Reupholstering a Bench

Finished 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

 

Making an Upholstered Bench – in progress

Peanut Says "It's Not Done"

I wanted to show you something I’ve been working on, and unfortunately have run out of energy at the moment to complete it.  Maybe next weekend?

I’ve been working at turning this headboard into a bench.

Twin Bed Guest Room

Twin Bed Guest Room

I felt that the fabric was too modern when paired directly against the antique bed spread.  I like both of these fabrics independently, and want to keep both in the room.  The gray on the walls is a more modern tone, which goes great with the Ikea fabric, but I wanted to tone down the room some too and introduce some softer, older elements.  The bed spread quilt has colors in it that are all found in the Ikea fabric, and I love the large, graphic design.  I am hoping to soon have my childhood bed, which was originally my grandfather’s.  It should look good with the quilt.

At first, I thought it was going to be an easy project and just add some legs.  Well, that part was really easy, but it doesn’t look quite right.  It’s not stable either, so I definitely need to bolster the legs.  Here’s Peanut checking it out.  She wouldn’t even jump on top of it.

Peanut Says "It's Not Done"

Peanut Says "It's Not Done"

So to add to it, to make it appear more in balance and to actually be stable, I’m going to buy a few pieces of lumber cut to size, and basically make an apron secured to the legs.  I’ll probably add an extra brace between the shorter distances towards the bottom as well.

So far, to get to this point, first I made the top.  You can read my tutorial for making the headboard here.

The materials list is:

-1 piece of plywood cut to size –  I used the left over piece from the king sized headboard they cut for me at home depot.  The dimensions are 48″ wide by 20″ tall.

-Foam – I like the feeling and depth of 2″ foam.

-Spray Adhesive – to attach the foam to the plywood.

-Batting – for this project, I bought one yard of batting.

-Fabric – Apx. 1 yard.  (If you buy a pattern, be wary of which direction you want the fabric to go and how much you’ll need).

-Staples and Staple gun.

-4 Heavy duty plates with screws

-4  (15″) Legs (depending on how high or low you’d like it)

-Stain or Paint

-gloves if using stain

-Paint brush or foam brush for paint/stain

-Clean rags for stain

-Lumber for apron 2 pieces 34 1/2″ long by 3″ wide, 1″ depth, 2 pieces 14 1/2″ long by 3″ wide, 1″ depth.

-Lumber for leg support, 2 14 1/2″ long by 1″ or 2″ square.

-Screwdriver and screws

-Wood glue

I decided to stain the legs black.  I thought about paint, but I wanted to try this stain and seal all in one by Minwax.  I originally bought it to try out on my cheese boxes.  That project was a fail, but I had plenty left over for this project!

Stain

Stain

To compliment the modern fabric, I went with a modern parson leg.  Each leg and plate together was under $7.

Unstained Legs

Unstained Legs

And about 5 minutes later…

Stained Legs

Stained Legs

This stain was incredibly easy to use.  You brush it on, wipe it off.  Done.  I would only say, be careful of what you are choosing to stain.  It’s best to probably hit your wood with a very light sand, or clean them well and let them dry thoroughly before painting/staining.

Heavy Duty Top Plate and leg

Heavy Duty Top Plate and leg

I realize that I probably came at this project completely backwards.   Oh well, I’ll do the best I can.

This picture explains the anatomy of the top:

Anatomy of an upholstered top

Anatomy of an upholstered top

After upholstering the top, I added the heavy duty plates to the underside, measuring about 1″ in on either side.  Screw into place.

Screw plate down

Screw plate down

I was disappointed that these did not hug the legs as tightly as I wanted them to.  At first, the legs felt very sturdy.  But within minutes, you could tell they weren’t.  Some don’t want to thread right, some felt like they just kept spinning in place.  Another reason to bolster the legs with supports.

Attach Legs

Attach Legs

Aaaaaaand that’s where I am.  I have my measurements, and just need to get to home depot.  I could do it this week…or I might not.  To tell you the truth, sometimes I’m just too tired.  I work full time, and commute about 2 hours (total) a day.  By the time I get home, most of the time I feel like just curling up on the couch with my laptop, or a book.  Sometimes, I just want to watch some HGTV.  Does anyone else feel like that?

I’ll let you know as soon as I’ve finished this project, but please don’t hold your breath.  :)