These 70's style church pews are a favorite yard sale find of mine. I paid around $15.00 for the set and they fit in my front porch so well it seems they were meant to be there.
I wish I had taken before pictures of these, but unfortunately I wasn't thinking blog at the time. When these lovely benches first came in to my life they were upholstered in a true 70's church pew hue of copper orange. The wood is fairly cheep and looked it, so I started out by taking the seats off and spray painting the wood with Krylon spray paint in Earth.
For the seats, I enlisted help from my mother, who (lucky me) re-upholsters furniture for a living. We decided to leave the original material on and cover it with my new fabric. Normally you would remove the old fabric and use it for a pattern. Instead, I laid out my fabric (right side down) and placed the seat on top. I measured out a few inches from each side, leaving enough fabric to pull around and staple the the bottom of the seat (have I lost you yet?).
This is a view from the bottom of a bench. To staple the fabric evenly you start by putting a staple in the center of each side, making sure the pull the fabric tight and smooth out any wrinkles. You then work your way outward, stapling every inch or so, stretching and smoothing the fabric as you go. Stop a few inches from each corner.
The tricky part for me was the corners. This is where my mom came in. I warn you before hand that these directions might not be 100% clear, but I'll try my best. You have to smooth the fabric out and staple one side of the corner down (like you have all the way down the bench) and then fold the other side,making a neat crease like above. Cut any excess fabric in the fold that would bunch and staple down that end, careful to keep things smooth, and repeat on each corner. It sounds simple, but to achieve a neat crease you must get it just right.
This project cost around $40.00, including fabric, paint, and the benches themselves. We use these benches everyday (as you can probably see from the piles of shoes underneath) and I love how they turned out. I also feel the need to point out that the porch that these benches live in has yet to be "re-done" so it still has the not so Nifty green outdoor carpet you see in the pictures. Someday soon we'll replace it (crosses fingers).