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!