5 Steps to a Modern Looking Bench Cushion

I am no expert on sewing. So whenever I purchase fabric you can always assume I have found a way around that.

Choosing fabric for a project can either make or break the entire design. That was the issue I came across during our breakfast nook/bar home renovation. If you are following our Instagram, you have seen our journey in building a built-in breakfast nook/ bar area in our dining room. This project has been our LONGEST and TOUGHEST home reno to date. We really pushed our limits here and learned quite a bit about our house. Let’s just say it wasn’t as perfect as we thought. But I will talk about that on another post. We are only a few days away from the final reveal and of course I decided to change the design last minute. The bench cushion just didn’t appeal to me anymore. The bench cushion is the center of the entire built-in and I was super unhappy with the fabric I chose. I originally went with a light grey mudcloth pattern that seemed like the perfect subtle fit for the design. After making it I realized it was to light. I wanted something bold. after two months of staring at it, I finally decided on what it needed.

Since I didn’t share how I made the original cushion, I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to show everyone how easy it is to customize your own bench cushion. No real skill is needed. If you are handy with a staple gun then this is the perfect project for you.


  1. Plywood, I used leftover MFD board from our cabinet project
  2. High Density Foam by the yard
  3. Batting
  4. Spray Adhesive
  5. Fabric of your choice
  6. Staple gun with extra staples

First thing you want to do is measure the bench or space you want to apply the cushion to. Write these measurements down because when you go to your local Home Depot they will cut down the plywood to your exact measurement free of charge.

Next cut down the foam to the size of your plywood and glue it down with the spray adhesive. This will hold the cushion in place so it doesn’t slide around when you are stapling the fabric down.

Top to Bottom: Plywood, Foam, Batting

Cut the batting and fabric slighty bigger than the plywood and foam. You want both to wrap around to the back where you will stapling. Keep in mind if your fabric isn’t stretchy you may want to give yourself a little more fabric so it doesn’t rip. You can always cut the extra fabric.

Since this was my second time around I just cut to size using the old fabric.
And since the pleather wasn’t as stretchy, I gave myself an extra inch around.

Start on one side and wrap the fabric and batting to the back of the plywood and start stapling. Make sure to pull a little tight to keep a smooth surface all around. Doesn’t matter how many staples you use to get the job done. No one will see it. I prefer to do the two long sides first then work the short sides last because the corners can be tricky.

There were a few different way to close the corners and I found the “gift wrapping” method to be the easiest. Fold the corners in and fold down. Literally like wrapping a present with wrapping paper. You may have to play with the fabric a bit to get a clean and smooth finish.Then staple everything down. My sides are pushed up against our built-in cabinets so you really can’t see them anyway.

And there you have it! A bench cushion. It will be personal preference if you want to nail it or tie it down to your bench. I chose not to so I can easily change out the fabric at any moment. The plywood or MFD board in my case is heavy enough so the cushion does not slide around. I hope this 5 step bench cushion DIY helps all my non-sewers and let me know if you would like to learn more ways to create without one.

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