Upholstered Settee

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 02/04/2013 - 11:58
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Free plans to build a upholstered settee or dining room banquette bench

DIY friends and folks, Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

We are doing our best to meet our goal - getting a Mom moved in at the Momplex for Mother's Day - so I do apologize if I've been a little behind on answering comments or facebook replies - and I greatly appreciate those of you stepping up to help others out. You are lovely and much appreciated! 

I'll be doing what I can to keep plans coming your way over the next few weeks while we finish up the mechanical stage at the Momplex, followed by drywall ... and then I do believe it's time to do *gasp* built in cabinetry including kitchens and bath vanities! So you'll be on plan overload then! 

In the meantime, please please please extend a huge thank you to the contributors who are stepping up to build plans for you. Projects like today's project I would never post without being tested, and Jenny actually redid the legs on this upholstered settee THREE TIMES to get it right!!! Yes, we love you!

You already know Jenny from Birds and Soap - if not, let me refresh, Jenny and her family built this bed:

And shared the plans with you for free with you here.

Well, she's back and blowing us away this time with an upholstered settee!

Would you like to build a free standing settee for you dining room, or just as a comfy place to remove shoes in your entryway?  Guess what?  YOU CAN!!!!

Jenny built this upholstered settee out of 2x4s and other boards.  But to make the seat more comfortable, Jenny opted to use webbing for the seat and back. And she also added the buttons in pattern - aren't they lovely?  To get all the details, you must go visit Jenny and read her post on building this bench, and then part two of upholstering and finishing the upholstered settee.  I promise you, you will say, oh, that's how that's done! and be glad you took a second to stop over - I sure am!

Thank you so much Jenny - it is always an honor to get the chance to work with you on a plan!  

Dimensions shown above.


Shopping List

2 – 2x4 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1x2 @ 8 feet long
4 – 2x2 @ 8 feet long
2 – 2x6 @ 8 feet long
2 – sheets 1/8” plywood or other backing material (firm cardboard could work for back but probably not seat or upholstery webbing)
12 – 4” ¼” diameter bolts with nuts and washers
2 ½” PH screws
Spray adhesive
4 – 5 yards upholstery batting
4-5 yards (depending on fabric direction/print and width maybe even more) fabric
½” staples


Cut List

2 – 2x4 @ 34 3/8” (top end cut at 5 degrees off square, shortest point measurement)
4 – 2x2 @ 56” (back supports)
1 – 2x4 @ 56” (back supports)
1 – 1x2 @ 56” (back support cleat)
4 – 2x6 @ 27” (seat supports/side aprons)
1 – 2x4 @ 59” (back)
1 – 2x6 @ 56” (front)
1 – 1/8” plywood @ 59” x 22” (back covering if not using webbing)
1 – 1/8” plywood @ 59 x 30” ((seat covering if not using webbing)

*** Jenny actually modified this bench so the seat is 24" deep to accommodate standard sized foam. To make this modification, you will need to cut seat supports/side aprons to 21" length instead of 27".

Cutting Instructions

NOTE that is this plan, Jenny has made some modifications and I highly recommend you stopping over to get more details.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

First, cut your legs for the back. Jenny actually made her legs longer for a taller seat - you can see how she did that here.

Step 2

Once your legs are cut, you can build the back.

Step 3

Then you'll want to add some cleats just to give you something to finish the back off with when you go to add plywood if you are using plywood.

Step 4

Again, something to nail plywood on to and finish off the bottom edge of your upholstery.

Step 5

Step 6

Jenny really liked the seat angled back for comfort, so we opted to cut the 2x6 seat supports down a bit to get this angle. Mark and cut with a circular saw.

Step 7

Now build your frame as shown above. Note that we did change things up and integrate the front legs into the frame for better support. Jenny also recommends adding corner supports to keep the frame square and stronger.

Step 8

Next, it's time to make sure the frame fits with the back. Also, here you can drill bolt holes to later attach the two upholstered sections together. Fit the back and seat together with bolts and test out to make sure everything fits and is solid. Then take the two pieces apart to upholster individually.

NOTE that you can permanently attach the seat to back here, but you will most likely have to do a lot more sewing - that's why bolts are recommended.

Step 9

Cover the back in foam and batting, followed by fabric slipcovered and stapled on the bottom. For more details from Jenny on how she upholstered her bench, you can go here.

Step 10

Next, upholster the seat. You can do 1/8" hardboard for a firmer seat as shown here, or you can add webbing. You can also opt to place the foam cushion on top, followed by batting and fabric, or you can add batting and fabric to the seat, and then sew a cushion for on top.

Step 11

Once the two pieces are upholstered, attach with bolts and tighten underneath.

Step 12

And then add any pillows to the seat or back!

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Tue, 02/05/2013 - 06:37

Wow, that is really nice, Jenny! Please don't apologize to us Ana. You all have so much on your plate and your priorities are right. You take as much time as you need and we all will be anxiously waiting the posts, plans, and pictures! Thanx for all you do!


Tue, 02/05/2013 - 15:30

This is so cute. It would be so fun in a kids size too! Those upholstered chairs are CRAZY expensive for kids.

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