Reupholstering a Bench

Earlier this summer, I found this bench at an auction and won it for $30.  I was looking for a cute and simple project I could handle, and seeing as I thought having a bench in the guest room was a great idea, this fit the bill.

Bench before

Bench before

From the pictures I saw, I thought I would repaint it and reupholster it.  But, after seeing it in person, I did not want to touch the paint.  Someone had taken the pains to do a very subtle marble effect, and I liked it.  It also conveniently matched my fabric choice.

Fabric choice

Fabric choice

I wish I could remember anything about this fabric other than buying it at JoAnn’s.  I bought it at the same time I got all the other fabrics used in the guest bedroom, including the headboard (seen here) and the pillows.
This is a fairly easy project, but it does take a little bit of patience and the use of a staple gun, sewing machine, and a screwdriver.  First, take the seat apart from the bench.  In this case, it was secured by four screws from the bottom.

Unscrew seat from bench

Unscrew seat from bench

I pulled off the old piping.   You can take apart the old upholstery depending on what you are planning to do.  Since my fabric is very heavy, I decided to leave it as was, and reupholster over top of it.  I put the seat on top of the fabric, measured, and cut.  Then pulled and stapled.

Stapled on fabric

Stapled on fabric

I took care to fold the edges over neatly.  At the corners, for it to lay a little flatter, I had to snip off some excess fabric before tucking the corners in.  For any fabric stapling job, you always want to start in the middle of the piece and work your way out towards the edges.  It’s a good idea to do a few staples at a time on one side, and then go the opposite side.  Alternate this with stapling the other sides, and keep going around until you get to a corner.  For the corners, you want to pull them as taut as possible one way, folding under, and then the other way.  Because of how this bench is made, I needed to add piping around the bottom of the seat to hid any problems.

Old Covered cording

Old Covered cording

So next I took the old cording and removed all the staples (well, actually Mom did, Thanks!).  I measured how long it was, and cut some fabric to cover it.

Cut pieces

Cut pieces for piping

Since I didn’t have enough in one cut length to cover the cording, it would have to be sewn together.  Putting the two right sides together, stitch a straight and perpendicular line.

Sew pieces together

Sew pieces together

Turn everything right side out, fold in half, and insert cording.  Sew as close to the cording (but not over it!) as you can.

Sew onto cording

Sew onto cording

When you are done, snip off an excessive fabric.

New piping

New piping

You take your newly covered piping and fit it to where you want it on the bench, then staple into place.

Staple onto seat

Staple onto seat

Cut off any little fabric threads, and when you meet up the two ends you have options.  One is to leave some room to fit one end into the other and staple into place.  Or, you can neatly fold them in and staple.  I chose the latter.  Then reattach the bench/legs.  I used new screws that were slightly longer to account for the slightly added depth.

Reattach legs

Reattach legs

Turn it over and admire your handiwork.

Reupholstered bench

Reupholstered bench

Here it is in the guest room, under the one window.

Detail

Detail

A detail of the fabric and the painted bench.  You could coordinate your piping to match the fabric seams and everything, but I wasn’t that worried.  I just wanted this project done.

Finished bench

Finished bench

A cute little bench made even cuter.

 

Linking to these parties:  House of Hepworths, Thrifty Decor Chick, Miss Mustard Seed

 

Comments

  1. Wow that bench looks so sweet! I love it :) Thanks for a great and easy tutorial, I’m really hoping to find a good little bench or table to reupholster soon!

  2. Thanks for the detailed tutorial! I’m pretty darn hopeless with this sort of thing, but I reckon I could manage it if I bookmark this page. =^_^=
    Thinking of all the places now that would look cuter with a little bench. :D

Trackbacks

  1. […] paid $20 for the set, I figured this would be a great “training” piece!  Thanks to my friend Beth’s tutorial, I felt brave enough to try the process myself.  After removing the top from the legs, I picked […]

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