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Dresser to Mudroom Bench

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My mudroom bench started life as a dresser. I found it on the side of the road waiting for heavy trash pick up. It was a mess! The top was in pieces and two drawers were broken. In spite of the shape that the dresser was in, it was solid wood and had dove tailed drawers. It was late at night and we were headed home from visiting friends. I had to beg Hubby to stop, back up and get out to look at the dresser. He was less than impressed with this one.

What I Know and Don;t Know About Old Furniture

Here it is with one of the working drawers out. The top has a split all the way down the length.

After staring at it a few weeks, I decided to turn it into a piece for our entryway that could serve as a sort of mudroom. A place to take off shoes, hang jackets and hats and hide junk…I mean Hubby’s treasures.

First, We removed the top two rows of drawers from the dresser and created a bench by adding a plywood top.

Turning a Dresser into a Mudroom Bench Part 2

Next, we created a separate top piece from the two remaining solid drawer fronts. Because of the height, we had them open on hinges. We could not have used it if it were drawers. A sheet of beadboard paneling, 2X4’s, and a plywood box.

Mudroom Bench Part 3

The mirror was a thrift store find. Hubby chopped the top off the mirror frame and routed the 2X4’s so that they matched the mirror. We reused the top in a later piece.

Then, Hubby created a board and batten over bead board back to connect the piece visually. The bead board and top are connected together, but they float over the bench. Sneaky huh? This allows easy installation and access to electrical without cutting holes in the wood. You never know where it will live next! All the hooks were installed last because I wasn’t sure what I wanted. In the end I went with plain hooks because they worked for the piece.

The Mudroom Bench is Coming Together

The Finished Mudroom Bench

Finally, we painted, added crystal knobs and made a tufted cushion. I love the soft green color!
The Finished Mudroom Bench

The Finished Mudroom Bench
This is by far the most unique piece of furniture in our home and is a great conversation piece.
The Finished Mudroom Bench

Here it what it looked like the morning that I wrote this blog. I did not do anything so that you can see how we really live.

mudroom bench

This is the best shot I have taken of the bench. Now I wish I had removed Hubby’s hat, camera, and jacket!

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Making a Tufted Cushion for the Mudroom Bench

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We are making progress on the Mudroom Bench.  No more showing it to you until it is installed!  I had planned on using an outdoor cushion that I bought on clearance but Hubby did not like how it fit the bench and honestly I wanted something a little more swanky.  We have both put in a lot of work on this project and it will be the first thing that people see when they come into our home.  I am making pillows for the bench too that you will see this week.  We have completed the cushion to go on the bench.  I learned a ton on this project.  Hubby and I have upholstered many things over the years, but I had not ever tried anything tufted.  My inspiration came from Daily Do It Yourself .  I did not know how to cover buttons with fabric but Hubby had some experience (his sisters both sew) so we got started.  I bought this button making kit at Hobby Lobby.  I love those 40% off coupons.
The kit would would only make three buttons, but you can buy refill buttons for $1.99.  Not bad.  I bought 12 buttons all together.  The kit provides a template to draw circles on the fabric.
I got all 12 drawn out on a tiny scrap of fabric.  It does not take much to do the buttons.

Place the fabric in the form provided, back side up.

Then put the rounded part of the button into the mold.

Like magic the fabric curls in when you press down on the rounded button part.


Put the part of the button that has the ring on it into the mold next. The kit comes with a blue pressing tool.  Press until you feel a click. 

Ta Dah!
It got tricky after this part.  Hubby had already cut a piece of scrap 1/2 inch plywood cut to size.  We looked at several websites about tufted pillows.  His next statement filled me with fear.  “This will be easy, all we need is a tape measure, ruler, calculator and a pencil.”  A calculator?  Hubby is a math teacher so I immediately passed the chore of marking where the buttons went off to him. 

He drilled a hole where each button should go then we placed the board across two chair backs.  This allowed me to work on top and bottom at the same time. We layered foam on top of the board that was also cut to size and then the fabric.  I even ironed!  I used an upholstery needle and heavy weight thread to go through the hole in the wood, the foam and the fabric.  I then put the button on the thread then back down through everything.  Finding the hole in the wood was a pain at first but I got better.  I did not tie the buttons at this point.  I left the thread hanging.

Once all 12 were in we carefully flipped everything over on the floor, buttons down.  Hubby stood on the board while I pulled the thread tight.  He screwed a small screw in by each button for me to tie off.  I then stapled the thread to make sure it stayed secure.  Next I used my trusty electric staple gun to staple the fabric down around the edges. 

It turned out great.

Look at how straight the buttons are down the cushion.  Great job done by the mathematician.

The cushion is now ready for the bench.  The cost was not too bad, but way more than my $7.00 cushion I originally planned to use.  The fabric was a linen remnent that I only paid $3.00 for.  The buttons cost $5.00.  The big expense was the foam.  $20.00, even with a coupon.
It is going to look great on the bench.