This DIY tufted bench is my favorite furniture make-over project, to date! What began as an ugly upholstered bench marked down in a Scottsdale thrift store, has become my (and my dog, Belle’s) favorite piece in the house.
I’ve been looking for a bench that would be just the right fit in my bedroom- a perfect spot for all my decorative pillows at night. I wanted it to be cozy and neutral, with a touch of glam. Most importantly, my bench had to have storage for extra blankets, just an arm’s reach away on a chilly night.
When I first saw this ugly maroon bench for just $63, I knew it had potential. Then when I found 7 yards of the tan slub- textured upholstery fabric at the same thrift store for only $5, I decided it was fate. In about 1 week, I was able to completely make-over the bench into a piece I am proud to showcase in my home.
DIY Tufting Tools
To do it, I used mostly tools I already had around the house. Other materials and tools used include:
- Cover Button Kit (the kind with the teeth are best for thick upholstery fabrics
- camera (we’ll get to that in a minute)
- needle nose pliers
- putty knife
- staple gun
- upholstery needle
- embroidery needle
- nylon thread
- metal buttons (one for every tuft)
STEP 1: Create a Tufted Seat
Step 2: Remove Previous Upholstery
Step 3: Cut New Upholstery Pieces
Step 4: Reverse Engineer the New Upholstery to the Bench
This is where all those pictures I took while disassembling the bench came in really handy. Using a heavy duty staple gun, I pieced together the bench frame and the new upholstery, like a puzzle. The hubs had to help with the rolled arms, so ensure a snug, smooth fit. The final step was to reattach the tufted seat and legs, which I stained a slightly darker walnut.
When the tufted bench was finished, I quickly learned that my dog Belle had plans of her own for it. My pillows would have to find a new home because this glamorous bench, she decided, was her new bed. Since Belle is the boss, we obliged. I was, however, allowed to store my blankets inside, so the bench does offer some substantial utility, after all.