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Monday, February 6, 2012

Ikea Hack: DIY Upholstered Malm Console Table

The red Ikea Malm console table I bought a few years ago has been sitting in my attic.  The red wasn't really working with my room (the former man cave-turned-playroom), but I had aspirations of one day trying to upholster it, so I decided to hang on to it.  After two failed estate sale adventures this weekend (I am learning that estate sale shopping is a dog-eat-dog business, which takes some of the fun out of it), I decided I needed a little pick-me-up in the form of a DIY project. 

I knew I would need about 4 yards of fabric for my project, so I headed to Post and Gray to check out their remnants.  

The table would be going behind the large tan leather sofa in the playroom (it was my husband's before we got married, but it is indestructible and comfortable), so I wanted a fabric that was tonal and slightly feminine to pair with the sofa.

I found a 4 yard piece of this velvet cheetah- perfect!

Here is what you need for the project, in addition to 4 yards of fabric:

A console table (Ikea's Malm works great).

A staple gun:


A bottle of fabric glue:

And a roll of tack strip to make a straight edge (this is key):

I started out by cutting the fabric in half width-wise (half of the 54-inch width is perfect to cover the top and sides).

 I then draped it over the table to play around with how I would handle the corners of the table.  I decided it would be easy to just fold the corner diagonally and affix it to the table (sort of like wrapping a present).

I then flipped the table over on its back so I could start covering one side.

I pulled it tight and stapled the end at the bottom.  I was a little worried about how well the staples would go into the Malm since it is made of MDF or something like that, but they went in really easily.

I pulled the fabric really tight and started stapling both sides.  They didn't have to be perfectly even because they were going to be covered with another panel of fabric on the inside of the table.

Here is a close-up of a corner in progress.  I cut a slit in the fabric so it would be very flat and straight at the corner.

I pulled the fabric very tight and stapled the fabric around all 3 outside surfaces of the table.  This is the easy part.  Covering the inside is trickier.

This is where the tack strip is a necessity.  You place it on top of the reverse of the fabric along the edge of the table and staple it all the way down one side of the table. 

Then you fold the fabric back over it, and voila, you have a straight seam.  Here it is in process...

After one side is attached, you can't fit a staple gun under the fabric to staple the tack strip to the other side, so you have to use fabric glue.  Use the same process to add the tack strip, but instead of stapling, you glue it on.  It will give you a perfectly smooth seam.

One side is finished!  Now I skipped to the other side and waited to do the middle last.

Here it is in-process of upholstering the inside middle section of the table, as I staple the tack strip along the edge.  Then you fold the fabric over it and add tack strip to the other side and glue it down.

And voila!  No more red!



Adding lamps...

A pair of stools (I will replace these eventually, but for now, they are placeholders)...

Some books, and a big geode.

Would you guess this is an Ikea table?!

This is a project that you can absolutely do yourself.  The Malm is easier to cover than a 4-legged style would be, so I would recommend using something with a similar shape.  Give it a try!

30 comments:

Haus and Home said...

Oh I totally just pinned this. I had not heard of that tack tape before, pretty neat! Great job.

charmaine said...

Wow! It looks great! I think I'm going to try and replicate this. Thanks for the tutorial!

Charmaine

Dina @ Honey + Fitz said...

Fantastic post! And so versatile, you could make this look completely different with different fabric. And every room could use a console table I think!

alison@MLHP said...

VERY well played! Thank you for the tip on the tack strip. Noted.

Kerry @ Design du Monde said...

That is awesome. I never would have thought to use the tack strips.

Dara said...

Great tutorial! Thanks for documenting this process....I will definitely give this a try!

My Interior Life said...

Looks great! I covered a parson's console table I bought off Craigslist with grasscloth wallpaper a while back http://myinteriorlife.blogspot.com/2011/07/mission-almost-accomplished.html

But mine had four separate legs and gave me lots of grief. Love your ideas!

Pigtown*Design said...

Well done, you!

Snickerdoodles said...

Table looks great and I love Sally just hanging out in the background in her striped leggings!

traci zeller designs said...

I am amazed. As always!! You are just too good! Hilariously, I was considering a DIY yesterday to make me feel accomplished for the weekend ... but I was considering gluing grosgrain to a lampshade not upholstering a table!! And I didn't even do it. You just bring those little ones over here to play and I'll supply the fabric glue ;-)

kayce hughes said...

Love love love it! I am so thrilled to find out about the tack tape!
thanks!

Leah Moss said...

wow! What a fantastic redo, and I love how you've styled it!

Liv Vintage said...

I'm so inspired !! I will be doing this project in the very near future.
Thanks !!!

Kate @ Daffodils said...

wow, that is amazing! (love the little helper in the background too!)

Covet du Jour said...

Fantastic! Upholstering furniture opens a door to so many possibilities. I upholstered the top of my husband's desk and had a piece of glass cut for it. It really makes the room.

Jenn @ Living Luxe for Less said...

It looks amazing! So impressed!

Sheer Serendipity said...

This console looks so high end… Amazing transformation!

SHERRY HART said...

For crying out loud....that is pretty stinkin incredible. Need a table.....

christine {bijouandboheme} said...

I hacked the same console with gold leaf- ADORE what you've done...ah-maaaaazing!!!!

Siren London said...

that's amazing, I especially love the fact you put it behind the sofa, very space saving and stylish!

Tanja @ Postmodern Hostess said...

Thank you for the tip about the tack strip! I know that will come in handy for several upholstery projects that I've been puzzling over and therefore putting off.

This looks so good, and you'd never in a million years guess it was Ikea!

Johanna - Taloja ja Toiveita said...

This is a nice hack! Something that would suit also my home. I have large MALM console table behid my safe as a sofa table.

HannahJ said...

LOVE this piece!! I found you through LGN- this is a fabulous tutorial- I'm driving by IKEA today and might have to pick up a MALM:)

one question- where can I buy the tack strip and the fabric glue (besides online?... craft store or home depot??)
Thanks for the inspiration!

Matters of Style said...

Hannah, thanks! You can find tack strip and fabric glue at any fabric store like Hancock or Joann! Hope that helps!

Jamie Dorobek said...

This is genius :) I hope you link it up to MMM this Monday! I would love to feature it!!

megan birch said...

I am also finding this via LGN and love this! What a great idea and what a great fabric!

I also noticed the other fabric on the floor next to the cheetah print in the third picture. What fabric is that?

This is my first time at your blog and I have a feeling I will be reading it the rest of the day. Thank you!

courtneyoutloud said...

GREAT JOB! I was thinking of doing something similar with faux ostrich....

courtneyoutloud said...

GREAT JOB! I was thinking of doing something similar with faux ostrich....

corner kitchen table said...

This looks amazing! So impressed!

The Domesticated Wolf said...

Wow!! This is amazing. I found your pin on pinterest...this is a must do project. Great job!!

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