Wednesday, September 19, 2012

DIY Mid Century Bench

My friend's boyfriend bought a condo over the summer and to go with his mid century modern decor, my friend and I built a dining bench inspired by this AWESOME mid century bench by Salvage Love:
Salvage Love
Isn't that gorgeous?!
The bench we made is 57" long, 16" deep and 16" high.

Since it has a fairly long span, for added strength we doubled up on the 3/4" plywood which my friend's boyfriend glued and set overnight to dry.
Life Designed
Before we placed the foam, we measured and drilled all necessary holes for the buttons and the legs. 

Life Designed

I found the legs on Ebay- with shipping, they were about $40 for 4 12" legs. Not bad! We wanted the legs to be angled like the Salvage Love bench so we also bought angled leg plates from Lee Valley. 

Note: If you're going to have angled legs, make sure leg feet are adjustable! I've seen similar legs at Home Depot but their feet don't move making an angled leg impossible.  
Following the Salvage Love tutorial we got the plywood cut a little bit smaller than the foam and then pinched the foam as we staple gunned it in place. I really don't know if this step is necessary but... we did as we were told.
Life Designed
One thing I should say is IF you're going to do this, you will want to have small intervals between each staple. We did ours too far apart and without any batting, the bumps of the foam is slightly visible when we wrapped the fabric around it. (FYI, we used 3" extra firm foam).

We lucked out with the fabric and found a beautiful upholstery grey remnant piece at Fabricana for just $10.49/yard!
Life Designed
After wrapping the fabric around and staple gunning it in place, we had to back track and make cut outs for the pre-drilled leg holes. I never promised this was gonna be pretty! =)

We also got button kits and a 5" long needle from Fabricana:
Life Designed
It took us a LONG time to make these buttons. I wonder if there is a different brand out there that's better to use. We didn't have a hammer on hand so we used pliers to whack the button kit together.
Life Designed
The extra long needle is required to "sew" the button in place- depending on how thick your foam is, that's how long your needle will have to be.

We used fishing wire that we staple gunned in zig zags to make sure the buttons weren't going anywhere:
Life Designed
So as you can see, we didn't cut out the areas of the pre-drilled button holes which was fine because we found them with ease. 

Now here's my advice... and trust me, you'll want to heed this:

You want fairly large pre-drilled holes!! TRUST ME.

I saw pretty large holes in the Savage Love tutorial but they didn't mention why this was important. We just drilled small 1/8" holes.

Why is this a bad idea?

Because, trying to get your needle to find that hole on it's way back down is like trying to find a needle in a hay sack!

To make your life easier, just make your holes about 1/2" - 1" in diameter.

Wrapping the corners is another challenge but a pretty easy one to figure out. It required cutting out some excess fabric and manipulating the fold the way we wanted:

Life Designed
OK almost done....
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We got some decking fabric to cover up the ugliness underside. Even though no one would really see it...just for peace of mind, I'm glad we did this. And decking is SUPER inexpensive so why not?
Life Designed
Sorry for the bad lighting. I wasn't even going to photograph it at this point because the legs still needed to be stained but I got impatient so we put the legs on just to see how it would look.
Life Designed
Her boyfriend's going to stain the legs a similar shade to their chairs- which, by the way, are fabulous!!! They got them at a local mid century furniture store. I LOVE them. 

And the CB2 dining table?? Don't even get me started. I can't tell you how beautiful the wood is. The picture doesn't do it justice- it's stunning.

Everything about the table is perfect. I love the metal legs and the gorgeous sheesham wood AKA Indian Rosewood. Bonus: this hardwood is sourced from sustainable, government managed plantations. Hurray for sustainability! 

They're still in the process of decorating (new pendant, window coverings, something fabulous on the bench wall, etc.) but so far, this just makes me so happy.

The total cost of the bench was about $150 which is cheaper than one of their chairs, so I'd say it's a fabulous deal!


  1. Your friend's boyfriend is so lucky to have the two of you around. This project came out amazing! This is such a creative post. I would love it if you would share this post at our WIW linky party. Hope you can join us. :-)

    Paula, your newest follower

  2. that looks amazing, like a true midcentury piece!

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  4. wrapping corners is always tough. I found this mid-century bench on Trove with the most beautiful corners. I'm obsessed with: Home