DIY Tufted Ottoman

After recently graduating college and currently living with my mother (I knowwww), I have had many, many, MANY hours to dream about the apartment I will someday have of my own.

I also realized I was on a budget. Instead of pining over furniture and decor I couldn’t have, I began to look at them and think, “Hmmm, how can I recreate this? There must be some way I can get the same look for a fraction of this cost!”

Which leads me to my first BIG project! Turning a cheap, used coffee table into an ottoman!

I mean…I love a good, fancy, attention stealing ottoman. After perusing Pinterest, I came across a great blog post to use as a starting point.

To begin, I found a used coffee table at a local flea market for $50.  It is big, sturdy, AND comes with storage. Steal!

I decided to paint the base of the ottoman black and  used an electric sander to rough up the surface. The electric sander isn’t necessary but it certainly moves things along.

*Sanding is essential. I know I seem like an expert…but I have ruined too many pieces because I was lazy and didn’t feel like sanding.

Before painting, I measured and drilled the holes that would eventually create the tufting. I decided on an 18 button, diamond pattern.  Tufting isn’t necessary but it isn’t extremely difficult either.  If you have a little patience and perseverance, go for it!


To create the top cushion of the ottoman, I bought foam and batting from the local craft store.  If you take on this project, use those coupons.  Purchasing the foam was probably the single most expensive part of the project.  I actually never realized how expensive foam is.  Using coupons brought it down to a much, much, much more reasonable price.

I decided on two 2 inch thick foam. After cutting and fitting the foam to size, I used a spray adhesive to anchor the foam to the top of the table. Don’t worry about covering the tufting holes.  We will get to that later.

It’s important to understand that batting is necessary to create a nice fluffy-ness between the base foam and the top fabric.  It will also give the tufts their shape.  The more batting you use, the deeper the tufts will be. I used about 1 inch of batting and was very pleased.

To attach the batting, procure a heavy duty staple gun. Maybe the one you used to make your new favorite bulletin board?

Staple along the underside of the table and trim excess batting when finished. Repeat this same step with the decorative fabric of your choice.  All four sides should be stapled down before you begin tufting.


Here’s where it gets fun!  For a more detail, picture-by-picture version of how to tuft, click here.  I did not follow their directions step by step but it is still a great tutorial.

To create the matching, covered buttons, I picked up a button kit from my local craft store.  To make the buttons, simply follow the directions. You can’t go wrong. You will need some excess fabric but not much.

The essential directions to tufting are as follows:

1.  From the underside of the table, poke a 6 in. or longer upholstery needle through one of the drilled holes until it hits the top layer of fabirc.  Without breaking through, mark the point where the needle hits the fabric with a sharpie. Repeat the same step for every hole.

2.Attach polyester upholstery cord to the button and using the sharpie marks, drive the needle through the fabric and foam until it comes out the underside of the ottoman.  Continue to pull the polyester cord all the way through. Pull tight.

3.  Turn the ottoman over, topside down, and pull the cord tight again.  Staple the cord to the underside and use a hammer if neccessary to make sure the cord is fully secured beneath the staple. I did this 4 or 5 times in a zig zag pattern to insure that the cord would not come loose.


To finish, I trimmed the excess purple fabric and detailed the underside with some black ribbon I found at the craft store.

I also gave it a little bling with a new knob from Hobby Lobby.

Before I knew it, the project was finished!  Which left me feeling very empty inside…

But I have never been prouder! With numorous 40% off coupons, I probably spent around $125.  That’s not so bad!

Can’t wait to move on to my next big adventure in DIY.  I now feel like I can accomplish anything.

Feel free to ask me any questions! And I’d love to see your results if you should take this project on! Enjoy!


About Girl of a 1000 Dreams

Lover of DIY and cats. But aren't we all?
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One Response to DIY Tufted Ottoman

  1. Pingback: Drop Cloth Curtains |

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