DIY: Ikea Coffee Table- Ottoman Conversion

The alternative title for this post was “Hey, I made my boyfriend an ottoman for Christmas,” but the above seemed more concise.  Do you remember back in late December when I was full of woe over my last minute DIY Christmas gifts?  Well, yes, I made two ottomans.  One for my mom, which I posted about here, and one for my boyfriend, which is shown below.

Prior to my little project, J didn’t have a coffee table.  We would snuggle on the sofa and battle for coveted foot space on a spare stool.  Pretty pathetic.  He had an old, beat up Klubbo coffee table stored in a spare bedroom, so I stole it and gave it a makeover.

The Klubbo is an odd table.  At 10-1/2″ high, its really too low to be a coffee table, but it’s the perfect base for an ottoman.  The first thing I did was spray paint the base.  I used an oil-rubbed bronze finish.  I like that it reads black, but has a little extra dimension.

 I knew I needed to pick a practical material that wouldn’t show wear from shoes and spilled drinks (why are boys so messy?)  I picked out a camel colored vinyl down on 4th Street and went to task upholstering.  The corners proved to be quite tricky.  Since the fabric was so thick and stiff, I couldn’t wrap the corners.  Luckily my sister, Meg, stepped in and help me pin and sew the corners.  I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out.

To sew the corners, this is what we did:  We pinned them in place, took the vinyl off the ottomans,  marked the inside while the pins were in place, turned it inside out and sewed it.   We then placed the vinyl back on the ottoman, made sure the corners were nice and snug, snipped away any excess vinyl on the inside, and then stapled away.
I used a welt (cording) in the same fabric to hide any gaps between the frame and the upholstered portion.  It also gives it a nice finished look.


The look I was going for was streamlined, chic and masculine.  It’s all about the layers in this space.  It’s certainly more neutral than my place.  I do intend to sneak in more pattern, though.  (Tehehe.) 

I also didn’t go overboard styling the ottoman.  As much as I wanted to dress it up with design books and trinkets, it just didn’t seem real.  In actuality, it’s usually covered with grad school books!

Real camel leather would have been delicious, but I’m pretty happy with the vinyl as an inexpensive alternative.  I’d like to think that the ottoman looks more expensive than it was to make (under $200.)  This won’t be a forever piece, but it’s doing a nice job for now.  PS- I just picked up that tray from West Elm this weekend.

So that’s my latest DIY.  I don’t know why it took me so long to photograph it.  I didn’t get a chance to snap photos of GirlyGlam bath Friday afternoon, so I will do that today.  Look for bathroom updates tomorrow!

  1. Pingback: DIY: Great ideas for new coffee table | For Women

  2. such a great job!
    I was actually looking for something like this. thank you !

  3. Thanks everyone!

    Amy- the painting is my a friend of mine, local artist, Rachel Moore.
    You can check her out and contact her through her blog:

  4. Amy

    Love this idea! And, what a great job you did; looks quite professional. Can you tell me about the painting you have over the sofa? Gorgeous!

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  6. All I have to say is your BF is one lucky guy…that is probably one of the coolest dude pads that I have seen in a long time…I guess that is what happens when your GF is such a talented designer??? (c: Um, do you want to date a 30 year-old married mother of two? hehehe

  7. paula

    how brilliant is this!

  8. Well done, lady! (And, what a sweet gift for the BF, too!)

  9. This is one of my upcoming diy projects for our family room. I love that you sewed the corners and I don’t think I would ever have thought of that but I will be doing it!!! It’s so gorgeous.

  10. Bravo!!!! Well down Naomi! I don’t even own have those tools, but would love to do something like this. Looks great! xo

  11. So funny…I tried to DIY the same table as a Christmas present to my parents but it just turned out WAY too low- crazy how short it is- I’ve kept if for myself b/c the low is OK in my space but LOVE how you’ve made it into an ottoman- brilliant…I’m sure your boyfriend was so thrilled:)

  12. court.

    seriously genius. I need to do this!!!

  13. Very nice job! I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a long time, this tutorial will come in handy if I ever get around to it. Thanks for posting!

  14. wow…what a wonderful difference…love it!!

  15. Daummmmmmmmmmn gurl! That’s amazing. What did he get you???


  16. You are so talented! This ottoman is gorgeous! Ditto on wanting a tutorial on how to stitch those corners. I’m sure it’s fairly easy…right?

  17. I love this ottoman! I like everyone trying these ikea hacks, but this is one of the first where I feel it looks nice and expensive. Great idea!


  18. Lindsey

    It came out fantastic! How’d you guys sew the seams? That really does make all the difference.

  19. You’re on you way to building a house. You’re a total keeper.

  20. Ann

    Fabulous! How did you stitch the corners? Also, it looks as if you added a small welt around the bottom of the cushion. Is it difficult to sew the vinyl on a standard sewing machine? Thank you for continuing to inspire your faithful followers.

  21. It looks awesome!! I’m sure your boyfriend love it. He’s a lucky man.

  22. It looks awesome!! I’m sure your boyfriend love it. He’s a lucky man.

  23. moojer

    Thanks Naomi! Makes sense to me now. 🙂

  24. Oh and Bri- the tray was not DIY, I picked it up at West Elm.

  25. Hi Moojer-
    I wish I would have gotten a picture of this phase!
    We pinned in in place on the ottoman to get a tight fit, and then I actually had to take out all of the staples and sew the corners on the machine. (Inside out.) Once the corners were done, we fitted it onto the ottoman again and stapled it all in.

  26. moojer

    Looks great in this space. I like the neutral tone of the room (I luv your place too!). One question I have is how did your sister sew the seams?

  27. Ashley

    Ooooh, lucky boyfriend! Want to make me one?

  28. Love it! I used a camel vinyl to recover my dining room chairs and it has proven to be totally indestructable. Your corners look amazing. And I love the camel cowhide over the sisal(?) That is just what I’ve been mulling over for our living room. The room looks awfully stylish for a boy!

  29. nkp


    Clearly your talents are innumerable. Dang, girl. I’m impressed. Big Time.

  30. Word to the word. I like the camel color. Did you DIY the tray as well?

  31. Erin

    It looks fantastic!!! Honestly I’m waiting for you to fail miserably at something — anything — just so I can feel better about myself.

    I’m kidding of course.

    Also I know it would be a very long wait.

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