This DIY Tufted Bench is the Ultimate Storage Solution

A tufted bench can offer style, comfort, and storage, but often at a steep price. Skip the check-out line and the shocking sticker price by making a DIY tufted storage bench of your own. With our tips, you'll see how to build the base, fabricate and tuft the top, and put together a beautiful bench. 

Whether you're working with a small space or have room to spare, furniture that works double duty is always welcome. A tufted storage bench with a hinged top is an ideal addition to your home because it adds both function and style. In an entryway, lace up your shoes and grab your umbrella from storage all in one place. In a kitchen, create a sunny reading nook by the breakfast buffet that doubles as storage for extra dishware. With our step-by-step instructions, we'll walk you through how to build a tufted bench. From the base to the plush top, you'll love seeing this project come together in your home. 

  • Working Time 5 Hours
  • Start to Finish 5 Hours
  • Difficulty         Projects Kind of Hard
  • Involves Sewing

What you need

Tools

  • Heavy-duty scissors
  • Staple gun
  • Power drill or driver
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Upholstery needle

Materials

  • Storage bench
  • Batting
  • Heavy-duty spray adhesive
  • Fabric
  • Staples
  • Lining fabric
  • Furniture foam
  • Fabric buttons
  • Back buttons
  • Tufting thread

How to do it

Part 1 Build the Bench

Step 1 Assemble Storage Bench

Before you begin making your tufted bench seat, you need a bench to work with! For this, you can use a plain bench you already own, or you can make your own. To make this project completely custom, use our instructions for building a freestanding storage bench.

Part 2 Upholster the Box

Step 1 Adhere Batting to Fabric

First, you need to wrap the box with batting and fabric. Start by wrapping the batting roll around all four sides of the bench. Cut batting to length. The width of the batting should extend 3-4 inches above and below the sides of the bench. Use the piece of batting to cut the fabric to size. The fabric should be two inches wider than the batting and several inches longer. 

Lay the fabric flat on a large surface or workbench. Spray the batting with spray adhesive, and place it on the back side of the fabric, adhesive side down.

Step 2 Wrap Box with Batting and Fabric

Once you have finished applying the batting to the fabric, staple the edge of the fabric, with the batting facing out, to the center of the back of the box. Spray the first 1-foot section of batting, and begin wrapping it around the box, overlapping the staples you just made. Wrap all the way around until the box, and overlap the seams by 1/2-inch, folding the top edge under and securing with a staple gun. 

Step 3 Staple the Edges

Fold the fabric and batting over the top of the box to the inside and staple in place. Work this way around the entire top. Once you have stapled the top edges in place, flip the box over, remove the feet and brackets, then pull the bottom edges of the fabric under the box and staple in place, pulling taught.

Step 4 Apply Lining Fabric

After the fabric has been secured on the inside and the bottom, cut the lining fabric to size for the inner sides, interior bottom, and exterior bottom of the box. Spray adhesive to the back of the lining fabric, and starting at an inside corner, begin applying the fabric to the inside of the box, ending at the same corner you started. We took this step a little at a time, spraying and sticking the lining fabric in 1-foot sections. After the sides are done, use the same process to apply the bottom piece of lining fabric on the interior.

Step 5 Finish Lining and Add Feet

Once the interior of the box has been lined, flip the box over and secure the bottom lining fabric in the same manner. Re-install the brackets and the feet.

Part 3 Tuft the Bench Top

Step 1 Determine Pattern

To tuft the top of the bench, determine the spacing you want your tufts and lay out the pattern with a pencil on the top of the board. Your holes should be a minimum of two inches in from the edge.

Drill holes where you want your buttons using a bit smaller than your back buttons, but large enough for your tufting needle to fit through.

Step 2 Attach Foam to Batting

Once you have the holes drilled, cut the foam and batting to size. The foam should be the same dimensions as the bench seat and the batting should be large enough to wrap around to the bottom of the bench seat with the foam included. Use the spray adhesive to attach the foam on the top side of the board, lining up the edges. Spray the back of the batting and secure it to the top of the foam.

Step 3 Cover Buttons

Cover the buttons according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or follow our instructions here. We used a #45 size button with a quantity of 33 of them for our top.

Step 4 Attach Fabric and Thread First Button

Cut the fabric to size; it should be large enough to fit over the foam and batting and fold around to the bottom of the bench seat. Lay the fabric on top of the foam and batting, centering it as best you can. Fold the top and bottom long edges over and stand your lid up on one side, propping it up for support. Thread a regular button onto a generous length of tufting twine and secure with a few knots. Starting with the top center hole, push the needle through the drilled hole from the back to the front, coming out through the fabric, carefully pressing on the foam at the front to help the needle through.

Step 5 Create First Tuft

Once the needle is out, thread your fabric covered button onto the twine. Loop the twine through the shank twice and slide the button down to the fabric. Cut the twine close to the end and remove the needle. Pushing the foam slightly, pull the twine taught; the double loop will hold the tuft in place, creating your first tuft. Secure the twine by tying a double knot on one side of the button, wrap the twine to the other side and tie off again, repeating a third time.

Once you have secured the button and twine, cut off the excess string and tuck it under the button. At the top of the board where you just tufted, pinch and tuck the fabric to create a straight fold that runs from the button, down the side pulling taught and securing with a staple on the bottom side of the board. Repeat this process working along the top row first.

Step 6 Continue Tufting

As you finish the first row and move down to the second row, continue the tufting process, but create a pinch pleat diagonally between the top row and the second row, forming the top half of your diamond pleat. Continue this process as you go along, completing your diamond pattern.

Step 7 Tuck Extra Fabric

Once you have tufted all of your buttons, lay the board face down, fold and tuck the excess fabric from the long sides of the board and secure with staples. Once you have the sides in place, fold over the excess fabric from the narrow sides, creating a clean folded corner, and secure in place with staples.

Step 8 Adhere Lining

After you have the fabric tufted and secured, apply spray adhesive to the back of the lining fabric, then place it close to the edges of the board and press firmly to secure. Once dry, check the edges to see if you need to reapply adhesive and press. 

Step 9 Install Hinge

Re-install piano hinge and lid supports, using a drill to guide the screws into the holes that were already made. Your finished tufted bench should close smoothly and sit evenly. Use it for whatever storage needs your home requires. 

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