Transforming a Coffee Table into an Ottoman

Coffee Table Ottoman DIY transformation upcycle How to turn a coffee table into an ottoman


Back in the day before kids....Dan and I lived in a cute little house that looked like this:

On the porch you can where's waldo the coffee table that I transformed into an ottoman.  Originally from a thrift store, Dan and I refinished this piece together many moons ago.  We then used it as our coffee table for over a decade.  In more recent years, it held our coffee and rested our feet outside in our backyard (getting back to it's roots as seen in the above photo).  One neglectful storm it was left uncovered outside and the snow melted leaving the top warped beyond repair.  Don't get me wrong I love it shabby chic but it was time for the next stage of life...and so now you know the history of my coffee table turned ottoman.  Because I know it was so important to you...


how do you cut foam

I bought three inch foam from joann's.  It was not quite wide enough which is fine because a couple cuts and a little glue were much better then going to a specialty foam store.  Using a square ruler, I marked the cut line with sharpie marker.

using an electric knife to cut foam

The best way to cut foam is with an electric knife.  This one came as a free gift with my bread machine I got for Christmas when I was 15.  Ya.....I know....I'm cool.

I laid black out curtain fabric on top of the ottoman and cut it to the approximate size.  You could use another heavy duty water resistant fabric but this is what I had on hand.


After turning the table upside down I staple-gunned the center of all sides and worked my way to the corners, in a round robin fashion.

how to make an ottoman

This part will all be covered by the fabric.  Make sure the staples are not in the spot where you will later want to put tacks.

I then laid batting over the top of the black out curtain material and staple gunned it in the same fashion.  Milton was a huge help.

After measuring my fabric very carefully, I turned in the hem and ironed to form an even crease.

I used decorative nails to tack the final fabric into place.


A clear ruler was helpful to keep the tacks equally distant from each other.  I started once again with the middle of all the sides, leaving the corners for last.

I brought the very corner down, folded it under and hammered in a tack.  I then folded in the excess sides and hammered additional tacks.


The reason I chose three inch foam was because the feet of my ottoman had a perfect bun to cut off that was about three inches.  Leaving it about the same height we started.

This stage can pretty much be done anytime.  Dan used his super He-Man strength to hand saw the legs.

I have a leather couch and a fabric ottoman.  A vinyl or leather ottoman would be more convenient for spills and what not, but we just lay a big towel over it if we eat dinner in front of the t.v.  Other then that we use a tray for our drinks (and popcorn).

Coffee Table Ottoman DIY transformation upcycle

For more photos of my home click here.

I think it turned out pretty cute.

The Shabby Nest