Coffee Table Ottoman

How to Upholster a Coffee Table Into An Ottoman

An ottoman is one of the many versatile furniture you can decide to incorporate in your space. Whether you want to have it in the living room, bathroom, bedroom, or even the lounge. This mostly depends on how you want to use it; is it for storage purposes, as a footrest or perhaps a comfortable bench. As a multifunctional piece, your needs will dictate how you’ll use your ottoman.

When it comes to converting your coffee table to an ottoman, all you need is the right supplies and minimal skill. The upholstery material you choose to use for your ottoman will play an integral part in determining the final outcome.

Coffee Table

Luckily, there is quite a variety of materials to use for your upholstery so you won’t have to worry about your ottoman looking out of place. And unlike buying an already made ottoman from the shop, you’ll make yours suit your style, preference, and interior theme.

The process of upholstering your coffee table will vary with the design you choose. This will also determine the materials that you’ll need to use throughout the process. We shall have a look at one way that you can go about it.

Detailed Upholstery Process

Before commencing your upholstery, you should ensure that you have everything that you’ll need at your disposal. You don’t want to be stranded along the way because you forgot something. Some of the things that you’ll need to include the following:

Old Coffee Table
  • An old coffee table
  • A Drill 
  • Some screws
  • Foam
  • Batting 
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Staple gun
  • Adhesive spray
  • Sharp knife or cutter 
  • Buttons

Step 1

Get your coffee table ready for the upholstery. If you do not like the color it has, this would be the right time to paint it with the shade you prefer. There are some coffee tables with thin legs, if you prefer chunkier legs for your ottoman, then you can replace them at this point. 

Step 2

If you want your ottoman to have a tufted design, you can map out where you want the tufts to be using chalk or a clear marker. This way, you’ll be able to drill the holes accurately. If you don’t want the tufted design and you prefer a flat ottoman, you can skip this step. 

Step 3

Once you’re done drilling the tuft holes you can now carefully glue the foam on the surface of the coffee table using your adhesive spray. Depending on the design of the table you’re working with, you might also want to glue the foam to the sides too. This foam will be useful in making your ottoman as comfortable as you’d want it.

Step 4

Once you’re done installing the foam, you can now cover it with batting. This is useful in ensuring the foam is smooth and edges are properly rounded.

Step 5

The next step is to staple your fabric. Whatever fabric design or material you choose, you should ensure that it’s big enough to perfectly fit the coffee table you’re working with. Once you’re done, you can now cut off the excess fabric using a pair of scissors or cutters.

Step 6

Depending on how you want to do it, you can either insert the buttons before stapling the fabric or after. How far you pull the buttons will determine how deep your tufts will be. Be sure not to pull it excessively. 

If you choose to staple the fabric after installing the buttons be sure to avoid pulling your fabric excessively. Be careful so that you can retain your design.

From the steps above, it is clear that upholstering your coffee table to an ottoman is indeed an easy task. The steps you follow will depend on the coffee table design you’re working with and the ottoman design you intend to achieve. Since you’re doing it yourself, you can get as creative as you want!

Choosing the Right Upholstery Material

From comfort, durability to style among other things, these are just a few of the things that determine the upholstery material you’ll select for your ottoman. After all, you do not want the theme of your living space to suffer the consequences so you need to be careful.

Image Credit: Google

There is a wide range of materials you can choose from for your upholstery such as the ones highlighted below:

  • Leather. Not only is this type of fabric easy to clean, but it is also durable and tough. Using leather upholstery will also give your space a more sophisticated appearance.
  • Wool. This type of fiber is durable and strong making it a good fit for an ottoman. Wool blends are also less prone to wearing or fading and they’re easy to clean.
  • Cotton. The longevity of this fiber highly depends on the finish and weaving. However, it doesn’t fade or wear easily making it suitable for your coffee table upholstery. 
  • Vinyl. This happens to be more affordable than leather. Its maintenance is easy and it’s also durable, although this depends on the quality.
  • Olefin.this is suitable for upholstery as it has little to no weakness.
  • Nylon. This fiber is stronger when blended with other fabrics because it’s rarely used alone.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Upholstery Fabric

Your lifestyle or how you intend to use your ottoman will determine the type of fabric that will be the best choice. Since ottomans are less frequently used, the fabric durability won’t be much of an issue. However, there’s no need to compromise on the durability since there are fibers that are both durable and attractive.

Image Credit: Google

Below are some of the important factors that you should put into consideration when choosing the right upholstery fabric:

1. Durability

How durable is the upholstery material you choose? You should choose a material that doesn’t wear easily especially if you have children or pets around.

2. Usage

You should choose an upholstery material depending on how frequently you plan on using your ottoman. Do you have any children or pets? This will be an important factor to consider when choosing the right upholstery fabric since you’d want to avoid those that stain or wear easily.

3. Color

The fabric color or color pattern you choose will be important in determining the mood of your space. You might decide to spruce up the colors of your space with your ottoman fabric instead of using throw pillows.

4. Style

Certain fabrics can make your space look more casual when others can make it look formal. For instance, with leather or wool fabric, your living space will look more sophisticated and luxurious. You should also choose a fabric that has a print that suits your interior theme.

Other things you should consider include mildew resistance, how fast the material fades, stain resistance, and last but not least if anyone in your household suffers from any allergic reactions. 

Why You Should Upholster Your Coffee Table

There are several advantages that come with upholstering your furniture. Some of them are listed below. 

  • Upholstery is more cost-effective compared to buying new furniture. It gets even better if you undertake the upholstery as a DIY project.
  • You get to design everything to your liking. From the pattern design of the material to the color of the fabric, you will choose everything and ensure that it matches your style and preferences.
  • You get better quality furniture. If the material you used previously was of low quality, you can always replace it with a comfortable and cozier material of good quality.
  • Improving the value of the already existing furniture. Upholstering leaves your furniture looking as good as new, thus making it an ideal solution for your worn-out leather furniture.


Upholstering your coffee table to an ottoman is probably one of the simplest things you can do for yourself. It is also more cost-effective compared to if you decided to purchase a newly upholstered ottoman from the store. Not to mention the fact that you don’t need any special skills to do this. What better way to upcycle that coffee table that has been busy gathering dust in your attic or basement!