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DIY Upcycle: Bookcase Bench

Bookcase Bench

Getting Started

Looking for some extra seating this winter? Transform an old bookcase into a cozy bench with the Arrow T50PBN Staple Gun & Nailer. This easy DIY project can be tackled in an afternoon! Don’t forget to grab a pair of safety goggles and gloves (optional) before getting started!

You Will Need

Materials Needed

Other Tools

  • Screwdriver
  • Power drill - 1/8" bit
  • Tape measure
  • Pen or pencil
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife
  • Clamps
  • Marker

Other Materials

  • Old bookcase - Ours measured 16” x 11-1/2” x 48” (width x depth x height)
  • 2” foam - 11-1/2” x 48
  • 2 yards of fabric
  • 3/4” plywood cut to size - (3) 11-1/2” x 16”
  • (12) 1” wood screws
  • Optional: Paint
Show Less

Start Repairing

Step 1

Turn the bookcase on its side. To get the size for the cushions, measure the width and length of the side of the bookcase, which will be the seating area. Ours measured 11-1/2” x 48”.

Turn the bookcase on its side. To get the size for the cushions, measure the width and length of the side of the bookcase, which will be the seating area. Ours measured 11-1/2” x 48”.

Step 2

You can style the bench cushion a few different ways depending on whether you want one long cushion or individual cushions. We wanted individual cushions so we had three pieces cut to 11-1/2” x 16” at our local home center.

You can style the bench cushion a few different ways depending on whether you want one long cushion or individual cushions. We wanted individual cushions so we had three pieces cut to 11-1/2” x 16” at our local home center.

Step 3

Mark a hole every 5-3/4” across the board, as shown below. Then clamp the cushion boards on top of the bookcase, and drill a hole at every mark. Make sure to drill all the way through into the bench.

Mark a hole every 5-3/4” across the board, as shown below. Then clamp the cushion boards on top of the bookcase, and drill a hole at every mark. Make sure to drill all the way through into the bench.

Step 4

Unclamp the boards from the bookcase. Using your utility knife, cut the foam to the size of the cushion board. Place a board on the foam and score about 1/4” deep along the perimeter of foam first. Then remove the plywood and cut through the rest of the way, moving slowly to create neat edges.

Unclamp the boards from the bookcase. Using your utility knife, cut the foam to the size of the cushion board. Place a board on the foam and score about 1/4” deep along the perimeter of foam first. Then remove the plywood and cut through the rest of the way, moving slowly to create neat edges.

Step 5

Measure and cut the fabric for the cushions. Add at least 1-1/2” to the length and width of the seats so you can easily wrap the fabric around the cushion.

Measure and cut the fabric for the cushions. Add at least 1-1/2” to the length and width of the seats so you can easily wrap the fabric around the cushion.

Step 6

Wrap the fabric over the foam. Staple the fabric to the back of the board using the Arrow T50PBN Staple Gun & Nailer and 1/4” T50 staples. We chose shorter staples because we were fastening thin fabric to a hard plywood surface. If your fabric is thicker, you may need a longer staple like the 3/8”. Fold corners neatly.

Wrap the fabric over the foam. Staple the fabric to the back of the board using the Arrow T50PBN Staple Gun & Nailer and 1/4” T50 staples. We chose shorter staples because we were fastening thin fabric to a hard plywood surface. If your fabric is thicker, you may need a longer staple like the 3/8”. Fold corners neatly.

Step 7

If you want to give the bookcase an entirely different look, now is the time to paint it! Painting after attaching the padded seats to the unit will be much more difficult. We liked the original color of ours, so we chose to leave it as is.

If you want to give the bookcase an entirely different look, now is the time to paint it! Painting after attaching the padded seats to the unit will be much more difficult. We liked the original color of ours, so we chose to leave it as is.

Step 8

Finally, place the wrapped boards on top of the seating area and line up the drill holes. Then secure with screws. Make sure the screw is not protruding through the plywood.

Finally, place the wrapped boards on top of the seating area and line up the drill holes. Then secure with screws. Make sure the screw is not protruding through the plywood.

Finished Product

We’d love to see how your upcycled bench project turned out! Share your results on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter by using #MadeWithArrow or tagging Arrow Fastener.

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