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 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!
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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 the 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.
“Squeeee!”…how darn spiffy is that bench!?
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. If you liked this up-cycle and bedroom re-do project, you might want to take a look at our other refurbish, update and re-do furniture projects. I’ll be back next week to share more of how we transformed her room from middle school to young adult.
Thanks again for spending a few minutes of your busy day with me today.
Please know that I welcome each and every comment that comes my way.
I absolutely love the bench makeover! Isn’t it fun to be able to completely transform a piece of furniture like that? It’s perfect and I’m glad Kate loves it too!
Hi Katie, thanks so much for your kind words and it really was so much fun for Kate and I to jazz it up and make it what she wanted. Thanks so much for stopping by today.
I’ve never even known a needle could go through wood! I have a bench that is so sad. My daughter uses it to play her harp. For such a regal instrument her bench should definitely look like yours! Pinning this to my furniture board. Have a great day, Lynn.
Hi Kathryn, just a point of clarification, I drilled a hole in wood for the needle to go through. I need to go check my post to make sure that I mentioned that! (yikes!)
The harp is a beautiful instrument and so you might need to spruce up the bench. It was really quite easy, even with the broken leg.
Thanks for stopping by!
Lynn the bench was a duck and has become a swan! Lucky you in finding it at the right time. Andhow about those confused store personnel, not knowing if they should sell or not. They should have given it to you for free! Anyway that was quite a dramatic makeover. It looks nothing like it’s former self. I really like the white glammy fabric you used and of course the legs match perfectly.. Your daughter musst be thrilled!
Hi Mary, as always, I so appreciate your kind words. Your ugly duckling/swan analogy is spot on. And I actually asked the manager, the first time, if I could get it out of the dumpster if she wouldn’t sell it to me and she said that would be impossible. It was really funny at the time and even funnier that they put it back out on the floor.
I hope that your new year is starting off well…I guess you are still celebrating the 12 days of Christmas?
Have a great day, Lynn
Oh my goodness…I am having a fit over this bench, Lynn. What a fabulous upcycle!!! This is getting pinned. Absolutely gorgeous work!!!
Erica- Designing Vibes
Hi Erica, thanks so much for the compliments. I’m pretty tickled with how it turned out as well, but more importantly, my daughter loves it. I really did enjoy the Cinderella transformation and now am looking for more candidates for the treatment.
Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind words.
Lynn, I love your creativity and resourcefulness. That bench was just meant to be in Kate’s room. It wanted someone to love it. Thanks for sharing on Your Inspired Design.
Hi Carol, thanks so much for your kind compliments. I agree that it had to be kismet that we ended up with that bench and made it into something special. I really do love it…and more importantly, so does Kate.
Have a fantastic day!
This is an amazing idea! Thanks for sharing. Hi, I’m Anita visiting from I’m Lovin’ It Link Party.
Hi Anita, thanks for visiting and for your compliments. Hope you have a fantastic day. Lynn
Wow, Lynn, I love the make over! The bench is so cute and I love the white & gold combination! I’m sure you and your daughter had a fun time together! You won’t believe this, but the exact same thing happened to me once at a Winners store in Canada!!! I wanted to buy an armchair and it wasn’t marked down, but had a bad crack as well, so I figured I’d ask if they’d sell it for less, but they took it and didn’t want to sell it at all… I never saw it again… That was that! Funny, hey??? I’m glad you saw yours and you two ended up together!!!
Guten Morgen Katrin, how funny that we have these similar likes and experiences half a world away! I’m sorry you didn’t end up with your chair!? Kate and I were so disappointed the first time when we didn’t come home with the bench, so I know how you felt. But there’s another chair out there waiting for you!
Kate and I really enjoyed the process. We had Terry involved as well, so it was great fun. It’s always a good thing when your idea comes to fruition. Right?
Wishing you a happy Friday and a wonderful weekend.
Amazing transformation…it’s stunning!
Thanks Carol. We are quite pleased with it. Thanks for stopping by today.
This is so cute! You can’t even recognize it as the same bench! I really want to get better at repurposing old furniture. I’m not very experienced at sewing or woodworking. I’ll just have to fall down the rabbit hole for a few hours to read up on your projects. 🙂
Hi Gina…It really doesn’t look like the same bench…I agree with you. And I think you just need to dive in to the re-purposing furniture thing. You just have to find something that speaks to you. Thanks for stopping by today.
It sure is glam! Great job!
Thanks so much for your kind words Zografia. I appreciate you stopping by today.
Oh my goodness, I just love how adorable and modern this is! Fuzzy and gold has to be one of my most favorite combos ever 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up at The DIY Collective!
Hi Erica, you are right…you can’t beat ‘fuzzy’ + ‘gold’…a match made in heaven. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words.
Have a great weekend.
What a fantastic makeover! I absolutely love that fluffy fabric. I have a blanket box that has needed a makeover for years, I’m wondering if I could do something similar… thank you for the inspiration! x
Hi Rebecca…what’s not to love about fluffy stuff? I’m not sure what a blanket box is, but I’d imagine you could add fluffy fabric to it…it’s very forgiving.
Thanks for stopping by today.
I love fluffly thigns! I used to have cusions that match that bench would have been perfect! great up cycle.
Hi Charolotte…I’ve got to tell you, when my eye first caught your message I thought it said “I love fluffy thighs!” And I’m like…”don’t be saying things about my thighs!” But then I realized what you were REALLY saying and it wasn’t nearly as exciting!
Truly though, thanks for stopping by today and wishing you an enjoyable weekend.
Love this project! Thanks for sharing how you fixed the broken bench too. I find items so often that are discounted because they are broken, so it’s nice to get some tips on how to fix them & take advantage of those discounts.
Good look finding a broken thing that’s not too broken to have fun with. I find that when I’m looking, I can never find anything. Isn’t that the way it always is? You just need to be in the right time at the right place.
I’m glad you found our little tutorial helpful. Thanks for stopping by to visit today.
The stool looks great! Very nice job. You can’t even tell the leg was broken.
Thanks Kelly…I’ll pass your compliments on to Terry…who is the labor behind the look.
What a great project! I would be so afraid of the white.
Hi Sarah, I’d be afraid of it as well if I had a younger child. But not only is my daughter 19-years old, but she’s at school so not in her room very often. Thanks for visiting. Lynn
Good job with the stool – I love the combination of the gold together with the cream/white fur. I have just revamped a small set of rattan drawers with gold paint, with this in mind I think I might keep my eye out for a little stool to do up too.
Oooh, I want to see your rattan drawers. Is it on your site? I need to pop over and have a look. Thanks for stopping by today!
This is such a great idea! I never think to buy things and upcycle them! It goes perfectly with the rest of the room – no wonderKate is pleased! #KCACOLS
Hi Maria, I really enjoy transforming items into something I love or need. It’s my fun hobby. Thanks for stopping by today! Lynn
I love what you did to it. I bought a foot stool from the liquidation of the Sahara casino that I knew I wanted to up cycle. I have not gotten around to that yet, but your post has inspired me. Thank you.
Hi Deedra…I’d love to see the before and after once you get it done and I’m so glad that I may have offered some inspiration. Thanks for stopping by today.
LOVE the bench makeover. Wow!! I like how fixed the leg too. Clever! I’d love to have you come to my craft party which is new Thursdays at 7pm EST. Have a fabulous week!
I’d love to attend your party Denise. Thanks for the invitation and thanks for stopping by today.
See you tomorrow, Lynn
I have so many planned and I know that nothing can beat that exhilarating feeling of accomplishment, once completed What an inspirational make-over! I need a talk with myself!
Good Evening Amanda, give yourself a little pep talk and get going. I find that once I complete one project I’m ready to start on another, but I haven’t yet accumulated a queue. Need to get out and start finding projects. Wishing you an enjoyable Thursday evening.
Yippee I’m so glad you eventually managed to get the bench and might I add what a fabulous job you did, it’s absolutely gorgeous! Oh Lynn I really can’t wait to see what the rest of your daughters room looks like after reading this post.Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again on Sunday! Xx #KCACOLS
Thanks so much. Finishing up her room soon, so you won’t have to wait too long. Thanks for hosting at KCACOLS and I’ll be back this weekend!
Oh my gosh I love it! I have a VERY plain Ikea stool that is begging for an update. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂
Hi Megan, thanks so much for loving my bench. I wish I had something else in the queue to update…I need to get a stash going. So glad I might’ve provided a wee bit of inspiration and I’d love to see what you end up doing with your stool
Thanks for stopping by.
What a beautiful upcycled bench! I love what you did to it!
Thanks Brittany, high praise coming from the Pretty Handy Girl! So glad to have participated in your DIY Like a Boss party this past week and plan to be back next week. Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by to visit.
Happy Sunday, LYnn
OMG Lynn, This is just impressive!! You are just so talented!! I’m not very good at this type of things but I really love watching the transformation. I’m so amazed of how did you managed to upcycle this bench like that!! You have done an amazing job!! My mum is a decorator (more a hobby than a job) and she would love this!! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again on Sunday! 🙂 x
Good Morning Franca! Thanks for your very kind words about my bench. It’s a fun little thing with a great back story, you wouldn’t think it would have been so hard to buy this ugly little guy!
You have a wonderful party going on and I hope to get there on a regular basis.
Thanks for stopping by today and wishing you a happy Sunday!
Lynn, this is so cool. Kate has great taste and you and Terry have mad skills! I love that you ended up with the bench after losing it once, you were meant to have it! I love the brace on the leg, it brings so much to the style, Terry did a great job with it. I’m not a “gold” lover, I’m more of a silver girl, but I’m coveting this bench. It turned out perfect, and I have to admit, I love your knock-off much more than the expensive original!!!! Great job.
Good Sunday Morning Nikki!
I do chuckle about how hard it was to get this rather ugly, unwanted bench. It’s fun when there is a back story to an item in your home…gives them even more character. And while I’m pretty certain that Anthropologie Mongolian Sheep Skin bench is crazy soft…our JoAnn’s Fabric clearance bin fake fur is just perfect for our needs…and our wallet! And it’s fun watching Terry come along on the DIY journey. He’s not a natural DIY-er and more function over form. He could care less what it looks like as long as it would withstand an nuclear holocaust. My job is to balance the form and function thing.
Thanks for stopping by…Lynn
Lynn, this bench makeover is incredible! I love the combo of the fur and gold, especially! Thanks for linking up with Creative Spark; I’m featuring your beautiful bench at this week’s party 🙂
Hi Emily…thanks for the feature! You are, as ever, the BOMB!
We do love the gold/fur thing…it’s a match made in heaven.
Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words.
Wishing you a fantastic weekend. Lynn
I am so in love with your bench redo that I have chosen this DIY as one of my favorite three! Come see it being featured tonight (Thursday 7pm EST) and link up your latest project!
Thanks Denise! I am being tickled to be one of your features this week. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for featuring my fun, fuzzy bench.