How to Make a Tufted Cushion Bench Out of an Octagonal Side Table

When turning a side table into a bench, using an octagon-shaped table provides a more interesting shape compared to a standard round- or square-topped table. Adding a tuft in the center of the cushion gives the bench a decorative touch that makes it look more finished. The cushion construction and tufting process only requires basic sewing skills and common materials. The finished bench must support the weight of an adult so use a sturdy, well-constructed table for the base.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Utility knife
  • Three-inch-thick foam pad
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Upholstery needle
  • Twine
  • Button
  • Staple gun and staples


    • 1

      Place a sheet of cardboard on the floor that is larger than the table top. Remove the top from the table, if possible, and lay it face down on the cardboard. Otherwise, set the entire table face down on the cardboard.

    • 2

      Trace the top of the table onto the cardboard. Remove the table and cut out the traced shape from the cardboard with a utility knife.

    • 3

      Cut a piece of 3-inch-thick foam rubber padding to the proper size and shape using the cardboard template as a guide. Set the pad on top of the table and trim it as necessary so it covers the table top without any overhang.

    • 4

      Lay a piece of upholstery fabric over the top of the cushion. Use fabric large enough to cover the top and sides of the cushion with a 6-inch overhang on all sides.

    • 5

      Thread a straight upholstery needle with heavy twine. Knot the end of the twine.

    • 6

      Pass the needle through the bottom center of the pad and up through the top of the pad and the center of the fabric. Pull the twine tight so the knot sits securely against the bottom of the cushion. Pass the needle back down through the fabric and pad. Pull the thread tight to create the tufted indentation in the center of the cushion.

    • 7

      Bring the needle back up through the pad a second time. Thread a fabric-covered button onto the needle before passing it back through the cushion and out the bottom. Pull the twine tight then knot it off to secure the tuft. The button hides the twine and adds a decorative touch to the cushion.

    • 8

      Position the cushion on top the table. Pull the fabric tight on one side and wrap it to the underside of the table. Staple it in place. Repeat for the fabric overhang on the opposite side of the table. Continue stapling the fabric to the the underside of the table, working on opposite sides of the octagon. Tuck the fabric in on the corners before stapling to create a smooth edge.

    • 9

      Trim the excess fabric to within a half inch of the staples.

Tips & Warnings

  • Create a low, multi-person bench using a coffee table instead of a side table. You can add additional tufts on a larger table top.
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