Beetle Bug Bench

Hey all!!  Today’s project may go down in history as my quickest ever.  When I asked J.C. to bring this little bench in from the shop, he asked if that was really necessary right now.  I told him that it absolutely was and to let me just be me.  He then proceeded to tell me I would never get done with it (I’m sort of known for dragging projects out) and that it would probably be sitting in the floor a week, month, year from now.  Boy did I finally prove him wrong!!!  I finished this bad boy in 24 hours.

Does anybody even remember this little bench?  We were given some furniture after our first home burned last year and this was one of the items.  I’ll just be honest and tell you that I wouldn’t have bought this from a store, especially with the bad pastel fabric; however, it was free and we were/are very grateful.  It’s the curvy lines that I don’t dig, but I figured some new fabric might make me appreciate it a little more.


See what I mean about the whole funky pastel fabric?!  It isn’t great but I knew that something new could spice things up a bit.  Last year I ordered some fabric samples and they were all SO bad!  Do you remember?  Oh Lawd… SO bad people.  They looked like snake skin shoes… not the pretty ones either!  So, we nixed all those options.

Earlier this month while I was in Dallas for a business trip, we ran into Ikea to grab a few things that I needed and that’s when I saw this fabric.


Of course, I just had to have it!!  Something about bugs and bees and botanicals gets me every time.  And at $5.99/yard, why not??  My mom asked me what I was going to use it for and I told her I had no earthly idea.  I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t get a yard or two.  So, one yard later and that fabric was mine!!

J.C. and I were out in the shop grabbing something and I eyeballed the bench.  Ding ding ding.  The light bulb went off. I’ll use that FABric on that bench.  Genius idea.  So, here’s how I got started on recovering it.  I turned it over and right off the bat was faced with a little bit of mold/mildew. No Bueno peeps.

Can you see the mold/mildew?  Here’s a close up shot:

I normally like soft, fuzzy stuff… but not this stuff.  I wanted to take the pastel fabric off just to make sure that there wasn’t a total mold/mildew infestation that had taken over the whole bench but first I had to take the actual seat off of the frame.  See that there screw?


There were a few more just like it and I borrowed J.C.’s drill and took them all out.


Voila!  The seat was now separate from the frame and the floral, pastel fabric was about to be gone for good!  Once it was off, I realized there was another fabric underneath.  It was a neutral duck canvas type fabric.  I’m not sure if it was the original fabric or if it was just there for reinforcement purposes.  Either way, there was a little mold/mildew on it as well so I knew I’d have to handle that.


Ewww… see what I mean?!  J.C.’s allergies have to be the worlds worst and we just can’t take any chances with mold and mildew.  So, it was time to bust out the big guns… bleach cleaner.


I sprayed all of the wood (it’s still wet in the picture above) as well as the fabric with this cleaner.  It basically ate the mold/mildew away almost immediately.   It was actually cool to see it just almost disappear.  Even so, I grabbed a rag and gave the wood and the fabric a good scrubbing.  That’s the reason this project had to be drug out into two days.  I figured everything needed to air out and dry before I attached the new fabric and put it all back together.  But… before I closed up shop for the day, I decided to measure out my fabric that would be covering the bench.  I laid a towel down on the kitchen floor so I wouldn’t get my new fabric dirty and look who thought it was for him.


Isn’t he just irresistible?  Anyways, I laid the fabric out and decided that the tall botanical looked good in the middle of the bench and it was the best use of the fabric to have a little left over.


So, the next day everything was dry and mold/mildew free and it was time to start stapling fabric.  I have an electric stapler and wouldn’t suggest anything else.  You might feel like stapling yourself in the eye if you try to do a project like this with a manual stapler… for real.  Mine is a Stanley from Home Depot.  They are super inexpensive (I think around $30) and you can get 1,250 staples for around $2.50.

staples and gun copy

The only really good piece of advice I have about stapling the fabric is to start in the middle and pull tight.  This is the first thing I’ve ever reupholstered so I’m definitely a newbie but I knew that those two things were very important.  About 1 million staples later (exaggerating just a little bit) I was done.  I screwed the seat back onto the frame and here’s the final product:

bench redone copy

Isn’t it just great?  Much better than before, right?  I actually like it now.  The curvy lines seem to just disappear because the fabric is so fabulous!  We are using it in the living room right now to prop our feet up on when we are sitting on the couch and as a coffee table of sorts.  I’m SO glad I decided to keep this little bench and recover it.  Since the bench was given to us (free) and the staple gun and staples will be used on many projects to come, this makeover only cost about $5.99!  I’d say that’s a GREAT bang for my buck… and I got a super cute bench out of it!!

Have you ever reupholstered anything by yourself?  I’ll have to admit that I was initially a little intimidated, especially on the corners, but I prevailed.  I’m so happy with how it turned out!  If you’ve got a project like this one that you’ve been wanting to do, I hope to have inspired you to do so.  Beetle Bug Bench for the win!



2 thoughts on “Beetle Bug Bench

  1. Bought a couple of pillows in the same fabric from Ikea a while back. Love it! I can also picture the metal on your bench sprayed white or some funky-fab color. Nice save!

  2. It’s a great new bench! I love the fabric- sort of like a black n white botanical print? I’m looking for one for you to redo for me!!! Love you, mom 🙂

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