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An upholstered bench makes a perfect layering piece at the foot of a bed, beneath a console in the entryway, or beside a sofa in the living room. Its versatile design helps soften spaces, while providing extra seating in a pinch. So when Komenda found this Dorothy Draper coffee-table base (sans stone top) for about $10 at a junk store, she immediately knew it had potential.

Want more DIY ideas from Jenny? See her studio makeover and an ode to the pax.



“Lappljung” black flat-woven rug, $19.99 each, ikea.com


Everbilt #18 x 250-foot mason twine in neon, $5.21, homedepot.com


Coffee-table base from any old junk store

Step 1:

Select a sturdy coffee table with an interesting shape and an easy-to-remove top so your cushion will be flush with the edge of the base.

Step 2:

Choose your textile. In lieu of upholstery fabric, inexpensive throw rugs can be whip stitched together with an oversize repair needle and twine. Don’t be afraid of going bold with your thread choice; a contrasting color will only contribute visual interest.

Step 3:

Ask your local hardware store to cut half-inch plywood to fit the exact measurements of the top of your table’s base.

Step 4:

Layer the plywood with high-density three-inch upholstery foam (cut to the exact measurements of the plywood), medium-loft batting (cut a foot wider on each side), and your stitched-together rugs.

Step 5:

Center the rows of stitching and pull the batting and rug taut against the underside of the plywood. Staple the rug to the underside of the plywood every two inches along one long side. While pulling at the rug, staple the opposite side of the bench in the same manner. The rug should be very taut, not at all baggy.

Step 6:

Repeat with the short sides. Trim the excess material around the corners to reduce bulk before stapling.

Step 7:

Use screws to secure the upholstered bench top to the table base.

And you’re finished!