Bench Rehabbed

Jennifer —  March 28, 2011 — 4 Comments

A couple of weeks ago I posted here that it was time for a furniture rehab.  I found this bench top hidden behinds mounds of stuff at a garage sale.  I could see the sale from my backyard on Saturday afternoon.  Since I am addicted to Garage Sales and Auctions,  I walked out my back gate and went to the sale.  Now, let me say this first…. I hate collecting stuff that I never use.  Everything has to have a place in my house so if I buy something, it must be placed quickly.  I only look for things that I think I can really turn into something special.  This bench was just that.   An Added Bonus was it was 50 cents.  I returned to my backyard with bench in hand.  Here is what it looked like:

It is tufted green upholstered jute like fabric.  There were no legs.  It still had the things that you screw the legs into but they were not lined up correctly and very rusted.

One evening while the hubs and I were watching basketball I deconstructed this bad boy.  It reminded me how well things were made years ago.  To deconstruct upholstery you need the following:

  • Needle nose pliers (for the hundreds…literally.. of staples that I had to pull out)
  • A good pair of scissors
  • A box cutter.  (I made slits in the fabric to cut it)

Here is a pic after deconstruction.


I went to the fabric store and bought this fabric.  I went to Walmart and bought 21 button kits.  I have no idea the designer of this fabric.  I found it at my favorite fabric warehouse in Springfield.  I needed 1.5 yards for this project.

After some serious deliberation, I took the buttons back to Walmart.   I loved the print so much that I didn”t want the buttons taking away from it.  .  The goal going into the rehab was to create a tufted headboard like the one in my guest bedroom.   Sometime, in the middle of a furniture or room rehab you sometimes decide to go another direction.

Rule #1 in Rehabbing:  Listen to your instincts.

They are 95% right most of the time.  ( I have learned this one the hard way…but not on this project)

Rule #2 in Rehabbing:

Never be afraid to modify your original plan if you fee its needed.  I don”t like to live the “I wish I would have” lifestyle.  If you don”t like it..tweak it before you get done with it and walk by it every day saying  “I wish I would have…. “

So I covered the bench in white fabric (cut from an old sheet). The reason for this  was to make sure there wasn”t any indentations seen from the holes.  And, although I would have been the only one to notice, the yellow foam was ever so slightly showing thru the  “lineny” color fabric.  This made it look the crisp color that it is:

Here is the bench completely covered.

I did use piping/cording.  But I used what was already on the bench.  I just made it look better!

Next up was adding legs to the bench.  I stood staring at Lowes for different options.  You can buy legs with hardware already.  I didn”t like my options.  This was a heavy bench…it needed stability.  I was nervous about trying it but I knew that I had to make the legs on my own.  So, I bought 3 Pine 36″” (2.5 by 2.5) pieces of wood and cut them in half.  I spent 12.00 for one piece (so $6 a leg)  Okay, I am over my budget of 25 dollars but the hubs was okay with it…it was for a friend…and it had to be sturdy.  I couldn”t imagine this bench falling with their cute little 1-year-old on top.  It was worth the extra moolah.

I cut them in half (I have the tools but if you don”t Lowes and HD can for you…for free if your buying their lumber) and sprayed them:

To attach them I used a 2 inch reverse screw dowel. After accurately measuring and cutting the upholstery on the bottom, I drilled a hole to the base.  Then I drilled a hole in the leg and screwed in one half of the reverse screw dowel.

Then I screwed in the leg…making sure it was tight.  I also decided to put trim on it.  this was not in the initial plan, but the bench looked too leggy.  So….going on Rule #1 and Rule #2…back to Lowes I go.

Here is the finished product:

Here is it in her house.  She is going to use it as an entry way bench.  Imagine it with bigger baskets and I really big mirror above.  She mentioned painting the mirror the blue in the bench.  I second that bold color choice!

Isnt it cute?   I am sure her space will look awesome with whatever she puts around it!

It took about 5 hours total.  Here is the cost breakdown:

  • Fabric – FM stores 7.99/yd (I bought a yard and a half)  -$12.00
  • Legs – Three 2.5″ X 2.5″  Pine pieces of wood.  (little more expensive because I didn”t have to sand)  $12.00 a piece. - 36.00
  • Foam and board of bench – 50 cents at a garage sale
  • Paint:  Krylon Satin Spray Pain and Satin Primer – Total $7.00
  • White Under fabric: Free…old sheet.
  • Screws: 6 @ $1.18 a pop.  - $7.08
  • Trim: Two  (3/4 by 1.5) pine boards – 2.98 a pop = 5.96
  • Tools and staples – Free.  I had it.
  • Cording: free – used the original
  • Reaction of my BF when I dropped it off at her house:  PRICELESS!!!!!

Total:  $68.54.  Now, its way over my budget.  But I chose to do so.  Why?  Because I originally thought it only needed four legs…AND the type of legs that I chose.  I could have bought an 8 ft. 2X2 out-door beam for $5.98….total.  That would have dropped the price down to $38.52.  If you want to go cheaper…go that option.  BUT, my time was more valuable.  I would have been sanding for hours.  That outdoor stuff has many knots and imperfections.  PLUS, I didn”t get my friend a birthday present for her 30th birthday……enough said.  I asked the hubs if I could spend a little more and he said yes.  If he would have said “not in the budget” my neighbors would have heard the sound of my sander in the wee hours of the morning.  Anway, I googled an upholstered entry bench.  I couldn”t find any as cute as this one that wasn”t $185 or way more!!!  Sounds like a deal to me.

For those who like a bullet pointed “How To”  Here ya go:

How to build/reupholster an Untuffted Bench:

  • Deconstruct your bench”s original upholstery.  Salvage the fabric and use it as a pattern and Salvage the cording if you can.
  • If you are starting from scratch:  Cut the base board to size (chose a 2 inch plywood)  Purchase Foam and glue it to the cut board using spray adhesive. (use an electic carver to cut or even mold your foam)
  • Cover your foam with batting for more cushion.  I chose a white sheet because the foam was the perfect form. .  Staple to the back.  NOTE:  If you are going to trim out your bench then don”t staple right on the edge of the back of the board.  Staple about two inches in.
  • Take your fabric and figure out where you want your print to be.  Then take old fabric and use as a pattern to cut.
  • Cover your bench with your fabric and start to staple  on the back.  Smooth and tighten along the way.
  • Here is a video I used to help me with the corners.
  • Cut a strip long enough for the cording.  If you have to make what you have longer, here is a great video I used to teach me how.
  • Sew the cording.  On one end, fold the fabric over for a finished edge and leave some excess to create a little pocket hole for later when you are finishing the cording.   Here is a great video how to.
  • Cut another peice of your fabric a little bit larger than the bench.
  • Line up your cording with the edge.  Staple it all round.
  • At the corners, make slits in the excess to help it bend around the corner.  Staple as close to the edge as you can.
  • Take the piece of fabric you cut and fold one edge and staple the fold right up against the cording.  You are covering the back of the bench.  Do this all the way around.
  • Cut and paint your legs
  • Depending on the size of the legs measure where the center of the legs will be screwed into the bottom of your bench.
  • Cut away at the fabric where you will drill the pilot hole.  Chose a drill bit a little smaller than your screw.  Drill the pilot hole
  • Drill the pilot hole in the center of the top of the leg.
  • Insert screw.  Use a wrench or something to grip the screw.
  • Now screw the leg into the  bench.  Repeat until all the legs are on.
  • Cut and paint the trim.
  • Use brad nails to nail trim to the base first and then shoot a few into the front where the legs are.
  • Caulk holes and touch up paint!  You are done!
  • I used 1/2 inch staples for upholstery and 2 inch brad nails for the trim.

Hope this helps ya try it!  Thanks for reading,


Here is the bench after my friend decorated it!

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4 responses to Bench Rehabbed

  1. yeeahhhh! it’s so cute!!! Great job!! Enjoy the bench, Ashley! (btw, you only won by default I hope you know. Haha! I declare another giveaway, Reens!!)

  2. This looks great! You are so talented!

  3. Jennifer, feel free to send ANY rehabs my way… you always do fabulous things! I definitely envy your abilities and creativity!

  4. ashley robbins March 31, 2011 at 7:56 am

    amanda we are faithful followers! i am thankful for your i’m 3rd attitude! :) i love the maternity clothes bin by my door…it’s gone now as brapp has it! so classy!

    reens, i LOVE it. i think i screamed like i had just met Sherry and John. Ha!

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