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Mod Bench Restoration

I can honestly say, when I found this bench in a trash pile that it was love at first sight. There was no inspection needed. I had to have it. What did that mean? Well, I was on my bike so I dashed home, deposited my bike and returned on foot. One mile. Two miles round trip. Yes, my son and I carried this beloved bench a mile through our neighborhood, wearing the biggest smiles.

The first course of action was to clean it. A simple solution of water + ammonia + baking soda did the job. The day I scrubbed it down was really sunny and the task reminded me of my mom scrubbing the blue vinyl liners of our childhood pools. Good times. Except when my baby brother pooped in the pool, then I was pretty cranky.

 Next, I tackled the aged, tarnished metal feet. I skipped the elbow grease and went right for the spray paint.

I didn’t feel it was necessary to remove the legs; I simply reused plastic shopping bags to mask off the rest of the legs.

This bench had structural damage that needed repair. There was a crack in a side beam that wouldn’t fit back in place, no matter how much a grunted. So I reinforced the beam with a steel brace that attached with 4 screws. And it’s not like you’re going to tell anyone, right?

The biggest part of this restoration project was reupholstering the seats. But who’s whining?

Here are the steps to take:
a. unscrew the seats from the bottom of the bench.
b. use a Flathead screwdriver and needle-nose pliers to remove the staples that are holding on the fabric.
c. use the existing fabric pieces as a template to cut out your new fabric. Be sure to stitch rip apart all the existing upholstery and pin it down to your new fabric and cut.
d. to create the piping, tuck the cord (be sure to singe the ends) into the fabric, fold and sew it right in there.
e. follow the sewing pattern of the previous upholstery.
f. secure the upholstery to the chair using either a staple gun or fabric tacks. As you may know, I’m partial to fabric tacks.

g. screw the newly upholstered seats to the bench. In my case, the new fabric was considerable thicker than the previous vinyl used, therefore I had to drill new screw holes.

Because I loved this piece so much, I didn’t want price to deter me. I wanted no regrets when I was done. I repeated this to myself as I paid $54 for the upholstery fabric. I was so worth it!

This mod bench is ready Mad Men Season 6!

Eve of Reduction: Free Seasonal E-Newsletter; Extra tips and wit on Facebook; Reduction Beauty on Pinterest ; The debut DIY lifestyle book (includes 10 upcycling tutorials); and the guide to creative streams of income ebook (only $2.99).

I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

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6 Responses to Mod Bench Restoration

  1. MB September 26, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    Oh my God…LOVE IT!

  2. Kim January 14, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    I am beyond jealous. I would have been smiling and dancing a jig as well all the way home with this!

  3. porkchoptuesday January 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    AMAZING! I am going to be on the look out for one of these! We live in my grandparents house built in 1953. I NEED one of these! Super job!

  4. Julie Boarder January 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    Oh my goodness, this is gorgeous! I love how you sprayed the legs, what paint did you use? I just bought a chair from Craigslist with the same legs thank you for the inspiration!

    I have to ask how old your son is because I could not see my 16 year old son carrying a bench a mile with me without some bribing on my part and lots of complaining on his part!

    I am now following you for future inspiration :-)

    • Cristin Frank January 19, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

      Hi Julie, Thanks for the follow! My son is 9 and an aspiring furniture upcycler so he helps out a lot. I’m so lucky!
      The paint I used on the legs was Rustoleum Silver spray paint.

  5. Cristin Frank January 19, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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