Guys, the kitchen reno is still happening. I just take breaks from sanding ALL.THE.TIME. And I do other projects to keep myself off the streets. #danger.
This is a project I’ve been meaning to do since J and I started dating. I’ve always hated this coffee table. He spent all of $25 on it, and the water marks came with it for free! Hard to believe, I know. People spend years trying to get that kind of character. (LIES) My initial thought was to put it in the trashcan. Or outside on a rainy day, when it would “accidentally” be ruined. But then I figured I’d give it a go to make a tufted bench out of it. And if it didn’t work out, NBD… chalk it up to another #pinterestfail.
So I was walking around Target after Christmas (I think we all know where this is headed…), and I found “Christmas snow”… aka batting and stuffing. For 70% off. Which means that each bag of this batting was somewheres around $1.20. I literally loaded up an entire cart full of the stuffing and batting, knowing it was going to come in handy for a couple upcoming projects. One of which was this tufted bench. Then I headed off to Joann’s with a 50% off coupon and a 25% off your entire purchase coupon.
I’ve seen the type of fabric before (called Ticking) that I wanted to use, but never knew why it was filed away in the “utility fabrics” section. The google machine helped me answer that question. Let me educate you: Ticking is a dense-weave, which means that not a lot of things will slide through the fibers. So it was used for a lot of feather pillows and mattresses (way back in the day). Do you recognize it now? Yep. Now that the mystery has been solved, let’s move on.
First up, I cut layers of batting to size. I left some overhang (to trim off later). I think I ended up with about 11 layers of this batting– just enough fluffiness, but not too much. I also cut some fabric to size, leaving plenty of excess around the edges. I didn’t know how much extra would be used up with the tufting, so I wanted to be sure.Then, I drilled 6 holes (evenly spaced) in the top of the table. (Buttons would eventually go in these holes.)
Then I made my buttons. I have never made buttons before, but it was super-easy. In fact, I made J make a button. First, put a square of fabric in the button-form. Then put the top of the button in, and fold the fabric in toward the center of the button-top. Then start pressing the button bottom in. Then use the pusher-thing and push the button bottom in to the button top until it snaps. And Viola! A magical fabric button.
Back to the bench. Grab your button, some long (sturdy) thread and push it from the bottom of the bench up through the batting, through the fabric, and through the button loop. Then back down, so you’re left with all your thread on the underside of the table top. Then tie it all off and staple in to place. It looks crazy.
Slowly and surely, pull the buttons tight and staple until you’re done. Now it’s time to flip the table on it’s head and start stapling the fabric down. I usually find the center point in the two longest sides, then the center points on either end, and then start filling in gaps. The corners are usually left until the end.
Okay, phew. Top is on. I wanted the edges to look a *little* more finished, so I added the extra step of piping. With the help of a zipper foot on the sewing machine, piping is really easy to make yourself. Just wrap the fabric around the piping and sew it in place.
Anyway, then staple the piping to the underside of the top, so the edges align. Then it gets a little more complicated. Not too bad, but it requires some measuring. Which is not my strongest suit. Before I stapled the skirt on, I hemmed up the ends. Otherwise, I’d have to hem the edges while the skirt was attached to the table. And that, my friends, would be awkward.
I started by measuring the length from the underside of the tabletop to the floor (15.5″, to be exact). Which meant that the skirt had to be that length. #MATH. So I stapled the two ends so that they would hang 15.5″ long.
Then I took the center point of the entire skirt and stapled it to the opposite side. And then the center points to the edge-sides. I then filled in the remainder of the skirt with some staples, leaving the excess for the corners. At this point, it was GAME ON.
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