Small Bench Before & After and the how-to too!

July 2, 2012

As promised its July and we are back in the blogosphere! A couple weekends ago I found this little bench at an estate sale for $5.00. I like to call her "One eyed Lydia" First thing I did was go to Hancock fabrics and find the cheapest coolest fabric in town... I got a yard and a half for this gal and it was about $6.00. So total cost was around $12.00 as I already had most of the materials 


Step 1: Sand and Prime: I used rust-oleum products,
tip:** wear gloves that you don't care if you get paint on them

Step 2: Wait for it to dry then add desired color. Just like the can says, a couple thin coats are better than  a thick one. Do it right or you will have paint rolling down and will have to start over.

tip:** If you ignored the above tip your hand will look like some form of this: Use cooking oil {vegetable, canola or olive} and work it into your skin. The paint comes out! This works for wood stain as well. 

Step 3: Pry out the staples from existing fabric

Step 4: Cut the top of your stool. NOTE: choosing a solid fabric is SOOOO much easier. Because I chose a graphic I had to center the squares and what not. I used the old fabric as a guide and left about a  half an inch more on each side for seam allowance.

Step 5: Cut the sides. Again I just used the existing as my guide adding 3/4 inch for seam allowance when I sewed the pieces together. 
Step 6: Cutting the trim. NOTE: same as above, so much easier with a solid fabric. You want to cut this  on a diagonal because the fabric stretches easier that way. The ruler below is a metal one from lowes or home depot. I used this as my width for the cording because that's what my mom does. So I laid out the fabric and placed the ruler at a diagonal where the patter underneath would be groovy, traced and then cut. 

Possible Step 6: If you have a large enough piece of fabric you may not need to sew to trim pieces together. In case you do have to sew them together like I did, here you go: You have to sew these at an angle to preserve the stretch of the diagonal cut. Below you can see they are kind of perpendicular, and again this is much easier with a solid because I had to match up the pattern. I suggest playing around with it, using your finger as your "seam" and opening up the fabric to see if it looks right. 

 Here is what it looked like opened up:
 Step 7: Cut off excess fabric and iron the seam open
 Step 8: Put cording in the middle and sew! I used 3/4 inch cording... because thats what I had. Wrapped my fabric around it, got out my zipper foot and sewed as close to the cording as I could.
{** Make sure you read the directions for your zipper foot for your machine!}

 Step 9: Place your top piece face up, line your cording up with the edge (raw edges facing out), place your side pieces face down on top of the and pin! If you are using a patterned fabric: match the side piece pattern with the top of your bench piece starting in the front center.
 Step 10: Sew! Should look like this when you open it up
Step 11: Corners The corner are super tricky. I cut the corners like this so that there is more give in the fabric. Just go slow

Step 12: When you are finished sewing flip to the right sides and shove the batting inside! As you can see below I did not match up my patterns... but should have. 

Step 13: Staple gun the fabric to the bottom and attach to stand

 Just happened to notice the bottom of this is the same as some chairs I bought off craigslist!

I used these sites as guides in addition to my knowledge and mother's teaching 
{how to make and attach your own cording} ***Shows you how to close it at the back!!
{house of fifty: how to sew trim to a pillow
{Pretty handy girl: How to cover a bench}
Happy sewing! 

-Danielle G.

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