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Just DIY It
When you are DIYing on a budget, creativity is such a huge part of the process. What happens when you have an idea, but you can’t find anything about how to make it real? What happens when nobody else has given this type of project a shot, or at least they aren’t sharing their experience with the world?
Well, this is when you sit down, create a plan, and just do it. So many mistakes can be prevented by planning ahead of time, so don’t sweat it! You will never be able to create with confidence until you stop worrying about perfection and start making your ideas come to life. Sometimes you will make mistakes along the way, but that’s all part of the learning process. The key is to love your work even with imperfections. This is exactly what I was reminded of when I built my tufted bench.
The Idea: A Humongous Tufted Bench
Long tufted benches are so gorgeous, I just knew that having one was a must. I had the perfect image in my head of this beautifully crafted entryway wall, complete with hooks, photos, and a bench with baskets for storage. The problem was that I didn’t have a gorgeous budget. Actually, on our massive list of priorities in my house, buying an entryway bench was last on the list. So, of course, upcycling it was! I hopped on Pinterest for ideas and started browsing styles. At first, I thought that I might buy some pre-made furniture legs from Home Depot, or order some hairpin legs for my bench. Then, I came across this bench from Shanty 2 Chic:
It was perfect! I decided that I would alter the plans to fit my style, but the legs were exactly what I had in mind! My idea was going to be almost free by using random things from my house, and I would have the bench that I had been dreaming of. It was like it was meant to be!
Upcycling My Supplies
That night I dug out the fabric that I had stashed for a long-forgotten project. I bought the two-by-fours that the plans called for, and made sure that my scrap wood(the closet doors from our Safari room makeover) would work for my new idea. I scrounged around my basement to find a couple of eggshell mattress pads I had to use as the padding. The plan was coming together well. All that was left was the actual construction. Yay for quick projects, right?!
A few days later, I had my kids tucked into bed. I knew that this was my chance to get it done because I didn’t want little helpers moving everything! I grabbed my chunk of half-inch plywood and lugged it into the living room, ready to upholster the beast.
Earlier I had done some research, and I ran across this method where they use screws to drill the tufts into the bench. I thought that sounded way easier than the traditional method. I went about marking my holes onto the mattress pads. Once that was done, I laid my fabric down, ready to start drilling…to find that it wasn’t long enough. Gah! I should have measured.
The DIY Process: Planning
This was the point where I remembered that Every. Single. Time. I don’t plan something on paper, I end up paying for it. I had assumed that the fabric would be the right amount because I knew it was wide enough, but I never thought to check the length. If I had done some more planning, I would have known that if I added the extra height of the mattress pads, it was a few inches short. Ah, the beauty of learning from your mistakes! Plan, plan, plan!
Thinking that I could get away with it still, I went ahead and cut the fabric in half. Then I sewed the two pieces together. Which was a great idea except, you probably guessed it? The width was just barely wide enough!
Take Time To Problem Solve
What a debacle this became. In hindsight, I would have put the project on pause in order to buy more fabric, but I was on a mission that night so I decided to go for it. I think that if I had waited, my end result would have been exactly what I had originally dreamed up. Sadly after all of the fabric shifting and tugging, I accidentally moved the mattress pads and my tufts aren’t in the right places. There are a couple of extra inches on the front line! The nice creases that I had hoped for are also just shallow dips from the fabric being pulled so taught. I guess that it’s true what they say. Patience is a virtue!
Mistakes Will Happen
Now, the construction actually went pretty smoothly. I used the same dimensions for the base as the plan calls for and I love the length. It is a huge bench, just what I wanted. I had originally planned to use this in a different room, but after a week or so, I moved it into my kitchen and I am so smitten with the effect that it has had. I plan to show you the bench in its new place soon, but for now, you will have to live with photos that I took right after staining the legs. (This bench would make an adorable photo prop for family portraits, am I right?)
Imperfection Is Acceptable
As much as I messed up on this bench, it has served its purpose well in my home. I absolutely love having this bench in front of my kitchen windows. It is the perfect place to relax and watch my babies play in our yard through our gorgeous windows, but what has really surprised me is that it has become a gathering place. My brother and my best friend have spent hours visiting with me while I cook and clean. I have even managed to relax right there with them, gazing outside at the ones that we love. Even though I completely bombed the upholstering on this bench, I wouldn’t trade the memories it has given me even in these few short months since I built it.
Just Do It
If you have a big project idea, don’t let anything hold you back! Mistakes are going to happen, but ideas will never become a reality unless you work for them. I had an old closet door that needed to be used somewhere, and it became one of my favorite places in my home, flaws and all. Dream it, plan it, and then actually DO IT!
Tell me, what are the big ideas that you have let fear hold you back from completing?
Are You Ready For The Next Step?