26 January 2009

Pull Up a (Tufted) Seat



I've been wanting to add some extra seating to our kitchen table for a while and when I saw an ugly old padded bench at the thrift store a few months ago, I knew that it was the perfect size and scale to work with my kitchen table.



It's been a while since I've rehabbed any thrift store finds and I think I was going through a bit of spray-paint withdrawal. So yes, I spray painted in my basement in January.



Making over a bench like this one is really easy. If you want a complete tutorial, you can read this post where I gave detailed directions on a previous project.

A quick summary is:
Remove the seat (it's held on with screws from underneath)
Clean, prime and paint the wood parts
Recover the seat
Reattach the seat
Take pictures



And if you can do it while sitting in front of one of these, all the better.

This time, I wanted to try something a little different and tuft the top of the seat because I love the look of a tufted chair. Let me show you how I did it. I don't know if I used the Tufting Institute (I made that up) approved tufting method. As usual, I just kind of figured out how I wanted it to look and how to make that happen.



First, I took all of the fabric and padding off of the top of the bench. Then I drilled two holes in the wood part of the seat where I'll want the tufting buttons to go.



I reused the foam padding because it was still in good shape and covered it with a couple of layers of batting for extra fluff.



Then I covered the whole seat with the new fabric.



Now for the tufting...I wanted to use buttons covered in the same fabric as the seat. You can find self-covering buttons at the craft or fabric store and they're really easy to use.



Take a long piece of upholstery thread (or any thick, heavy thread) and make a slip-knot through the button shank. Then pull both pieces of thread through an upholstery needle (or other long needle).



Using the needle, pull the tread through the seat then through the hole that you drilled previously. Repeat for any other buttons.



Turn the seat over and pull the thread as tightly as you want your tufting to be. You're just eyeballing this until it looks right. You have both ends of the thread that you can secure by pulling them through a regular button and tying to secure.



Those directions are probably hard to follow. I hope the pictures help.



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86 comments {Click here to leave a comment}:

kahlanne said...

I love it! I have been wanting to upholster a bench lately but haven't gotten around to it. I looked to find the right size premade but it obviously doesn't exist. Seems your project was just the push I need to give it a go myself.

Shelby said...

Beautiful work!

Tabitha (From Single to Married) said...

This is awesome!! So well-done, you'd never know it was a "hand-made" job. I'm impressed. :)

Songbirdtiff said...

As always, Kimba, this is a work of art. I love the hounds tooth!

You did a really great job of instructing.

Tricia Anne said...

Very nice!

the rusty cupboard said...

Works and looks great with your set.

Shilo said...

Kimba, that looks fabulous and absolutely do-able! Thanks for the tutorial!
Have a great week! Shilo

Astrid said...

It's fantastic! I'm nervous about buying used furniture but you make rehabbing it look easy(ish). :)

That Girl said...

what color paint did you use? I was just thinking about painting my end tables yesterday and that paint looks perfect. Great Job!!

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Love the bench! I've been wanting to try tufting, in fact I wanted to use in on my Met Monday post, but wasn't sure how. Now I know!! Thanks for sharing.

Jenny@ L.O.T.s of Love said...

Fantastic! Need to recover my kitchen seats...thanks for the inspiration!

Betsy said...

Love that. Would love to see pics of the entire table. I could do this for my kitchen table.

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Great choice of fabric!

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Darlene - Our Creative Life said...

It looks fabulous! I may even attempt to tuft something!

Lissa said...

I'm thinking about tufting a "headboard" in the next week or two, and I hadn't yet thought through how I would secure the thread on the other side. The button is great. Thanks for the tutorial! :-)

Hope your giveaway this week at Bella's brings lots of business for you, me, and the other 16 of us!

Blessings!

Christi said...

Kimba, you are awesome! I love it - and now I'm gonna have to find me a bench!

Mom in High Heels said...

I love it! Why, oh, why doesn't my local thrift shop EVER carry anything cool like that?

Darlene said...

Kimba, you always do the most AMAZING furniture rehabs! That is BEAUTIFUL...love the hounds tooth fabric!!!

Valarie Lea said...

That looks awesome, I just love the tufting!!

queenbee said...

Kimba,

You have such a great eye. I love the houndstooth fabric. Great job!

Extreme Home Renos said...

That was one great tutorial! Thanks!

Donna

Jessica said...

Kimba, you are so crazy! I love it but would never have had a clue where to begin. I hope to find an old bench/chair for my vanity. Not to mention my ottoman needs to be recovered and it has tufts. Thank ya mam.

Joanna said...

I love what you did to the bench and the hounds tooth is gorgeous!

Gray Matters said...

Turned out fabulous - I just picked up some hounds tooth fabric to recover a couple of chairs - love the look of it!

Shannon said...

It looks great! I love the fabric and the tufting!

Jemm said...

I love this tufted stool! What a nice idea to add the buttons. I just started to sand a chair from an auction. I'm going to paint and distress it and recover the seat cushion. I love these kinds of ideas!!

Meghan said...

WoW!
Will you please be my new bff???

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

I think the directions are great and the pictures are just the icing on the cake. The buttons are a really nice touch, so detailed! Thanks so much for sharing this, I'll be linking.

Mandi said...

Love it! I may just be brave enough to try some tufting of my own now! Houndstooth is one of my favorites!

Susie Harris said...

Getting all fancy with those buttons! Love it~

Margaret said...

Beautiful, the tufted cushion looks just right for that bench!

Raelynn said...

Kudos to you! I love it! Hum....maybe a trip to the Goodwill is in store for the day!!

MamaHenClucks said...

Love it! Love it even more because you spray painted inside in January and it's nice to know I'm not the only person who does that. Why is it winter is the time I'm most inspired? I'm constantly reupholstering and refinishing things!

Judy @ In His Grip said...

I love, love, love it. Houndstooth is such a fun print.

Leigh said...

I love it! And I love the houndstooth! (I AM an ALabama fan!)

Megan @ Little Bella Bean said...

OH! Fun! I love it!

And thank you for the tip on self covering buttons! I'm exctited about those!

Blessings!
Megan

Wendy said...

Great job! Your bench looks wonderful. Thank you for showing how you used the button, I would have never thought of that.

Wendy

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

What a great bench. I have that fabric stashed for my "I love it and we'll se what I can find to do with it" pile. Love it!

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

that's beautiful...

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

You did an awesome job! I just spray painted something for the first time (*gasp!* I know!!), and it wasn't nearly as scary as I thought!! :) From now on there's no paintbrush for this gal!
I just love the tufting you did, it really "makes" the bench! And that fabric, oh my!!

pcb said...

Great project! I do love a little bench and spray paint is my friend, too.

Janet said...

Nicely done! That's just lovely.

Kasey Hunt said...

Great job. It looks really really good. I'll have to keep my eye out for one.

Inspired Kara said...

I was honestly JUST wondering how to do this!!!!

Thanks Kimba!

Pretty Organizer said...

Ode to Kimba: "Ah-Hem"

Oh Kimba, O Kimba,
How you make my mind spinba,

I love your lampshade hats,
Your creations of where people sats.

Your pictures detailed,
your goals that derailed (thanksgiving post)
And all things spray painted be they gloss or flat.

Your frabric is fab, your colors are sweet, my God bless your whole blog from its head to its feet!

Another fabulous post that leaves me wondering.... where ARE your kids all day? You're productive whirlwind! Love you girl!

mbkatc230 said...

This is really beautiful. What a transformation, and I LOVE the houndstooth fabric. Kathy

Misti of Studio M Designs said...

O.K. that poem is hilarious! Great job on the bench. Have you checked out my bench post? Still thinking on the best way to use it! Come on over...
~Misti

Southern Fried Gal said...

Great idea and I love the way it turned out!

Linda/ "Mom..." said...

Wow! This "project" looks professional~ you did a FAAAABULOUS job, AND, you made it look "do-able", even for clutzy me (I'm usually restricted from using anything "sharp"!). THANKS for sharing, and BTW, GREAT FABRIC CHOICE!!!~~ Best, Linda

Pretty Organizer said...

FYI, Just made you your weeks McDonalds meals with my ad clicking! Checked out Christmas decorating and mealplanning in Scottsdale AZ. Now I'm so much wiser... and you're about 10 cents richer!! heehee.

Jennifer said...

The bench looks so pretty just by itself but when photographed at your table with the rest of the set...it looks perfect!! Like you paid an extra 200 bucks when you bought it all together!

Sunny said...

This is super! I've been thinking of doing a big ol' upholstered ottoman instead of a coffee table. this is my scheme for getting my pups off my couch and sitting on something of "their own" in which the fabric can be easily pulled off and thrown in the washer. I wanted it to be tufted though and so this is a great little tutorial! Thanks!

Belinda said...

You really gave that cute little bench a whole new lease on life! Wow! I can't get over the transformation...it looks so classy and I love the fabric you chose. :-) I'm always so intimidated about taking on the projects like this one that all of you creative home decor blogging gals are so great with. I'm going to try and build up some courage. :-)

Christina said...

Absolutely love it. Gotta go and get some covered buttons!!

The fabric is fantastic too.

duchess said...

Beautiful job - I love the fabric.

Ellen said...

They posted the grades at the "Tufting Institute" this morning. You received an A+ with extra credit for sharing with the class (nice tute)!

ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage said...

Wow! That really was ugly! I would have passed that by! Amazing transformation!!

Kim @ Forever Wherever said...

It looks great and I LOVE fabric covered buttons! Thanks for sharing your thrift store bench makeover with us!
-Kim

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

What a pretty bench! Great job!

jodi said...

great job, kimba! it's beautiful!

Maureen said...

So great! I also love that rug.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

You are amazing! There is no way I would see how good it could be from what you found. Good job! It's beautiful!

linda said...

Thank you for the perfect instructions. I picked up a bench a few months back at our local goodwill with the intention of doing the same. I want to put it in the bathroom. I'll take pictures and post too! Thanks again!

Mimi Sue said...

That bench turned out so great. Love It. Mimi

~CC Catherine said...

Kimba, Great bench makeover! Very professional! My mother used to reupholster for years...I remember her making these buttons and doing the very same thing on many projects. Also love the black/white finish! Super job! ~CC Catherine

limefreckle said...

Thanks for the tufting tut....I have a large ottoman I want to recover, and wanted to tuft, but it seemed to hard -- this looks like something I can totally do!

Chris said...

I am so madly in love with this bench. Houndstooth! You just can't go wrong. I've been wanting to do tufting for some time, but I never can figure out how to do it. Great tutorial!

Bella Casa said...

I love that, Kimba!

I wanted to do my Gossip Chair in b/w Houndstooth, but could not find a nice one, so I chose a sagey green sort of fabric.

That is the perfect bench for just about anywhere, love it!!!

Thanks for telling your readers about the giveaways over on my blog :)

Jessica said...

I'm back to let you know I'm doing my first ever give away at riversidescholars.blogspot.com It's a great prize, you should check it out.

Caroline said...

3 words for ya.. YOU GO GIRL!! how about another 3.... I LOVE IT!! such a cute fabric, and i love the tufted look!! now this is a perfect example of "trash to trasure!"

Monkey Giggles said...

as always....love it love it.

Ashley said...

I figured it would be a difficult process but it actually doesn't look too bad. Next time I've got a chair or stool to recover I might have to try this. Great idea, as usual!

Reborn said...

That is phenomenal!! And I love your area rug in the last photo!

Lauren said...

That is CRAZY!~ I love it! very talented and creative!

ACJ said...

I absolutely love this! My mama is getting into furniture restoring, and has inspired me as well. I'm glad I ran across this post--this is a lovely project, and it seems pretty simple too.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Kimba, that is adorable, I love the fabric too. I too have been spray painting, only doing it outside. We luckily have some warmer days down here & I can manage it. The wind is what gets me!

LuLu said...

Thank you and another really big thank you for showing me how to do the buttons I have always wanted to learn! i must try now!!

Robin said...

Very Cute!

Our Complete Family said...

Adorable! I love, love, love the fabric you used!!!

Amber said...

Love the houndstooth fabric! It turned out great and I love the tufted buttons! It adds a perfect little touch of detail.

Carrie said...

Kimba, You are brilliant!!! We live in a tiny house! I'm always looking for extra seating. I just stole my Grandma's old sewing bench...not knowing what I'm going to do with it!!! This is great...it's going at the end of my table! It's the exact shape and size as yours! Thank you so much! Just call me copycat Carrie!

Sarah Schneider said...

Fabulous! Now I think I can understand how to fix the button on one of my pillows thanks to your tutorial! :) Thank you!

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Kimba...this looks great! You make it look so easy. Love how you just decided you could do it and went for it and figured it out! Turned out great. Thanks for participating in Met Monday! Susan

Girlbert said...

Love this - I had no idea how to tuft a seat until now. I've rehabbed thrift store furniture in the past, it's a very satisfying hobby. I LOVE it when my Pottery Barn friends come over and tell me how much they love my (thrift store) furniture. I, too have sanded and spray-painted indoors in the winter. Sometimes the compulsion to finish (or start) a project is just too great to wait for good weather!

Kinzie Sue said...

I need extra seating, and am headed to Goodwill this afternoon- now I'll be keeping my eye out for a bench! You did a lovely job!!

Kate Starr said...

I have that same houndstooth fabric...and your mad skills have inspired me to use it!