An upholstered bench adds beauty, character, and function to any space. Place it anywhere you need extra seating, or a quick place to tie your shoes, for instant charm. This DIY version is easy and budget friendly. Choose a fabric that matches your décor, personality, and style to make it unique and beautiful.
This beautiful bench was built and upholstered by my sister, Beverly. She wrote the tutorial a while back. Enjoy!
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DIY Upholstered Bench Tutorial
- 3/4″ Plywood or particle board cut to the length of the bed x 18″ deep, for the top.
- 4 pieces of 3/4″ plywood or particle board cut to the length and width of the top to place around the perimeter.
- Upholstery Foam
- Upholstery Batting
- L Brackets
- Wood Screws
- Fabric of choice
- Staple Gun
- 4 ready-made wooden legs
Start with a rectangular piece of wood or particle board. The measurements will depend on how long and wide you want it. I wanted mine a little smaller than the size of the mattress, so I measured accordingly. My foam was not very thick, and I wanted to create the illusion of a deep foam, so I added two short pieces and two long pieces of the same wood around the perimeter and made like a little box. If your foam is like 5 inches thick then you don’t have to do this step. Lucky you! I glued it first (see the books holding it together?) and then I added some metal brackets to the inside.
Then I proceeded to attach the legs. I bought them at Lowes (unstained). I just attached them from the top with some screws.
Then I attached the foam pieces (i used scraps) to cover the whole area evenly, after which I laid a piece of batting over to cover all of the foam seams. You don’t want those to show through your fabric (even if you did not have seams on your foam, this step is always done in upholstery).
Now, this is when you get the stapler gun and air compressor. It helps if you have a stapler gun suitable for wood working, but if you don’t, you can still do it, it’s just going to be a little harder.
Lay the piece of fabric on the floor, and turn the bench over on the fabric. You can see that I stapled the batting in some areas just to secure it. You can either staple the batting first and then the fabric, or you can do the two of them at the same time, which I did ’cause I wanted to be done. =-)
Now, this is the tricky part. You want to pull enough to have the fabric be tight. Leave the corners for the end. I chose to make a fold at the corners but you could do a gather if you want. Just remember to pull tight (not extremely though) and staple that section. Start from the center and out on every side. Staple on the inside. I had a hard time stapling my corners because the legs were already attached. Ideally, it would have been best to find a way to screw the legs on the inside after making the bench. Since I did not do that, I stapled as close as I could to the legs and then I used a single sided blade to cut the excess. This is a ‘before’ picture that shows the excess. I forgot to take an ‘after’ picture. Oops!
Here’s the end result. Natalia loved it!
What about the headboard?
Before you go, let me tell you about the headboard. For the longest time I had wanted to build a padded headboard. I think padded headboards are just so cozy and inviting! It all started with my daughter Natalia wanting to change her bedroom colors for her birthday. She had a twin bed from IKEA for quite a while, and when choosing fabrics and colors for the makeover, we decided to sell her twin bed and get her a full size one. This was not going to be a big expense–we had a full size mattress that we normally just used for when our family came over to visit, so we just bought a metal frame that is tall enough to fit storage boxes underneath and that does not require a box spring. Done! The bed did not have a headboard, so my opportunity to build a padded headboard was very close to becoming reality! I was beyond excited. So, bottom line, the bench was an after thought using the leftovers from the headboard 🙂
If you like the headboard, you can get a detailed tutorial, with video, over at Design Sponge !
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That turned out great! My attempts at upholstery so far have been less than stellar lol. But you’ve inspired me to try again =)
Thanks Chris!! Upholstery is NOT my favorite, but it sure is nice when it’s done and it saves SO much money!
– hi it’s looks lovely can you teach me how to make this bench there is no plans or tutorial attached to it.
Hey Cheryl! This is an older tutorial and it isn’t written with as much detail or plans. Sorry about that! If you look under “ Process” there are some instructions. Basically it’s 5 pieces (4sides and top$ of wood (particle board in this case) glued together at the seams and held together with L brackets. Then you add the legs which you can buy already made. I hope this helps!