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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Turn everything right side out, fold in half, and insert cording. Sew as close to the cording (but not over it!) as you can.
When you are done, snip off an excessive fabric.
You take your newly covered piping and fit it to where you want it on the bench, then staple into place.
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.
Turn it over and admire your handiwork.
Here it is in the guest room, under the one window.
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.
A cute little bench made even cuter.