Easiest Upholstered Bench

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 12/29/2010 - 21:48
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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.

Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

2 – 2x4s, 8 feet or stud length
1 – 3/4″ Plywood or MDF or Particle Board or OSB 16″ x 55″
3″ screws
2″ screws
1 yard 56″ wide decorator fabric OR 2 yards 45″ wide fabric (upholstery weight is best)
3″ foam, 16″ wide x 55″ long
wood glue
spray adhesive
stain for the legs (I used Minwax Express Color)

Cut List

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)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set


Step 1


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.

Step 2

Side Aprons

If you have a pocket hole system, attach the side aprons to the legs. Otherwise, use scrap 2x4s to join legs and aprons together.

Step 3


Screw the top plywood to all legs and aprons.

Step 4


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

Step 5


Gabrielle (not verified)

Wed, 12/29/2010 - 22:22

This may be my first project. I've been wanting to put a cowhide covered bench at the foot of my bed for awhile now. I can purchase cow ride rugs here locally for $148. One cowhide goes a very long way! Also have plans to cover an old large upholstered ottoman with it for my living room.

Pat C (not verified)

Thu, 12/30/2010 - 02:56

Just lovely lines to this piece. I'm aiming to make this and paint or stain the legs.

Heather (not verified)

Thu, 12/30/2010 - 03:33

For the slipcover, you can also measure how long you want to make it on the sides, then cut a rectangle big enough to go over the top and drape down the sides as far as you want it. Notch four squares out (the measurements of the sides) in the four corners, then sew the sides of the cut-outs together to make a pocket of sorts. Then you'd just hem it all the way around and slide on. I can do a sewalong later if you need me to :)

Heather (not verified)

Thu, 12/30/2010 - 03:37

Forgot to add, I love this! I will definitely be adding this to my project list too.

And, an example on the slipcover, if you need 8" aprons, cut approx. 8" square in the corner of the larger rectangle you made (not the one of the measurements Ana listed, it's too small), then sew the cutouts edges to each other to make 4 pockets in each corner - it'll resemble a fitted sheet :)

Angela (not verified)

Thu, 12/30/2010 - 03:42

Wow love this one. I have a list a mile ling of your projects that I want to do. This would be awseome for the foot of the farm house bed I want for my room.

Whitney Smith (not verified)

Thu, 12/30/2010 - 04:07

Heather, I'd love to see details on how to make this slip cover. I'd love to make this but don't sew! Ekk!

Ana, this is on my short list (once I get a borrowed sewing machine and a few hours of youtube tutorials!). Thanks again!

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