DIY Bench {Knock off Challenge}

by Marina Ingrit

Hello! I have not been as active blogging this month as I was hoping. I had a huge list of posts to work on and projects but two birthdays, school concerts, and sickness took over. But I did get one fun project crossed off my to-do list thanks to a knock off challenge hosted by my talented friend Katie from Addicted 2 DIY. I built a DIY modern bench. These were my inspiration.

I found the ottoman first (a mere $350) and was going to make a knock off of it but I really had my heart set on making a bench so I found one very similar.




I am not very experienced in the whole “knock off project” thing. I have only ever done one (the Pottery Barn Star) and I made it exactly like the inspiration image. This time, I wanted to use a different fabric other than gray and I wanted the wood base to be a bit thicker. So I hope that even though I made a few small changes, that this is still considered a knock off 🙂




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(2) pieces of ¾” plywood cut   17″ x 44″ or your own desired size

High density foam cut to 18″ x 45″

1×3 boards

(4) Tapered wood legs

(4) Leg plates

Fabric of choice




How to make a DIY Modern Bench

Step 1

I used a kitchen knife to cut the foam. I cut it slightly bigger than the board so it would overhang slightly on all sides. I did that so that the fabric would be snug and not loose.



I bought this fun black and white geometric fabric from Joann’s. I got it for 70% off!



Step 2

I don’t have any photos of me sewing the cover because well, I hate sewing and it stresses me out. I didn’t even think about photos. I was just trying to survive. I cut a piece for the top, pieces for the side, and pieces for the ends. I sewed them all together sort of creating a fabric “box” than would easily slip over the foam. The key to having everything lay fat and look nice is to iron the seams flat.


You can see how by sewing it you get clean lines versus just folding and tucking the fabric. It was worth sewing, even though I don’t like it 😉




Step 3

I actually used MDF for the bottom of my foam since that is what I had on hand. MDF or plywood would both work. I gently pulled the fabric around the edge and stapled it to the bottom.

You can see in the bottom photo that the foam part is bigger than the MDF and the plywood for the base. This is perfect because you will add the 1×3 boards as trim on the plywood base.



Step 4

I decided that the 1×3 boards were a bit too thick so we rip cut them down to 2″. When I glued and nailed them to the side of the plywood, I made it so it hung down a bit so it would hide the leg plates.

After the trim was added , it looked like a really big serving tray.



Step 5

I stained the legs and base a nice medium brown. My trick to make sure the color is not too orange is to add a coat of gray stain first followed by a brown stain like Provincial, Early American, or Walnut.

Once the stain was dry I added a few coats of poly, making sure to sand in between coats.


Step 6

Wne  the poly was dry, I flipped over the base and screwed on the leg plates and then screwed in the legs to the plates. I flipped it back over and inserted the cushion.


I couldn’t be happier with the results! I can’t decide if it will go in the living room, the office, or my son’s room.




The living room is hard to shoot in the morning will all the sun coming in the front window. I kind of  like it with the leather pillow and the pillow I weaved.




But I think it makes the most sense to have this DIY modern bench in the office under the coat rack. The shoes are stored in crates to the left and the kids can have a place to sit to take off and put on their shoes. Plus the black and white striped floors go well with the geometric design in the fabric.




Have you ever recreated something you saw that was too pricey? I’d love to hear about your knock off projects in the comment below and if it was a success!


Here are the other people participating in this knock of challenge. Stop by and see their projects!


Addicted 2 DIY


Woodshop Diaries

The Inspired Workshop

The Awesome Orange

DIY Huntress

Reality Daydream

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