Thursday, February 6, 2014

DIY Recovered Sewing Bench

Hello friends!
Today I'm opting out of the Blogging Everyday in February 
prompt idea to bring you a project post instead!

If you have been keeping up with me,
you will recall in my January/December Month in Review post
the mention of a promised project post.
Well, I'm a woman of my word, so here it is!

Along with the new sewing machine and dress form,
another new addition was added to my little sewing nook.

 For some time, I have been wanting a sewing bench to replace the folding chair I was using.
When I found this sturdy specimen at a garage sale for $10, I was thrilled!
It was ugly, but that was easily remedied with a quick recovering job!
 From the same garage sale, I also secured a very large piece of heavy, sturdy fabric,
which I'm assuming was upholstery fabric or the like.

Isn't this a fun, colorful print?!

Here are the supplies I used:
heavy duty stapler (not the kind you use for paper)
measuring tape


First things first, I unscrewed the top lid of the bench.
(It is already off in the 'before' picture.)
Look at all that storage space inside!

To make this project simple, I wasn't going to remove the old covering,
but simply cover over top of it.

I measured the length and width of the lid,
then measured how far they overlapped the previous covering piece,
which was about 1 1/2 inches.
So I added 1 /1/2 inches to my length and width measurements
so I had enough to fold in and staple down. 

While stapling down the fabric,
I made sure to fold the raw edge under so it wasn't exposed.

I cut a notch around the hole where the lid reattaches to the seat.

For the corners,
I folded the material over in what sort of looked like pleats,
being sure to staple each fold so it didn't come out.
This gave a smooth, unpuckered appearance to the edges.

Here it is all stapled down.

After snipping off the excess material at the corners,
it looks much more clean.

 Beautiful, no?

In order to recover the outside of the bench,
I first needed to remove the gaudy gold, plastic trim.

This required a little patience and a screw driver.

I cut out my piece of fabric the same way I did for the cover:
measured the length, all the way around the bench + a few extra inches for overlapping
and the width from top to bottom + extra for folding the raw edge under.
I was able to use the salvage edge for one of my edges, which eliminated the need to fold over.

I started my piece on a back corner of the bench,
a place most out of the way for the seam.

Don't worry about the first raw edge, as you can see in the above photo,
this will be covered when you come back around.

Smooth and lightly stretch the fabric taut as you go, to avoid wrinkles.
Staple the top and bottom and you move around.

I also had to fold under the raw edge along the bottom of my fabric.

When you come back around to your starting point,
fold under the raw edge, pulling the fabric taut,
and staple all down the edge of the seam.

This was the end result.
With my busy fabric, it hid the staples and they weren't very noticeable,
but if you don't like the exposed staples down the seam, you can try super gluing it instead.
Also- if you want to cover up the staples on top and bottom,
you can super glue a ribbon or trim over top, creating a border.

I had originally planned to do this, but on second thought,
you can barely see the staples and I liked the unbroken look of the pattern, so I left it be.

After I was done stapling everything in place,
I lightly tapped all of the staples down with a hammer, to ensure none were sticking up.

There you have it!
This was a a pretty easy project that truly updated and beautified an otherwise boring piece!


  1. Sarah from PrairieRoseSewing :)February 6, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Great job, Desarare! I always shy away from those ugly furniture pieces as I lack the "vision" to see them remade. But now, maybe not! :) I liked seeing HOW the project was done, it gives me ideas and assurance that you don't have to be a professional reupholster-er (if that is a word!) to accomplish such a task. Very pretty and practical! Enjoy all your new sewing tools and accessories! I just got my first dress form too....same one as yours only gray. I'd looked at the red ones, actually, but the site I ordered from charged more for the color. :( It is THE BEST investment I've made in a long time!
    Have a happy day.

    1. You are right- this was a really easy remake that you don't have to be professional about-- I just cut and stapled, pretty much! :) I'm glad you found it helpful! Yay! Congratulations on the new dress form! The one I got was on sale at Wal-mart, acutally, and the family all went in to get it for me for Christmas. I had never seen one priced that low before, so I think it was a pretty good deal. :) Happy weekend!

  2. It's FABULOUS and you are amazing :) Have a great evening. Hugs!

    1. You made me smile. :) Thanks, Stephanie! Have a blessed weekend!

  3. Just getting caught up, Desarae ... this is a beautiful makeover for your sewing bench. I've never seen one like that; it's cute, and functional, too. You must be feeling well equipped now, with a second sewing machine, dress form, and storage bench!

    1. Hi, Jenny! Yes, I'm feeling very well set up in my little sewing nook! I'm so pleased with the new bench, especially the storage! I have very limited storage space in my little area, so extra storage is so very much appreciated! :)

  4. Wonderful job! Nice to have the extra storage space. I really like how you make good creative use of what you find. Happy comfy sewing!

    1. Thanks, Marilyn! I think growing up in a large family teaches you how to use everything you have. :)


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