June 12, 2014

Sometimes a cheap and easy project is exactly what I need.  Even though I have a gazillion enormous projects that need my attention, last night I was like “hey un-finished family room built-ins, I need a break from you and your total life domination.  So I’m leaving you (for the night) for a cheap thrift store bench.”

I picked up this sad little guy for $6 last week from a thrift store (please look past the construction zone in the background).

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The paint color was most unfortunate, but the worst part was by far the lumpy batting.  I dare say it had the worst upholstery job I’ve ever seen.  It was clear it wasn’t originally upholstered and someone added the fabric and stuffing.  I knew with some paint and recovering, it would be perfect for a new space I’ve been working on.

I first took it all apart.  I lightly sanded the base, wiped it down with a clean cloth, then moved it outside and gave it two coats of white gloss spray paint I already had on hand.  Easy peasy.


Then it was time to tackle the seat.


Using a flat head screwdriver, I lifted the staples, the pulled them out with some pliers.  It took about 35 minutes to get them all out.  I tossed the fabric and the pillow stuffing.



I had some leftover batting on hand from past projects, and laid down two layers, then cut it to size using the wood as a template.  I left about 3 inches all around.




I started in the middle and using a staple gun, started gently pulling the batting up, folding it over, then stapling it into place.  Once I had three in place, I did about three on the other side.   I worked my way out to the sides, then did date same thing.  The corners just take some manipulation to make the batting lay correctly, then I just the execs away.  Not every staple will go all the way in, so I use a rubber hammer to pound them in.

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Ruby checked up n my workmanship and kept me in line.  She’s a slave driver, that one.

Once all the batting was in place, I cut off the extra all the way around.

The fabric was a cheerful print I picked up on sale at JoAnn’s a while ago for $9 a yard.  It is outdoor fabric, so it’s durable and cleans pretty easily.


Following the same technique I used with the batting, I cut the fabric to size around the bench, leaving about three inches, and worked my way around, starting in the middle and stapling it into place.  I pulled it over the edge of the batting to make it neater.



I lined up the pattern carefully so it would be straight once stapled.  The key to a tailored look is it to make sure the fabric is taut, but not stretched so it warps the pattern.  For the corners, I kind of pleated them and used multiple staples to hold them in place.  I then cut off the excess.

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All that was left to do was screw the top back onto the base and put it into place.

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Cute, right?  Not bad for under $10.

He isn’t going to stay in my entryway– I have other plans for him.  As soon as we finish up the laundry room (we are soooo close!), he will live in there, creating a sort of mud room area.

Sometimes all a poor piece of furniture needs is some paint and fabric to give it a new life.  And of course, a little bit of love.

Jen Signature photo JenSignature_zpse63747c4.jpg

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  1. Gorgeous transformation- what a bright happy color!
    Goes to show how sometimes sad pieces just need a little love to help make them shine…

  2. Such a cute idea! I have a similar bench I’ve been contemplating redoing. This tutorial is just what I needed. 🙂 Great post!

  3. Suzanne says:

    Jen: Can you please check your feedburner automatic subscription? I am not getting notifications of new posts on my email and yet when I try to subscribe again, I get a message saying I am already subscribed. You are one of my fave bloggers, congrats on the Domino best BLOG article!

  4. Love all the pictures! I am a visual learner, so to see step by step how you did this is so helpful!

  5. KK says:

    I love this idea! I have tried something similar with a small footstool, I really like your step-by-step instruction.

  6. Lauren says:

    I absolutely love this!

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