June 24, 2016

How to recover a bench| Before & After

Happy Friday Friends!

Boy have we been busy over here! Since schools out for the summer so I am spending more time outdoors, on Lake Michigan, and away from screens. But sprinkle in some quick DIY's here and there and it's the perfect balance....well as perfectly balanced as a summer with kids gets.

Today I have a quick tutorial for you...because who doesn't want one of those! Grab an iced coffee and come along with me.

I have probably re-covered and re-purposed a dozen benches and stools. Some already had fabric and filling and others I added foam and fabric to turn what was a table into a bench. So, when my little diy project went down this week I wanted to share with you my process!

Sometimes on Craigslist you just hit the jack pot. I had been searching and searching for an inexpensive vanity bench or stool for my foyer.  My only criteria was a metal base and that it fit within my table's parameters.  Of course I also wanted to keep it budget friendly as brand new ones were in the $150-$200 range.  So I had my eye set on this bench from Bed Bath and Beyond. It was a bit smaller than I wanted so I kept searching Craigslist for an alternative and then this beauty popped up.

After a few texts and a 20 minute drive I was the proud new owner. The dimensions were PERFECT, it was in great condition, and the price tag of $30 couldn't be beat.  After a little research I realized the bench also came from Bed Bath and Beyond and was originally $80. Score! You can find it here

So, I brought this beauty home and couldn't wait to get started on her makeover.  
But she sat for a few days while I pondered a few things...mainly the fabric. Butttt that's a post for another day. 
Let's dive into the makeover!

Here's what you'll need:

The first order of business is to disassemble the bench seat from the base. I flipped the bench over and removed the 4 screws. Easy Peasy.  I set the seat aside and brought the base out to the garage to spray.

This step is obviously optional if you intend on keeping the base the same color but I wanted to add my usual gold flare.  I wiped the base down with a damp rag to remove any dust. Nothing worse than spraying some dust bunnies.

For this project I selected the Krylon metallic  spray paint in gold.  It was actually the first time I had ever used this type of spray paint (I usually use Rustoleum) but I was at the craft store and it was on sale. So Bam.  I really liked the shade of gold and the coverage so I will definitely be using this again.   

After the first coat she looked like this:

Fancy huh?

While the second coat was drying I started assembling my new bench seat.

Now here's the thing about fabric.  I've recovered benches using curtains, apparel fabric, cotton, up to high quality linen. As long as you have enough fabric, you love it, and its durable who cares where it comes from! I haven't recovered any bench or stool that required more than a yard of fabric but it's best to measure before purchasing of course.

For this project I went with a cotton home decor fabric simply because I liked the pattern.  It's by Waverly (Work of Art Caviar) and I scored it for 50% off. It's still on sale here!

I ironed the fabric and laid it out over the bench to get an idea of how the pattern was going to lay.

Once I was happy with the placement of the flowers I started cutting the excess fabric.
I left about a 6 inch border around the bench to accommodate for wrapping and stapling.

I flipped the fabric and bench over to start stapling.  
I think of this as wrapping a present but instead of taping we are adding staples. I have also used spray adhesive in the past to ensure the fabric sticks to the bench but I didn't this time as the results were still great.  

I fold over the fabric and start stapling in this order:

Once I started folding the fabric over I realized I still had a bit too much so I cut off more excess (maybe another 2 inches around). You also want to make sure when you are folding the fabric and stapling that you don't cover the holes where the screws attach.

Once you get to sides 3 and 4 then you need to make sure the corners are folded and tucked before stapling, much like the "wrapping a present" analogy.

First you make your crease and staple this to the bench. 

Then you fold the bottom over the crease gently pulling taut and staple.  You'll do this for each corner.  The key is to make sure you don't have a bulk of excess fabric here so the corners don't bunch.  Best to start with too much fabric and then cut back as you need to.

After your corners are done it's smooth sailing. Time to flip it over and admire your work!

I was all giddy to put this together again! I may have pet the fabric once or twice....

To reassemble just flip the bench seat over, place the base on top, and screw them back together. It literally took 30 seconds.

My heart exploded when I saw the finished product!

How chic is that?

The rest of the foyer isn't ready for her debut, but I can tell you this was just the thing it needed to start tying the whole look together!

Here's a few more glamour shots:

And the obligatory before/after:

Here's the cost breakdown!

Bench $30
1 can of spray paint $6.50
1 yd of fabric $25

Total Cost: $61.50

Had I paid full price for everything it would have been around $140! Bam. I can't wait to get the rest of this foyer complete so I can share! 

Anyone else hit the Craiglist Jackpot lately? I'd love to hear about it! Have a great weekend!


  1. Love the fabric you chose, and how it is so different from the wallpaper. They compliment each other beautifully!

  2. Oh my gosh, Colette, this is AMAZING! I've been scared to tackle any sort of fabric makeover but this look so easy, and the result is just perfect. I can't wait to see the whole finished foyer!

  3. Girl I love it! That gold just makes it dynamite and this is so easy to do! Great work can't wait to see the reveal :)

    Lauren | Lovely Decor

  4. Love quick, easy DIY (my favorite kind)! Looks great! Just on Thursday I scored a large marble top (real marble!) dining table for $75 from Craigslist that I'm going to convert into a coffee table! Remove the top, buy some new legs, a little epoxy, a few screws and it will be done! Who could pass up a hunk of real marble for only $75?! Not this girl!

  5. Love quick and easy DIY (my favorite kind)! Looks great! Making fast progress on that foyer! Just this Thursday I scored a real marble dining table from Craigslist for $75! I am going to covert it to a coffee table by removing the top from the original table and adding new legs. Who could pass up a large hunk of real marble for $75? Not this girl!


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