How to Use an Old Rug to Upholster a Bench

Have you ever found a beautiful, old rug that was ready for a new life? I found the most gorgeous, tattered rug and I just new it would be amazing on a bench. Use this how-to to get the steps for how to upholster a bench with an old rug.

how to use an old rug to upholster a bench, how to, outdoor furniture, reupholster

Before you get started, make sure you are working with a clean rug. It's much easier to clean a rug or piece of fabric when it's not upholstered. I did something crazy with my rug to clean it, see what I did HERE! It totally worked and I'll definitely be doing it again.

how to use an old rug to upholster a bench, how to, outdoor furniture, reupholster

So, first things first. Gather your supplies.

I had a plain bench that needed love. You could use one that's similar or find one at your local thrift store. Or, maybe you have one already that needs some love.


how to use an old rug to upholster a bench, how to, outdoor furniture, reupholster

Place the rug facedown and then place the bench on top of the rug. Put the bench on the rug where you want the design on the rug to be.

Give yourself a few inches of extra fabric when you cut, but start trimming so that you don't have as much fabric to deal with.

*See more pictures of these steps on my blog.

how to use an old rug to upholster a bench, how to, outdoor furniture, reupholster

After you have cut the rug to size (with a few inches extra on all sides), grab your stapler. At this point, it's helpful to have heavy-duty staples and a few brads (that the stapler can shoot).

Start with staples in the stapler. Personally, I like to start in the middle of each side. I shoot a staple in on all four sides and then like to come back to each side and go out about 8 inches with staples.

At that point, I like to flip the bench over to check my pattern and make sure everything is looking good.

how to use an old rug to upholster a bench, how to, outdoor furniture, reupholster

If it's looking good, keep stapling (puling the fabric tight but not too tight). Work until you get to the corners. Give yourself about 2" on both sides of each corner.

For the corners, you will do a bit of tucking in and then folding so that the crease is on the underside of the bench. I like to use the brads for the corners. I think they go in better than the staples.

Finish all four corners and you are finished. Flip the bench over and admire your handiwork.

I love how this bench turned out. It would look pretty good in all rooms of our house but looks great in our master bedroom. Hop over and see our Mid-Century Eclectic Master bedroom that was just revealed on my blog.

So, tell me... would you ever upholster a bench with a rug?
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Jill Carpenter
    on Mar 6, 2018

    Where did you find your rug?

  • Connie Simon
    on Apr 25, 2018

    i like this idea, but I have braided rugs that have broken apart. Any suggestions on what to do with those???

    • Lwh4582345
      on Apr 25, 2018

      I am soooo going to do that! I’ve tried restitching but it’s too hard, difficult, heavy—it just flat out doesn’t work. I have very large braided rugs and I couldn’t figure out how to save them.

      Thank you so much!!!

      gonna get out my handy dandy glue gun out.

      Has anyone tried the new Gorilla glue sticks? Marvelous!

  • Pamela Vincent Hammond
    on Apr 25, 2018

    Would u please post a picture from the top & underneath where u stapled? Thank you. Great idea!

Join the conversation

2 of 39 comments
  • Theresa Robertson
    on Apr 27, 2018

    I have my coffee table ready for this project, gotta get my foam

  • Maria
    on Jun 4, 2018

    I often wonder why I have no sense about these things. How do you wonderful people come up with these ideas? I am not a person who has this kind of brain but I thank all of you for teaching me how to do these things. Maria

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