X Bench Makeover

Say hello to my little friend(s)…

Last week I mentioned how I’d been lusting after a pair of x benches for our space, but had all but given up on the idea of them, since every bench I found cost hundreds of dollars.  I’d stopped looking for a while, and then found a pair of these guys from Target for ~$50 each.  It was a no brainer to buy them and make them over since the cost of spray paint and fabric is minimal.

I am SO happy with how these turned out…

Especially considering how they started out…

Not attractive…

The dark faux leather was so bad in person… and when I say “so bad” I mean “SOOO BAD”.  The leather was rock hard, super shiny, and had no give – it was like sitting on a slippery brick… but I saw past their sad exterior, and whipped them into shape quickly…. here’s how it went:

Step I: detach the cushions from the base.  Easy peasy…

Step II: Spray the bases the color of your choice (I went with Rustoleum’s trusty gold spray paint – never fails my friends) – while the paint dries on the bases, head upstairs to gleefully rip off the faux leather from the plywood using whatever tools at your disposal.

**This was actually the hardest step for me since the manufacturer really stapled the hell out of each bench.  I was left with lots of bits of leather and random staples I couldn’t get out, but it’s fine… no one cares about the underside…

Step III: Throw away horrible faux leather and breath a sigh of relief.

Step IV: Lay out beautiful new fabric that you will be covering the cushions with, and cut the fabric to size (leave ~3-4 inches around the sides of the plywood and foam)

Step V: Staple fabric securely to the cushion starting with the sides, and finishing with the corners

Step VI: Grab the fully dried bases from the garage, and re-attach the cushions to them (or in my case, get lazy on this step and vow to attach them tomorrow)

Step VII:  Stand back and admire your handiwork

What do you think??  Pretty good right?!

I fid that taking pictures of my projects is super helpful… it really allows me to see the imperfections that I want to go back and fix.  In this case, there is a bit of marred wood on the front side of one of the benches that I’ll want to patch, sand, and repaint for a smooth finish…

I also see now that I’ll want to trim down the extra fabric from the bottom of the cushions and that I really do need to reattach the cushions so they sit flush with the base – easy fixes, but you get the idea overall!

Big picture, these benches under-went a major overhaul!  I think it’s a huge change from dark-and-sad to light-and-bright.

So let’s recap costs and savings for a minute… the two benches cost ~$110, the fabric was marked down to $30 a yard, (I needed just 3/4 yards which came out to $22), and the two cans of spray paint were $14.

All together, this pair of benches cost me $146!

It’s not the least expensive project I’ve ever done, but considering I’d been seeing single benches for $200 each, it’s $146 compared to $400.

Pretty dang good if you ask me!

X (bench) Marks the Spot

For anyone else out there that is a devout follower of the wedding blog, Style Me Pretty, you probably also follow their spin off blog, SMP Living.  Last week they had a FABULOUS feature on “how to makeover an x bench”.
I have been a long-time lover of the x-bench, and had been on the hunt for a pair for a while, to fill the empty space below the large piece of art in our living room (well the space occupied with bags for donation in this photo…)
A few months back, when I first found our tripod lamp, I even created a mock of how I saw this wall looking… complete with x-benches.  Unfortunately, not much has changed in this space since I posted this back in January:
SMP’s x-bench makeover gave me the inspiration to look into getting a pair of x-benches again, and so I hunted about for some additional inspiration…
X-Benches as a lovely accent under a console table…

X-benches are lovely at the foot of a bed…

X-benches are the perfect seat to tuck under a desk

X-benches are the perfect way to add seating in a living room…
Now the real trick is to find a pair of x-benches… they are apparently not available online, and so I suspect I’ll be making some calls to a few stores today…
Happy Monday!