Reupholstered Storage Bench

A few years ago I found an upholstered bench at a garage sale for $20 and I snatched it up. It was brown “leather” and kind of worn, but it was hinged and opened up to allow for storage inside. I’m always a sucker for storage. We used it for years as a place to sit and put your shoes on by the door and we stored extra blankets inside. But recently it moved to the garage because of a space crunch and it was just about to head to Goodwill when I decided to resurrect it. No need to get rid of furniture, right? It just needs new life.

And it found new life in Ellie’s new room. This is such a great redemption story.

The original bench, missing buttons and all. Great storage area inside.

To start the transformation I removed the hardware and carefully removed the existing fabric. I was very careful to watch how it was stapled and put together so I could recreate it with my new fabric. I just used pliers and a flathead screwdriver to pry the staples out (if I could). Some were stubborn and stayed behind. Oh well.

I saved the inside lining to reuse because I didn’t want to have to figure that out myself.

Disassembled and ready to be remade.

I measured the dimensions, including overlap for the wrap around area, and headed to Fabric Depot. I found a great turquoise upholstery fabric on the clearance rack and picked up five yards (some for this project and some for a super cool future project I’m really excited about).

I also covered some buttons in a turquoise and pink Michael Miller fabric that I fell in love with. I figured I’d tuft it since the foam indents seemed to be leading me in that direction and there were already holed drilled for the original buttons.

Once I got the top upholstered, I added the buttons, pulled the strings through, knotted them and stapled them down (this is how the original buttons were attached). Here’s a close up of how I secured the buttons.

Wrapping the fabric around the base posed a challenge. How was I going to hide the eventual seam? I’m glad I paid attention when I took it apart, because I just copied what they did. I stapled one end down, wrapped it around and stapled the top down, then when I got back to the beginning I folded the ends under to create a clean edge and let it be. I just stapled the folded end on the top and bottom. The seam is clean looking and I made sure it is on the back.

I hope this picture makes the last paragraph less confusing.

Once all the stapling was finished and I reattached the hardware I called Ellie out to look at her new bench. She fake fainted again. I think she likes it.

I included a special surprise inside for my girl that loves yellow.

She picked this fabric out for bunk bed curtains, but now she’s not in the bunk beds. I wanted to give it a great new home. It may end up in pillows also.

In her room:

It’s new purpose – a place to keep her princess dresses.

Let’s take one more look at this transformation. Oh how I love making old things new!

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