Tuesday, March 31, 2015

DIY Bench tutorial and Playroom Reveal

  We built our home over the summer and were lucky to move in exactly two weeks before Thanksgiving.  After we unpacked I wanted to tackle the most important room in our home.
The place where my sweet girls can make a mess, read books, play with their toys and have some girl fun. Our Playroom.  Our model had a room when you walk into our house via the front door. Most people would possibly use this room as a sitting room, but we do not have a need to put furniture in a room and then not use it. When we first saw the model of our home and noticed the room up front I knew pretty quickly that it would become a playroom for my girls.
Here is what it looked like with just the toys unpacked. Needs some help, yes?

I needed a way to story the toys and the mess so that my girls WANTED to play here. Also, regardless of being a playroom or living room, this is the first room someone would see when they entered our home. I needed something that would look really nice and orderly.
I stumbled across a cute idea on Mommy Vignettes and saw that she had made some window benches for a nursery and I loved the idea. WA-LA the idea for the playroom was born.
This was something my husband and I were able to do in under 2 hours on a Friday night after the girls had gone to bed and we made 2 of them.
Step 1 : Visit your local Ikea or order online for home delivery. The Kallax shelving unit can be found here. I ordered two of them and they were delivered to my home.
Step 2 : Pick out your fabric, board and foam for the actual seat. I went to Joanne Fabrics and picked out a cute pattern with multi colored polka dots. You will need to measure your bench for length and width and then get a little extra over your measurement. I almost didn't get enough and really had to pull the fabric over the MDF board.

Step 3: MDF board can be purchased at any local hardware store. Home Depot cut my pieces for me for free and they were cut perfectly.
Step 4: You need a piece of foam and batting. I couldn't find it anywhere except for Joanne and I thought foam was expensive so if you have seen it elsewhere that would be a good place to buy it. Do NOT get skinny foam. This is a seat and you want it to be comfortable. The batting is cheap and I thought it made the material look nice with no wrinkles.

Step 5: Assemble the bench seat. I laid the batting down and then the foam then the MDF board. I evened them out and then pulled the batting up and used my staple gun to attach the batting and foam to the MDF. Make sure the batting is snug.

Step 6: I took my material and laid it pattern side down on our floor and then took my partially together seat and laid it on top of the material. Once I had it even I began to pull up the straight sides of the cloth and once again stapled it to the board. You have to pull it tight or you will have wrinkles.

The only place that took me time was at the corners but after two of them it flew and before I knew it I had the seat part ready to be attached.

Step 7: You will need 3 inch screws to attaché the seat to the bench. I suggest measuring your screws first in case your foam is thicker or thinner.  Place the seat onto the bench and make sure your edges are even and it is on straight.

Step 8: You will need 10 screws. We did two inside each cubby and then two in the middle of the two end cubbies to make sure it was snug and wouldn't move.

This is what it looks like up against our double windows - We still aren't done. We needed some boxes that would fit in there. I love Ikea because they make something called a   
Drona Box and it fits the exact measurement. The only issue I didn't understand was that we were unable to order the Drona to our home (not sure why). These are $5.99 a pieces and for us that was really a perfect price because we needed 8 of them. Our shelves looked like this for a month until we were able to road trip to our closest Ikea (1 1/2 hours) away but I love a road trip and an Ikea shopping day so it was no big deal. The Drona boxes don't come in enough different colors for me but I managed to get something that looked great and added a little extra color to our playroom.
I love the playroom and still have some things to add but I love watching my girls stand on the benches to watch the snow fall or my husband shovel the driveway. When we have someone coming over they stand on the benches and wait for our guests to arrive. I can't wait to add more touches for my girls, my little sisters and friends in the making to enjoy their very own space to play.
We will be making another bench for our loft upstairs with some different baskets...Stay Tuned for a loft update...


  1. Soooo cute!!! They turned out great!! I love love this type of design, cute and practical! Our home is switching from non baby home to now an 8 month old and I love stylist but baby friendly pieces like this :)

  2. I did the same thing but a smaller versionf for my daughter in her bedroom to use as a window seat! I think it makes such a statement and is soooo great for storage! I will have to do some in our playroom as well!

  3. OMG Love this DIY! I can't wait to get a home of my own (apartment living now) so I can do more DIY like this

  4. That is an awesome way to add functionality and storage, AND you can change the cover out if you ever wanted to. Super cute!

  5. This would be amazing in my girls' room. Love it!

  6. This turned out so cute! I love the fun pattern for the bench, it is so fun and playful. Perfect for a kid's play room.

  7. How fun! Love that you turned it into a little window seat! A great way to store toys!

  8. Love the fabric you chose and love the way it turned out!

  9. You did a great job with that! What a nice spot to sit and read a book, and I love functional storage/seating. I dream of having a playroom someday...

  10. Adorable! and so useful! Great job!

  11. So great! Love that! Thanks for sharing!