Let’s finish off that Farmhouse bench you just built with this simple and beautiful upholstery DIY. This DIY can be used to add an upholstered seat to most tables and benches.
In my last post, I went through the steps to build and finish my Chunky Leg, Farmhouse Bench. Today, we are topping that bench off with an easy upholstered seat. This DIY Upholstered Bench Plan is a pretty simple build with the right tools and a little experience. And how awesome is that end result?!
You can find those gorgeous chunky legs on Osborne Wood Products site. They’ll wrap them up nice and snug and deliver them straight to your door. You can grab the rest of the materials at your local Lowe’s, Home Depot, and on Amazon. Easy, peasy.
I have to admit, I was a little worried about ordering fabric from Amazon. It’s the kind of thing you’d normally want to see in person, but this fabric is just beautiful and so strong. I am absolutely planning to use it on a couple more projects. But let’s wrap up this one first. 😉
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Materials for this DIY Upholstered Bench Plan
- 4 – Knotty Pine Shanty 2 Chic Coffee Table Legs
- 2 – 10″ long 1″x4″ Select Pine boards
- 2 – 10″ long 1″x3″ Select Pine boards
- 2 – 40″ long 1″x4″ Select Pine boards
- 2 – 40″ long 1″x3″ Select Pine boards
- 2 – 10″ long 1″x2″ boards (ledge for T&G)
- 2 – 40″ long 1″x2″ boards (ledge for T&G)
- 2 – 49″ long 1″x4″ 45-degree Miter Cut Cedar boards
- 2 – 19″ long 1″x4″ 45-degree Miter Cut Cedar boards
- 9 – 16 1/8″ or 16 1/4″ long 1″x6″ Tongue and Groove Pine (double-check your required measurement before cutting)
- Zinsser 123 Primer, or your favorite
- White paint, I used Behr’s Polished Pearl mixed into a chalk paint with my recipe
- Minwax Clear Matte Polycrylic
- Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane (for cedar only, will yellow over paint)
- Foam Brushes
- Wood Filler
- Wood Glue
- 1 – 47 1/2″ x 17 1/2″ piece of 1/2″ Plywood or MDF
- Fabric, I used this one
- 3″ Foam Padding – check prices before buying, JoAnn’s sells this for twice as much
- Spray adhesive
- High-Loft or Extra-Loft Polyester Batting
Tools to Make this DIY Upholstered Bench Plan
- Kreg Jig & Kreg 1 1/4″ Coarse Thread Screws
- Brad Nailer
- Miter Saw or Circular Saw
- Jig Saw (to notch out the T&G end pieces)
- Staple Gun & 5/16″ Staples
Directions to Upholster this Chunky Leg, Farmhouse Bench
- See my upholstery video above to see how I did mine.
- Cut your 1/2″ MDF or Plywood to 47 1/2″ x 17 1/2″. Brush off all dust and take that board inside.
- Place the board on top of the 3″ Foam to mark the board outline on the foam. You should only have to cut 2 sides of the foam, if you set the board in the corner.
- Move the board aside to cut your foam with a serrated knife or electric knife. I used a long bread knife to cut mine, but electric knives are the fastest, smoothest way to cut through foam. I really need to order one of those!
- After the foam is cut, set the foam on the board and lay the batting on top of both pieces. Cut about an 1″ longer than the batting needs to reach the bottom of the board on all 4 sides. Batting doesn’t get stretched or stapled to the board. You just want it to lay evenly across the seat without any wrinkles.
- Use a drop cloth for the spray adhesive steps. Some adhesives get everywhere. Now use the spray adhesive on the board to attach the foam. Make sure everything lines up on all 4 sides before the adhesive can dry. Leave the extra material on the corners unglued.
- Now place the batting back on the foam and board. Spread it flat and even again. Use the spray adhesive just on the sides of the foam to hold the batting in place. Now trim the batting to size. You want the batting to reach the bottom of the board on all 4 sides, without wrapping underneath. Now trim that extra material off the corners too.
- Place the fabric on top of the batting. Line it up so that you will have a couple inches on all 4 sides wrapping under the bench seat. Cut your fabric to size. My fabric was cut to 59″x29″. Check out this post for my favorite fabric finds on Amazon.
- Iron or steam your fabric, if needed. Be sure to follow the directions for your type of fabric. Certain types of loose weaves or delicate fabrics probably shouldn’t be used for this upholstery method. Be sure to pick an upholstery fabric.
- Place the fabric face down on a flat surface. Flip the seat, with foam and batting attached, over on the fabric. Line everything up so that the seat is centered on the fabric. Use any patterns in the fabric or weave as a guide.
- You want to staple each side, leaving 4″ at each corner alone. We’ll do the corners last. When you staple the fabric to the board, pull with the same amount of tug all along the seat to prevent an uneven look. Also, pull straight back to the board, not diagonally. You want the fabric to be tight enough to leave the top smooth and the edges slightly rounded.
- Make sure that you use a lot of staples, you don’t really want gaps between them. Gaps will cause extra pull on the stapled parts of the fabric. The fabric might start to rip if part of it is held in place and others aren’t.
- For the corners, I stapled the very center to the corner. Then I folded each sides extra fabric under to create a fold line at each side of the corner. (see the video) Finish stapling everything down.
- Trim away all excess fabric, you want a smooth bottom before setting the seat on the bench.
- Use a hammer to set the staples flush with the board. My low-tech staple gun seems to always leave them just a little bit raised.
- Your seat is done!!! Flip it over and center it on the bench. Use 1 1/4″ screws to attach the seat at the 4 corners, through the cedar. Now happy dance!
Want a printable plan for the wood bench frame? Buy the PDF Now
Need to upholster a chair seat? Check out this post for tips and pictures on this office chair makeover.
How about another DIY? Check out how I cut 1 of my Laundry Room cabinets in half to create this Mudroom Bench area for less than $100!
Feeling inspired? Now that you have my DIY Upholstered Bench Plan, get out there and build your own. Follow the links above to get the things you’ll need. Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Or post pictures of your work and tag Abbotts At Home on FB, I’d love to see it!