Old pallets or crates are a fine alternative to the traditional coffee table and are incredibly versatile too. The ones here have simply been turned upside down — but you could screw yours together if you tend to move your furniture around a lot. You could also stack them or cut them down to size or use one pallet and elevate it with small apple crates for example. A coat of paint will transform the trusty courier once again.
Choose your fabric wisely since people may want to put up their feet (and shoes). Outdoor fabrics can be smart; steer clear of linen and fabrics with high amounts of rayon or viscose. Take a swatch home and test it out with dirt red wine or whatever you think your coffee table will encounter to make sure your fabric choice can handle it all. Keep an upholstered ottoman 18 inches from a sofa or chair so you can easily put up your feet and make sure the height is consistent with the surrounding seats.