Hack The Lack Part 1

Jennifer —  March 5, 2012 — 6 Comments

As I was putting the pieces together in my living room I started to notice that my Lack Coffee table was serving a great purpose but it didn’t look proportionally right.  I also longed to have a comfy place to prop up my feet when I watch t.v.  So, I decided to hack the lack.  I figured I could use the legs and the mounting hardware.  I wouldn’t use the top or bottom shelf in this project, but I figured I could find something around the house for those things.  Here is how I changed this:

To This:  (p.s. – I haven’t finished yet, I still have to put on the bottom)

1.)  I took a piece of plywood I had in my garage and cut it to the dimensions that I wanted.

2.)  I purchased some 1X2 at Lowes for $1.67 a pop and used it to border the edge of the plywood.  I did this to reinforce the plywood but also to make an upholstered edge so it would look more polished

3.)  I added some 1X3 we had leftover from a recent outdoor project.  These also gave more reinforcement to the sturdy 3/4 inch plywood.  Since it was so big I decided to make it a little more sturdy. ( I added one in the middle too but its not pictured here.  You will see it a few pics down)

4.)  I measured the plywood and found the center.  From these measurements, I figured out where I wanted the buttons.  I didn’t get a picture of this but I did in the same way I did my headboard.

5.)  I made marks and drilled holes for the buttons.  I used a 1/2 inch spade drill bit.

6.)  I didn’t like my button placement so I changed it up and had to drill more holes.  The new pattern used some of the previously drilled holes so to help my while I tufted, I covered up the holes that were not supposed to be used with some duck tape. (do you like by OU duck tape?)

7.)  Next, I attached the foam to the top of the plywood.  I used two twin sized foam mattress toppers from Target.  In my store they were $9.99 a pop.  Maybe they were on sale because they are $14.99 online.  I also used  a $5.00 coupon. The total came to about $15.00.   To make a smooth top to your ottoman place the patterned side down.  I attached them with some liquid nails.  I know that might be a little much.  I am sure that spray adhesive will work but I didn’t have any.  I had some liquid nails so that is what I used. A little trick for you:  I chose the width of my ottoman to be the same width as the foam.  That meant I didn’t have to cut up the foam that much…just wack off the end, with an electric turkey carver of course. Whoever got me that electric knife over 6 years ago for a wedding gift probably had no idea I would use it more for DIY projects than Thanksgiving day turkey carving.

8.)  I covered the side edges with some thick batting I had leftover from this slipcover project.  There is always a reason I keep scraps.

9.)  Next, I covered the entire thing with quilt batting and stapled it on the underside.

10.) Using scissors, I punctured holes through the batting and foam where the buttons would go. I just opened the scissors and stuck on end through the hole on the bottom.  I twisted to form a hole. This is where the duck tape came in handy. It kept me from punching the wrong holes in the foam. The foam covered my the holes that I didn’t use really well.

11.) I  washed and ironed my fabric  I purchased the same fabric that I used to make these new living room curtains.  I used scraps to make the curtains and I was a little nervous my favorite fabric store wouldn’t have it anymore but after some digging I found it.  I purchased 2 yards a $3.99 a pop.  Yeah Clearance aisle!  (which those of you who know this store know that I had to work for that 3.99 a yard fabric.  They just have bolts and bolts on top of each other in the clearance aisle.  I was sweating moving them all around.

12.)  The next step was to make my buttons.  To do this, I purchased 5 button kits at Wal-mart.  I needed 18 buttons so I had to purchase 5 kits that had 4 buttons.  Each one was $1.97.  I made all my buttons while watching t.v. with the Hubs.  Here is a tip:  if you are using the Wal-Mart buttons, follow the instructions for covering but put a dab of hot glue in the button before you put the back on.  Then use the tools to get it started but I use two screw drivers (one in each hand) to finish it off.  Just press all the way around.  It dents the back of the button but who cares, its sturdy and it wont be seen.  I have done this on both the headboard  in my master and guest bedroom and pulled my hardest to tuft them.  Two years later…they are still intact.

13.)  Next, I laid the fabric over the foam covered top and tufted the ottoman.  I wanted the buttons to sink in a little so I decided to attach the buttons BEFORE I stapled the fabric to the bottom.  I used fishing twine to attach the buttons and an upholstery needle I had.  An upholstery needle is key because its larger and sturdier.  Since I had made holes in the wood and the foam, it makes navigating the needle easier but sometimes it takes patience.  My trick:  use a wooden kabob skewer to help know where the needle goes.

14.)  After making 5-6 loops through each button  I tied it off.  To tie it off I use scrap fabric and made little rolls.  I tied the extra string around it and knotted it.  Then, I wrapped the extra string around it and stapled the fabric down.  The bulk of it goes in the hole but if its thick enough it gets stuck and holds.  Hopefully you can see better by the picture.  Stapling the fabric down helps me make the button be taught and it also flattens the fabric for the next step.

aaa

15.)  I stapled the fabric around the edges of the underside.  (see pic above)

16.)  Now its time to cover the ugly.  I used some leftover fabric from my guest bedroom headboard to cover the bottom.  I just laid it on there and stapled it, folding the edges under on each side.

aaa

17.) I took the legs off the Lack table and cut about four inches off the bottom.  I wanted to leave the top of the legs so I could use the hardware to attach the legs.

18.)  I attached the existing hardware to my new ottoman top.  To do so I had to:

  • Mark where the hardware would go
  • Cut away the fabric
  • Drill a pilot hole in the middle so the threaded screw could go all the way into the hardware and ottoman top easily.  (The Lack leg hardware actually is made to fit in a hole pre-made by Ikea. They do this to make the leg and top look seamless.  I thought about drilling a hole out of the underside of the ottoman to make it work exactly but I realized that the edge I made with the 1X2 hid the fact that the metal mounting hardware was shown at the top of the leg so I didn’t worry about it.  This pic shows my attempt to make the hole before I realized I didn’t need to or have a drill bit wide enough.  The hardware just rest right on top of the wood.  Notice the hole in the middle for the threaded screw to go beyond the hardware.

19.)  The last thing I did was screw in the existing hardware and screw on the legs

and that is how I got it to this stage:

Now, I am still working on part two.  I need a bottom shelf for magazines and storage.  I strategically cut the Lack legs so I could keep the metal things that the old shelf rested on.  Now, I just need to cut some wood and paint a lower shelf.  I will update you when I do that.  I am also thinking about putting casters on the bottom.

I have finished, check out the finished product here!

Thanks for reading,

Jennifer

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6 responses to Hack The Lack Part 1

  1. What if you attached metal sliding desk drawer baskets (wire or mesh ones) underneath the bench, instead of a wood platform to hold the magazines? I think that would look really neat and be an unique solution to the storage issue. Just a random idea :)

    • That is a good idea. I am not catching your vision on how to do it. Please explain it a little more because you have definitely peeked my interest!

  2. I don’t have a lot of construction experience, but I’ll sketch something and send it to ya. It would involve some creative searching at Home Depot (finding items to use in non-traditional ways), but that shouldn’t be too out of your comfort zone!

  3. That looks awesome! I hope to someday be as handy with power tools as you are :)

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