What's the Gossip? DIY Bench Upholstery

If you follow design blogs or decorating magazines (or if you spend any time at all on Pinterest), you're probably well aware that there's a bit of a craze over anything chevron patterned these days - and I'm totally wrapped up in it, as well. I don't know what it is about the simple, zig-zag design that has me swooning over everything from rugs to window curtains, but I am completely smitten. I simply had to find a way to incorporate my new favorite pattern into my new favorite place (my house...). I thought I could sew a couple of throw pillows, make curtains or even wrap chevron-patterned fabric around a canvas and hang it on a wall. In the end, though, I opted for something simple, small, but outright adorable: New gossip bench upholstery.

Eric gave me this "gossip bench" for my birthday in April, and I absolutely love it. I'd been obsessing over these little vintage chair/tables for a while, and it had such great character. The only thing wrong was the crimson corduroy was just not doing anything for me (not to mention it collected Mr. Pancakes fur like a Swiffer on steroids). It had to be changed - and fast.

So, I scoured the Internet for the perfect yellow chevron fabric. I kept getting disappointed by too-thin zig-zags or too-orangey colors, but finally found some great home decor fabric and ordered a couple yards, along with some fabric for curtains I'm currently working on (stay tuned!). The fabric arrived within three days, and as soon as it came, I tore open the box and started on this quick, fun project.

First, I removed the seat from the gossip bench and measured its length and width. 

Then, I measured and cut some white lining fabric and wrapped it around the bench (at double thickness). I discovered the red came through the white on my chevron fabric somewhat, so adding a liner was necessary to keep it crisp and clean. I fastened the lining to the bench using my new favorite tool: the staple gun.

It was all very simple except working around those little cuts at the corners of the seat - I had to do a little strategic folding and cutting to make sure it wrapped properly.

After the lining was attached, it was time to introduce the star of the show: my chevron fabric! 
Isn't is adorable??

I measured and cut the exact size size of fabric as I did for the lining, then ironed it out so there wouldn't be any wrinkles. Then I began fastening the fabric to the seat with a staple gun.

A couple of points to make: While you're stapling your fabric, be sure to pull it tight to ensure there won't be any bunching once you've finished. And if you're working with a striped or checked pattern, as I was, keep checking to see that the stripes (or zig-zags) are straight, and not slowly creeping up on one side or the other.

Once everything was fastened, I affixed the seat back to the bench and, viola! A complete facelift and awesome transformation all done in about 45 minutes (would have been faster if I hadn't needed the lining!). 

Now all I need is to top it with a super-cute vintage telephone. I'm envisioning something like this:

Or, if I really want to go crazy with the vintage motif, even this:

Let me know if you see anything like the phones for sale somewhere - I'm officially on the hunt!

What simple but effective DIY projects have you done lately? It's amazing how a change in fabric can completely transform a piece of furniture!


  1. Rachel,

    So, I'm a total stranger! Came across your blog because of an image search I made for Chevron Pattern Upholstery Fabric. Clicked on your image with the tape measurer, and was directed to your blog. Then, I was hooked, I have been looking though all your entries for the past hour. I think you're done some great stuff. You are VERY talented, I want to send your photos to Nate Burkes (you should send some for their little House Proud segment). Anyway, you are just super talented from inside design, to baking, to gardening, and you run...dang, I'm pretty jealous!

    Anyway, good job! and the blog's great too!

  2. Thank you so much for your kind words! It's always so wonderful to hear great compliments from a total stranger :) I'd love to submit some home photos to different design blogs once the house is a bit more "done." I hope you continue to enjoy the blog! Again, I'm blushing from your kind words!

  3. Shampoo used for cleaning furniture is usually mild on the fabrics and thus one should avoid using laundry or dish detergent because they are harsh on the furniture fabric and could end up affecting the color. For safety, try the cleaning detergent on an inconspicuous area on the fabric to prevent damage of the conspicuous fabric. пране на мека мебел цени


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