Saturday, July 26, 2014

Painted & Tufted Ottoman from an old Ikea coffee table

Today I'm posting about a project that has been in my mind (and in various stages) for oh, say, 9 months. It's finally done though! I'm showing you how I turned an old Ikea coffee table into a painted and tufted ottoman.
My husband and I got this Leksvik coffee table from Ikea around the time we got engaged and got our first apartment, so we're talking 2004. This was before Ikea was in Cincinnati, so we got it on a trip to Pittsburgh to see my husband's parents. It was under $100 and offered a ton of storage, perfect for us in tiny apartment we were renting at the time.

As one of the first pieces of furniture we got together, I felt sentimental about it. However, I grew less and less fond of its appearance over the last 10 years. I forgot to take a true "before" picture, but this is what it looked like.
I decided to try to transform this coffee table into something that would fit in better with our lives and our home now. I love the amount of storage this piece offers and didn't want to give that up!

I started off by chalk-painting the bottom of the piece in this French linen color, and sealed it with clear wax. It was my first experience with chalk paint, by the way, and it was pretty easy to use. It also dried really quickly!
Next it was time to do the upholstery. I measured out a diamond pattern using 10 points on the top of my coffee table. My husband pre-drilled small holes in the wood to make it easier to screw in the tufts (more on that later).
Next I added a layer of thick foam and some batting. I had the table upside down so I could staple the batting in place.
I stapled the batting all around the edges of the coffee table (which was starting to transform to more of an ottoman in my mind) and trimmed off the excess.
I then laid the fabric on top of the ottoman and measured the same diamond pattern.
I marked a spot for the tuft and attempted to drill a hole through to meet the ones pre-drilled earlier in the wood.
It was here that we had the only major snag of this project (literally). Our drill left a huge black mark and snagged the fabric, effectively ruining it for this piece! I had no idea the surface of the drill had some kind of black gunk on it, but I was unable to wash it out of the fabric, so I went back to the fabric store and got some new fabric.

I decided to go with a slightly different fabric so that maybe I can reuse the other fabric in another project. It was really only a tiny part of the original fabric that's ruined, so I still have a solid yard of fabric (trying to look at the bright side of having to buy more fabric).

So I repeated the process of laying the fabric on top of the upholstered ottoman, and again measured the diamond pattern. This time instead of using the drill, my husband offered to screw the tiny screws into the wood by hand, so that's what we did. I used a pin to prick a tiny hole for the screw to prevent the fabric from snagging, then held the fabric in place while my husband slowly screwed the screw through the fabric, the batting/foam, and into the wood. There was a small washer underneath the screw.
Phew! This time it worked like a charm, giving me a perfect tuft.
Now that we had a process that worked, we just kept going across the top of the ottoman.
Make sure to carefully measure and take into account that as you go, the tufts will change how the fabric measures (because of the curve of the tuft). It took about a half hour to complete the 10 tufts.
The next step was to flip the ottoman over and staple the fabric edges to the underside.
Be sure to start in the middle of each side and work your way to the corners. Also be careful to pull the fabric tight. You don't want any wrinkles of fabric on the top of the ottoman!
I hot glued some ribbon on top to give it a more finished appearance and to prevent the edges of the fabric from fraying over time.
Looks pretty good, right? Remember though that my tufts were made of washers and screws, so not too pretty. I made fabric-covered buttons to go over the screws.
This was the first time I have made my own fabric-covered buttons, and I found it a bit tricky until I got the hang of it. I used a kit, which helped. I cut out circles of leftover fabric from the ottoman using the clear guide.
The circle of fabric sits on top of the silicone mold with the patterned side down. The top part of the button is on top, also with the top facing down.
To make the button, you push the button top into the mold, which pushes the fabric down tightly around the top of the button.
Then you tuck the fabric edges in toward the center and place the button bottom on top. Balance the blue tool on top and use it to push the button back firmly into the silicone mold.
I found it difficult to get it all centered 100% perfect, but my buttons still came out fine. You pop them out by pushing on the bottom of the silicone mold.
This is what each button looks like when it's finished. If you wanted to be extra fancy, you could attempt to line up your fabric when making the buttons so that the finished button will line up perfectly with the upholstery around the tufts, but that's not something I tried to do.
I used hot glue to secure the buttons over top the screws. Now they look like professional tufts! This is what the finished painted and tufted ottoman looks like!
I got busy right away taking advantage of all the storage on this piece.
I added a little tray on top to hold our remotes, some books, and a small candle.
I added a ton of our games on the shelves. I forgot how much this coffee table could hold!
I was actually able to free up an entire shelf from the nearby bookcases. Yay!
I love this ottoman! It went from an old, tired, and seriously scuffed up coffee table to a piece that fits in with our decor and lifestyle. 
It's so comfortable to put your feet up on the top while watching TV.
I also think the yellow ties in really well with the yellow Malma mirrors over the fireplace as well as the pops of yellow I am trying to integrate throughout the house (you can see just a peek of yellow in the patterned pillow behind the ottoman).
It was a ton of work, but so worth it to transform this piece of furniture that holds so much sentimental value to me. I hated to think about getting rid of this coffee table just to buy something else when I could make it meet our needs with just a few hours of work.

Have you ever turned an outdated piece of furniture into something fresh and new?

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DIY Faux Granite Countertops - Content to Rent Idea #23

Happy Wednesday! It's time for the next idea in my Content to Rent series! This series is a weekly post I'm doing that shows decorating tips for renters. In this series I explore decorating ideas that are stylish, affordable and easily removable.

Today's post is about DIY faux granite countertops. One of the most common gripes for renters is their outdated kitchens. One of the biggest reasons we're renting our current home is that the kitchen had just been updated, but this is the only rental I've ever lived in with a nice kitchen. I was browsing through Apartment Therapy's site and came across this idea of covering your old ugly countertops with a vinyl adhesive sheet to mimic the look of high-end granite for a fraction of the price.
This particular product was featured on the Rachael Ray show (video here), and looks pretty simple to use. It comes on a roll, and you just have to unroll it onto the surface of your counter. The best part is that it's a non-permanent solution, so when you move you just peel up a corner and take it off! Doesn't it look real?

The faux granite comes in a few different colors and sizes, and looks to cost about $35 - $90 depending on how large the piece is. 

I found a review of this product featured on Houselogic. The reviewer was skeptical too, but look at the results!

What a great way to give a facelift to your kitchen or bathroom counter! Thanks for stopping by to check out the most recent post in my Content to Rent series. I hope this post has given you some ideas about how to add color and personality to your rental! You can drop by again next Wednesday for another affordable decorating idea for renters (or those who prefer to change their decor frequently!).

For more inspiration, look at the other posts in this series:

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