Upholstery for Beginners – The French Bench

Hooray! I actually completed my first upholstery project and I want more!! Seriously! It wasn’t easy.. but it sure is rewarding!

I decided to strip it off completely that’s why it’s a bit more difficult than just wrapping new fabric to it.  By doing this, I feel that it is cleaner and I know that the inside is all new and not just covered up.  You can see all the not so glamorous job of stripping old upholstery here. 

Upholstery for beginners

Upholstery for Beginners

This one is simple and straightforward and anybody can do it. I actually use an upholstery tutorial post from Design Sponge by Amanda Brown of Spruce Upholstery as my guide.  I highly recommend this tutorial since it is written by a master upholsterer, Amanda! Her works and book are amazing!

Here’s how I did mine.. I have to improvise a few things based on the supplies and tools I have.

Upholstery for beginners

Supplies: Fabric, Staple Gun, Staple Wires, Batting

** I used batting instead of foam because I have left overs from my son’s Olaf costume that I made.

Upholstery for beginners

1) Trace and cut batting.  I used 2 pieces of batting to make it more cushiony since I am not using foam.

Upholstery for Beginners 2

2) I added an extra layer that is smaller than the board. I just used scraps.  It is better to use whole piece so that it is even.  This extra layer will make the dome shape to the seat. Staple the layers of batting to the edges.

Upholstery for beginners 3

3) Wrap the board with another layer of batting to secure it and create a nice shape. Staple it to the bottom of the board.

Upholstery for beginners 4

4) Lay your fabric. Cut around your board with enough space.  Staple one side at a time and then continue with the opposite side. For example, left side first, then the right side. Note: See Design Sponge’s tutorial for more tips.

Upholstery for beginners 5

5) You may cover it up.  I did. But then, I forgot about the holes for the screw, so I had to cut it open. Also, notice how it is stapled.. it’s called a tack.

That’s it! You’re done! Make sure you refer back to this, upholstery tutorial post from Design Sponge.  All the other details and tips are all there to ensure a perfect makeover you’ll love!

Annie Sloan Painting Technique - Wax Paint

I also painted this baby and you can see how I did it in this post.


And here’s a full makeover reveal post with more pictures!

The French bench

Have you done any upholstery before? I hope that I inspired you to upholster even just the simplest chair.  It’s sure is fun and very rewarding to create something you’ve imagined.

Happy Upholstering and Painting!

With Love,


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