No sew bench cushion

March 24, 2014

Hello everybody! Hope your weekend was great – I was SO sick most of it which was a bummer. I get a horrible cold every year this time of year and I think they’re getting worse as I get older. This one was a doozy. I felt a little better in the evenings and like a new person last night, so I got this project done during those times I wasn’t on the couch. :)

I’ve been working on our mud room a lot this year and I’m loving it. It’s different for me – lately I’m going for lighter, more subdued colors on the walls, but this room is FULL of color. I like to start with some sort of inspiration for each space and this one was based off a rug I found at HomeGoods:

I picked the blue color on the beadboard from this rug (Reflecting Pool by Ralph Lauren). I LOVE all of these colors and love them together.

These thin rugs come in so many fun designs (I’ve seen quite a few of them at HG) but I don’t actually use them as a rug just because of how thin they are. Even with a rug pad they don’t stay put for me and I end up tripping all over them.

So I had a plan all along to use this one in a different way – as an upholstered cushion for the bench. If you’re really good you know how to make a real cushion, but I do it the cheater way. :) I’ve done this a few times and it always works well.

I grabbed some scrap mdf from the garage and cut it down a little smaller than the rug – it was already about 19 inches wide and I cut it down to 42 inches. Instead of using expensive, thick foam from the craft store, I use egg crate foam toppers (affiliate) that you use on the bed:
no sew bench cushion

I showed you how I use this on my upholstered headboards here too.

In the fall the twin foam pads will go on clearance and you can get them for super cheap. WAY cheaper than thick foam from the store. I used hot glue to secure it to the wood, then used an electric meat knife to trim it down:
cutting foam

I think I saw that idea like ten years ago on Trading Spaces and it works GREAT. Cuts like buttah.
I put another layer on top, this time with the textured part facing down:
no sew bench cushion

You can see I had to piece it together – since the rug is so thick you don’t even see where they were put together when it’s all done.

To make it nice and smooth I wrapped the whole thing with scrap muslin that I had:
no sew cushion
You don’t want to pull too tight because the edges won’t be even. If you pull it crazy tight you’ll have bumps in between where you stapled on the back.
I did the same with the rug and made sure to center it right on top:
rug on upholstered cushion
I did the two short ends first, then the sides, then the corners last. I knew the corners would be tough with this because it’s so thick. I had to cut a lot of the corners down under there so it’s not pretty – but nobody will see it. :) It’s secure and staying put and that’s all that matters.
It turned out just as I saw it in my head all those months ago:
cushion from a rug
It doesn’t go the whole length of the bench and I knew that going in – I wanted some of the bench to be open so we can set stuff down if needed. I don’t know if we’ll keep the cushion off to the side or in the middle, but for now I’ve got it here:
mud room with beadboard

No, the door trim is still not painted. I’m getting myself amped up to do it. :)

The aqua pillow was one I found at World Market a few months ago and the other one is an outdoor pillow that used to be up in the loft. That one probably won’t stay but the colors are perfect match too: DIY no sew cushion

Now that I see this aqua with that blue I want the door to go more that direction. Now it’s just a light blue I had in my paint stash. I think a slightly more aqua color would be fun. Who knows – I’ll decide when I get the trim painted white.

I’ve mentioned before how AWESOME it has been to have this space finished now – it’s such a night and day difference from the mess that used to be here. The coats are not hanging now because I’ve hung them in the closet. We only need them for three more days this week and then I think spring will actually be here. (!!)

I refuse to look at them anymore so they’re out of sight:
beadboard mud room

I thought I knew what I wanted to do on that big wall above the bench but when we tried it out it looked goofy. So I’ve come up with a new plan for all that wall space that I hope to work on soon: DIY bench mud room

Stay tuned for more on that. Other than that and the door trim I still want to install a new light fixture (we have a long fluorescent light in there now), perhaps add some additional lights (I need to see if my idea will work) and install crown molding. And then figure out what to put on the walls to add more of “us” to this room.

I’m so happy with how it’s coming together so far! Have you ever used a rug for something unexpected like this? Can you sew a cushion or have you tried a DIY version like this?
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  1. Love the fabric you chose Sarah, I didn't sew mine too when we made our bench, staples worked well for me !

  2. Cute! That fabric is just perfect for the space!

  3. The rug is perfect for this project -- in color and pattern as well as the texture it provides in such a colorful little nook. I can't sew much more than curtain panels and pillows and prefer the use of a staple gun to covering something than spending a lot on a professional doing the project. Besides we often change our minds, right? Love this.

  4. yesss... you are right about those rugs looking good but being too thin and trip-inducing. this is so good!

  5. So fun to see how it all turned out...I love the colors and the look! Thanks for the tip about the foam pads!

  6. Fabulous idea! I have a small rug from HomeGoods I've had forever but never used. now I know what I'm going to do with it.

  7. Love it! Perfect idea to use that rug! The colors are awesome :)

  8. I love this back entry way! Maybe a oversized last name, first initial on that wall right above the bench or design a family crest and project it on to the wall and paint it out the same color as you decide on the door. Love this blog and you are an inspiration to me all the time!

  9. The rug is the perfect colors and pattern. You did an amazing job. Hugs, Marty

  10. Looks great! I like how you didn't do it the full length for storage space. I can't wait until I can get working on my furutre mud room.

  11. Looks great & simple enough for even me! Thanks! <3

  12. I love the color combination!!! You have done a great job changing this room into a usable space. Kudos to you.

  13. I absolutely love the way this looks. I love how the cushion is shorter than the bench. At first I was afraid you were totally covering up that beautiful wood. Great job.

  14. Looks so great! Loving that rug and the colors in here! I've been planning a similar bench and cushion for our playroom, but haven't quite figured out how we're going to attach the cushion. I guess just screw it in from the bottom? Did you attach the cushion or does it stay in place ok? Love your foam idea, too!

  15. very cute color scheme & awesome idea! I need to head over to your headboard tutorial since I had this urge to DIY my own for awhile now, but a little afraid to try. :/

  16. Lovely rug pattern for your bench! What a fun welcoming space! Hope you are on the mend - feeling better now. I am impressed that you are still doing DIY projects while super sick! Kari

  17. I absolutely love your blog and this post especially! If I had a mud room in my home I have a feeling it would look something like your final product! Thank you for sharing!

  18. Great use of the rug! I'm considering doing this for my daughters house because she has two crazy pups and fabric would be torn up. Thanks for the inspiration.

  19. How did you secure it to the bench? Or does it slide around a bit?

  20. OMG this is perfection! I love it against the paint color!

  21. I so wish we had a mud room. Especially now that it is mud season (aka spring) in New England... I have a friend who is an interior designer with a great eye for color and she told me her "trick" for picking paint color is to find an item you love (rug, curtain, painting) and pick a color out of that for the walls. Certainly makes narrowing down all those paint chips easier! I love your bench cushion and the reading nook on your house photos.

  22. I can sew a cushion but not one perhaps that would be eligible for inspection, lol. I'd rather do what you did, what a great idea and super job you did on that. Will most likely hold up much better in long run. Love the idea about the foam, always good to be able to save money for our projects. I'll be saving this and pinning it so I can remember when I'm ready to make one, great tutorial.
    All you bloggers with a Home Goods and IKEA stores accessible are lucky, if there are any of these stores they're on other side of Rockies from us and I'm not making a trip to Denver. Guess I'll have to buy online. I found a great metal table at IKEA couple years ago but they didn't ship it. At least when we lived in San Diego we had a world market and IKEA's. Sure do miss some of the great bargain stores to shop in. We have Pier one, craft stores here (Grand Junction, CO) but not the really good ones. A T.J. Maxx opened couple years ago now but by the time I get done in Michaels I'm out of energy and money, lol.
    Love your bench cushion, great job and it looks fantastic with the colors and design on rug. Hope you'll feel 100% very soon. Might be allergies more than a cold if you're getting sick at same time each year, know this cause I had same problem when we lived in KY. Bad allergies can feel and behave like a bad cold.
    Happy Spring days

  23. I am LOVING this print for the cushion. Great idea using a rug for this. It will see alot of wear and tear and a rug will stand up longer than regular fabric.

  24. Wow, I love so many things about this, I don't know where to start!! I envy having a mud room like yours. The colors and pattern of the rug you used are so pretty - these are my calming colors for sure! Thanks for all of the inspiration!

  25. OMG you are a genius. with minor modifications, (making things easier)..ha. I hada friend sew a little bit of it. otherwise, I did it myself with a measuring tape, a marker and fabric scissors, and fabric glue. glue guns....don't care for them.

    thank you for saving my party!


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