our aunt (the ultimate diy-er) recently sent me a picture of a table she bought at a thrift store for $5. once she mentioned she may turn it into an ottoman, i highly encouraged the idea so i could share the steps with you! her instructions follow:
1} find a table! the main thing you are looking for is sturdy construction and attractive legs.
2} remove the legs (this is not necessary if you are happy with the height of the piece. i planned to add 4 inches of foam on the top so the total height was more than i wanted.)
3} if needed, cut the legs off to the height you want. stain or paint the legs, as your project requires.
4} draw on the top of the table where you want to place your tufted buttons. drill two holes about 1/4 inch apart at each location.
5} trace the outline of your table top onto the foam. i used 2 pieces of 2inch thick foam instead of one piece of 4inch thick foam. it is about 1/2 the cost and makes no difference in the project. Hobby Lobby had the best pricing on foam (and there is always a 40% off coupon online!)
6} cut the foam. (i found the best way to cut foam is by using a serrated bread knife.) place on top of table.
7} cut a piece of quilt batting about 3 inches larger than the foam. place the piece on top of the foam and tuck the extra 3 inches over the side. wrap more quilt batting around the side until you are happy with the shape of the piece. you may need to tack the quilt batting down with a needle and thread so it doesn’t slide off the piece.
8} place your material centered over the foam.
9} using a long upholstery needle (available at any sewing store), starting from the underneath side, push the threaded needle through one side of the hole you drilled earlier until it pokes through to the top. run the needle through the button and back into the foam, making sure to find the other hole you drilled 1/4 inch from the entry hole. pull until you have correct tension you want to create your tufting. tie off underneath. (note: if you want to use matching fabric covered buttons, you can buy button cover kits at any sewing store.) use embroidery thread or a strong thin string (regular thread will not be strong enough.)
10} continue until all buttons on your piece.
11} flip the piece over so you are looking at the underneath side. staple the loose material underneath. trim excess material.
12} put legs back on.
13} i wanted a little extra interest at the bottom so i tacked a decorative border at the bottom using upholstery tacks (available at any hardware store).
now put your feet up and rest on your new ottoman!