Easiest Upholstered Bench
A simple padded bench with a quick slipcover. Designed to work with Farmhouse Tables.
I guess I can't blame them, but two little girls put their noses on the wall when they cut a whole in this beautiful backdrop that the Crafting Chicks gave me.
But Mom, we were trying to make pillows for our dolls, they pleaded.
They didn't say it, but I thought it. Just like Mom does.
They have witnessed (and quite often participated) in the hacking up of curtains, drop clothes and even old clothes in the name of DIY. But the difference? I was quite partial to this lovely fabric as a backdrop.
So the backdrop with the pillow shaped whole in it sat in my office for months, saddening me whenever I passed it. It was lovingly made, high quality, and stylish. Why, why, why, would they cut a whole out of the very center?
I made a bench today, a simple one out of 2x4s and a scrap piece of junk plywood, and put a drop cloth cover on it. And it was just kindof blah.
But I knew where to find some very beautiful fabric.
Beautiful fabric can dress up even 2x4s. In the background, sofa made of a paint drop cloth. See the difference?
Beautiful fabric can even dress up 2x4s in a garage under florescent lighting.
The bench that I made was built around a scrap piece of plywood that I had leftover from another project. But the plans that I'm posting here today are built around our Farmhouse Tables. Or rather for under our Farmhouse Tables. This bench is primarily designed to work as seating (cheap and easy seating at that) for a dining table. Of course, it would also work as a entryway bench or even a coffee table or a bench at the foot of a farmhouse bed.
2 – 2x4s, 8 feet or stud length
1 – 3/4″ Plywood or MDF or Particle Board or OSB 16″ x 55″
1 yard 56″ wide decorator fabric OR 2 yards 45″ wide fabric (upholstery weight is best)
3″ foam, 16″ wide x 55″ long
stain for the legs (I used Minwax Express Color)
4 – 2×4 @ 14 1/4″ (Legs – Cut legs longer if you are using thinner foam. For example, with 1″ thick foam, legs need to be 16 1/4″ long)
2 – 2×4 @ 13″ (End Aprons)
2 – 2×4 @ 49″ (Side Aprons)
1 – 3/4″ Plywood @ 55″ x 16″ (Seat)
Start by tapering all of your legs with a straight cut on either a jigsaw or circular saw. Note that if you are using a less thick foam pad, you will need to increase the leg length. The goal is a standard 18″ high bench. Once legs are taperend, attach legs to the end aprons with screws and glue.
If you have a pocket hole system, attach the side aprons to the legs. Otherwise, use scrap 2x4s to join legs and aprons together.
Screw the top plywood to all legs and aprons.
Spray adhesive the foam to the top plywood. You can also spray adhesive a layer of batting to soften edges and add some cushioning to the aprons at this stage
Cut the fabric into a width of 55 1/2″ by at least 26″ long. From that piece, cut the following:
1 – 55 1/2″ x 16 1/2″ (top)
3 – 55 1/2 x 8″ (aprons)
From one of the apron pieces (that you cut three of above), cut into two pieces 8″ x 16 1/2″.
Start the slipcover by sewing the side aprons to the top along the top edge only. Use 1 /4″ inseams.
Then pin the side apron on the long side (wrong sides together) at the center to the short end of the top at the center. Start sewing at the pin and sew outward toward the corner, turn the corner and sew the end apron to the side apron. Repeat on all four corners. For more details on sewing corners, you can check out this post for the Parson Chair.
Fit slipcover on bench. Pin an even hem around the bottom edge and sew hem in place.
You can easily add tufting and buttons by drilling holes in the plywood at the desired button locations, and threading a needle through the whole, the foam, and slipcover, grabbing your button, and securing the thread to the underside of the plywood.