DIY Leather Bench and table

This is my first venture into furniture making. It was a three person effort, with my dad, the boyfriend and me, and none of us had worked with leather before!

The initial challenge was getting all the materials. I'd originally wanted to find a second hand table which I could cover in the foam and leather, but that proved difficult as I wasn't able to find a table the right size. Instead I found an upholstery place online called Home Upholsterer which sold foam cut to size, and decorative table legs, among other things. They were also very helpful when I called with questions, and followed up with more emailed questions.   

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Materials if making your own table:

  • 4 x table legs (I bought mine online from an upholstery shop in Sydney) and stained 
  • Foam cut to size (I had 900 x 450)
  • Upholstery nails (same online store)
  • Plywood 900 x 450x 13mm (Bunnings)
  • Leather (My Dad's shed)
  • Wood glue
  • Screws and screw driver
  • Upholstery hammer
  • Staple gun

Apologies if my instructions aren't clear, as I'm going to give a high level description of what we did in case you're wondering. Full disclosure - there are some things I would do differently next time but as a first time attempt I'm super happy with it. 

  1. First you need to make the table. We attached the legs to the plywood with screws and wood glue. The legs already had pre-made holes in them which made this very simple. 
    Note: In hindsight before you make the table, I'd recommend gluing the foam to the plywood, and stretching and attaching the leather at this stage. This will result in smoother edging on the corners, and you can hide any of the corner bunching when you attach the legs. As we didn't do this, I'll continue on. 
  2. We then used wood glue to glue the foam to the top of the plywood before attaching the leather. 
  3. Lay the leather over the foam bench, and measure. Cut away any excess making sure you have enough to stretch over the table and staple the leather underneath. Once stapled you can hammer in your decorative nails. Make your way around the table, leaving the corners until last. We left them last because we weren't sure how to handle them! And you'll see the corners are a little lopsided. 
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The bench doesn't quite match our current living room, especially with the dark blue carpet, but we're moving in a couple months, so I'm sure in our next place we'll find a home for it. We wanted a coffee table which could double as a bench seat and we got it. Now to find a nice metal tray to put on it :)  

Now that I've completed one upholstery project (with much appreciated help from dad), I think I've been convinced to do more. 

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Em xx

5 Secrets to finding the best bargains while thrifting

In honour of National Op Shop week a couple weeks back, I wrote a top 5 for Sacred Heart Mission, and I thought I'd share it with you all here too. 

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Try on Everything

Have you ever been told to “just try it on” and all of a sudden that piece you were doubting looks fabulous? Well the same applies while op shopping; taking the time to try clothing on ensures what you’re buying fits and suits you. Even though you’ll generally be paying a lot less than a regular retail store, you don’t want to be wasting money on something you won’t wear once you get it home. I’ve made that mistake a few times over!  Don’t be like me.

Keep an Open Mind

Remember op shops are not regular retail clothing stores so keeping an open mind while visiting is key. Sometimes you’ll fall in love with a piece but it’s too small. Yes, it’s a disappointment, but you’ll leave knowing that someone else will discover it! And don’t forget to look on all the racks, you may find what you’re after in the boys section.

Ignore Sizing

This follows on from tip #1. You’ll often come across clothing from past decades; aka Vintage! Clothing sizes were a lot different then so my rule of thumb is if you like what you see, pick it up and try it on. You’ll often find that brands also tend to size their clothing different, so sizing isn’t always a good indicator of fit. 

Tailors are your friend

If you can’t sew or don’t have the time, a tailor is a great option. They’ll be able to take up pants, hem skirts, bring in a dress and more! It’s amazing how different a piece of clothing is once it’s altered to fit you. Plus you’ll be the talk of the town in that one of a kind freshly altered outfit!

Bring a mate

I enjoy shopping solo, but if you can find a friend who appreciates op shopping as much as you do, or is up for the bargain hunt, then invite them along. Friends are great to bounce outfit choices off of, and they may even convince you to buy that leopard print jacket you don’t quite have the courage to purchase on your own!

Hope this helps you to find those thrifting bargains. 

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Em xx