I've made a few of these upholstered benches before. You can see the first two I made here.
The frame is pretty simple. For this one, the structure is pretty much the same as the diagram below. It is from a set of plans from ana-white.com. Instead of 2 x 2's like you see in the plans, I used reclaimed legs and 1 x 4's.
One addition I added was another 1 x 4 support running through the center. "When in doubt, build it stout."
|Ana White- Outdoor Coffee Table|
I pulled these legs off a end table I found sticking out of a garbage can (no shame), and cut them down a bit to make the height work for a bench. A standard end table sits around 20-21" tall, while a bench is comfortable at 17-19" high.
You could create legs like this yourself. All you would have to do is cut off the outside edge of a square leg, using a table saw or a circular saw and a jig, then attach some rope trim with glue and finish nails.
For added fanciness, I added some small shoe moulding along the bottom of the 1 x 4 aprons. I usually do this on benches. I think it helps to create a finished look.
The whole frame received 2 coats of a high-quality gold spray paint, and was sealed with 3 coats of gloss lacquer.
I busted out my old trick for cheap upholstery foam, some batting, and a couple yards of fabric found in the clearance section at Wal-Mart. I cut a scrap piece of 3/4" plywood to the same size as my bench. I attached the foam with spray adhesive, and then upholstered with a layer of batting and the fabric. After adding some single cord welting, I attached the top to the base using pocket-holes and screws.
Here is the final look.
I think welting (cord running along the bottom of the cushion) is the biggest way to make your upholstery look professional. It's really not at hard to make as it looks, and don't listen to people when they say you need a special presser foot for your sewing machine. A special foot would be really helpful for double-welt, but for single, a zipper foot works just great.
What do you think? Ready to build a bench yourself?
If not, no worries. This one is available under the shop tab.
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