Wednesday, March 23, 2011

diy bench: with no power tools!!

My dad is a woodworker.  Though as a child I spent countless hours watching him work with his bandsaw and chisel and vice and safety goggles, I am not.  Looking back now I wish I had wanted to pay better attention instead of playing with my Quints or Calico Critters, so today I could be like Ana White or Paige Hemmis, but alas, I did not and I am not.  This bench was so simple though, anyone can do it, and have it turn out to be a quality piece.  Are you ready to say "Oh that? I made it!"

Start with your supplies:

You will need:
  1. Material - I used a heavy duty outdoor fabric (2ft for $15). You could easily buy a less expensive fabric for this project to save $$
  2. Spraypaint - $6
  3. Foam - I used 1/2 of a twin bed egg crate (on sale at a bargain outlet) ($4)
  4. Plank board - Mine was an off-the-shelf piece of wood. I had the Home Depot guy cut off 6 in. in the store so it's 3.5' long. ($5)
  5. 4 legs - pre-made legs can be found at Lowes/Home Depot!  I found them cheaper at Lowes, at about $3.50/leg for $14 total - you can get cheaper legs if you want more clean lined/modern ones (or a shorter bench)
  6. 4 Leg brackets - you can find these right next to the legs in the wood section.  $1.68/each = $6.72
  7. Tools: scissors (preferably fabric ones, but any will do), screwdriver, staple gun
  • Total project cost for me was about $51, but you can easily save $$ on the material and the legs, depending on what you want! And if you already have the paint you need on hand, then you can save the $$ on that too! Unfortunately I was fresh out of brown :P
Step 1: Paint the legs (I used spraypaint)
 Ignore the shine, my living room is super-sunny. As in, if my living room were a super hero, it would be Captain Shines A Lot.

 Step 2: Use screwdriver to add the leg brackets 
(follow instructions on package)

Are you seeing how simple? I amaze my husband. Every. Day.
Step 3: Cut foam and fabric to appropriate size
Use the plank of wood as your benchmark to ensure your foam is the right fit.  Put your fabric on top of the foam to make sure the pattern is all in the right place (in this case, I wanted the big red circle in the middle).  Then flip the board over so the fabric is underneath it.

Step 4: Staple gun the fabric in place
For the corners, grab the edge of the material and pull it taught over the corner and staple. Then grab the fabric again and staple, to bring the fabric back to a straight line. I always think of it like wrapping a present... which I'm actually not very good at.  But even if you mess it up, just use a flathead screwdriver to take the staple out and try again.

Step 5: Screw the legs into the leg brackets
The pre-made legs come with a screw in the top.  All you have to do is screw it into the hole on the bracket! So easy! Easier than filling out your March Madness bracket!

Step 6: Put your feet up

Speaking of which, are you watching March Madness like we are? Who are you rooting for?

I actually made this bench so it would be lightweight, and easy to move between the wall (to the right of the above photo which puts it next to the coat closet) and in front of the couch for my husband to put his feet up on or so I can bring hot cocoa in to the living room on a cute little tray.  We actually love having the space between the couches empty so the doggies can play on the rug while we relax!

Linking to:

All Things Heart and Home


  1. Perfect! I used a similar technique to make a headboard and it is one of the favorite things in my house. As for march madness - Buckeyes all the way!

  2. Great work! Much more comfortable than trying to put my feet up on our old coffee table! You're so creative and smart!

  3. This is so cute! I love that it's lightweight, too. I have a bench that I like to move around. But now I'm thinking I need something upholstered.

  4. Wow, love that colorful fabric and how *simple* that bench is!! :-)

  5. I want to amaze my husband tooooo! And let me tell you, if I did this without his help he'd be amazed! This is just brilliant! I'm re-doing my bedroom in the near future and I'm thinking I could incorporate this...hummmm, thank you friend!

  6. I love how easy this is!! Do you think it would be sturdy enough to sit on? (Say if I put it where my son drops off all of his school stuff so he can sit on it to take off his shoes?

  7. Cute bench! Wondering if it would be sturdy enough to handle someone sitting on it for a good length of time. I'm looking for a bench for my sewing room and can't find the length I want.

  8. What type of wood is this? How much weight do you think it can hold?


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