Mid-Century Modern Bench Tutorial

After years of drooling over expensive Mid Century Modern style benches I decided to make my own!

Measures 47 inches long, 17 inches deep, and 13 1/2 inches tall.


-Mid Century style legs -I purchased them from eBay for $30. EBay has an array of legs from many time periods for an affordable price.

-Plywood- At home depot for $1! Great tip- ask if they have remnants from pre-cut wood, they hardly charge you anything to cut you something from it!

-High density foam -$40

-Cording- $4

-Cotton – $8

-Muslin for bottom of bench -$4

-Lots of staples $-5

-Tacks- $5

-Buttons -$10

-Cream colored vinyl fabric- $15 a yard. Used two yards for $30

Total Cost $137


-Staple gun


-Measuring tape




-Waxed button thread

-Large sewing needle




1. Sand and stain legs to desired color. I chose a warm cherry stain


2. Place your plywood on top of your foam and using a saw or foam cutter, cut foam around plywood and allow for 1 extra inch around all sides.

3. Using your staple gun, pinch the foam close to the edges of plywood and staple all the way around the entire bench. 

4. Determine where you would like your buttons and mark with chalk, using a drill, drill holes just through the wood, not through the foam. See step 9 for the drilled holes in the back of the wood. 

Here are some sites that go into detail on button placement:




5. Lay out your vinyl or fabric, measure and cut to fit bench body (top and sides) adding an extra inch to sew cording.

6. Cut out vinyl for cording and an extra 1/2 inch


7. Sew cording to the top piece of vinyl, then sew the sides

8. Lay layer of cotton over foam to create a smooth surface bringing it down to a half inches longer than all sides (sorry I lost this photo!)

9. Secure vinyl over the foam/cotton like you are putting on a fitted sheet, hold tight with tacks. Then start stapling while holding vinyl taught, remove tacks as you go along. Keep going around until it is nice, even and taught.

10. Attach lower lever of cording with staple gun

11. Staple gun down ½ inch pieces of cardboard flush to cording to reinforce strength of cording

12. Cover buttons with vinyl with button cover kit

13. Using long needle, sew buttons through board with waxed button thread, securing on back with staples for double (or triple!) reinforcement

14. Attach muslin to bottom of bench by stapling all the way around the edges

15. Position legs where you would like them, screw them in and you are done!

Painted Wood Wall Art

I have been looking for the perfect piece of wall art to hang over my couch but had been having a hard time finding the right one. Recently, I have been seeing a lot of great colorful wood wall art pieces and fell in love with them. My dad happened to have a pile of wood strips from an old project doing nothing but collecting dust so I offered to take them off his hands.

Priced anywhere between $600 and $1100, these beautiful statement pieces can be done with some time, lots of painting and patience for under $150.


          Photo: Claire Ferrante of Little Dog Vintage


-2 pieces of MDF 30 inches x 24 inches and 1 centimeter thick which equals one piece that is 60 x 24. I bought two pieces because I assumed when I attached the wood strips, they would end up being heavy and it would be easier (and safer) to hang them next to each other as two separate pieces

-approximately 100 pieces of wood various sizes and depths

-7 paint colors. Here is where you can really have fun. I chose colors that matched my living and threw in a few colors for contrast. You could even do variations of stains if you didn’t want to use color. Great Tip- ask the paint department if they have any returns or mistake cans, they are colors people didn’t like or were mixed incorrectly, they mark them down very low and I ended up getting a can in a great color for 50 cents!

-bag of sponge paint brushes

-sand paper

-Liquid Nails (this stuff is pretty amazing)

-table saw. If you don’t have access to table saw, you could definitely use a hand saw to cut the pieces though it would take some time.


This is definitely a time consuming project. I was working on it only 3-5 hours a week and sometimes had a couple of pair of helping hands (bribe your girlfriends with wine, it works). Also, I had to do 2-3 coats of paint on each stick depending on the color and type of wood.  As for the placement of the pieces, you could do this for hours alone! I messed around with it until it felt right. Even when it was done and on the wall, I still added a couple of pieces to add some more depth. After completing, I completely understand the retail price of these pieces.


paint- 7 / 7.25ML cans of paint -$24

2 pieces of MDF- $24

sponge brushes- $5

Liquid Nails- $3

sand paper- already had some

wood strips – free! If you aren’t as lucky as I was to have access to free wood, try Craigslist. I did a search on Craigslist multiple times and found people getting rid of similar wood strips for free and some even willing to deliever. Also, just reach out to friends and family; you never know who could have some salvaged wood lying around!

Total Cost: $56 for materials (I was lucky to not have to pay for wood. Assuming you would have to buy some, depending on the type of wood you used I would add another $50-$75 to the project.)

With the help of my wonderful father and his table saw, we got to cutting the strips of wood.


We cut enough pieces that were 24 inches long (to fit the whole length of the board) to cover both boards. We placed them all on the boards, turning them and trying them in all different directions until they fit without overlapping on the edges. Then we cut random small pieces to add depth. We didn’t plan it out; we just cut randoms and decided to figure them out later throughout the process.

Below are both boards covered with the wood strips. The project had to be transported from my parents house to my apartment 30 mins away. Surprisingly, wrapping it with masking tape held it intact!

Now, on to the painting of the sticks. If needed, sand down the rough pieces before painting. I live in a small apartment in the city. This project took over my living room for over a month. Painted sticks of wood littered my living room, leaning on coffee tables, magazine racks or whatever surface I could lean them against.

Friday nights with the girlfriends became “wine and stick painting” nights.


Me, contemplating the layout and color placement.


Nights alone watching American Pickers were coupled with painting sticks until finally– they were all done!

Enter Liquid Nails. This stuff is exactly what it says it is. You only need a tiny amount and it really holds them in place.

I applied small dabs of Liquid Nails on the sticks, enough to cover but not too much that it would seep out the sides when placed on the board.  If it does seep out, scrape the excess right away before it starts to dry with a metal spatula or with a wet wash cloth. It will dry white and you will have to paint over your mistakes if you have any when it dries. After about 20 minutes after applying the adhesive, they were really stuck on but, just to be sure, I let them sit over night.

After a couple hours and I was done! Both boards, all pieces glued down, now it is ready to hang!

I am extremely happy with the end result. Even though it was time consuming, it was fun. The project also gave me a great excuse to hang out with my awesome Dad and my great girlfriends Claire and Ev.

-Janine Rose

Here are a few different angles to show the differences in depth of the wood strips.