Up-Cycle a Bench: from Glum to Glam
Hi Friends, I hope you are having success with your Unclutter Your Nest Boot Camp! We are lean, mean uncluttering machines in this house. But, we’ve also been making time for some fun stuff.
As part of the whole ‘get the house ready to sell in the near future’ thing, we knew we would need to paint a couple of rooms before it went on the market. One of the rooms that needed to be painted was our daughter’s. It had been painted a very bright aqua color 7 years ago which was very appropriate for a middle school aged pre-teen, not so much for a high school-aged teen and even less so for a college-aged young lady. Coupled with the fact that neutral colors are always best when selling a home, we knew we needed to paint her room some shade of white. Kate was home for an entire month over Christmas, so we decided it’d be a great time to update her room.
She had decided on a black/pink/gold color scheme and had been sending me room ideas for a couple of months and had even created a Pinterest Board for her room. Two of her pins featured ‘fuzzy’ seating, one was this Anthropologie stool covered in Mongolian Sheep Fur. We started noodling on how we could accomplish the furry bench without paying the Anthro price.
In the midst of our brainstorming. Kate and I were shopping and spotted a bench that was on the clearance area because one of the legs was broken. As it was, this bench was not at all our style, but we immediately thought back to the Anthro stool and figured that it was kismet.
So here’s a funny story: The bench was marked down because of its broken leg, but I was feeling rather empowered on this day and decided I’d ask if I could get a further markdown. A manager was called and I asked her if she would consider taking a bit more off of the bench. Instead, she said she couldn’t sell the bench at all and had to take it off of the floor and dispose of it, that it would be a liability to sell it. Despite my efforts to reason with her, she wouldn’t budge and took the bench off of the floor. Kate and I were dejected as we saw the hopes of re-doing our bench disappear behind the counter. Bummer! That’s what I get for feeling empowered!
Fast forward a week and I was back at this store, standing in line to return an item when what should catch my eye in the clearance section, but THE BENCH that was a liability and couldn’t be sold! I popped out of line, grabbed the bench that was still priced what it was when I saw it the week before, and bought it before it could be snatched away again!
Kate was giddy when I showed up with the bench and we immediately went looking for fabric. We found some white fuzzy fabric, on a 50% off sale nevertheless, and some gold buttons. Then we headed to Lowe’s to figure out how to fix the broken leg. We bought 4 6″ mending plates and some corner brackets and went home to give Terry his early Christmas present! ?
Instructions on How to Up-cycle a Bench:
- The first thing we did was take the fabric and tufting buttons off of the original bench.
- We took the fabric apart so that we could use the pieces as a pattern for our new covering.
- I then sewed the fabric together to create the covering.
- At this point we needed to repair the wood structure of the bench.
- We completely detached the broken leg and then reglued the whole thing.
- We then drilled a hole for a 2.5″ countersunk screw to more securely attach the bottom of the leg to upper portion of the leg.
- For added reinforcement we attached corner braces and a mending plate. While these plates and braces were purely functional, we also liked the look they gave the bench.
- Once the leg was repaired, we spray painted the base with Rustoleum Metallic Gold
- Once the paint was dried, we drilled holes through the wood base where the tufted buttons were previously attached.
- Then we secured the furry fabric ( and some white lining to block the yellow foam showing through) to the bench with a staple gun and attached the gold buttons for the tufting.
- For the tufting I purchased a 6-inch upholstery needle to get through the wood base and foam covering and 5 gold buttons. I also used 5 buttons I already had for the bottom of the bench to secure the tufting thread.
- I used a small needle to attach heavy duty thread to the button for the bottom of the bench. Once the button is firmly attached to the thread, I transferred the thread to the longer needle. I used this needle to go through the wood and foam and out the top. I transferred the thread to the smaller needle (if necessary) to attach it to the gold button for the top of the bench. Using the threaded long needle, I went back down and tied off the thread around the button on the bottom. I made sure that the thread was taut so that the gold button with sink into the fabric a bit.
Needless to say, Kate loves her sassy glam bench. In addition to re-doing this bench, we painted Kate’s room, painted her bed, made a slew of pillows, hung a gallery wall and up-dated her PB Teen Tiled Bulletin Board. I’ll be back next week to share more of how we transformed her room from middle school to young adult.
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