Turning the Tables: an Upcycle Project

before and after picture of an end table turned footrest
end table before being up cycled

I came across this end table (actually a set of 2) on offerup. I thought they had great potential and was really excited about the “wood” legs. I say “wood” because I realized only after I got them home and started to clean off all the grime, that it was not real wood at all. It was some type of molded composite with faux knots and wood grain stamped into it. The table is heavier than a mofo, which also lends one to think that the “wood” is real, but alas it’s not. But that’s ok, if it looks and feels like wood then hey, I’m happy.

At first my plan to was to keep them as end tables but spruce them up a bit. However, once I saw them in person and realized how very short they were, I knew using them as end tables was just not going to work. I can only imagine the previous owner used the set of 2 to create a long coffee table, because at only 14″ high, they just don’t work as end tables.

I had recently purchased a set of 2 upholstered armchairs and I thought a footrest for each would be just dandy, so my upcycling project began. Sneak peek…here it is!

white faux fur and gold footrest

I really like gold and I really like fur (faux that is), so that made my design decision pretty easy. I started by spray painting the entire “table” gold. After that I created the “poof” using a wood panel, an old throw pillow and some faux fur fabric. As usual, at the time I did not plan on writing a blog post about the process, so I didn’t take step by step pictures as a result (some day I’ll learn). So instead I made some handy little diagrams to explain the process and you’ll see it’s actually quite easy.

I had an 18″ square throw pillow so I cut a piece of wood into a 17″ square. Tip: Cut your wood 1″ smaller than your pillow size, this way you won’t feel the sharp edges of the wood along the perimeter after you upholster it.

Next, place the faux fur fabric over the pillow, pulling it tightly and wrapping it around all sides of the wood, then use a staple gun to staple the fur to the underside of the wood panel.

This is just a view of the underside of the wood panel, so you can see you want to staple the fur underneath, all the way around.

I drilled holes (4 actually) through the table top, then placed the “poof” on top of the table and added screws underneath going straight up into the wood panel. If you’re doing this at home, just make sure the screw length you choose is not too long otherwise it will go through the wood panel and stick up into the pillow portion…ouch!

I’m really happy with how this project turned out and it was inexpensive to upcycle. Once again I saved another item from a potential trip to the landfill and now I have a glamorous place to rest my feet.

old wooden end table upcycled into a fabulous footrest
Author: Nicole Bolin

If you’re really into upcycling like me, I think you’ll enjoy these other posts:

brick fence panel upcycled into headboard
patio furniture makeover