How To: Upholster a Laminate Tabletop

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Project: Upholstered Laminate Tabletop
Time: 3 hours
Cost: $27.00

If you find yourself sifting through nondescript vintage furniture, be on the lookout for some surprisingly shapely legs. The shortsighted furniture shopper often overlooks tables due to a bad top surface or ottomans with ugly, stained, or worn fabric. Modern, removable furniture legs are well worth a second look. There are any number of clever ways to disguise the ugly factor and showcase great legs.
This two-tiered side table has solid modern legs as well as support posts between the table surfaces. The plastic laminate table surfaces were primed and painted but they didn't stand up to much wear. I was able to restyle the table and show off the legs and posts by simply upholstering the plastic surfaces with charcoal gray felt, trimmed out with silver nailheads. Just remember to use coasters.

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Tools and Resources:


  • table
  • felt
  • scissors
  • chalk
  • ruler
  • straight pins
  • sewing machine
  • metallic thread
  • spray adhesive
  • decorative nailheads
  • tack hammer or small hammer
  • electric staple gun

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Step by Step:

  1. Flip table over on felt fabric and trace the tabletop with chalk.
  2. Add 1/2" all around (for seam allowance) and cut out two identical pieces.
  3. Measure the depth and circumference of the table edge. Add 2" to the depth and add 1" to the circumference of the table. Cut two strips for the edges.
  4. With metallic thread in sewing machine, topstitch two evenly spaced rows of decorative straight stitching inside the 1/2" seamlines of the felt circles.
  5. Pin felt strips to outside edges of circles. Stitch with a 1/2" seam allowance around both round pieces, stopping about 4" short of edge ends.
  6. To finish ends of the edges, pin one end of felt strip to the other end of the felt strip with 1/2" seam allowance on both edges. Pin the remainder of the edge down and complete the stitching.
  7. Cut seam allowances to 1/4".
  8. Place one felt cover on the top tier of the table. Firmly and evenly pull and smooth felt cover under the table top. Staple under the table top keeping felt even and smooth.
  9. Place second piece of felt on lower tier. With chalk, mark the post locations.
  10. Cut a straight line from the bottom of the felt edge up to the post.
  11. Cut out little circles at the end of the cut to fit around posts.
  12. Staple the felt cover over the second tier and staple it all around, under the edge.
  13. Spray a little adhesive on a paper plate, with an old paintbrush apply adhesive on second tier where the felt cut was made for the posts. Press felt together to close the gap.
  14. Measure and mark the middle of the table edges all around for placement of the nailheads.
  15. Carefully nail decorative nailheads around the circumferences of both table edges.

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Another upholstered table project that would lend itself to your own fabric and unique design can be seen here: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/chicago/jan-jumpstart-2008-midwest/midwest-14-the-upholstered-nightstand-project-041590

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