Turn a simple wood bench into a boho beauty with a mix of fabric including leather, animal print and tassel trim!
Are you a fan of decorating with animal prints in your home? I believe it is one of those things you either love or hate.
I’m definitely on team animal print and faux fur, not just in home decorating but also in clothing.
This is something I inherited from my mom. She had the coolest faux fur coat with a tiger design that I wish I still had.
It takes guts to rock a tiger coat and she nailed it!
If you’ve been wanting to incorporate a little animal print in your home, adding it to a piece of furniture like this modern wood bench is a great way to start.
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Simple Wood Bench DIY Project
I’m sharing this wood bench makeover as part of this month’s Thrifty Style Team’s challenge.
A huge thank you to our sweet host Julie from Redhead Can Decorate for organizing this monthly challenge.
I love being part of such a talented group who inspire us month after month with their creativity.
Be sure to check out all of the projects with the links at the end of this post. 🙂
While emptying out our storage unit, I spotted this old bench that had seen better days.
Aside from some worn paint it was in good shape. After taking a few measurements I realized the bench would be perfect in my small entryway.
The best part is it opens up for storage, which makes it perfect for shoe storage!
I’ve included a step-by-step tutorial below and there is also a printable DIY card at the bottom to make it even easier.
Easy DIY Bench Supplies
- Paint of your choice – I used Dixie Belle Paint in Caviar
- Paintbrush – I used the Best Dang Brush (love this brush)
- White Lightning Cleaner (can also use a mixture of Dawn and hot water)
- Sanding Block or Sandpaper
- Fabric of your choice – I used holstein brown cowhide fabric and faux black leather both from JoAnn Fabric and Crafts.
- Natural Tassel Trim
- Staple Gun
Step 1. Clean your wood bench
The first thing you want to do with any thrift store furniture piece is give it a good cleaning.
You want to ensure a smooth finish before you paint or stain.
I had white lightning cleaner in my supply closet so I used that.
You can also use a simple mixture of Dawn dish detergent and hot water.
Step 2. Sand
Next up, use a sanding block with medium fine grit sandpaper to give it a quick sanding.
Because I was using a similar dark color black paint I was not too concerned with sanding, but if you need to remove layers of paint a belt sander would be faster.
Step 3. Measure and Cut the Fabric
Now that your bench is clean and smooth, it’s time to add the fabric. This is where you can use your creativity and have fun with it.
Because I wanted to go with a streamlined wood bench, I chose not to use any padding.
This bench will be used for a quick take your shoes off put your shoes on deal.
If you are planning on using your bench for sitting for longer periods, you may want to add some cushion.
Simply measure the bench for your main fabric – in my case the leather and add an extra few inches for stapling.
My rotary cutters are still in storage, so I made do with fabric scissors. No worries about being perfectly cut as the underside will be hidden.
Step 4. Staple the fabric
Pull the fabric so it is nice and snug across the bench and staple underneath the bottom.
The top of this bench lifts up like a deacons bench so it was super easy to staple.
Fold the corners under and staple just like you are wrapping a present.
Step 5. Attach accent fabric
This is where the magic happens! The moment I placed the cowhide animal print on top of the leather it just popped.
You can use a coordinating fabric as an accent piece as I show here.
Simply cut the fabric so it still shows the main fabric underneath. Staple it to the wood just like in the previous step.
Step 6. Attach tassel trim
To give added texture and dimension and really a touch of whimsy, I hot glued a bit of tassel trim to the edges of the cowhide.
This also covers the unfinished edges of the animal print where it meets the leather.
Step 7. Touch up Paint
The last step to this beautiful boho DIY bench is to paint the base and legs of the bench.
I chose to do this last as I knew I would be moving the bench around and didn’t want to damage the finish.
The velvety smooth black paint adds to the mid century modern look and gives it a regal feel.
I’m so pleased with how it turned out. It’s unique and fits perfectly in our entryway. Plus, the price was right!
Decorating with a Wood Bench
Have you seen the prices of some higher end mid century modern benches at home stores?
They can cost a pretty penny. Here is a gorgeous upholstered bench from Williams Sonoma.
The tufted look and clean lines is lovely, but the price is a bit out of my budget. 🙂
This easy wood bench would also work beautifully in a living room to hold extra throw blankets and pillows.
Or how about at the foot of the bed? My sister even mentioned using it in a small dining room to hold linens.
Our apartment is an open floor plan, so I like to have the decor in a similar design so it flows from room to room.
Here it is in our entryway which opens to our dining area:
If you are wondering about the modern faux succulent plant wall you can see that HERE.
My favorite purchase that I’ve made so far for our apartment is the cowhide accent rug I placed under the coffee table.
It was a little out of my comfort zone but I’m so glad I went with it. It’s fun to change up your style. 🙂
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I hope you enjoyed this upholstered bench makeover.
Be sure to visit the rest of the Thrifty Style Team to see their early spring home decorating ideas!
Early Spring Home Decorating Ideas
- Redhead Can Decorate – How to Make a Fake Orchid Look Real
- Our Crafty Mom – Simple Bench Makeover with a Boho Vibe (that’s me)
- I Should Be Mopping the Floor – Using Wallpaper as Artwork
- The How to Home – Turn a Plastic Container Into a Cute Planter Pot
- DIY Beautify –How to Make Chenille Hearts
- 2 Bees in a Pod – DIY Chinoiserie Balls
- Songbird – Best Flowers For Home Decor
- My Family Thyme – Spring Dollar Tree Pizza Pan Wreath
- Simple Nature Decor – How to Decoupage Easter Eggs
- Zucchini Sisters – Dollar Tree Spring Wreath
- Sonya Burgess – Budget Friendly Art
- Exquisitely Unremarkable – Thrift Store Glass Vase Makeover
- A Life Unfolding – Turning a Jar into a DIY Terrarium
You may also want to check out these outdoor garden bench ideas:
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