Reversible Bench Coffee Table

Reversible Bench Coffee Table

Use a padded bench and transform it into a dual-purpose bench and coffee table.

5 col

Tools You’ll Need: Electric sander with 150-grit, 220-grit and 320-grit sandpaper.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Vintage padded bench from a second hand store or repurposed from home.
48” x 18½” x 1” Pine – Outer board (apron to box)
44” x 16½” x 1” Pine – Upholstery board
(2) 1” x 3” x 18” lumber
(2) 1” x 3” x 47½” lumber
(2) 1” x 2” x 18½” lumber
(2) 1” x 2” x 49½” lumber
3’ fabric of your choice
Pre-Drill with 1/16” drill bit
Wood stain to match existing bench color
Dry rag
Wood glue
Glue gun with extra-strength glue sticks
Small box 1-inch finishing nails
Small Screwdriver and pliers for removing batting



1. Starting with the 150-grit sandpaper on the electric sander, sand the surface of the pine outer board of any larger rough spots. Once the larger spots are removed, change to the 220-grit sandpaper and then the 320-grit sandpaper to get a smooth finish. As the grit gets finer, the finish gets smoother

2. Use a dry rag and wood stain on all sides of the outer board and all the lumber pieces, matching them to the existing color of the bench. Allow to dry before moving on to the next step (See image below)

3. Once the wood is stained, drill pilot holes into all eight pieces of lumber using a 1/16” drill bit. This will help prevent the wood spilling in later steps. See diagram below for pilot hole placement and repeat for each piece of lumber


4. Carefully remove all the upholstery, tacks, batting and foam from the top of the bench using a small screwdriver and pliers until the flat wooden base is fully exposed. Discard the fabric and the foam but preserve the batting. It will be used in later steps

5. Four pieces of lumber will be assembled around the base to make a shallow box. This will support the reversible lid in later steps. Apply a line of wood glue along the short edge of the base and press 1” x 3” x 18” lumber against it so the bottom edges are flush. Secure in place with 1” finishing nails through the pilot holes (See images below)

6. Repeat Step 5 on the opposite side of the base with the second piece of 1” x 3” x 18” lumber and on the long sides of the base with 1” x 3” x 47½” lumber


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7. The reversible lid will fit over the shallow base box. To assemble it attach (2) 1” x 2” x 18½” lumber and (2) 1” x 2” x 49½” lumber to the 48” x 18½” x 1” Pine outer board following Steps 5 – 6. Once it’s assembled, rest it on top of the bench


8. Lay new fabric face down on a flat surface and center the repurposed batting from the bench on top of it

9. Center the 44” x 16½” x 1” pine board on top of the batting. Use scissors to trim off excess batting and fabric from around the wood, leaving 2”-3” of excess batting and fabric around all sides to fold over the edge of the wood board (See image below)

10. Starting along the middle of a long edge, fold the batting and fabric over the edge of the wood board. Work along both long sides out to the edges, pulling the fabric taut to keep it from gathering. Tuck the batting under the fabric and glue the fabric to the wood using a hot glue gun. Continue gluing the fabric to the wood around the whole board (See images below)

Tip: Make the corners as flat as possible by folding the corners like gift wrapping.


11. Place the lid with its flat surface facing upwards. Center the cushion on the lid leaving about 2” between the cushion and the short edges and about 1” between the cushion and the long edges

12. Lift up one side of the cushion and apply a generous zigzag of wood glue and hot glue to the lid. Make sure not to exceed the size of the cushion when applying the glue. Press the cushion back down onto the lid (See image below)

13. To secure the cushion in place, carefully turn over the lid so it’s resting on the cushion. Hammer 1” finishing nails through the lid into the perimeter of the cushion. Space the nails approximately 6”-9” apart

14. Place the lid cushion side up on the bench base for use as a bench and flat side up for use as a table

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