DIY Upholstered Bench {from an old coffee table}

Today I’m sharing how we transformed an old thrift store coffee table into a cute bench that is perfect at the end of your bed!

Confession time.

Sometimes I do DIY projects and start using them right away and I totally forget to ever post the details about them for my blog readers.

Our board and batten paneling in our previous house, for example. I have one post about the floor to ceiling board and batten, but after receiving a few emails lately from readers asking for more information about how installed the board and batten in our old dining room, I realize that I never did get around to posting that DIY tutorial! Oops:|

And today’s DIY upholstered bench made from an old coffee table is another example of just such a DIY. I made it a few years back and never got around to sharing how. So when my friend Jenna from Rain on a Tin Roof invited me to take part in a Back to Basics DIY hop, I realized I had a perfect project ready to share! I think once you see how easy it was, you’ll be scouring Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace for the perfect old coffee table to repurpose as an upholstered bench!

DIY Upholstered Bench graphic.

As I mentioned, I’ve joined up with a small group of my blogging friends today to share a back to basics DIY with you! If you’re coming over today from my friend Laura’s, at The Turquoise Home, then welcome! Aren’t her DIY Wood Planter Boxes amazing! My name is Krista, and I’m thrilled to have you come by. You can read more about me and this blog here.

I found this old worn coffee table at our local Sally Ann a few years back, and immediately knew it would be great as an upholstered bench because it was nice and solid and sturdy and I liked the lines of the legs and the frame below the top. It was longer than I needed on each end, so we just cut off the excess table top with our skill saw, and then I painted the legs and frame white.

Sanding down the top of a coffee table.

I purchased some foam from my local upholstery shop, and cut it to size to fit just past the top edges of the bench.

Marking out the foam for the top of the bench.
Cutting the foam down to size for the bench.

In the past when we’ve done upholstery projects, we’ve sometimes wrapped some batting over top of the solid foam in order to provide a softer edge, but in this case we just went ahead and used only this one layer of foam. I placed the bench and foam upside on my fabric and cut my fabric to size so there was enough to wrap around to the bottom lip of the table top.

Cutting the fabric for the bench.

We then worked our way around the edges of the bench with our staple gun to attach the fabric. It works best if you can fold your fabric over once underneath to give it a thicker layer with a neater edge to staple through. We started in the center of a long edge and working our way to the corners. We repeated this along the second long edge, and then again along the two shorter edges, leaving the four corners until last.

The trickiest part is doing neat folds at the corners; you need to think of it almost like wrapping a gift and fold and staple one section around the corner, then neatly fold the leftover fabric in on itself, fold it over at the top, and then staple it into the base of the table top.

Covering the foam with the fabric.


We’ve used this handy little upholstered bench in all kinds of areas of our home, from the living room to the end of our bed. We even used it when we staged our rental house for sale!

The white bench covered with fabric on the top in front of a window.
The bench at the foot of the bed.
A small ladder is in the corner of the room with throw blankets on it.
There is a striped pillow on the bench with a picture above it.

Not bad for a $10 table and some leftover fabric! The foam might have been the priciest part of this little DIY. We also upholstered another small bench and added some nailhead detail to it (see below). I’ll have to get around to sharing that one soon, as well!

A second small bench is in the living room.

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How To Turn An Old Coffee Table Into An Upholstered Bench poster.

Up next on today’s hop is my friend, Lauren, at Bless’er House. I can’t wait to try her DIY Cutting Boards from Scraps of Wood!

And don’t forget to hop around and check out what the rest of the gals are sharing as well. I know you’ll find even more inspiration… I can’t wait to try the projects they’ve shared!

Back To The Basics graphic.

Flatware Chest Makeover from Rain on a Tin Roof

DIY Charcuterie Board from House by Hoff

DIY Crock or Pottery from Thrift Store Canisters from So Much Better with Age

DIY Wood Planter from The Turquoise Home

Coffee Table to Bench Makeover from The Happy Housie

DIY Cutting Boards from Scrap Wood from Bless’er House


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  1. What a great project! I will be making one of these someday. You’re my chosen feature on Funtastic Friday this week. I also post a featured collage on Instagram and Twitter after the party goes live (Thursdays at 9 pm). I’ll tag you, if you use either one of those. Have a great weekend!

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