We had this IKEA Nornas bench sitting in our entry way that I have been meaning to find a cushion for since we purchased it.  It was a light wood color and relatively easy to put together.  We wanted a white bench but weren’t finding anything that was reasonable, or large enough to fit the space, so we decided to test this particular bench out to have in our entry way.   We painted the bench white, and placed it under the shelving unit we have hanging in the entry way.  But I have been dragging my feet to find a cushion because I wasn’t finding anything I liked.  So I decided to just look for fabric and upholster it myself.

I have never actually upholstered anything this large before, so I went to the Internet to see if I could find something that would help me through the process.  There were so may tutorials on how to upholster things, that I ended up watching a few videos until I felt comfortable trying out similar techniques.


I started by measuring the bench.  I measured the length, width, and made an estimate on how tall I would like the bench cushion to be on the bench.  Then I went to purchasing the fabric and batting cover from Joann Fabrics.  I just love their coupons.  I can always find some coupon code that makes everything in the store reasonable.  Plus, I do love their fabric selections.  For this particular project, I purchased inside/outside fabric for its durability, thickness, and strength.  I want this fabric to last, so I figured that heavier fabric would do the trick.

For the foam cushion, I decided to test out a method that I saw online.  I purchased a full-size foam mattress pad from Target.  It was the right length and thickness that I was looking for without having to spend a ton of money.  The mattress pad was much too wide for the bench, so I would have to cut it to the size I was looking for.  I have read that an electric knife is an easy way to cut the foam mattress pad, but I was a little weary of trying this, so I decided to draw on the foam mattress pad with a pen and then cutting the foam with sharp scissors.

Once the foam mattress pad was cut to the right size, I was ready to upholster the bench.  I started by ironing the fabric so there were no wrinkles or folds in the fabric.

Regular IKEA Bench Into An Upholstered Bench

Then I laid the fabric out on the floor of the basement to cool while I covered the bench with the batting in our mudroom.  I unrolled the batting and using it as a way to keep the foam mattress pad from moving around.  I placed the batting on the floor so that it was flat.  Then I put the cut foam mattress pad on top of the batting.  I made sure the foam was in the center of the batting.  Then I took the bench and placed it directly on top of the foam.  Using my staple gun, I stapled the batting to the bench.  It wasn’t perfect, but I just needed something to keep the foam in place.

Then I brought the fabric up and laid it on the floor with the print side facing the ground.  I put the bench in the middle of the fabric to get ready to upholster the bench.  Pulling the fabric really tight, I used a staple gun to staple the fabric to the bottom of the bench.  I started from the middle of the bench and work my way to the ends.  I kept pulling everything really tight to make sure there was no bunching of fabric or batting.

Regular IKEA Bench Into An Upholstered Bench

I continued to staple the fabric down on the ends, working from the middle and going to the edges.  I left the corners for last.  To make the corners look nice, I folded the fabric and batting to look like a triangle then stapled it down.  I had to pull out a lot of batting as one side of the bench was really thick with batting.

I cut off all the excess fabric and batting from around the bench, so it didn’t show up when looking at the bench directly.  I made sure that I had a really sharp pair of scissors to use when cutting all the batting and fabric.

I flipped the bench over and it was done!  The entire process took a little over an hour, which was perfect because that was hold long my daughter typically naps for.

Upholstered Bench

I moved the newly upholstered bench upstairs to our entry way.  I wasn’t really loving the pillows that were on the bench pre-upholstered, so I decided to shop the house to find some new pillows that worked with the black fabric.  I added a small basket for guests to leave their keys or sunglasses as they came in.  I left some of the hooks open for guests to hang their coats while visiting.  And I am completely satisfied with the end result.  The fabric is very durable and looks perfect in the space.  I love having a bench at the entry way so when you walk in the door, you feel welcomed and have a place to take off your shoes and stay awhile!