Easy Faux Panel Trick for Dressing Up Benches and Ottomans

Easy trick for dressing up benches and ottomans using a faux fabric panel trick.  The Creativity Exchange


Tutorial for turning a basic storage bench into a chic storage bench. The Creativity Exchange


My daughter and I are still working hard on her bedroom revamp and we should be finished by the end of this week.   We have completely transformed the space from a shabby chic baby girl room to a chic and fun tween space.  I think doing this room revamp over the last few weeks with all of our DIY projects, has helped me adjust to my baby girl turning ten this Saturday.  Well, somewhat adjust (hold me now)..

A couple of weeks ago, I shared some of the furniture revamps that we have done so far.

We turned a standard kid dresser into a pop of hot pink fun:


Tutorial for creatively painting children's furniture. Dresser painted with Velvet Finishes in the color Glamourous {The Creativity Exchange



We painted bold sea foam stripes on my girl’s nightstand:


Creative Ways to Paint Children's Furniture {Paint It Monday} The Creativity Exchange

We have two more pieces that we have painted that I’ll be sharing hopefully next week when I share the finished room.

The latest project that we did was to turn dress up this old shabby chic toy box bench that has been in my girl’s room since she was a baby.  This is what it looked like before we transformed it:


Tutorial for turning a basic storage bench into a chic upholstered piece.  The Creativity Exchange



I was going to get rid of this piece and order something new for her but the more I stared at it and priced beautifully upholstered storage benches (they are seriously outrageous), I just knew that there had to be a way to transform this piece in a very easy way into what we wanted.  It turned out not to be difficult at all and we transformed it in a couple hours! By the way,  this project could be done on any cheap storage bench or ottoman in any room of the house.

Ok, so this is how it looks after we finished the project:


Tutorial for turning a basic storage bench into a chic storage bench. The Creativity Exchange



At first glance, this piece looks complicated.  However,  I just want you guys to see just how easy this is.  The fabric is simply wrapped around the piece and faux panel fronts are attached on top.  You can see what I mean by looking at this pic:


How to dress up a standard cheap storage bench into a chic upholstered piece.  The Creativity Exchange


The only thing complicated is sewing a hem and if you choose certain type fabrics that you can cut without having to hem, you can even do this faster.

To get started, I removed the old fabric and nail heads from the storage bench:

Tutorial for creating faux panel slipcover look for benches and ottomans. The Creativity Exchange


I picked up four yards of white twill fabric that was just the right weight that we wanted.  I went ahead and measured from the floor to the inside lip of the bench that I would hide and secure the first wrap around layer.  I basically just cut my fabric down the middle but kept the four yards together.

I then hemmed all four yards and wrapped it around the bench and used upholstery nail tacks on the inside to secure:


Tutorial for recovering storage benches and ottomans with faux panel upholstery trick.  The Creativity Exchange



I allowed for a lot of extra fabric on the inside so I had plenty to work with on the corners. My plan was to simply trim the excess later:

Tutorial for how to make faux fabric panels for revamping benches and ottomans. The Creativity Exchange



I stared my fabric wrap around on the far left hand side and you can see in this picture below that I ended on the backside by folding in the fabric and tacking:

Trick for creating faux fabric panels for transforming benches and ottomans. The Creativity Exchange



Next, I measured where I wanted my top faux panels to go and used a pencil to mark off where to cut on my extra hemmed fabric and I added an extra inch on both sides so I could fold in and hem the sides.  I measured from the floor to where I would be nailing the top of the panel to the front of the bench and gave myself an extra 3/4th inch to fold the top over and nail.

I then used upholstery nails to attach the faux panels on the front, back and sides. I tried to keep the nails to a minimum:

How to dress up a standard cheap storage bench into a chic upholstered piece. The Creativity Exchange


Next, I went over my top edges of the faux panels with decorative gimp and I used brass nail heads that I picked up at Lowe’s.  By the way, I had no idea but Lowe’s has a great selection of nail heads and upholstery tacks.  It’s found in the nail section.

I nailed the nail heads about every inch and a half:

Tutorial for recovering benches and ottomans by using faux panel trick.  The Creativity Exchange


After I attached all of my gimp and nail heads all the way around the piece, I moved to upholstering the top of the piece.  Chances are, you will already have a cushion to work with.  I had the extra step of having to add a cushion.  I wanted the bench cushion to be tall so I used the thickest poly foam cushion I could find at Hobby Lobby and I purchased two squares of the four inch thick foam:

Dressing up benches and ottomans using a faux fabric panel trick. The Creativity Exchange.



I cut the two pieces of foam to fit the top of the bench with a bread knife and then I hot glued the foam to each other and the bench.  Then I covered the foam with one layer of batting and nailed it.  I made sure to pull the batting as tight as I could without it pulling apart:


Tutorial for revamping benches and ottomans with faux fabric panel trick. The Creativity Exchange.


Next up, I covered the cushion top with my upholstery fabric in a fun hot pink leopard print.  Thank goodness for my RYOBI Airstrike Cordless Staple Gun because I flew this part in seconds because you don’t need a compressor and I don’t break my hand trying to squeeze a trigger!


Tutorial for revamping benches and ottomans with Faux Panel trick.  The Creativity Exchange


If you’re not familiar with this awesome tool, trust me, it makes projects like this so much easier and less frustrating!

RYOBI Airstrike Cordless Staple Gun.  No need for a compressor. Best tool invention ever! The Creativity Exchange



When I was finished covering the top part, I just attached the back hinges onto the top and bottom part and I was all done!

Tutorial for turning a basic storage bench into a chic storage bench. The Creativity Exchange


Tutorial for turning a basic storage bench into a chic end of the bed storage piece.  The Creativity Exchange.


I’m heading back in to my girl’s room today for the final push to get everything finished.  My plan is to share the room with you guys sometime next week.

Thanks for stopping by today and if you see an inexpensive bench or ottoman out and about, think about this faux panel trick as a fun possibility.

Have a great day friends!



This entry was posted in Children's Decor, Decorate, DIY, Do It Yourself Projects. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Easy Faux Panel Trick for Dressing Up Benches and Ottomans

  1. How cute is this? What a fun pop of color and a great piece in a beautiful room.

  2. I absolutely LOVE this post. That bench is beyond adorable. What a lucky little 10 year old you have 🙂

    • Cyndy says:

      Aw, thank you so much Amanda! That bench was so easy to do and I’m so glad that we figured out a way to transform it. Thanks so much for your kind words!

  3. This looks so good Cyndy! Can the Ryobi gun also do nails as well? We’re on the hunt for a nail gun but I also wouldn’t mind something that does staples too! The pink and white dresser is too cute!

    • Cyndy says:

      Jen, no the stapler only does staples but it can fit all kinds of sizes. Their is a cordless airstrike brad nailer that is equally as awesome and they have a cordless nailer. You cannot go wrong with any of those. That stapler is unreal! Thanks girl for stopping by!

  4. Beth C. says:

    You are too cleaver! That is just adorable. Best, Beth C.

  5. Cyndy, what a great makeover! The skirted part came out great and I love the pink leopard fabric! I need one of those Ryobi staplers. I have the hand held manual one, an electric one that stinks, and a pneumatic stapler that works great but then I have to drag out the compressor. Adding this to my Christmas wish list! (my husband already thinks I’m nuts….I think I have asked for a tool ever single year of our married life!)

    • Cyndy says:

      That is so funny Lisa!! You’re a DIY’er to the bone girl! Yes, yes!! You of all people need the airstrike stapler and brad nailer. Seriously the best tool invention. It makes these little projects actually fun because its so easy!

      Have a wonderful weekend Lisa! and I so hope you get the stapler for Christmas!!

  6. Laura J says:

    a.dor.able. That’s one lucky 10-year old . . . .

  7. Diane says:

    I have a duplicate, though smaller, version of that bench! I once used it for diaper storage but my son is now 35! I use it in my bathroom beside the tub, where it fits perfectly. I’d planned to spray paint it and recover the lid…again…but this is very tempting! Thanks for the good idea!

  8. Karen says:

    OMG, what an AWESOME-TASTIC room – I LOVE EVERYTHING! You are one creative mom, and your daughter is one lucky girl! What a great job. Kudos for the Cutest.Room.Ever! 🙂

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