If you are wondering what I am talking about...I mentioned helping my sister over spring break in my Repurposed curtain to bench top post last week. I will give more details when I post the room... hopefully next week!
Since we were on a tight budget we made some magic with free things from the free section of the KSL classifieds (Utah doesn't use craig's list very much, but KSL is full of goodies, and yes, my sister lives in Utah, just in case you are confused).
It started out with these pallets we got...free.
The highlighted sections and arrows show which pallets I used for the bench, and yes I used pallets for other projects too. The legs were recovered from one huge 4x8 pallet, they were the bottom support pieces. You can see them on the picnic table. I had a lot of fun prying them off and getting all those nails out, I know you are jealous! The rest of the bench (besides the seat) was made from the pallet in the grass. It was broken up but I still had 4 good long boards to use. My brother in law pried off the boards and used my awesome Roybi sawzall to cut off the nails while I was working on something else in the room. (I think I could get used to having helpers!)
My sister's "closet" has a lot of room and since we had the pallets I knew a rustic bench would be perfect. While I was thinking about how to do the build I mentioned that it would be fun to upholster it, but fabric is expensive...and then my sister surprised me with this fun fabric she had bought to make pillows...but never used it! Sa-weet! We were in business...
I started with making the end pieces (not a good picture, oops!) using my right angle clamp to hold my pieces while I drilled in the pocket holes. Am I the only one that builds in the kitchen? Anyway...
I didn't take pictures but I cut everything and then sanded each piece. Trust me, it is always easier to sand before you build...My cute sister helped sand these pieces, she is totally hired...hint hint, oh wait, she lives 8 hours away...Dang!
She wanted storage on the bottom for baskets, and to use the bench as a place to put shoes on as well. So I made the bench to be about 19 inches high, I am guessing I cut these legs to about 17 or 18 inches to allow for the seat height. Here you can see how they look on the inside and outside. Gotta love that kreg jig and pocket holes!
I attached the long apron pieces to the top with pocket holes. It is easier to do it upside down so that the wood stays flush with the floor. I used gorilla glue before I drilled in each piece.
For the bottom pieces I made sure I put them an inch off the bottom, to leave little feet. These pieces will also support the slats for the shelf.
The middle of the bench needed some support so I grabbed some pallet wood and cut five boards and drilled pocket holes. I attached three in the top...
And two for the bottom shelf. At this point I grabbed the scrap floor underlayment piece that was left (in the very room we were making over) when my sister moved in a few years back. It was perfect! I just put the bench on it and drew lines where I needed to cut with my circular saw. I did about a 1/2 inch overlap on all sides.
The bench was now ready for some super awesome delicious (can wood be delicious?) slats. I am super in love with this wood! Isn't it pretty? I cut them all to size and then handed the sanding off to my sister...because I was taking on another last minute build... she also spaced and nailed them on.
Didn't she do a good job? (my secret desire to get her building just might pay off!)
So padding...we were going for free here, and foam/batting can be pricy! I hoped on KSL and found a free crib mattress, It was in poor condition, but I was ok with that!
We ripped it apart and found...Springs?! I wasn't expecting that, I know people have used the crib mattress pads for benches and such, but springs? I guess they are not all made the same. It wasn't a total waste though (the springs were cool in and of themselves, a fun upcycle maybe...) because the padding wrapped around the springs was perfect!
All I had to do was cut the padding to the size of the board, I believe I used three pieces, and then wrapped a bigger piece around the board...
And stapled it on! On the right you can see I have the top corners to do still, bottom ones are done. It is best to save the corners for last, after you have stapled all the sides. Cut away as much batting/fabric as possible on the corners pieces, you don't want them bunched up or your seat will not sit flush on the base.
Repeat the process with the fabric. Pull nice and tight, but not too tight. If you look close you can see a sneak peek of another project on wheels!
Since this is my second upholstery project, ever, I think I went a little over zealous with the staples, and I also think I went a little too close to the edge, so...I used this awesome duct type Gorilla tape. I secured my fabric edges down so they didn't stick out when I attach the top to the bench. This tape is STRONG! Plus it made the underside of the bench look pretty, not that anyone will see it!
When I was about to build the bench I told my self to remember to drill holes through the top aprons so I could attach the bench top later. I forgot. But an easy fix made it all better. I cut blocks from the same pallet and had my brother-in-law (a different one, this is another sister and her husband that came to help too. Love them) screw them to the frame. He did this while I upholstered the bench top. Then (not pictured, too excited at this point) I flipped the bench onto the finished top and screwed through the blocks into the top of the bench, securing it nice and tight. I made sure the screws were the right length so that they wouldn't go all the way through the bench seat wood, don't want any sharp surprises when you sit down!
All finished!!! This is where it will reside in it's new home! Yippee!
We thought we would try it out. From left to right Kathy (my sister, I am sure she would like me to note that she is not fat, but prego), me, and Kaelynn (my sister to whom this awesome bench now belongs!) Yeah, it was about....ummm, 2 in the morning at this point and day 6 of non stop working....I think it is safe to say we were happy to be done! I LOVED working with my sisters it makes me wish we all lived closer!
Since I am now home in Colorado I am in search of a perfect pallet so I can make me a cute bench too! I love it!! The rustic wood is perfect with the fabric, and the fabric it perfect with the room (at this point I feel like I am dangling a carrot, muhahha!) don't worry I will get to it, posting the room that is.
Kaelynn had to do a few finishing touches on her own, because let's face it, you can't get everything done in a week with 12 kids (and then 3 more when Kathy came, Kaelynn and I both have six) running around like wild banshees! For some reason they needed to be fed, and taken care of :). Oh, and we went to track and gymnastic meets too...just sayin.
I left the wood as is. It has such character. The only thing better would be to clear coat it, but time wasn't on our side, and it looks great without it. All natural goodness.
Here you can see the nail holes on the legs and some were cut off, I love the rustic touch it ads.
Not bad for free eh? It amazes me that a piece like this can cost so much in a store...yet this one didn't cost us a dime! Does it make you want to go and get some free stuff and build your own? You should!!
I can't wait to share my up-cycled build, stay tuned!
***Update- The Closet/Laundry Room Makeover, new home to this bench, is now posted, check it out Here!
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