Monday, June 11, 2012

How to Upholster your Own Bench or Chair Cushion

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how to upholster a bench or chair cushion a baby bear hugs tutorial 

Note: This tutorial can be used for any type of simple cushion chair too to update and repurpose your kitchen or dining room style without buying a new set of chairs.  You can find some fabrics that are already stain resistant or use Scotch-Guard Fabric and Upholstery Protector spray when done.  Using this spray also makes your choice of upholstery fabric easier, because you don't need to choose one that already has a stain-free feature in the fabric.   

It is very easy, I first did this to my mom's kitchen chairs when I was in high school after seeing it on Martha Stewart!  You will do the same steps and can either do it over your existing fabric (if in good shape) or remove the fabric and start all over with new padding.   

This whole project started because our Kitchen had some serious decorating issues when we first moved in.  

BEFORE we moved in

It had a faux finish that was all over the walls and I think the color was called "Old Vomit". We painted it a more subtle blue grey that opened up the room.  

We had a seating banquette (with storage built inside) built by a carpenter for this corner.  We found a unique table with a glass top (so that it would not take up much visual space in the room) to go with the banquette. 

I was supposed to upholster the bench, but I thought that I liked how it looked with the laminate and was worried that the color would take over the room.

Mr. BBH kept bugging me to do the cushions, so I finally obliged. I purchased 2.5 inch foam for the top of the laminate. This is the pattern that I picked out for the cushion. It is upholstery fabric from JoAnn Fabrics.  I took some of the samples home and went thinking that I was going to purchase a different pattern.  Then, I noticed this right before the lady was going to make the cut!  You can see in the finished picture, that this blue flower is almost exactly the same as out kitchen table.  

I measured the surface area, then added the height of the side with the added foam and and additional 2.5 inches to wrap around the bottom with.   (I used the JoAnn Fabrics App on my iPhone and got lots of discounts-the foam is very expensive)

First you will need to cut the foam.  It is best with a electric carving knife (like you use for Thanksgiving Turkey) or a serrated blade knife.  

Glue it to the top with a spray adhesive, so the padding will not move around. 

Lay the fabric to make sure that you have enough around all sides.

Put a few staples in the middle and then make sure your fabric is flat. 

Alternate Sides as you go and tug the fabric as tight as possible before you staple. Mr. BBH and I did this together because it is better with 2 people so one can stretch and the other can staple.   

Hammer down all of the staples that are not flush.  You can glue down the edges or staple them.  Then Mr. BBH sprayed Scotch-Guard Fabric and Upholstery Protector spray on the benches.  I HIGHLY recommend using it because after all of your hard work, you want it to be clean and beautiful so it will last!

Finished Banquette with Upholstered Cushions

Baby Bear is NOT allowed to stand up, but she did it just as I snapped the photo! 

I am so glad that I finally finished it, because I love the way that it looks and it really makes the kitchen look sophisticated.  


  1. That's fabulous! I have been thinking of reupholstering our kitchen table chairs because our children have ruined the current fabric with food/paint/markers/you name it. :P Great tutorial!

    1. I forgot to also add that I had my hubby spray them with scotch guard! send me a link if you do redo (before+after) your cushions and I will put them on my post!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Shinay! that means a lot coming from you!! ;) send over more tips if you have them on ways to re-purpose your furnature


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