Saturday, 11 February 2012

Upholstered Bench

When trying to find a way to tie my new fabric into the whole house, I decided to upcycle an old coffee table into a bench for our front entrance. This isn’t just any old coffee table. It has history and means a lot to me. You see, my first year teaching I taught in a small, northern community. It wasn’t a good fit for me and I only lasted one year but while I was there I had some amazing students. I lived in a furnished teacherage but it didn’t have a coffee table. Because furniture was difficult to find and very expensive to buy, I had a couple students make this coffee table for me in shop class.

Anyway, enough of the reminiscing and on to the “how to”…

Here’s what I used:
The coffee table
Spray paint
A foam mat (camping style)
A marker
Tacky glue
Glue gun and glue
Exacto knife
Staple gun

I started off by spray painting the bench. This should have been quick but took quite a while. The table was purple and it took more coats of paint than I expected to get full coverage. Unfortunately, on my last coat I ran out of paint with about 2 square feet left to cover. Because I live in a small community I couldn’t buy the colour spray paint I needed and had to wait until a colleague went to the city a week later and picked some up for me. I got her to get me two cans, just in case. I didn't bother spray painting the top because I knew it would be covered.

Next, I placed the table upside down on my foam. I was going to buy foam at the fabric store but the awesome sales associate informed me it would be much cheaper to go buy a foam camping pad. I found this one, which is 3 inches thick, on clearance because it had been discoloured by the sun. I love saving money! Anyway, I traced the top of the table on the foam and cut it out.

Once the foam was cut out, I glued it to the bench, turned the bench upside down and let it dry overnight.

Next, I spread my fabric out on the kitchen table with the right side down and placed my bench on top on the fabric.

I used a glue gun to attach the fabric around the cushion to the bottom of the bench. I did the two long sides first and then the two short sides, folding the corners like I was wrapping a present. I used an Exacto knife to cut off the excess fabric and then stapled it down with a staple gun to make it extra secure.

The bench is now in the front entrance, waiting for company to sit on it while they tie their shoes - we use the kitchen door but that's another post. In order to protect the bench but still allow us somewhere to store shoes I put an old rubber mat on the bottom shelf. That way we don't lose storage.



  1. Love those colors!Glad to find a new great blog to follow. I'm following on the new Linky tool, so please come by and follow back so we can stay connected. Feel free to follow on GFC and Linky, as I love em' both, Lori

  2. Love it! Great tutorial. I may have to try this:)

  3. What a wonderful souvenir your students built for you! It looks really good all spruced up as a bench! Thanks so much for linking up at my greener linky party!


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