So, I haven't really had the chance to tell you yet, but I've got big changes going on in the guest room. It's been my biggest little project for the Summer, and so far, I'm loving it. But--I still have a ways to go before I can show it to you all, so stay tuned for that later.
What I can show you are a few pieces here and there that are getting done slowly but surely...starting with my latest coffee table-turned-bench I did this week. This was the 4th one of these I've done. (Ya think I like these things?) And since I get a lot of questions and emails about these, I thought I'd show the how-to once more.
I got a steal on the table from my favorite thrift store on half-off day for only $12.50. It was an awesome 54 inches long, so it was a perfect candidate for an end-of-the-bed bench.
I had bought the yellow zebra fabric for a chair re-do, but changed my mind on that and decided to use it for this instead. Love it. Click here to get some for yourself.
As for the paint, I used some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White I still had leftover from my guest room desk makeover, so I didn't have to sand or prime. I just slightly distressed it with sandpaper after painting. (Did I mention how easy this project was?)
For my previous 3 benches, I had used a separate board to attach the foam and fabric onto and then screwed that to the tops of the tables. But this time, I was able to staple the foam and fabric directly to the existing table top, saving that extra step.
In order to do this, you have to use a table that has a sufficient overhang. I would suggest that there be at least in inch of space to work with under the overhang of the table where you'll need to staple the fabric.
One of the main questions I often get regarding these benches is "Where do you get your foam?". I'm fortunate enough to have a local foam store that sells all types and sizes of foam and cuts it to size right in front of you. I bought this 3-inch thick 23"x 56" piece for around $22.
I always suggest googling "foam rubber" or "upholstery supplies" in your area to see if there's a store like this near you. If not, you can buy foam at JoAnn, Hobby Lobby, or other fabric stores, but the supply is usually limited and costs a little more. Of course, you can always shop online as well. Here's one source I found when I was looking around.
When determining the size of foam you'll need, take the measurement of the table top (or separate wood base) and add 2" to the length and width. This is to allow for an extra 1" overage all the way around. For example, my table top was 21" x 54", so I used a 23" x 56" piece of foam.
Some people choose to add a layer of batting over the foam to soften the edges of the foam and give a smoother appearance. I've only done this for my large tufted ottoman, and skipped it on my smaller benches. It's really a matter of preference.
As for fabric, you'll need the width and length of the foam, plus the thickness of the foam and wood, plus an extra 3 inches or so. So, for my bench with 3-inch foam and 1-inch wood, I used a piece of fabric that was approximately 30" x 63".
To attach the foam and fabric to the table, simply lay your pressed fabric, right side down, on the floor, then the foam, then your table.
My favorite staple gun is my basic manual Arrow model. I used 1/4 inch staples for this and that holds the fabric in place very nicely.
The trickiest part of the process is pulling the fabric and stapling. It will take a little practice and maybe some pulling out of staples and doing-over, so keep some pliers and patience handy. I don't have a special secret for doing this, I just work with it until it's the way I want it, and somehow it always works out.
After the fabric is securely stapled, take a utility knife and cut off the excess fabric all around. Cut any loose threads with scissors.
I did notice on this project that it is little easier to wrap the fabric tighter when working with a separate board, rather than the original tabletop because you have a little more room to pull it around, but it's still a great method for making these.