I’m totally excited to share my latest with you all because it proves, once again, that you don’t have to be a professional to make beautiful things. And if I can do it, so can you!

Now, that’s not to say you won’t wake up the next morning with sore fingertips and stiff muscles, but, trust me, it’s worth it!

Here’s the finished product…

I’m loving it!

{insert big sigh}

I did a lot of research before starting this, and I’ll list some resources for you at the end of this post, but I’ll walk you through my steps as well. And there are a lot of them, so buckle your seat belt.

I started with this coffee table from Goodwill. It did have glass in it originally, but I knew this was going to be an ottoman, so I didn’t even bother bringing the glass home.

After removing the top and lightly sanding, it was ready for paint: one coat of Sherwin Williams’ Earl Grey and then a little glaze with a walnut stain like I did for this piece. Some light distressing with a sanding block finished off the base.

Now for the “tuft part” also known as the “tough part”. (Sorry-I couldn’t resist). I used a 4-inch dense foam cut to a 37-inch square. Click here for a great online source for the foam. It can be cut with an electric kitchen knife to the size you need! I used foam that was one inch larger than the size of board I would be attaching it to. You want your foam to be slightly larger so that it will wrap around the edges of the board a little bit and prevent the fabric from poking through later.

I used colored sewing pins to plan out where I wanted the buttons to go. It was super-easy this way to arrange and re-arrangeandget an idea of the pattern I wanted. I should add that I had originally planned to go with 23 buttons, but once I looked at it, I realized that, in this case, less was moreandended up with only 11. Of course that meant less work as well,andI’m all for that!

I marked the pins with a marker, then cut the holes. This is where I differed a little from other how-to’s I read about. Some people use a cylindrical cutting tool or scissors or a knife, but I decided to try drilling it, which worked out well for me. It was a little trickyandI would recommend trying it out on a test piece of foam if possible to get a feel for it, but I basically drilled in short burstsandjust let the bit rip grab onto the foamandrip it out. I also only went about halfway down the foam because my foam was so thick I didn’t want the button to go all the way to the bottomanddisappear.

The drilling worked so well, it only took a few minutes to get all the holes cut. Then came the batting. I used 2 layers of 1-inch battingandglued it down with a little hot glue. Here’s the type of batting I used.

Then, I cut an “x” over each hole.

Next it was time to prepare the board. I used a 1-inch thick piece of particle board that we already had, but a piece of plywood would work as well. My husband marked the holes for me by hammering a long nail through each hole in the foam down to the board to mark for drilling. Then, he drilled through each mark.

Finally, I was ready for the tufting. So I set up my board and foam across two saw horses so I could work underneath, and then covered the foam and board with my fabric. And if you read me often, you probably know what fabric I used for this: that’s right–another canvas drop cloth. I love them so much I couldn’t use anything else. And in this case, it really would be difficult to use something else because I needed a width of at least 72 inches to accommodate for the tufting and wrapping. I gave myself an extra 18 inches of fabric all around to make sure I had enough.

I covered my buttons with my fabric using thiscovered button kit,and had them ready to go along with the longest needle I could find and some strong nylon thread like this one here.

I started the tufting in the center and just pushed the fabric into the hole with my fingers. Then, I threaded a few long strands of the thread onto the needle, and poked the needle up from the bottom of the board. (Sorry I don’t have pics of this.) Then, I sewed thru the button and back down thru the bottom. Underneath, I pulled all the strands of thread thru a large button that I used as an anchor and tied them off really well.

Then, I just repeated the process with every button, working from the center out, creating the folds for the diamond pattern as I went. This process isn’t as difficult as it may seem. It just takes a little working with the fabric to get it right.

Once that was all done, I wrapped the edges around, stapled it well, and cut off the excess fabric.

To get my pleats a little more defined and crisp, I ironed them down carefully and that made them just right.

Then, I placed the top onto the base and it would’ve been done. Except for the fact that I had forgotten to take into account that the foam added onto the top of the base would make it too high for the sofa. I like a coffee table or ottoman to be just slightly lower than the height of the sofa. So, learn from my mistake and think about this first so you don’t have to do what we did and chop the legs off after the fact. And if you do have to chop, don’t forget to add these little furniture tacks on the bottom to protect your floor.

Once that was done, it was just right.

Did I get enough angles for ya?

I. love. it. Hope you do, too. If you have questions, I’ll try to help you out. And I hope you’re inspired to try this yourself!

Sharing this with some of these inspiring sites.

Here are a few more helpful resources for more info on diamond tufting:

Apartment Therapy


Brick City Love