A trip to one of my local Goodwill stores yielded this ugly, stained wooden table, probably homemade, but perfect for a conversion. See second picture.


bench prelude 072 Where do I begin?

bench prelude 001a







spray adhesive


cordless drill

button molds (fabric store)

LONG upholstery needle (some upholstery stores)

twine or string


flat head screwdriver

pliers (crescent or regular)


staples and staple gun

Electric knife and silicon spray

bench prelude 033a Lightly sand, prime and paint legs of table. Measure and drill holes where covered buttons will be.

bench prelude 038a Lay coffee table (top side down) on foam and measure out 1/2 ” from all sides and draw lines with marker. Using electric knife, cut out foam on lines. Spray blades with silicon if knife gets “sticky” or slow.

bench prelude 042a Spray back side of foam, center on coffee table top and, using long needle, push up through holes in bottom of table to mark foam where buttons will be. Cut or pull out small pieces of foam for indentation of buttons.

bench prelude 043a Starting at center of each side, place three “anchor”staples, attaching dacron. Pull snugly as you staple. Always moving out from center points, pull dacron firmly down at a diagonal and back in towards the table to attach staples, moving out to within about 3 inches from corners.

bench prelude 049a Now fold corners as if you are making up a nice crisp bed with a flat sheet, pulling dacron down and under coffee table top and securing with enough staples to make a nice corners.

bench prelude 052a bench prelude 053a Center your fabric on top of prepared foam, measure 5 inches beyond staple line and cut off excess fabric, leaving 5 inches for a “pull” to get fabric snug and smooth. Starting at the center of one long side, repeat the process of attaching fabric, always working out from center points.

bench prelude 057a Now fold the corners under just like you did with the dacron, making them nice, snug, clean and smooth. If you have to remove staples, use flat head screwdriver and pliers and ALWAYS push away from you. It’s really easy to slip off a staple and run the screwdriver into your hand.

bench prelude 066a Cut twine or string in 14-18 inch lengths to loop through the eyes of your already covered buttons. Perfectionists will want to see where buttons will be on fabric and cut fabric from corresponding pattern so buttons will match pattern on bench.

bench prelude 067aThread twine ends through the eye of the needle and pull down through the foam and coffee table top. Now, you’ll have to pull hard on twine and with stapler in other hand, catch the twine with the stapler and secure with a few staples. You may have to make adjustments and pull again to get the buttons to sink into the top.

bench prelude 068 Now, stand back and admire your DIY upholstered bench. (No one will know you did it yourself)