Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Slipcovered Upholstered Bench

What can you do with an old, heavy oak coffee table?  Make it into slip-covered, upholstered bench, of course.

This bench really did begin life as a beat up oak coffee table.  It was sturdy, but dull and dated, and I knew that I could make it into something special.

I removed the top and put it aside to be used for another project later.  The frame got a couple of coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Chateau Grey, and some selective distressing and dark wax, to highlight the turned legs and curvy skirt boards. 

The new top is made from a piece of half-inch plywood attached to a 2 x 4 frame.

I painted the frame with ASCP Old Ochre, so the underside of the bench is nice and finished, too.

I totally forgot to take any photos when I was doing the upholstering of the top.  Use your imagination here ... There's a piece of 3-inch thick foam on top of the plywood, topped with polyester batting and covered in muslin, stapled securely. 

Here's Alice supervising as I screwed the frame to the top.

Now the bench is ready for its slipcover.

The slipcover has a little box-pleated skirt, which requires a LONG strip of fabric ... three times the measurement around the bench, to be exact ... the bench is 48 inches x 20 inches, and the skirt strip was over 30 feet long.  Thank goodness I have a rotary cutter, which makes pretty short work of cutting the strip.

The fabric I used is an 8-ounch dropcloth, prewashed and dried and ironed.  I zig-zagged the edges of all of the pieces, because the raw edges on dropcloth fray like crazy if you don't.

Are you ready to see what it looks like?

This doesn't look much like a coffee table anymore, does it?

Dorothy checked it out, and she says that it's really comfy.

And this is what it looks like sitting in my booth

(I probably should have straightened the slipcover before I took this photo.)

It feels great to get another project out the door.  I have two more things I'm working on in the basement workshop to show you later.  Stay tuned.


  1. Oh my goodness Connie! That is so gorgeous! I want one! If you have a chance, I'd love you to join our Be Inspired link party!

  2. That turned out great, Connie. You did a wonderful job and I love the color! xo Diana

  3. connie, that is so sweet! that pleated skirt just MAKES it! awesome job!

  4. I love it! YOU must be an excellent seamstress! I adore the box pleats! XO Cindy

  5. Fantastic! Wow, that's A LOT of zig-zagging! If I could only find an old coffee table with that great of lines on Craig's List...

  6. I think the bench is super cute, great job!

  7. I love it! And, I love it without the slipcover, since I love the base and legs!

  8. I love this makeover, I have just done a French finish to a table but nowhere near as good a job as yours, I love the green colour you used, I think I might re paint mine and start again. I used Porters French wash but will look up the product you used. You can see my makeover on my blog if you put French wash DIY in the search box probably.

    I will come back and spend a bit more time on your blog, I am doing a bit of blog hopping, the trouble is there are so many great features to read and I get carried away with time.


  9. That is very, very nice, and shouldn't stay long in your booth!! Great repurpose project!!!

  10. LOVE it!! i had plans for weeks (maybe months) to recover my ottoman...i think i've been officially inspired!

  11. Wohoo girl...you are on a roll!!!

    LOVE how this turned out and I bet it does not last long in the shop.

    Looking forward to Friday!!!

    Janet xox

  12. Love it!!! I will be looking at coffee tables differently from now on. What a terrific Idea! Thank you for sharing! I am pinning this idea. I am your newest follower. Hope you can visit me sometime too:)

  13. Connie that is so cute! I'm sure it will sell in a heartbeat! You did a great job! I love that is cat approved also. Hugs, Linda

  14. You're such a genius!! I love your little bench! You winged it on the boxed-cover fabric, didn't you? You did a great job, if so. I'm lovin' it!!

  15. That is so lovely! One question, why didn't you want to use the original top from the coffee table?
    I have a coffee table I would love to do this to. Thanks for the inspiration!

  16. Oh good gravy....is there anything that you CAN'T do, girl??? lol! That bench is saawwweeet!!! Did you create the ruffles by hand or do you have a ruffler foot on your machine? :)

    xoxo laurie

  17. Wow, this turned out so awesome...I am inspired! You did a wonderful job!

  18. Here today, gone tomorrow... Someone is going to snatch that up for their home right away! Great job and vision on seeing what that table could be. Love it!

  19. Ok you two are just too talented:) Showed hubby and even he was impressed and that hardly ever happens!



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