How to Use an Old Rug to Upholster a Bench

4 Materials
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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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?

Resources for this project:

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Chrissy Ward Chrissy Ward on Dec 02, 2018

    This is awesome. Any ideas on ottoman benches with storage bin?

  • Penny schneider Penny schneider on Jan 06, 2019

    I would like help in decorating a long narrow bedroom, only one window have a blue and white bedspread. Help>

  • JB JB on Feb 16, 2019

    I am searching for a couple matching rugs to do 2 benches. What kind of a rug do I specify in my search bar? Some rugs are too stiff to do this with.


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2 of 52 comments
  • Em Em on Jan 06, 2019

    GREAT idea.

  • Ambrit Ambrit on Jan 10, 2019

    I have 3 old rugs! I did not want to toss. I love this as I have a dog bench I made for them to sit and look out the window. They continue to shred the material covers, this is going to be perfect! Thank you for sharing!!