Upcycling: From Meh to Wow, my Coffee Table Makeover

upholstered coffee table

My coffee table had a glass top, and for the longest time, it was in storage. I just didn’t want to risk the kids getting hurt because the glass top jutted out. So I always used a Fabindia trunk as my coffee table instead!


Then came the day when I realized I was running out of storage space. Something had to be done. I decided to critically assess the furniture in my home, and see what could stay and could not! And guess what? I didn’t feel like throwing out a thing – not even the old, ugly plywood TV-console that I hated but get this, still loved – because it had lovely memories attached to it. So of course, I am keeping it – in a gorgeous new avatar, which I will share with you soon.

But let’s focus on the coffee table for now.


My big plan was to take off the glass top, add a plywood top, and then upholster it. With excitement building up, I decided quite rightly that the first step was to source the fabric. Of course, it was! Many of you were a part of my Facebook fabric updates, and I loved The Keybunch reader inputs that went into this process.


I desperately wanted Suzani. And when I googled for Suzani, of course there were no Indian stores selling them. But here’s an update. A few days after my fabric reached me, The Purple Turtles – a Bangalore based decor store – announced on their FB page that they now stock fabrics, including Suzani. So that’s some info for all of you who are looking to source Suzani fabric!



So where did I source the fabric from? Ebay Global Buy. No, I am not getting paid by them! But so many of you have asked me where I bought the fabric from. I originally spoke to an Uzbek retailer, who didn’t sound too honest. I had shortlisted 3 designs from him, but I was really scared to complete the transaction – because, Suzani fabric is not cheap, and there was 0 trust in the seller! Luckily, I found 2 of the very same designs (and I am thinking better quality) on ebay Global.

And of course, most of you followed the fabric choosing saga, and also witnessed my sudden uncertainty when I thought I would try an Indian fabric instead. But some very sensible readers put me totally in place, and said “just go with your first choice!” 🙂 and I did!


Now, after the fabric was ordered, I knew exactly what to do with the table. The earlier idea was to turn it into an entryway bench, but with such gorgeous fabric, I had to ‘promote’ it, and I decided to make it into an upholstered coffee table instead. The fabric plays a big role in improving the style quotient of a piece of furniture, trust me!

It was now time to modify the coffee table. The Man Friday in my apartment society put me on to a carpenter, a gem 🙂 He was not just talented, but entertaining too! He oohed and aahed over all my plans, and insisted on calling me Madamji, with a loud emphasis on the Madam. I begged him to not call me that, but it was no use.


Well, and when he had installed the plywood, he brought me the reworked table. It looked a bit unfinished – see the edges on the table in the pic above. When I expressed my doubts about whether it was strong enough, he actually jumped on it, and did a little jig! 🙂 I love when a person is passionate about his work, don’t you?! 🙂 So well, the piece was strong, but needed finishing!


I finished the table myself with a bit of generic wood polish, and when it dried, it was ready to be upholstered.

I am so Step-3glad I got the neighborhood sofa guy in, because he is truly a pro. I showed him a pic, and he set to work, right there in the corridor outside my apartment door so that I could observe and
give my inputs  while he worked (he had never attempted something like this before).

Midway though, I realized he hadn’t brought a lining fabric in.\


I wasn’t going to set the (rather expensive ;)) Suzani directly on sponge, so I quickly ran in, and gave him an old bed sheet to tack on first. I was so happy I did that, because it was a great way to tweak the bumps that showed up, and generally ‘tighten’ the base. Once the bed sheet was secure, he stapled on the actual fabric. 2 hours, and we were done! And I still can’t get over it.

So here it is –

AFTER(1)  DSC00498 DSC00495 DSC00494


Well, the good news is, if you are in Pune, and want to upcycle your own coffee table, The Keybunch can now help you. Contact me for more details!


10 Responses so far.

  1. Shanthi Nagothu says:

    Thats a lovely make over Sharon. These days very rarely I come to blog world , but I am glad I did now ☺. It adds up so much oomph to your living space. Congrats on doing this.

  2. Disha says:

    Sharon, That’s a wonderful makeover. It has completely changed the look of your living room. You have beautifully color coordinated coffee table with cushions, lantern and flowers. Just loved the outcome!

  3. Merlyn Brito says:

    Hi Sharon,
    I love your make over & I am tempted to do the same for my glass topped blah table as well. Unfortunately it is not as easy here because labor is expensive and we do not have friendly neighborhood guys to do the needful. I was wondering if it is possible to merely cover the glass top instead of using the plywood. Thankfully Suzani is available & I agree that the fabric is great & makes a WOW difference.
    Keep up the good work!

    • Sharon says:

      M’am, it’s a pleasure to see your comment here. A glass top may not be the best base for an upholstery project. That’s because the cushion and sponge need to be nailed in somewhere. With glass, even a heavy-duty glue may not help you adhere the cushion and sponge. Remember, the next step would be to staple the fabric to the table. That’s not possible either, with glass.

      I believe you could simply walk into a hardware store and buy a piece of plywood cut to the size of your table-top. Then follow a diy from the internet (I could help you find one with clear instructions). Invest in a stapling gun. It will help you add the upholstery for this project, and also create a lot of other fabric-based projects.

      Thanks for the words of praise. They mean a lot! 🙂


  4. Vasudha s says:

    Sharon that’s a beautiful make over. It’s an informative post too, thanks for sharing with us.

  5. […] And of course you showed me a lot of encouragement and love when I embarked on my very first upholstered furniture project. When I posted the finished images, you guys were as happy as I was. Ah, the satisfaction of being a blogger! So say yay!again to my From Meh to Wow, Coffee Table Makeover […]

  6. […] My upholstered coffee table actually started out as a match-with-my-sofas, glass-topped teak wood coffee table. I am so in love with Turkish and Moroccon fabrics, so I wanted to upholster something with Suzani, but the question was upholster what? Do I buy something new, do I upholster something I already owned? The glass-topped table was in storage, and just as I was taking it out to give it away, the brainwave struck! This is what I would upholster! So that’s what I did. You can read the post on the coffee table here – > Upcycling: From Meh to Wow! My Coffee Table Makeover […]

  7. […] I hate to throw away a usable piece of furniture, especially if it’s made of good teak wood. My coffee-table makeover is witness to this stubborn decorating streak I […]

About sharon dsouza

Sharon DSouza owns and writes this blog. A mother of two, she is based in Pune, and works as a content strategist. She is a coffee-lover and writer, so it is but natural that she is a regular at her writers' club which meets in a coffee shop every Sunday. She is also a home baker, and loves to travel!