DIY Modern Leather Tufted Bench

Jul, 13, 2016

The Monthly DIY Challenge

Welcome back to another Monthly DIY Challenge! This month we teamed up with the Leather Hide Store which I’m pretty pumped about. I love working with leather and they sell some absolutely beautiful pieces. We put in our orders back in January, when I was about ready to pop and I had no idea what I was going to make. I randomly selected a color and knew I’d figure out the rest later. My huge box arrived just days after we had gotten home from the hospital but like any master procrastinator, I waited until last weekend to finish my project :-p


DIY leather Bench

I had tons of ideas floating around in my head, and the piece of leather was huge so I wanted to use a good chunk of it. I had gotten this little bench off Craigslist not too long ago and I intended to put it at the end of our bed in our old place. We’ll see if that will still work, but either way it needed to be reupholstered and freshened up and the leather was perfect for it.

Thrifted Bench makeover

I didn’t know what lied underneath until I ripped the fabric off…

Leather Bench makeover

In all honesty not the worst. And it probably could have worked in someone’s home…but the buttons were missing and the legs were all scratched up. So I started by deconstructing it so I could see what I was working with.

Reupholstering  a Bench

A million staples later and I finally got to the inside. To my surprise, it wasn’t filled with foam. It was a bunch of wooden straw type stuff. Not gonna lie, I was kinda scared a bunch of creepy crawlers were gonna come flying out at me. But they didn’t 🙂

The wooden piece was in pretty decent condition so I decided to just reuse it since I didn’t feel like dealing with getting a new one in the middle of our move and everything else that’s been going on.

There was this place back in Erie called The House of Foam and Fabric where I would always get pieces of foam for projects like this. They have every shape and size imaginable and that’s where I picked up my foam for this guy.

Project Foam for Reupholstering

The nice thing about using the original piece of wood was that the holes were still there so I didn’t have to do any drilling. Can you tell I was trying to make this project as easy as possible?

Since the leather was so thick, there was no way I was going to be able to use it to make buttons. So I bought some thin fabric from JoAnns in a similar color which worked perfectly. I love making buttons with these little kits.

DIY Leather Buttons

You can check out the piece of leather I ordered here.

Tufting isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it looks so good, so it’s totally worth it. Once my buttons were done it was time to thread them through the leather, foam and wood. I used a nail to poke a little hole in the leather, and a screwdriver to poke the holes through the foam. To get the string through the foam, I tied a knot around a little paint brush and pulled it through like a needle. Ghetto I know. But it worked 🙂

Tufted bench DIY Makeover

Once I had all the strings pulled through it was time to tighten them up and staple them down.

DIY Tufter Buttons

Et voila!

DIY Leather Tufted Bench

Pretty pumped about how that turned out. Now the hardest part of the whole project was wrapping the leather underneath and stapling it down. Since it was so thick, you couldn’t really fold it or it would be too bulky. So I slowly worked my way around, pulling the leather tight and the hubs helped out and did the stapling. There are some places that formed little rolls, but they were mostly on the underside so you couldn’t really notice them. Leather upholstery is beautiful, but with a thick piece like this it’s definitely a little tricky to work with.

Last but not least were the legs. They were pretty badly scratched up and in desperate needed of a fresh coat of stain.

Mid Century Modern Legs

I used some sandpaper and got them down to the raw wood. Then added some fresh stain and poly to seal them up.

Raw Wood MCM Legs

Stained Wood Legs

I left the brass caps as is for now but might try and bring them back to life a bit at some point. Any suggestions on how to do that? Once the legs were back on this baby was all done.

MCM Leather Bench

Modern Leather Tufted bench

DIY leather Bench makeover

Isn’t the leather gorgeous? I hope you agree, because you have the chance to win some yourself! One lucky winner has the chance to win a whole hide from their Special Collection. Giveaways is open to U.S. and Canadian residents! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t forget to check out all the other fabulous projects created below.

DIY Modern Leather Tufted bench



  1. Reply


    June 9, 2018

    Use a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice to bring those leg caps back to life!

  2. Reply

    Emily @ Table & Hearth

    July 25, 2016

    The color of that leather goes perfect with your decor, and congrats on successful tufting!!

    • Reply


      August 3, 2016

      Thanks Em!!

  3. Reply


    July 16, 2016

    This turned out perfectly! I’m glad the tufting went pretty easily for you – that always seems like it could be tough. Great work.

    • Reply


      July 18, 2016

      Thanks Bre! It helped that I didn’t have to drill any new holes!

  4. Reply


    July 16, 2016

    Great bench, I heard that ketchup is a great way to clean up brass too!

    • Reply


      July 18, 2016

      Oh yes, I forgot about that tip! Will definitely try that!

  5. Reply


    July 16, 2016

    There are so many wonderful types of leather! I think I would pick the Restoration Chocolate!

    • Reply


      July 18, 2016

      Great choice, good luck!

  6. Reply

    Marie, The interior Frugalista

    July 13, 2016

    Love the selection at the Leather Hide Store and yours is no exception. Very nice makeover Bre that so suits your style! Love the way you staged it too.

    • Reply


      July 14, 2016

      It’s all so gorgeous, right?! Thank you Marie!

  7. Reply

    Erica @ Dwell Beautiful

    July 13, 2016

    How crazy that their was yellow leather underneath! I love your modern brown leather makeover, though – timeless and classy!

    • Reply


      July 14, 2016

      I know, right?! Thanks Erica!

  8. Reply

    Tara @ Anything & Everything

    July 13, 2016

    Perfection! Love it!

    • Reply


      July 14, 2016

      Thanks Tara!!

  9. Reply

    Amy | Canary STreet

    July 13, 2016

    This is beautiful, Bre! The leather you chose is such a gorgeous, rich color and perfect for that bench. And I agree with the other girls, it’s perfectly YOU!

    • Reply


      July 14, 2016

      Thanks Amy!!

  10. Reply


    July 13, 2016

    It’s SO perfectly you! LOVE it!

    • Reply


      July 14, 2016

      Thanks Kristi!!

  11. Reply

    Nicole B.

    July 13, 2016

    I feel like I say this about every project… but this is SO you! You just do your style soooo perfectly! Love this!!!!

    • Reply


      July 14, 2016

      Aw thanks girl!!

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Hi, I’m Bre! Follow along as we renovate our current home and share modern DIY ideas.

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