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Upholstering Little Bench – A sweet spot to land

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If you stuck through my ugly post yesterday. I have some pretty pictures for you today!

Two years ago I happened upon a cute little bench being thrown out with a neighbor’s trash. (I am addicted to trashed furniture. In fact, I have a NASTY chair in my garage that needs a lot of help structurally and asthetically.)

The roadside bench was painted a very blah beige color. I brought her home and gave her some decorative lines and a monogram. At the time we didn’t have anywhere to sit in our mudroom, so this little bench served the purpose well. Later I built a big mudroom hallway bench with built in shoe storage (I promise to create a tutorial for that at a later date.) So, this little bench was moved to the guest room where she sat by the window until this week.

The first thing I did was give her a little rub down with some sand paper. Then I laid down 3 coats of fresh shiny white paint (leftover from trim and moulding painting).

I used some old foam I saved from our move (only 3+ years ago). This foam was the packing material used to ship ice cream cones! I received it from a nice woman off of FreeCycle.org and thought it could be used for a cushion at some point.

I cut some batting to fit over and wrap around the foam (so as to hide all the seams in the foam).

Then cut the arms off of an old t-shirt of Pretty Handsome Guys (don’t worry, he had already said goodbye to it.) And cut up the sides so I could use just the back of the shirt.

And finished off with the decorative fabric cut slightly larger than all the other layers.

I carefully folded my decorative fabric under being sure that I had the old t-shirt hidden in the fold. And put in two staples with the staple gun to hold the fabric on the one side.

Moving over to the other side, I cut the t-shirt, batting, and decorative fabric down to size being sure to leave about an inch excess on the decorative fabric.

Then I repeated the same fold under and put in two staples.

Now for the bling! I had plenty of leftover nailhead trim from this project (check that link out if you need a better tutorial on adding nailhead trim.) I began at the corner of the front of my bench and added the starter nail.

At this point my 6 yr. old had come over to my side telling me how bored he was and, “What can I do now?” I asked if he wanted to help me hammer. Once I started each nail, he was able to hammer it into the nailhead trim for me. (I did have to finish a few off myself.) We worked together adding the nailhead trim to the front and back of the bench.

Before adding the trim to the sides I neatly folded and tucked under all the layers (cutting excess off when necessary.) Until it looked like this. Then I added the trim on top to hold the fabric in place.

And there she was, my beautiful cushioned bench for our guest room. I’ve been busy trying to finish a few projects (rebuilding a curbside chair and making a night stand from a door and picket fence) in this room before my best friend from high school comes to visit. Nothing like a visitor to get your DIY butt in gear!

 Sittin’ pretty
Sweet smelling soaps in a coordinating bowl
My trash to treasure bench is now a sweet spot to land
44 replies
  1. cushycottage
    cushycottage says:

    love your tutorial. the spring fabric is beautiful. i'm hunting for a bench too. hope i can score one soon.

  2. Sharon@thisthriftyhouse
    [email protected] says:

    SO FUNNY–I was just taking a break from re-appolstering a little bench/foot stool–when I got your awesome messages that you posted on my blog–so I thought I would come over and take a look at your blog–only to see this post where you are doing the exact same thing that I am doing right now!! AND I am excited to be your 100th follower!!! Congratulations on 100!!

  3. gnee @ Singing With Birds
    gnee @ Singing With Birds says:


    This is such a fabulous remake…just love it. Your fabric and nail heads, turned hoe hum into terrific. Congratulations on a great job…and thanks for your visit! I'll be back for sure.

  4. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I linked to this post today from the new Home & Garden channel at Craft Gossip. 🙂 My hope is to share many of the fabulous projects I see everyday with the vast CG audience. I hope you will not only stop by and subscribe to CG, but will tell your friends about the new category! Hope you see some traffic from it!

    Your feature will appear in the main Craft Gossip RSS feed, on the main home page and can be found directly here

    If you would like a "featured by" button, let me know 😉

  5. Rachelle @ Adventures in Creating
    Rachelle @ Adventures in Creating says:

    Hi! Stopping by from Domestically Speaking. The bench turned out so cute! I love curbside finds! I love the fabric you chose.

  6. Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking
    Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking says:

    That is just lovely! I love the creamy white and the fabric is gorgeous! I'm putting it in the PoPP Spotlight tomorrow.

  7. Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures
    Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures says:

    Congrats on your feature at POPP. This bench certainly deserves it. I love the last photo. It all looks so beautiful together.

  8. Caitlin Campbell
    Caitlin Campbell says:

    Yes, this turned out so cute and I love the addition of the tray with soaps. Any guest would be lucky to be able to stay in that sweet room! Can't wait for your blog about the gate turned nightstand!

  9. Jenni
    Jenni says:

    That is wonderful! I love the transformation you gave it, and where you put it! 🙂 I also love your blog name…Now I am off to go follow your blog! 🙂

    Have a great night!

  10. gnee @ Singing With Birds
    gnee @ Singing With Birds says:


    Congratulations, your bench made this week's Top 5 Hits at Singing With Birds. Come check it out, grab a blog button and have a great weekend!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] To secure the foam, cover the foam with the old t-shirt. Trim and staple the edges. Repeat the same process with your furry fabric. (Need more upholstery tips, you can read how I upholstered a roadside rescued bench.) […]

  2. […] Pretty Handy Girl made a small cushion for a charming, small bench and we’re in love. This one even has some studded accents! […]

  3. […] Check out this trash to treasure find, Brittany, at Pretty Handy Girl transformed from sad to fab! Upholstering Little Bench-A sweet spot to land just made me smile! I’m always amazed at the remakes I see, and this is an no exception. […]

  4. […] Nailhead Trim Bench October 8, 2011 By Beckie // Pretty Handy Girl Brittany had a little bench that was formerly a roadside find from a couple years back. The once blah beige […]

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