Make this Easy DIY Upholstered Bench Top for my DIY Farmhouse Bench or adjust the size to make this easy seat for any bench or window seat.
Make A DIY Upholstered Bench Top
In my last post, I went through the steps to build and finish my DIY Farmhouse Bench. Today, we are topping that bench off with an easy upholstered bench seat.
And, don’t worry, this is a super simple, no-sew bench top that anyone can make. Be sure to check out my picks for the 50 Best Fabric By The Yard Online On Amazon & Etsy for some beautiful fabric options.
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DIY TIP: You can use this tutorial and the video below, to make a no-sew upholstered bench top for any coffee table, bench, or built in shelf.
Just change the MDF size to the size of your surface, and adjust the foam, batting and fabric to fit that MDF size.
How To Make An Upholstered Bench Top – Video
If any of the written steps below are confusing, watch this video to see me upholster an MDF board.
How To Upholster A Bench Seat
OK, let’s get this project started with a list of what you’ll need.
- 1 – 47 1/2″ x 17 1/2″ piece of 1/2″ Plywood or MDF
- Fabric, I used this one
- 3″ Foam Padding – check prices before buying, JoAnn’s sells this for twice as much
- Spray adhesive
- High-Loft or Extra-Loft Polyester Batting
- Staple Gun & 5/16″ Staples
Step 1 – Cut Your Board To Size
Cut your 1/2″ MDF or 1/2″ Plywood to 47 1/2″ x 17 1/2″. Brush off all dust and take that board inside.
Step 2 – Cut Your Foam To Size
Place the board on top of the 3″ Foam to mark the board outline on the foam. You should only have to cut 2 sides of the foam, if you set the board in the corner.
Move the board aside to cut your foam with a serrated knife or electric knife. I used a long bread knife to cut mine, but electric knives are the fastest, smoothest way to cut through foam.
Step 3 – Add The Batting
After the foam is cut, set the foam on the board and lay the batting on top of both pieces. Cut about an 1″ longer than the batting needs to reach the bottom of the board on all 4 sides.
Batting doesn’t get stretched or stapled to the board. You just want it to lay evenly across the seat without any wrinkles.
Use a drop cloth for the spray adhesive steps. Some adhesives get everywhere. Now use the spray adhesive on the board to attach the foam.
Make sure everything lines up on all 4 sides before the adhesive can dry. Leave the extra material on the corners unglued.
Now place the batting back on the foam and board. Spread it flat and even again. Use the spray adhesive just on the sides of the foam to hold the batting in place. Now trim the batting to size.
You want the batting to reach the bottom of the board on all 4 sides, without wrapping underneath. Now trim that extra material off the corners too.
Step 4 – Cut The Fabric
Place the fabric on top of the batting. Line it up so that you will have a couple inches on all 4 sides wrapping under the bench seat. Cut your fabric to size. My fabric was cut to 59″x29″.
Iron or steam your fabric, if needed. Be sure to follow the directions for your type of fabric. Certain types of loose weaves or delicate fabrics probably shouldn’t be used for this upholstery method.
Be sure to use an upholstery fabric. Place the fabric face down on a flat surface. Flip the seat, with foam and batting attached, over on the fabric.
Line everything up so that the seat is centered on the fabric. Use any patterns in the fabric or weave as a guide.
Step 5 – Staple The Fabric
You want to staple each side, leaving 4″ at each corner alone. We’ll do the corners last. When you staple the fabric to the board, pull with the same amount of tug all along the seat to prevent an uneven look.
Also, pull straight back to the board, not diagonally. You want the fabric to be tight enough to leave the top smooth and the edges slightly rounded.
Make sure that you use a lot of staples, you don’t really want gaps between them. Gaps will cause extra pull on the stapled parts of the fabric.
The fabric might start to rip if part of it is held in place and others aren’t. For the corners, I stapled the very center to the corner.
Then I folded each sides extra fabric under to create a fold line at each side of the corner. Finish stapling everything down. Trim away all excess fabric, you want a smooth bottom before setting the seat on the bench.
Use a hammer to set the staples flush with the board. My low-tech staple gun seems to always leave them just a little bit raised.
That’s it, your DIY upholstered bench seat is done!!!
Flip it over and center it on the DIY Farmhouse Bench you built in the last post. Use 1 1/4″ screws to attach the seat at the 4 corners, through the cedar. Now happy dance!
More DIY Projects For You
You might also like this 23 Beautiful & Shocking Before And After Room Makeover Photos.
Or this post with the 13 Best FREE PDF Furniture Build Plans And 12 Popular Woodworking Projects.
Check out this post for tips and pictures on this office chair makeover.
How about another DIY? Check out how I cut 1 of my Laundry Room cabinets in half to create this Mudroom Bench area for less than $100!
Feeling inspired? Now that you have my DIY Upholstered Bench Top, get out there and make your own.
Follow the links above to get the things you’ll need. Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Or post pictures of your work and tag Abbotts At Home on FB, I’d love to see it!
Stephanie Abbott has been remodeling homes, updating & building furniture, and working on DIY home maintenance and cleaning tips for over 20 years. Her remodeling has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. And, her DIY YouTube channel has had more than 8 million views.
Most of the DIY tutorials and videos on this site focus on beginner to intermediate level DIY Projects that can be done in an affordable way without high-end, expensive tools. All of the cleaning tips on this website have been tested in her home.