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How to convert a coffee table into a bench

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A while back, I got a new coffee table. The old one's wooden top needed refinished due to my lack of coaster usage for many years, but the base was still nice and very solid.

I can't bear to throw away anything that I can reuse, so I recycled my old coffee table into a padded bench! It was an easy and very inexpensive project, and the results are fabulous! Here's how I did it.

You will need:

* An old coffee table with a sturdy base

* A piece of plywood

* Foam padding (at least 3" thick)

* Cotton batting

* Upholstery fabric of your choice

* Staple Gun

* Saw

* Screwdriver

* Scissors

1. Flip the coffee table upside-down and unscrew the top of the coffee table from the base. Put the screws in a safe place, as you will be needing them again soon!

2. Measure the top of the coffee table base and cut a piece of plywood to fit on top.

3. Cut a piece of foam padding the same size as your piece of plywood.

4. Cut a piece of cotton batting (the kind used for quilting) that is big enough to wrap around both the foam padding and the plywood, with 1 1/2" to 2" extra to allow for stapling. Cut a piece of upholstery fabric the same size.

5. Lay the fabric on the floor with the front side facing down, and place the cotton batting over top of it. Center the foam padding on top of the cotton batting, then place the plywood on top.

6. Starting from the center on one of the long sides, wrap the fabric and cotton batting around and staple into the back of the piece of plywood through both layers into the fabric. Secure the center with three staples about an inch apart.

7. Switch to the opposite side. Pull the fabric and batting tight against the side you stapled and secure the center in place, again with 3 staples about an inch apart, keeping the fabric tight the entire time.

8. Repeat these steps with the short sides. Continue working outward from the middle of each side, always keeping your fabric tight.

9. When you get to the corners, carefully fold the fabric so that it looks nice and staple it carefully and securely into place from the back side.

10. Trim any excess fabric and batting from around the edges of your stapling.

11. Lay the finished seat on the floor with the back side facing up. Place the coffee table base upside-down on top of the seat and make sure it is centered. Screw into place.

12. Find a place to display your new padded bench!

Make this project even cheaper by creating a patchwork of upholstery fabric sample swatches. Most furniture stores and upholstery shops get new swatch books every season, making the old ones obsolete. Ask around and see if anyone in your area who sells or upholsters furniture has and old swatch books. Often, they end up getting thrown away!

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