The bench project.

Back in January I mentioned that Andrew and I were starting a little makeover on a wooden bench we had found in our basement. We thought the shape and size of it were great, but the top of it was covered in layers of paint splatters and glue so it needed more than a fresh coat of paint to make it nice again. We had come across a little inspiration at Anthropologie when we stopped in there at Christmas time and decided to try a similar technique on our bench.

We cleaned up the bench with a damp rag and sanded off any loose bits. I took a couple good looks at the construction of the piece from Anthropologie and then just went for it. I chose to weave a chevron pattern through it which I thought was a little more interesting than diagonal stripes. We are really happy with the results, and I'm happy that I could finally put some of my fabric scrap stash to use. And now we have a really awesome, unique piece of furniture for our home. 


  1. oh my goodness, this is beautiful! please tell me you'll submit this to design*sponge!

  2. gorgeous!!!! now let me see more of your home.

  3. WOW! That's really cool! How do weave?

  4. Thanks for the suggestion, I sent a couple pictures to D*S!

    Dinara, we stapled the fabric pieces underneath going one way and then wove other pieces in and out going the other way and stapled those. It was a little tricky to figure out how the pattern was going to work, but once I got it down it went quickly.

  5. Wow, Cheryl! Amazing, amazing, amazing! If you ever do another DIY like this, you should e-mail it to me before D*S so I can share it on Apartment Therapy. ;)

    I am so. impressed.

  6. I pinned your "after" shot to my Pinterest board... which I also would not have known about if I didn't read your blog. :)

  7. Umm...can I just say WOWZA!?! This looks absolutely amazing! Can't believe you just whipped this up!

  8. Beautiful work! I love what you did with this piece!

  9. Wow! Just stumbled upon this. I have 2 old rope chairs I want to reweave. What fabric did you use? Its simply mind blowing!

  10. Mostly cotton + linen fabrics. Anything that's thicker, like wool or upholstery weight fabric, doesn't work very well. I also mixed some jersey and knits in there too but paired them with a sturdier fabric.

  11. Ive been looking for a cool way to revamp an old foot stool that belonged to my grandpa and Id love to try this. Do you have detailed instructions on your method anywhere? Thanks!

    1. Sorry, no, I never got around to actually putting together a tutorial. These are the basic steps I took:

      1. Cut/rip fabric into approximately 1" strips. The longer the strip can be, the better, when I reached the end of one strip, I sewed another one to it. I ended up using a lot more fabric than I had anticipated. I took a few trips to local thrift stores to pick out sheets or fabrics in the colors that I liked but you could also buy fabric at a store. The best method I found to keep myself organized was to work with two bundles of strips wrapped around pieces of cardboard to keep them manageable (sort of like two skeins of yarn).

      2. Start your piece by stapling two strips to the bottom of the object you're covering, twist them as you go along (I found that if I twisted them before they just got tangled) and then staple them to the other side. Use a staple gun! Cover your entire surface going back and forth in consistent parallel lines. This will create a surface for you to then weave into from the opposite direction.

      3. Once the entire surface is covered in strips going in one direction, you can start going back and forth in the opposite direction. This is the fun part. Weave the strips in and out of the surface that you just finished to create a pattern. I basically made mine up on the spot, but you could probably use a piece of graph paper to try and plan something out. Or look to other woven materials for inspiration.

      The most important part is to keep the strips as taught as possible to keep the design neat & flush with the surface of the object that you're covering. Have fun with it. I had no rhyme or reason with the color combinations. I just kept adding different colored strips as I went along and I think the look is really unique.

  12. Nancy, if you are interested, here is what I finally did (see my comment above), though its nothing as professional looking as Cheryl's.