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  • kbenson15027

Easy DIY Bench

Are you one of those people that keeps every precious little wood scrap on the oft chance you might need it in the future? If you are, or even if you're not, here's a project that's easy to build and uses small scraps of wood that you just may have laying around at home.

The inspiration for this bench came from one I saw in an ad for a very well known high end furniture company. It was such a simple design yet very pricey for the small amount of wood it would take to build it. As I thought about this, I realized how easy it would be to build something similar. Keep in mind this bench can be built to your specifications. You can make it fit your own space. Let's get started!

You'll need enough wood to make the top frame, sides and legs as well as some smaller pieces to use as supports underneath. I had several sizes of 1 x 3" trim boards laying around my garage, so that's what I used. Using my Miter Saw, I cut the legs 17" tall and the sides of the top frame (the part that will hold the seat and cushion) 27 inches wide. I glued and pocket holed the pieces together using the Kreg jig Pocket Hole System . I have an older version of the Kreg jig, however the one I linked above is better!

Next, I made sure everything was completely square and level. I cut a piece of leftover sanded poplar to create the seat that would be under the cushion and then measured and cut cross supports on the inside. The supports were added one inch below the top of the bench so that the seat and cushion could rest slightly inside the frame. Also, by doing it this way, the bottom of the cushion wouldn't show.

Once the bench frame was finished, I sanded everything with a 120 grit sandpaper, wiped it down with a tack cloth and sanded again. Then it was time for staining.

My favorite staining combination is to first add a layer of Minwax Golden Oak, wiping it off after applying and then adding a layer of Weathered Oak. This leaves a light wood color with the gray bringing out the natural variations in the wood.

The final step is making the cushion, my favorite part!

I purchased some foam cushion from JoAnn's. This stuff isn't cheap at $29.99/yd so make sure you have a coupon if you want to keep the cost down. The JoAnn employee helping cut the foam piece using an electric knife! I just might be the last person on Earth who learned that using an electric knife is the best way to cut foam! Of course, as soon as I tried it, my 30 year old knife decided to stop working. I removed the blades and scored the foam first with the blade, then dragged it across to cut the foam so that it would sit on top of the wood seat base. This worked like a charm!

I purchased some cream colored denim as well as some cotton batting to cover the foam. The denim had a good weight to it and would hold the fabric paint well. I also purchased some black, white, blue and orange fabric paint and a 12 x 12 stencil. I used a regular paint brush I already had at home to apply the paint to the stencil. I also used water to dilute the paint so that it would look natural and organic instead of thick and gloppy.

I really like the way the stencil turned out! I mixed the orange and black to create the copper brown tone and then mixed white and black to get the gray tones. Beautiful!

It was time to use a staple gun to staple the fabric over the batting and foam and onto the back of the board.

This process was fairly simple and went quickly. I tried to make the fabric taut but not so tight it would dent the cushion. I folded each corner like hospital corners and then trimmed off most of the excess fabric underneath. The moment of reckoning was almost here!

I dropped the cushioned seat right into the bench frame and it was a perfect fit!

Here is the final result:

I really love the way this little DIY came together! It was so fun to create something that included building, art, fabric and function! What could be better than that you ask? That it was so budget friendly as well! Using wood I already had on hand slashed the cost of this little fella. Now that I have the paint, I plan on doing some other hand painted designs on fabric. Swing back by soon to see what's next!

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