the table to coordinate with my headboard; and all for less than $100.

  • 2 cans Rustoleum/Krylon Hammered Brown Spray paint
  • 1 can Rustoleum/Krylon Hammered Metallic Copper Spray paint
  • 2 yards (I ordered 2x what I actually needed just in case)
    chocolate faux leather ($44.00 – including shipping)
  • 1 foam twin mattress topper – 1-1/2″ thick ($19.99)
  • Twin flat sheet ($0 – had an extra already)
  • 10 1-1/2″ cover buttons ($6.20) (already had the template
    & tools)
  • 1 – 6″ straight upholstery needle ($1.5)
  • 1 coffee table ($0 since I already had it)

First I flipped the table over, and unscrewed the 10 screws to remove the table top from the frame, then, using my spray paints painted the frame and allowed it to completely dry.


While the drying was going on I measured, marked and measured again, on the ‘back’ side of the table top where I wanted the button tufts to be located. In this instance I wanted two rows of four buttons. Using a 1/2″ bit in my drill I then drilled the eight holes I needed.


Next came the foam and sheet. The sheet, doubled over, then the foam, then the upside down table top. I trimmed the excess foam from the ends, leaving enough so that it would wrap the edge completely.


Next, I sat in the middle of my project, literally, and starting at the corners began pulling, wrapping and stapling the sheet and foam to the bottom side. I used 5/8″ upholstery staples in my staple gun. Then trimmed the excess material.


Here’s the new bench top prior to adding the faux leather and tufting buttons.

Almost done! Just needs faux leather, tufting, and buttons!

I had to wait a couple of days for my fabric to be delivered by UPS. But, once it arrived I lay the fabric good side down, put the bench top top-side-down, then once again sat in the middle of my project and trimmed excess fabric then began at the corners with the stapling.

fabric downfabric on

I think covering the buttons was the hardest part, resulting in mashing my thumb a couple of times, here’s a quick picture tutorial of button covering 101:


Maybe I should take that back, doing the actual tufting/securing the buttons may have been the most physically challenging aspect.

I used a long, straight upholstery needle, waxed upholstery thread, and my handy-dandy staple gun.

Starting from the back/bottom side I stuck the needle (w/approximately 18″ of thread doubled through the eye) through each of the pre-drilled holes, up through the padding and fabric, then through the button shank. To secure the button I passed the needle through the shank a second time, then poked the needle back through the fabric and padding and ‘roped’ the hole (usually by the third time of ‘feeling’ about with the needle point).

Tightening the thread to where the button would be flush with the top of the bench I then shot a staple near the hole and threaded both the ‘tail of thread’ and the needle under the staple and grasped all four strands of thread tightly.

Using my other hand I pushed on the button, mashing it down as far as I could while pulling the threads on the other side as tightly as I could.

That done I wrapped the thread through and around the staple a couple of more times then knotted the thread several times, trimmed the tail a couple of inches past the last knot and stapled it to the wood.

Now try that seven more times…..

If you do, you end up with a new bench:





Author: Eq4bits

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