DIY Upholstered Bench

Give upholstery a try with this tutorial by Honestly WTF.

Skill Level



1-4 hours

Skill level
1-4 hours
Written By

Erica Chan Coffman


Written By

Erica Chan Coffman


Put a beautiful piece of fabric to good use by learning how to upholster a simple bench. The best part? No sewing experience is necessary. Tip: You can create a custom piece of furniture in any size that will fit perfectly in your home. The best way to start is with a piece of plywood cut to your desired size and choose fabric that measures at least 10 in. / 25 cm. wider and longer than the wood. Be sure that the wood doesn’t exceed past the width of the foam (most sheets of upholstery foam will max out at about 24 in. / 60 cm. wide). Ready to try it out?

You will need

You might already have

A ¾ in. / 1.9 cm. thick piece of plywood (cut to your desired size)
Power drill with drill bits (that fit your screws)
8 wood screws (that fit into the holes of your hairpin legs and are slightly shorter than the thickness of your plywood)
8 washers (that fit your screws)
Staple gun
Pen or marker

Step 1: Trace wood

Lay your wood on top of the foam and trace the outline with a pen.

Step 2: Cut foam

Cut the foam along the marked line with a pair of fabric shears.

Step 3: Measure and cut fabric

Using the foam your cut in Step 2 as a template, trace the fabric to size (leaving 4-5 in. / 10-15 cm. of extra fabric on all sides). Cut.

Step 4: Center the foam

Flip your fabric right side down and center your foam on top of it.

Step 5: Add wood

Lay the wood directly on top of the foam.

Step 6: Start stapling

Start at the center of the longest side, pull the fabric taught and staple it to the wood. Repeat at the center of the other side. Continue stapling, alternating left and right of the center staple on both sides. Next, staple along the shorter sides of the wood, starting at the center and working your way out. Note: Don’t staple all the way to left and right edges of the board - the corners will be stapled last.

Step 7: Staple the corners

Pull the corner of the fabric, fold it over at a diagonal, and staple it in place. Fold in both sides of the remaining fabric to create two even pleats. Carefully hold the pleats in place as you staple them to the wood. Repeat on all four corners. Trim away any excess fabric.

Step 8: Attach hairpin legs

While the bench is still upside down, place the hairpin legs on each corner. Drill a pilot hole with a drill bit that measures a few sizes smaller than the wood screws. This will make screwing in the wood screws a lot easier. With a washer in between the screw and the leg base, drill the wood screw into place. After all four legs are screwed in place, trim away any additional fabric and staple any loose edges in place. Done!

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About the Author
Erica Chan Coffman

Erica Chan Coffman is the founder and executive editor of HonestlyWTF, a lifestyle blog that curates stories covering fashion, art, travel, interior design and DIY. Her passion for design and craft comes from her extensive background in jewelry design and her experience working in the art industry. She also oversees HonestlyYUM, a culinary destination for seasonal food and cocktail recipes and entertaining ideas.