Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Pinterest Summer Challenge

I love a good challenge but my favorite challenges are those that I challenge myself. Oddly enough I am most competitive with myself. Don't get me wrong, if I am playing tennis I want to win but I have found that with races, cooking, and DIY projects the challenge is within me. One of the interests I had with starting a blog was the challenge of blogging itself but also the challenges that go on in the blogging world. Lucky for me, I started at just the right time: 

I ADORE Pinterest. I think it is amazing & I wish I had the time (& fast enough Internet) to play with it all day. This challenge was brought to my attention by one of my favorite DIY home blogs Young House Love. YHL was one of the first blogs I started to read and I love how doable most of their projects are. Sherry & her husband are hilarious & they have the most adorable baby. 

The Challenge:
To find a picture on Pinterest and recreate it for your own home. 

The Hardest Part:
To decide out of the thousands of pictures what I wanted to do & if it was doable in less than a week. 

What I decided: 

bench! Ok maybe not so exciting but I needed two so that upped the exciting factor for me. I have been on the hunt for a bench (or two) for one side of my dining table as well as dining chairs. No luck thus far so benches were the perfect challenge. I may also be tired of sitting on patio chairs at our dining room table....

The first challenge for me was to make sure that I could find fabric that I liked. I actually had a meeting about an hour from my office that had the perfect warehouse fabric store down the road. I actually lucked out and brought home two yards of three different fabrics. I figured they were cheap enough at $7.99 a yard plus 15% off.

I love all three and hope to make pillows and/or go back and buy more for drapes of the two I didn't use for the bench. The fabric on the right was the winner. I am not sure what it was made of but it was sturdier and felt almost like an outdoor fabric which is perfect for dinning room benches. 

I went to both home depot and lowes on the search for bench legs but found none that were long enough and I knew that there wasn't time for me to order any online. Plan b then took effect and I called in my muscle. 

Geoff recommended that for now we use dowels but attach them in such away that they can be unscrewed and replaced once I find something I love. He also said that he would help me build them which means he will take over. This is ok with me....

Unlike the Pinterest Picture I wanted to be able to remove the fabric and replace it if necessary with out having to tear anything apart. We decided to build a frame that would hold the fabric+foam+wood. It worked great.

Geoff built a basic structure and attached the legs with a nut and bolt combination that can be unscrewed when I find my dream legs.

They got a spray of primmer and then two coats of the same glossy white paint we are using for all of the trim in our house which meant it was free :) As you can see the trim was added prior to being painted. I missed that step.

Ignore the deer antler below the benches... 

We cut a piece of 1/4" plywood to sit inside the trimmed out benches and this is what the foam and fabric will be attached to.

We cut the foam to be slightly larger then the plywood. I bought the foam at Joann's. The whole roll was $20 and we used about half. It is two inches think.

My other helpers.

I then cut the fabric a few inches larger then needed and threw them in the washer and dryer.

We used a staple gun to attach the fabric to the wood. We folded the corners like you would fold a present and held the fabric so that it was tight. The last step was to place them on the bench.

I love the fabric and the structure. I am still not in love with the legs but I am now on the hunt :) They work perfect with the table and can slip all the way under if needed. 

Price breakdown:

Fabric: $14 for two yards & I used just over 1 yard so lets say $8.00
Wood and hardware: $45.00
Foam: $20 but I used just over half so lets say $14.00
Paint & Primer: we already owned
Staples: we already owned

Total for two benches: $67.00 

I know if I buy new legs this number will go up but still that is les than $35 a bench :) 

I will consider this challenge a success!


  1. They look great! I'm now pinning you... :)

  2. Thanks! I love your blog. Very cute :)

  3. This turned out great! I LOVE, love, love the fabric :)

  4. Looks fab! I too am a Newbie Blogger and my discover of Pinterest has been truly inspiring! Great job, love it <3

  5. I like that you made the cushion detachable! Very smar.

  6. My fiance's logic with the detachable cushion? We can change them for the seaons! (He is catching on!) My logic is when they get dirty or when I change my mind which is often :)

    Thanks for the comments!

  7. Hey Nicole!. I just awarded you the 'versatile blogger' award for that fab bench of yours! Can't wait to see what you come up with next! http://jileenharkins.blogspot.com/2011/08/versatile-blogger-award.html