Bench Makeover from Repurposed Plaid Shirt

Repurposed Plaid Shirt Bench Seat Makeover

I don’t always plan my projects.

Sometimes I just see something at a thrift store that captures my imagination and I just go ahead and run with it.

That’s what happened recently when my local thrift store was having a five dollars a bag clothing sale.

They do this every once in a while and it always makes me feel like a kid in a candy store.

It’s a golden opportunity to look through all the clothes for colors and patterns that strike my fancy.

And the best part is I don’t have to care if they fit or not because I’m not going to be wearing them.

seat from bench and plaid shirt for makeover

This time I filled my bag with a lot to plaid in many different color combos, including this red flannel shirt that I’m using for today’s project.

One of the things I enjoy the most about decorating is playing with patterns.

And  a while back I realized that I don’t have any plaid in my house. None. Nada.

How the heck did that happen?

I’m not sure, but it’s an oversight I’m going to have a lot of fun correcting.

wooden bench before makeover

This is what the bench looked like when I started, before I gave it this quick and easy repurposed scarf bench makeover.

It’s a sweet little bench with a removable seat and it’s just the right size for a certain spot in  my kitchen.

Recovering seat with plaid shirt

cutting plaid shirt to recover the bench seat

To recover the seat I just lay it down on the shirt and cut out the fabric, leaving a good 3-4 inches all around.

stapling plaid shirt fabric onto seat

Then I started stapling by pulling the fabric over the seat and stapling in the center on opposite sides, pulling gently.

stapling plaid shirt fabric starting in the middle on all sides

You want it to be just tight enough, but not too tight. Here are all four centers done.

hammering in staples so fabric stays in place

After pulling and stapling my way towards the corners I used a hammer to make sure the staples were in good and solid.

folding corner of plaid shirt fabric to make nice finish

To get the corners nice and neat I started by gathering the fabric over the corner.

finished and stapled plaid fabric corner of bench seat

Here you can see that I gathered the fabric three times, and then the last piece was pulled over and across those three gathers.

For a much more detailed tutorial for how to do this check out my kitchen chairs makeover.

bench seat recovered with plaid shirt before trimming

Once I had all the corners done I was left with some excess fabric.

bench seat recovered with plaid shirt after trimming

I simply trimmed that away to make the underside less bulky, so it sits nice and flat on the bench.

Bench makeover with plaid shirt

repurposed plaid shirt used for recovering a bench seat

And here’s my finished bench seat… plaid all over.

Staple gun, hammer, and scissors needed for bench seat reupholstery

Supplies used for bench seat makeover

– thrifted plaid shirt
– scissors
– staple gun
– hammer

How to give a bench seat a makeover with a plaid shirt

I really think plaid can fit into any home decor style, since it’s available in an endless array of patterns and color combos.

repurposed plaid shirt for bench seat makeover

There’s just something about plaid that I’m loving these days.

It’s fun and traditional at the same time.

And it’s timeless.

Plaid is no fad.

So I’m embracing it, and looking for more projects that I can do with my fabulous five dollar bag of plaid.

Thanks so much for reading, and until next time…

keep on keepin’ on!


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How to give a bench seat a quick and easy makeover with a repurposed plaid shirt

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  1. Mary Boger says:

    Love it! I’ve used flannel shirts to cover porch cushions for winter. Pillow covers, etc. It’s fun to fill a bag at a bargain price.

    1. Thanks Mary! Definitely can’t go wrong on a $5 bag day. And flannel shirts can be repurposed in so many ways.

  2. Frankly, I’m a fanatic fan of plaid. We should start a movement, with your comment, “Plaid is no fad”!! I have that same bench. It was my mom’s. Let the machine and cabinet move on years ago, but kept the bench. Moving into my own place next week, so you can expect me to be making good use of your ideas!! Oh, and in regards to your Fabulous Finds Friday, I voted yes. I’d vote yes for anything that would bring you to my inbox more!!! Dona

    1. Thanks Dona! I’ve always enjoyed wearing plaid flannel shirts, but have never used plaid in decor before. Not sure why, but it’s always fun to fall in love with new things. Thanks for the yes FFF vote.

  3. FFF is a big YES! Here in south Florida there are no bargain prices like you find. It’s so much fun to see your treasures.

    1. Thanks so much Marilyn! I am pretty lucky with my thrift stores around here.

  4. Debra Hubbs says:

    Mary, love the idea of using flannel to cover porch cushions. Can you give any details on that?

  5. Debra Hubbs says:

    That little bench is adorable. Love seeing all your projects.

  6. I looked at your kitchen reveal and ventured out to see some of your other projects, bench project, chalk board cookie sheet etc. I have used many of your flower ideas for my garden and around the property. Love all you do and would love to see you continue FFF. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much Nancy! I’m so happy to hear that you’ve used some of my flower ideas. That makes my day. And thanks for the yes for FFF.

  7. I love the flannel on the little bench. You said you have no plaid. Are your kitchen chairs covered in check material? I thought it looked plaid to me. Love all the things you do. Looking at your kitchen again was fun.

    1. Thank you so much Olivia! The kitchen chairs fabric is what I think of as a large gingham-like pattern, and I used it on the diagonal to make it more interesting. To me plaid means more than two colors, but I could be wrong.

  8. Laura Crumm says:

    Very nice! And I love the bright cheerful colors in your kitchen.