DIY Bench Seat – Upcycled Furniture

June 14, 2015

Revealing my entry for gumtree’s #upcyclerevolution – upcycled garden bench seat made from former dining room chairs:) The DIY bench seat could equally be at home in a hallway for putting on shoes, at a dining room table – lots of places!!

DIY Bench Seat

Whats not to love about upcycled furniture? In case you are tempted to make your own version this how I made it, with considerable help from my husband – one quick disclaimer first we are not carpenters and there could very easily be a better way of doing this!!

We started by sanding down the chairs and removing the seats – the chairs were very rickety, they just fell out!

prepped seat

The chairs were placed together and the seating area measured. My husband cut wood to fit the seating area across the three chairs.

I painted the sides of the seats and legs which will be joined together. Use paint appropriate for your chosen location of finished bench. Starting off using spray gloss I quickly realised this was beyond budget and changed to using chalk paint (which I already had). This part of the chairs is hard to reach once assembled.

Next my husband attached the seat, screwing into each corner of each chair.

Seat area of bench


The next step was to further secure the chairs together. This was done in a variety of ways:

  • The front legs were screwed together at the base.
  • The back of the chairs had battoning placed near the top, screwed into place. The same battoning was used at the base of the rear chair legs too.



rear bench legs


The bench was then painted with primer, followed by three coats of chalk paint. I had been fortunate to win some as a runner up in Rust-oleums Make it Yours monthly competition. The bench took far more paint than I expected, using two thirds of a 750ml tin.

Upcycled Furniture - Garden Bench Seat from former dinisng room chairs, DIY

Finally the all important cushion. We are fortunate in Norwich to have a foam market stall – the foam cost £14, and then several charity shops later I sourced a great curtain perfect for upholstering the cushion. I followed a great tutorial to make the cushion cover.

Bench seat cover


One of the biggest dilemmas was button choices, tempted by natural toning buttons I braved some bright colours instead.

DIY Bench Seat


Would you choose toning coloured buttons or be brave and go bright??





24 comments so far.

24 responses to “DIY Bench Seat – Upcycled Furniture”

  1. Lucy Blossom says:

    It looks fabulous Vicky, and such a great way to upcycle old chairs. Good luck with the competition.

  2. Jill says:

    Love your new bench seat Vicky! What a great idea. I think you made the right choice going with the coloured buttons too. Good luck in the competition!

  3. What a fun way to create a truly unique item of furniture – love it! x

  4. Julie says:

    Love the bright buttons, very modern.
    This is such a fun way to makeover furniture – love it!

  5. AUNTIESHAN says:

    Oooo! LOVE IT!! 😀
    And good job on putting the proper bracing in the *right* places! Glad you went with the colour MIX of buttons.
    – BTW, in a pinch, for the cushion, you could probably retweak some old lawn furniture padding… Or, even *several* layers of yoga-mats..? ;-D

    • Vicky says:

      Ooh love the idea of yoga mats:) The time framework was quite tight which limited my ability to source other reycled materials. My husband is wondering how many seats could be made out of an old wardrobe rather than buying new wood.

  6. This is FANTASTIC!! Pinned.

  7. Betty Harden says:

    Love the bench and the bright colored buttons are perfect. Hope you win. I think you should. This is very clever. Good luck and thanks for sharing.

    • Vicky says:

      Thanks for your kind words Betty – there is a wide variety of items appearing under the hashtag #upcyclerevolution in twitter. Looking forward to seeing them in person:)

  8. Caroline says:

    Well done Vicky a perfect seat for a kitchen or could see in a hallway. Upcycling the way to go girl.

  9. Elsie Pop says:

    I love a bit of upcycling! We bought a cute little midcentury dressing table unit this weekend which I’m planning great things for. It’s so satisfying making something beautiful (which you’ve totally done, by the way!) out of something unloved. xx

  10. Sandra says:

    Great use of old dining chairs. They look so pretty

  11. A fantastic way to re-use unwanted chairs. Great for extra seating for visitors and would look good either indoors or outside. Thanks for the link, I often use Rust-Oleum products so I’ll keep this in mind 🙂
    Jan x

  12. Ginny says:

    What a great idea. I think the bright and varied colours of the buttons are the perfect finishing touch.

  13. Gina Caro says:

    I love this! You really are very talented. I definitely think that you should make more and sell them, I bet they’d be really popular. Did you enjoy the Gumtree event? So gutted that I couldn’t make it in the end 🙁 In answer to your question bright every time 🙂 Thank you for sharing on #ThriftyThursday

  14. Maura says:

    Looks great ! Love how you did it #makinghome

  15. Annie B says:

    Love this. I could consider this with two chairs for a smaller version in our hallway. I’ve been looking for something similar. #MakingHome

  16. Nancy Myers says:

    I might have even chosen bright paint for the chairs! This looks great.

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A passion for sewing, upcycling and caring for the environment - the perfect excuse to haunt charity shops for bargains!

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