Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What We're Making: A Bench You Can't Sit On

Earlier this month, we completed the gallery wall project we had slated for our recently renovated master bedroom. But pretty much as soon as we hung the final frame on the wall, I started thinking the room looked unbalanced. #neversatisfied Though the wall looked sharp, we pretty much had a bowling lane running down the east side of the room. If I didn't find a way to break up the space and balance the heavy bed and couch on the west side of the room, I was going to have to start wearing an eye patch every time I walked in the room so I'd only see one side at a time. And nobody wanted that.

I decided a bench on the gallery wall would solve the problem, so I spent many an evening researching options on All Modern, Overstock, Crate & Barrel, Wayfair, Dot and Bo....and on and on. (Follow me on Pinterest and you can track the madness.) Unfortunately, nothing I found was the dimension I was seeking—I needed something long and shallow. And on top of that, the stuff I really liked was pricey. So I did what any self-sufficient DIYer would do: I asked Mr. W for help. 

I set him to task, cutting me a nice long bench base from one of our discarded closet doors, then I ordered some cool mid-century-esque bench legs from Home Depot. I had some foam left over from a previous bench project we'd done in the guest room, so all I needed was some nice fabric and a few coverable buttons. Easy peasy. Right.

I hit Joann Fabrics over the weekend and found some awesome, toothy navy blue upholstery fabric and went to work Sunday afternoon thinking I could bang out the project in a couple hours. Instead, it took five. Here's a time lapse of the first few steps before I got burnt out and was cussing too much to stop and take pictures:

Staining the legs with walnut stain.

Piecing together some old and new pieces of foam for the cushion.

Covering the whole thing with batting. And yes, I got a blister from using the staple gun so much.

My little helper. Not really helping.

Covering in my snazzy fabric. Pardon all the cat hair...
After this, the wheels sort of fell off. Covering the buttons was harder than I thought it would be and actually installing the buttons was super hard because I'm not sure I had the right kind of needle. It's a good thing we don't have kids and a curse jar at our house because that thing would have been filled with dollar bills.

Once I got the buttons placed, I hot glued fabric to the bottom and installed the legs. I was quite proud of how it looked when I was finished. However, when I tried to sit on it lightly, the wood began to bow. It is possible to sit on the corner where the legs add strength, but trying to rest on the middle of it would likely snap it in half.

So it becomes another piece of art on the gallery wall. Fashion before function, my friends.

I know, I know. The corners need some work.

One more peek at the before:

And the after:

The room is so much more balanced now, don't you think?!


  1. I love it! I cannot imagine what would have happened with that curse jar had it actually snapped in half.

    1. Hahaha! Yes the curse jar would have been so full it would probably shatter if I'd broken the bench in half. Now we'll just have to make sure no one else ever sits on it!

  2. It looks great. I suppose if you can't sit on it, you can always use it as a clothes repository. :)

  3. That bench was made for dirty clothes. :-D


Well, whatdya think?