DIY: IKEA VITTSJÖ Table Turned Chic Cocktail Ottoman

I have this problem where I envision something that I want and either it doesn’t exist or the closest thing I can find costs, like, a million dollars and still isn’t exactly what I had my heart set on. I have another little problem where I see something generic in a store and immediately start planning how I could change it to fit my personal style and make it, well, less generic. This happens way more often than you’d think. I’m all “Blahblahblah we can paint it and then cut this off and then maybe screw these together…” My husband stares at me for awhile before voicing his concerns, which I usually just brush off, and reply with a casual “It’ll be fiiiiine.”

And that’s what happened this time. I wanted a cocktail ottoman to use as a table and footrest, in some great color, probably tufted, with a little gold to tie in with the rest of the room. Couldn’t find it. When I saw the surprisingly sturdy VITTSÖ nesting tables at IKEA I instantly knew how I was going to make it happen. I would just need to upholster…and paint…and drill a little. NO BIGGIE. No, seriously, it’s a lot easier than it sounds.

I’m saving the smaller one for later.

Finding the perfect fabric was actually the most annoying part. I went to 4 different fabric stores before I found the perfect  green velvet at Deco Home for $80/yard. Totally worth it. It’s durable and lovely and perfect for a project like this. Exactly what I wanted.

ANYWAY, I’ll get down to it.

I put together the frame of the table and sprayed the entire thing with metallic gold spray paint. You can use whichever gold you like.Step1

I sprayed all the hardware and those little glass cushion sticker things gold, too.

Step2I picked up one yard of 2″ thick foam from the craft store and cut it to the size of the table. Using a sharp knife or blade makes it super simple. Just run the blade through a couple of times. You should maybe put cardboard or something down so you don’t slice up your floor.

Step3 Step4

The larger table in VITTSJÖ nesting tables set has a glass shelf on the top and a wood (MDF) shelf on the bottom, but since this is a hack, I switched them. Why? Because I needed to use the MDF for upholstering and tufting purposes. The glass shelf would be for holding books and cute decorative items while keeping a clean, floaty look.

After that I did some really annoying measuring and marked where I wanted my buttons to go. Ugh. Math is hard.


Then I used the multi-purpose drill bit on my Dremel to make the holes where I’d be pulling my tufting cord through.


I covered the foam and board in batting and my velvet. I pulled the fabric tight enough to round out all of the edges. The corners were tricky because of the metal nub where the top connects to the rest of the table. I just sliced the corner piece of fabric, pulled the fabric back around the piece of leg, and then stabled it securely into place. When I connected the pieces back together I just tucked any raw edges that were showing.


At this point you can leave it how it is or you can get fancy with tufting. I did a shallow tuft since this will be used as a table sometimes and I don’t want my serving trays to lay all wonky and wobbly on top. I also don’t want to be digging crumbs out of deep tufting craters after every shindig.

Tufting supplies will include polyester cord, a large upholstery needle, and some button covers
in the size of your choice.


These regular button covers are fine but if you’re using a thick fabric you might need to put in a little extra effort.


Instead of securing the fabric with the back of the button like you normally would, you might need to sew the fabric closed on the back using a heavy duty thread. I use “outdoor coat” thread. It works perfectly.


Thread a large upholstery needle with the polyester cord.


Find your holes on the bottom side of the board and push your needle through as straight as possible. Pull one end of the cord through to the top.


Use the needle to go through the back of the button and pull the end of the cord through.


Then put the needle back through the hole to bring the cord end back through to the bottom side.



Pull the cord tight and secure with staples. Stapling in multiple directions makes sure it doesn’t slip over time.

See? Shallow tufting.

Shallow Tufting TutorialNow it’s the best ottoman ever.


102 thoughts on “DIY: IKEA VITTSJÖ Table Turned Chic Cocktail Ottoman

    1. Aw thanks! I haven’t tried to sit on it yet, but I did have a very rambunctious two year old over the other day and she took it upon herself to climb, jump, and sit on it. It held steady but I’m not so sure how it would hold up to an adult’s weight.

      1. Beautiful! I will definitely be trying this…but ‘rambunctious’ two year old…you obviously don’t have kids. Haha!

  1. Absolutely ingenious! Hope to try this soon with some color variations—just hope it comes out looking great like yours.

  2. Hello Krys! I am so inspired by this Ikea hack and am dying to get started! Thank you for this amazing DIY… Quick question.. how did you end up measuring out where the button holes should go? How many inches apart were those triangles in your pattern? Math scares me too! Thanks for you help! Awesome work!

    1. Hi! The buttonholes I made are about 8 inches apart side to side/up and down, and about 6 inches apart diagonally. Eeek hopefully that makes sense and helps! You can put more or less buttons and adjust the measurements.

  3. Hi!! i spray paint a similar furniture material with Rustoleum’s metallic before but with time it didn’t work.. did you prime it before? do you know any spray paint techniques for this material?? i would really appreciate the help!

  4. This is exactly what I was looking for without spending $500 on the matching cocktail bench that went with the sofa I just bought.

  5. Pingback: 10 DIY Ikea
  6. I am copying your hack, what did you end up doing with the little table that came in the pack from ikea? and what density foam did you use, I order firm but im not sure that is the best…

  7. Haha oh I so get you! I’m totally the same way! 🙂 apparently we have a similar taste too because I love what you did! Totally copying you! Or something similar 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Have you figured out what to do with the extra table yet? I am afraid to buy the set since I don’t have a lot of extra room at my apartment to just store the extra table.

  9. Hi Krys! Really inspiring! Now that it’s been with you for a year, do you know yet if it is sturdy enough to be used as seating?

  10. Love this hack! I’m going to attempt it, but I’m never great at DIYs. How many yards of fabric did you get? And is it a specific foam you used?

  11. Hi! So glad to see you’re still replying to comments here… I’m wondering, would you think this could handle being sat on as a bench? I’m thinking it would be a perfect way to hack my way to a bench for the end of a bed. It wouldn’t being sat on a LOT but occasionally… and MDF, not sure how sturdy it is, would love your take.

    Also, how did you secure the fabric to the MDF around the edges? Staple gun?

    1. Ugh, just realized you just said staple gun. Duh.

      Still would love your take on the sturdiness for possible end-of-bed bench-iness of this… ! Thank you!

      1. Hi Sarah! It is sturdy enough to sit on occasionally. I’ve had several people do so during get togethers at my house. I wouldn’t worry!

  12. Hi there! I came across your post while searching online for the perfect ottoman and I too have the hardest time finding exactly what I want and this is SO cute. I have a question though, which Dremel tool did you get that has the drill bit? I’m looking online and there’s a few different ones with different attachments. (They use those as dog nail trimmers so that’ll be a double plus reason for me to buy one!) Thanks so much!!

    1. Thank you!! Mine came with an attachment kit that had different drill bit sizes and other attachments. I think it’s only something like $20 to buy the kit separately. Hope that helps!

  13. Hello! I really love this ottoman! looks great 🙂 I was wondering which type of velvet did you use? cotton? thanx a lot!

  14. I want to try this so badly altho im 100% sure it’ll never turn out this great. Just one question though, when you say: ” you might need to sew the fabric closed on the back using a heavy duty thread”, I have no idea what you mean. How exactly did you get the fabric on the buttons?

  15. This is what I’ve been looking for, an ottoman with a clear shelf. What a brilliant idea to switch the glass and the wood. Can you please tell me the dimensions of the finished ottoman?

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