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Re-upholster an Outdated Bench

Do you have a piece of furniture that you love, but just doesn't go with your style anymore? Can't bear to get rid of it? Can you remove staples, cut fabric and operate a staple gun? If you answered yes, you're in the right place.

This mirrored vanity is part of the Pier 1 Hayworth Collection (sadly the design was discontinued recently) and while I have several pieces of this collection, the vanity is my favorite because I love having my own space to sit down in the morning and get ready. I was happy to find a home for it in our new house but the upholstered part of the matching bench was looking dingy and that odd shade of cream did not compliment the design of our master bedroom. I knew immediately that I wanted it to coordinate with our rich blue drapes.

I'm not kidding when I say this was an incredibly simple project.

First things first, make sure you have your tools. A regular staple remover won't cut it when you're working with upholstery staples.

Supplies Needed:

  • Screwdriver or drill

  • Upholstery staple remover

  • Marking chalk/sharpie

  • Scissors

  • Replacement fabric

  • Staple gun

  • Heavy duty staples

Disassemble your bench.

First things first, take your bench apart. The only screws I was worried about were the ones holding the frame to the upholstered portion - you don't need to take the legs off or the frame apart.

Remove the existing staples.

This is my least favorite part. There were a LOT of staples.

Once the staples are removed, you are left with the existing fabric. We're going to use this as a the pattern for the new fabric. While it wasn't necessary for this project since it's a rectangle, if you plan on doing a lot of reupholstering, it's smart to get in the habit of marking the fabric top, bottom, left and right sides.

Check new fabric orientation.

If your new material has a pattern or texture, make sure it's oriented the way you want so you cut it correctly.

Cut the new fabric.

Lay the old fabric wrong side down on top of the new fabric (also wrong side down). Use marking chalk or a sharpie to mark the outline on the new fabric. If you want to give yourself a little room for error you can cut your new fabric slightly larger than the pattern - you can always trim the excess when you're done stapling.

Attach the new fabric.

Attach your new fabric working in the reverse order that you removed it. For me, the corners were attached first to ensure coverage. I stapled the edges of the corners first and then pulled the smaller edge pieces to cover the rest of the corner. Work from opposite corners to ensure a taut fit but don't pull too hard or your fabric will pucker. Once the corners were attached, the rest of the fabric was attached with staples - start with one of the long sides, then do the opposite side. Repeat with the short sides. You can leave it like this, after all, most people aren't going to look at the underside of your bench. However, I had some leftover fabric and wanted to make the stool more finished, so I cut a piece to cover the exposed bottom as well. Turn your upholstered seat over and admire your handiwork.

Reassemble your stool.

The hard part is done! Now all you have to do is put your bench back together - for me, it was easier to use a drill to attach screws to the frame and upholstered seat again. Voila! Enjoy your new bench!

Tag us @reddesignedinteriors and #reddesignedfurniture #reddesignedtutorials Happy designing and fabricating!

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