We have a pretty big coffee table (that I bought on Craigslist, of course) in the middle of our family room. We needed something to protect our babies from the sharp corners and edges. I looked online, and didn't want to pay $30 each for the bumpers. I would need at least 2 of them to go all the way around the table, and surely there must be a better way to do this than spending $60. I found a do-it-yourself solution using pipe insulation.
We went to Lowe's and bought 5 straight pieces of pipe insulation. These were about $1.50 each. The entire thing cost $7.
These pieces of insulation are "self-sealing," meaning that they already have adhesive on them. I simply cut the corners to 45 degree angles, put the pieces in place, and removed the backing from the adhesive strips. The pieces stick directly to the table. Will this ruin my table? Probably. Do I care? No. I bought this table for about $150 on Craigslist over 2 years ago.
I even put extra pieces of insulation along the bottom shelf to protect their little heads if they bump down there. It has already happened a few times.
And, in the end, I actually don't think this looks all that bad.