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Simple Wood Bench With A Boho Vibe

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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.

Simple wood bench in entry

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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. 🙂

thrifty style team logo

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!

wood bench before paint

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

tassel trim for boho bench

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.

wood bench before

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.

cutting leather for bench

Simply measure the bench for your main fabric – in my case the leather and add an extra few inches for stapling.

cutting leather for bench

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.

leather on bench

Fold the corners under and staple just like you are wrapping a present.

folding fabric on corners

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.

animal print cowhide

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.

tassel trim

This also covers the unfinished edges of the animal print where it meets the leather.

close up of animal print bench

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.

finished simple bench with boho look

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!

bench in entryway

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:

small dining room

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.

living room

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. 🙂

Sharing is caring…please PIN the below image:

wood bench boho look in entryway

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!

thrifty style team

Early Spring Home Decorating Ideas

storage bench diy

You may also want to check out these outdoor garden bench ideas:

You can find me on social media below:

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Tuesday 21st of February 2023

Michelle, your bench looks amazing and high end! What an impressive makeover. I love how you've embraced some Boho decor, too. It's good to step out of your comfort zone sometimes ;) Pinned!

Lynne Zemaitis

Sunday 19th of February 2023

What a great project, Michelle! I love how your recovered the bench...the animal print and the leather is a perfect combination! It looks great in your new place! Pinned!


Friday 17th of February 2023

I love how the bench turned out, it’s always fun to add a little pop of something unusual in our decor and our wardrobe. Would have love to seem that coat of your mothers, I’m sure it was amazing.

Mary Beth

Wednesday 15th of February 2023

What a great makeover, Michelle, and I love the cow print fabric. I bought some over a year ago to redo a chair...and, it's still in the bag. After seeing your piece, I may finally work on my project. Thanks so much for the inspiration. xo

Libbie Burling

Wednesday 15th of February 2023


I love a good upcycle, and this one turned out so well! Looks great in your home. xx

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