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Tuesday, February 14, 2017


It's been a while since I had my hands busy with a good DIY project, so I was really looking forward to working on something.  Now that I've been settled into my studio for a little over a year, I've been able to really see what's working and what's not.  I'm happy to report, all-in-all I'm thrilled with the layout, design, and functionality.  In other words, I done good!!

I have noticed a couple things, little additions that would be nice and this project definitely fits the bill.  I had bought a little wooden stool for my fitting room but since it was taller and had a small seat,  I found it didn't have the functionality for my clients that I was hoping for.  So I started looking for an upholstered bench.  First, they're tough to find: secondly, most that I liked were very pricey, and thirdly, they just weren't quite what I was looking for.

So, I started down the path of looking at thrift stores, and Craig's list to find something (antique/vintage) that I could work with.  I wasn't having a lot of luck.  So, I had the brainstorm one day that I can find a lot of tables at thrift stores, so couldn't I convert a table into a bench?  Hello, hubby ... "I've got an idea", is usually how I start.   After he sits down and takes a deep breath, I then share.  He's the one that I use to vet my crazy ideas and then handle things like drilling, etc.  After all, he's a lot better at it than I am.  And, I know deep down he enjoys it!    So as it turns out, my idea had here's my our adventure!

When I bought the table (for $7.99) the glass was missing, which was fine since I wasn't going to need it anyway.  My husband figured out the logistics of what it would take to make the table sturdy enough to sit on......

You can see that one of the first things he did was add some wooden slats on the underside to add strength and support for the wood ovals he was going to create to fill the space where the glass used to be.

Three wooden ovals were cut to officially turn the table into a bench.

A fourth oval was cut out of another board which I used for my part of the project, which was the actual upholstering.

I found a great piece of upholstery fabric in a neutral color at JoAnn's, and also picked up a piece of two inch foam and some 1 ½ button shells that I could cover in the upholstery fabric since I knew I wanted to tuft the top.

I had my husband drill holes about ¼ inch apart into the board.  I used that to help me stablize and secure the buttons versus just going through the foam.   I used an upholstery needle, and embroidery thread and started from the top of the piece and went through the foam into the drill hole securing the thread through the button shank.  On the underside of the board I tied my thread to muslin pieces to prevent thread breakage as I was tugging and knotting the buttons.

Then, for those of you who have upholstered, this should sound familiar. I worked with the board side up and began using the staple gun to secure my upholstery fabric.  This step takes kneeling on the board and really pulling the fabric tightly against the foam as you staple.

I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. I know my clients are going to love this in the changing area!   I have to tell you, I really debated about painting/distressing the wood since many of my pieces in the studio are distressed....but, the wood was in such good condition, I chose to keep it the way it was.
The few knicks that were on the legs, I was able to camouflage reasonably well with one of those touch up stain pens from Home Depot.

There are some beautiful wood carvings on two of the ends, as well as on the legs....and, I absolutely love the lion claw feet!  I really wanted something vintage, and to me the lion claw feet are classic.  

I have to tell you, the thrift store had two of these....I was so tempted to buy both of them! Fortunately, the rational side of my brain won out that day.  

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