Step by Step- How to Upholster a Bench Seat

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DIY furniture projects, furniture revamp, how to revamp, furniture flips, thrift store projects, popular pin, DIY thrift store, DIY home improvement, easy home upgrades.This was such a fun project, and now I want to upholster or reupholster everything!  So fun to make something that looks so great, and it wasn’t even hard.

We did some playroom benches with baskets for toy storage.  We wanted a bench seat, so I started looking for fabric.  Because this is in the playroom, I wanted a durable fabric that would clean up nicely.  I found this site, I Heart Organizing and she had done something similar to what we were doing.  They bought the benches from IKEA, which is a good option if you don’t have a master woodworker living with you, like I do:)

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55 comments for “Step by Step- How to Upholster a Bench Seat

  1. January 13, 2013 at

    Love this, thank you for posting. Another quick question, does your husband have the plans available for the amazing looking storage benches? I’ve just gotten into building and I’d love to make some!!! Thanks!

  2. dawn
    January 14, 2013 at

    I was just wondering how long ago you bought the multi purpose foam pads? I was looking on Lowes website but couldnt find anything. I have a window seat that I have been wanting to upholster but the foam is crazy expensive!! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Mandy
      May 30, 2013 at

      Glad someone asked this. I’ve seen this pin on Pinterest for over a year now and I have NEVER found the pads she found at Lowes 🙁

  3. Admin
    January 14, 2013 at

    Thanks for the questions! Candi- My husband has the plans, I think he has to make a couple of quick changes to them (things he ended up doing differently as he made them.) and then I will post them. I’ll see if he can fix them, and I will post them tonight:)

    Dawn- I got the foam pads a couple of days before Christmas. I don’t know that they would be online, you may have to go in. I hope they still have them! If not, I would check an outdoorsy or camping store. Mine were 3″ pads, and I think that is perfect. Foam is CRAZY expensive at the craft stores! Good luck!

  4. Admin
    January 16, 2013 at

    I found the foam pads at, but I am sure I bought mine at Lowe’s. I wonder if it is an in-store only thing for Lowe’s? Either way, here are similar ones at HD. This is the link:

    Hope that helps! Plans for the bench will be posted soon, the husband is super busy with his day job, but will post them by the weekend!

    • Matt
      March 2, 2013 at

      Hi, I am curious on the bench plans. Any luck with posting them? Thanks and the bench looks great!

  5. alisha
    January 19, 2013 at

    I to love the benches and would love for my husband to make me some for my dinning room. Thank you so much for the post for the bench seat.

  6. Theresa
    January 23, 2013 at

    I also would like to know the plans for the bench that your husband built. We are planning to do a similar project for our sunroom/playroom for under the windows along the length of the wall. This cushion tutorial is just what I needed for my part of the project! Awesome idea to use the camping-type foam from Lowe’s instead of foam from a craft store. I think we might even have some of that in our attic, so I might not even have to buy any! If you could please let me know if you have already posted the bench plans and where I can find them, I’d appreciate it! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Ronna
    January 25, 2013 at

    How did you attach the foam to the board?

    • Melanie
      March 1, 2013 at

      Ronna, We didn’t. We set the foam on the board, which was cut to the exact size. Then, we wrapped the fabric really tight, so there was no room for movement. Also, the board is somewhat rough, and with the texture of the foam, there really isn’t any sliding going on. Hope this helps! Thanks for coming by:)

  8. LouEzza
    February 17, 2013 at

    You can buy cushion foam, indoor and outdoor, the They will cut to size and have most anything you would need for your projects. Plus, mail order.

    • Melanie
      March 1, 2013 at

      Great resource! This makes it easy for projects that are a little different or hard to find sizes. Are the prices reasonable?

  9. Ann
    February 21, 2013 at

    Love this project! What’s the name of the fabric you used and have you found it durable?

    • Melanie
      March 1, 2013 at

      Hi Ann- I used an indoor/outdoor fabric called Richloom Solarium Outdoor Kirkwood Palm. It has been very durable. I choose this fabric mostly because it was the right green and was so cheap! I found others I liked, but $45 a yard was not happening 🙂 I think for a kids’ room, outdoor fabric is the only way to go! But you are more limited in fabric and patterns. Hope this helps!

  10. Natasha
    February 28, 2013 at

    Lovely project! I have a bench in my son’s room waiting for a cushion..this is perfect. How do you attach the part you made to the actual bench itself?

    • Melanie
      February 28, 2013 at

      Thank you, Natasha! I love how it turned out. Right now, we just have the cushion sitting on top, and it moves around a bit. It is so heavy, because of the mdf bottom, that it doesn’t move much, just enough to drive us crazy. My husband plans to drill holes in the top of the bench, and attach small dowels to the cushion (the mdf that is at the bottom of the bench top) and slip the dowels into the drilled holes. I think it is a good design and will work wonderfully. We were in a big rush to reveal the playroom on Christmas morning, so we didn’t get to that. Oh, and here we are almost March and it’s still not done 🙂 Good luck on your project! I had so much fun with it, I want to start on a mudroom bench!

  11. Margo
    March 8, 2013 at

    Are you ever going to post the plans for the bench?

  12. Matt
    March 9, 2013 at

    Great looking bench! I would really love to do this, have you had any luck posting the plans of the actual bench? Thanks for sharing!

  13. mommaluv
    March 10, 2013 at

    Luv this idea. I really luv the fabric u chose. Great job!

  14. Heather
    March 15, 2013 at

    Great idea, thank you so much! How many yards of fabric did you order for one bench?

  15. Doralis
    March 20, 2013 at

    I am having so much trouble finding this foam.
    Cant see on and the local and online home depot doesnt have them.
    Foam factory does but the 3″ is about $47 each and i need 2.
    I already bought the benches and built them but now im stuck on finding the foam. This will be fore our future dining area.
    Also, i read on another post about using shower curtains so i can wipe down and the foam doesnt get wer. Any thoughts? The other posts suggest to sew shower curtains but idont know how to see and was hoping to staple. Does the fabric u use seap through to foam when u clean?

  16. Melissa
    April 2, 2013 at

    Hi 🙂

    I am upholstering a bench… and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact I can use your directions 🙂

    But I was wondering when you said you needed 2 pads… is that because of the length or because you wanted 6inches of foam on tops of your bench? Please let me know…


  17. Gin Christiansen
    April 3, 2013 at

    I was wondering how long and wide is your bench top? Also what was the yards used in material?

  18. April
    April 6, 2013 at

    We are wanting to do this with a lifting seat…like on a toy box. Do you think we could add hinges to this design?

  19. Meredith
    April 12, 2013 at

    In response to the fact that the seat part is moving, I would think you could use command Velcro picture hanging strips on each end as a cheap/easy solution. Then he wouldn’t have to drill holes 🙂 I’d also love the plans for the bench! Would you mind sharing the total cost of the project?

  20. Tricia
    April 13, 2013 at

    Just wondering how much fabric you needed?

  21. dolores
    April 18, 2013 at

    Never thought to go to Lowe’s for the foam cushion – $19 – great find! Thanks!

    • Melanie
      April 24, 2013 at

      Check Home Depot! I bought mine at Lowe’s, but can’t find them there every since. Here is a link to one at Home Depot, great price and very similar to what I bought:) Good luck!

  22. Roxanne
    April 19, 2013 at

    Thanks for sharing. It is a beautiful bench when you finished and the tip about the foam is really helpful!

  23. Ariana
    April 19, 2013 at

    I want a bench for my new house kitchen nook sooo bad, i’ve been looking for DIY instructions all over the web 🙂 i was wondering if you posted the plans for this one somewhere? Thx!!

  24. Karilee
    April 21, 2013 at

    Here is a reasonable foam seller

    None at my Home Depot either…poor me. 🙂

  25. Katie
    April 24, 2013 at

    Thanks for the tutorial. I found foam pads @ Ollie’s and had my husband cut it down. It looks great in the baby room.

  26. christina
    May 18, 2013 at

    Hi! Absolutely love your bench! Did you end up posting the directions to build it? I would love to build one in my mudroom. Thanks for sharing.

  27. April
    May 30, 2013 at

    Hello, how much fabric did you need? 2 yards enough?

  28. sherry
    June 2, 2013 at

    just curious what the name of benches are that were purchased at ikea? ive searched all over the entire site for the white nbenches and cant find them. And how much the benches cost? thank you

    • FL
      June 20, 2013 at

      The Ikea shelf is called Expedit bookcase

      I found fabric at Winner’s (we are using a table cloth). It has great colors and was only $16.99. I got the foam at Canadian Tire for $21.00. We found a shelf on Kijiji for $17 and the MDF board will be about $13. Total cost of this project is $67.99

  29. Jamie Taylor
    July 9, 2013 at

    So, Lowe’s and Home Depot don’t carry the foam pads anymore but I found these foam pads for $24. Just thought I’d pass the info along because I saw that you had a lot of people ask about it. 🙂 Thanks for the cute post!

    • Mara
      August 16, 2013 at

      THANK YOU JAMIE!!!! I’ve been looking for padding for an ottoman project I have at home. Although I need 36×30, I think two will do and the extra foam can be applied to the sides of the ottoman.

      Thanks again!

  30. Anna
    July 22, 2013 at

    Why couldn’t the foam mattress pads at the Dollar General Store be used, cut to size and doubled, etc for however thick you want it. A twin /full size should work. They are about $12-$15 dollars or less.

  31. Terri
    August 10, 2013 at

    Thank you! Your instructions have inspired me and given me the tools to make this. Thank you for taking the time to post this. I will be attempting this when I move in to my home in a couple of months.

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