Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ikea Lack to Tufted Ottoman HACK

If you are a follower of my instagram or FB then you probably have seen my most recent project...My beautiful new ottoman that I made with our old Lack coffee table, and about $65 in supplies.

Here is the breakdown

Old Coffee Table-FREE
Foam- 3 inch camping foam pad from home depot. It cost 19.00 for one sheet and I had leftovers
Quilt batting- I used 1/4 inch batting, i got the twin bed size and I had extra even when I folded it. around 4 bucks from Joann's (50% off coupon)
Fabric- I used upholstery fabric that matched my couch. it was 24.99 for two yards after 50% off
Nail head Trim- This is from Joann's and its AWESOME 13.00 (40%off coupon) for 5 yards
Button kit-these are in the button section. I think it was about $8.00 to make 9 buttons.
Giant Needle- I used a Doll needle, it was about 4 inches long... but I wish I had a longer one to get through all that foam. 1.99
Upholstery thread-2.99  I used black, the color wont matter, you will never see it.
Spray Adhesive-I bought the cheap stuff and regretted it. 3.99 (40% off coupon)

Part One

First thing you want you want to do is to disassemble your coffee table and pick a good TV show to play in the background. This project spanned me two major crafting sessions of about 3-5 hours each.. or longer if you are pregnant and your joints turn to stone when you sit on the floor.

I measured a grid out on my table with blue tape so I would know where to drill the holes for the buttons.

I decided on 8 buttons. after you measure it out, use a drill to drill through both layers of wood.

Next cut the foam to size for the top of your table. I used a sharp kitchen knife, and it seemed to work decently. I also have read an electric bread knife works wonders. The foam wasn't the perfect size so I pieced it together.

Next use your spray adhesive to stick your foam to the table. I would spray both the foam and the table surface to get it to stick. I originally just sprayed the table and when I went to flip the table the foam slid right off. Make sure you have something under your work surface, the adhesive sprays out in a mist and will get your floors all sticky.

Flip the table and lay your Batting down on the floor. the batting helps give your ottoman rounded edges, and also it covers any imperfections that you may have in your foam. I was worried about the seam showing where I pieced the foam together.. but the batting covered it up.

I  used a heavy duty staple gun with the largest size staples to make sure it held up.

Next do the same with the fabric you have chosen. I started with the center of each side and I pulled my fabric pretty tight (I didn't want to risk loose wavy fabric or creases) For the corners I experimented with the folding, there wasn't a method.. I just made sure I did the same fold on each corner.

Staple the fabric every quarter inch or so around the edge to make sure it doesn't pull weird. I would also recommend stapling it again farther into the table so you don't see the ugly batting peaking out. 
Flip it over and TA-DA!

Now go eat a Popsicle because you are exhausted, your back hurts and you are officially done with part one!

Part Two: Tufting

Tufting was the part that really scared me about this project. I had never done anything like it before, and to be honest I went in without a whole lot of knowledge or strategy.

The first thing I did was make my buttons. I used scrap fabric and a button covering kit that I bought at Joann's. It was easy enough when following the directions on the package. 

Take your threaded needle and guide it through your two layers of wood from the table and into the foam. You will want at least a 4 inch needle but longer would be helpful. I then pushed down on the foam until I found the needle (be careful not to skewer your hand!) pull the needle through the foam and batting. add your button and then guide the needle back through the foam and again through the holes you drilled in the coffee table.

I then enlisted the help of Stephanie to push the buttons down into the foam to create a deep tufted look, while I tied off the thread. It is nice to have help with this, if I was doing it alone I would never be able to get the deep tufts that I wanted.
I read other tutorials that used balled up fabric to keep the tension of the tufts.. but here is what I used.
while Stephanie pushed the button I tied off the thread to a washer (or a random IKEA part that was in our toolbox) this allowed me to keep the tension where I wanted it, and without stapling the thread to the bottom of the table.

It took me about 45 minutes to do all 8 buttons.

The final step was the nail head trim. the trim I bought was awesome, it came on a roll and you only had to hammer in a nail every 5 nails or so. I used one roll and it only took me 15-20 minutes to go around the whole table.

Finally, re-attach the legs and shelf and you are done!


  1. Hello! I love what you've done here and want to recreate it for myself! Could you confirm whether your table is 46" or 35" wide? IKEA sells two sizes and I want to make sure I purchase the correct amount of materials. Thank you!

    1. I have the larger 46" size for the table. Good luck :D

    2. Thanks for responding! That's the size I have too, so that makes things easier. :)