Bench Makeover – I try again

So Katie Bower is at it again and I can’t say no to a Pinterest showdown.  I try to participate in these challenges in order to be creative and cross off some projects on my to do list.  And since I’m home for the time being and we receive a lot of guests, our dining room has been used a lot lately, which means that bench I made for the Pinterest project a year ago has been put to the test.  And let me tell you, it isn’t that sturdy.  So I decided that since I have the time, I needed to do something about it.  Here is the bench I made last year.

I used two-way screws to hold the legs to the bench and honestly, it didn’t really give that much support.  Well since then, we got this nifty tool called a Kreg Jig.  Two words: LOVE IT!  This is the ultimate tool for anything related to support or furniture, or Ana White.

So I took methods of Ana White and gave this bench some support.  But before that, I had two more edits I wanted to make.  First, this bench was way too high.  The legs needed to be shortened.  There are two options, take some length from the top or from the bottom.  Since I wanted the top to be boxy so that I could attach the support beams to it so I chopped off the bottom part of the leg.  I thought that the bottom was way to fancy for us anyway, we need something more casual.

Secondly, I decided to re-upholster the top.  I loved the colors of the old bench but again, a little too fancy for us.  The blue and gray shimmered and just wasn’t my fancy.  I had a beige fabric from Waverly designs and just enough for the bench so I removed the old fabric with a flat head screw driver and pliers and re-stapled the new fabric on.

My method for upholstering is real simple.  I start with the sides. I pull the fabric tight and staple in the middle on one side, then pull the other side tight and staple the middle on the other side.  I then staple the ends and fill in with staples in between, always pulling the fabric tight.  As for corners, I just wrap the fabric like i was wrapping a gift.  Because I’m not that strong, I also use a hammer to make the staples flush with the wood when I’m done stapling for a more finished look.

Next came the legs.  I first screwed the frame together using the pocket holes I drilled with the Kreg Jig.  You can also see below where I cut the legs to make them shorter.

I made several pocket holes with the Kreg Jig.  I can’t lie, I love this tool.  I not only screwed the frame together but made pocket holes to screw the frame into the bench.

I then placed the frame on the bench and began securing it by screwing a screw into each of the pocket holes.  This was the part that took no time at all and was rather fun.  It’s like that blocks game when you are a kid, match the correct shaped block into the right hole and feel accomplished.

And here she is upright and now is my time to share with you the “would haves”.  This is my second time trying to build this bench and even after attempting to fix the first one, there are several things I would have done differently with this one as well.

First of all, it’s very long.  I would have loved to taken a foot off of the length but we don’t have a table saw to do that.  Secondly, I would have upholstered the bench last.  When I went to screw the base into the bench, the legs were uneven where the fabric gathered for the corners, causing me to layer the fabric so it was even throughout before I screwed the leg down. It didn’t go to well and I got frustrated.

This bench looks great with our dining room table.  Fabric matches the other chairs and the wood stain is perfect.  However, I think over time I may move this bench to sit in front of our bed.

Last comment about the bench.  I think after this time, I’m done trying to build furniture people sit on.  There are just too many variables, especially when you throw something covered in fabric on it.  I mean, people want a comfy place to sit, I’m going to leave that up to the professionals.

And here is a before and after just to compare.  It’s definitely better the second time around but I’m still not 100% happy with it.  But that is what DIY is all about, trial and error.

p.s. I’m linking up to the Pinterest Challenge over at Bower Power and YHL.


2 thoughts on “Bench Makeover – I try again

  1. This is Awesome (saw it over on YHL)! Don't give up! You have a real eye for it, you just need some more practice. Corners are hard, it really takes some practice. Keep up the good work!

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