Rug covered bench project with Geneva Vanderzeil

Rug Covered Bench

This bench seat is a beautiful blend of style and function. I fell in love with the simplicity of using hairpin legs and wood to create benches years ago. Here, I’ve used a rug as upholstery to make a piece with a serious amount of personality. Another great thing about this project is that it injects style into your space through the use of textiles, without having to add cushions or other décor elements that might clutter your entryway. This versatile project will last for years. You can even re-cover the bench in the longer term.


TIP This bench is perfect for renters who want to create an entryway space without damaging the walls or building anything significant. Of course, it will also go with you when you leave!



  • Plywood sheet or plank: 25 x 90 cm (10 x 35½ in)
  • A rug large enough to cover the batting and foam
  • Foam cushion
  • Foam batting
  • 4 hairpin legs
  • Power drill
  • 8 screws
  • Sharp scissors or a craft knife
  • Basic toolbox


STEP 1: Cut the plywood to size or ask the hardware store to cut it for you.




Rug-covered bench 1  Geneva Vanderzeil 2019

STEP 2: Cut the foam cushion to fit your plywood or ask the foam store to cut it for you. It’s best if the foam is about 2 cm (¾ in) smaller on all sides. This helps the rug fit over the foam and plywood.

Rug-covered bench 2  Geneva Vanderzeil 2019

STEP 3: Cut the foam batting so that it’s large enough to cover the foam cushion and plywood and be stapled underneath.

Rug-covered bench 3  Geneva Vanderzeil 2019

STEP 4: Place the rug upside down and arrange the batting, foam cushion and plywood on top. Use a staple gun to staple the rug to the plywood. It’s best to really take your time and plan out the corners, and make sure the rug and top design are going to fit your bench.

Rug-covered bench 4  Geneva Vanderzeil 2019

STEP 5: Finally, drill pilot holes into the underside of the bench to attach the legs, then screw the legs in place.

Rug-covered bench 5  Geneva Vanderzeil 2019

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