Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Story of a Bench

This is a story of a bench. A bench that is really old, nobody knows for sure just how old, but it's been in the family as long as anyone still alive can remember. For some reason my husband loves it. Maybe because it's the only thing that was permanent in his life as a child (deep I know!) I'm not here to psycho analyze my husband (although, believe me I've tried!) This bench has been a part of our lives for about 20 years. I've never thought much about it, it was just a bench. It's made all 5 moves with us unscathed. I've recovered the cushion on it a couple times to match the ever changing decor. But this time is the last. Why? Because it's now perfect. It's more than a bench you see. Now it's dare I say it..... a work of art! Ok, maybe that's an exageration, but I absolutely love it! I saw this picture in my House Beautiful magazine and inspiration hit me!
sorry horrible picture
It's from Hillsdale General Store I've never heard of them before, and for good reason! This bench costs $895! What?!?! I recovered my cushion for less than $25! All I did was weave upholstery jute webbing and glue it to the underside of the foam! Love it!!

Im sure you're saying, but yours doesn't have the cool metal and boot tray underneath. And my answer is "no, but mine has history"! And it's no longer just the bench that's been in my husbands family forever, now I love it just as much as he does!

Here is a quick idea of how I did it- it was just soooo easy!

First this is what you are going to need:
It's called jute webbing, you can find it at any fabric store in the upholstery area, it comes on a big spool and you buy it by the yard. Mine only cost .79 (that's cents people!) a yard! For my bench I bought 22 yards. The cushion is 3 inches thick and it's about 3 ft long and just less than 2 ft wide.
Next: you will measure all the way around the outside edge of the cushion. Cut a piece of jute about 5inches longer than the distance around. Fold one end over and glue it to itself to make a nic clean end. Then wrap that piece around the cushion, pull it tight and glue it together (using a hot glue gun).
 Can you see the little flap? That's where I glued it together, it's in the back, so no one sees it!

Now you are going to measure the top of the cushion, from left to right over the edge and about 3 or 4 inches under. (I glued my jute to the underside of the cushion rather than going all the way around)
Cut enough pieces of jute to go across the top (over the edge and underneath) mine took 7 pieces. Now measure from front to back, again over the edge and 3 or 4 inches underneath. Cut enough pieces to cover the top.
Now that you have all your pieces cut it's time to start weaving! The easiest way it to lay your long pieces on the top of the cushion and weave them over or under the piece you have glued around the edge. Once they are all weaved under or over the edge, glue those pieces to the underside of the cushion. Then start with the short pieces. Weave them in and out of the long pieces across the top of the cushion. Don't glue them until you have them all weaved so you can adjust the spacing as needed. Once it's all weaved and spaced just right glue the ends to the underside of the cushion!

Here's a close up of the top weaving

Closer picture of the weaving and our other family heirloom, the quilt my great-grandmother made.

I made this pillow for said bench after the original photo was taken, just thought I'd show you that too!

Linking to:

Shabby Creek Cottage
Somewhat Simple
House of Hepworths
Crafty Scrappy Happy
The 36th Avenue


  1. How is it holding up in terms of elasticity? I've heard that jute webbing stretches if you sit on it directly. Then again, maybe yours will work great cuz it's got the foam padding underneath. I love the look BTW :-)

    Saw you on Better After. Congrats!

  2. Love it! You did a great job with the weaving of your jute webbing.
    Saw ya on Knock-off-decor!

  3. Thanks for having our bench on your site. I love your work. Would love to see more. I just didnt like the sorta negative remark about the price of our bench. It may be high but it is localy designed(local for us) and the base is done by a local person so the money goes towards the greater good and giving back to our comunity in the long run. But anyway i just wanted to say hi, love your work and glad you found inspiration in one of our items.

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