Repurposing old chairs into this french-styled bench, also called a window bench, is a clever idea. I often come across old chairs at garage sales, so now I know what to do with them. They don’t have to be in good shape because the only parts you are going to end up using is the back of the chair. So if they are rickety or falling apart, it doesn’t matter. Neither does the finish since they will be painted.
Your bench will look nicer if the chairs have somewhat of a curve to them when looking at the side view. Also, the backs need to be all one piece, from the top of the chair all the way down the legs.
- Take your chairs apart, removing the front legs and seats.
- Make a rectangle box the length you’d like the bench to be and secure the ends with two wood screws each, as pictured below (ours was 36″ x 12″). Use a sturdy hardwood and long screws (3.5″ screws on each corner) to make the box as immovable as you can.
- Attach the box to each chair back by screwing from the chair into the short ends of the box.
- Even after making the seat bench as secure as possible, the bench is still too wobbly for anyone to sit on, so make another box – this one smaller and made from stock pine 1″x 2″s.
- Make a “top” for the shelf using flat molding.
- Fill all the holes with wood filler, allow to dry and then sand them smooth, as well as all of the surfaces to prepare them for paint.
- Paint the bench with 2-3 coats of paint.
- Make a plywood seat top – Cut a piece of 1/2″ plywood to sit on top of the bench.
- Cover the plywood with quilt batting (cut about an inch bigger than the wood) and your choice of material- cut at least two inches bigger all around than the top. Turn the raw edges of the material under, pull the batting and material tight around to the bottom and used a staple gun to secure.
- Either just lay the plywood on top of the frame or secure it. Then decide if you want to leave it as it is or add thick cushions on top.
Image and project source with DIY instructions can be found at An Oregon Cottage.