before & after: simple bench redo + painted decanter

Erin and her husband were on the lookout for a bench to accompany their entry console table and provide extra seating in their living room. They managed to snatch up this bench at a hotel liquidators’ sale and refurbish it into a sharp, modern piece. The upholstery fabric they’ve chosen provides a nice, bold contrast to the simple frame, and I love the addition of the smart white welting. The dog seems pretty intrigued, as well, and that’s always a good sign :) Lovely work, Erin! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

Here’s a quick breakdown of how Erin transformed this little bench:

Time: 4 hours

Cost: $35 plus the cost of fabric

Basic Steps: Erin unscrewed the cushion from the base, stripped the old fabric and removed all the old staples from the piece, which took about an hour. She then sewed the new upholstery for it and reupholstered the cushion while her husband sawed the legs down a little so that they could fit the bench under the console table. They left the wood as is and added felt feet to protect the floors. Voila!

If you have a bench makeover in mind, here are some tutorials you may find useful:

CLICK HERE for the “After” of Emma’s painted decanter!

We go through bottles like a wildfire in my house — they aren’t all booze, I promise. Somehow we just keep accumulating glass bottles with neat shapes, and I never knew quite what to do with them until I saw this adorable decanter design by Emma. By adding a quick and easy paint design and a matching stopper, Emma turned this old whiskey bottle into a lovely personalized decanter. I could easily see a set of these displayed on a bar cart or presented as the perfect hostess gift. Great idea, Emma!

Here’s a quick breakdown of how Emma achieved the look. You can see images of her process here on her site.

Time: 1 hour plus 30 min for baking time (to set the paint)

Cost: $5 for the paint pens and the rest was free (if on-hand)

Basic Steps:

1. Peel off the label with warm soapy water. Let it dry completely.

2. Pick out a design for the bottle front (and draft it if you need to).

3. Apply the pattern with a Sharpie marker (in case you need to correct mistakes).

4. Go over the pattern with an enamel pen (this part is permanent).

5. Add color details with ceramic paint (also permanent).

6. Paint your bottle stopper a complementary color (make sure it fits in the neck of the bottle).

7. Bake both at 350 for 30 minutes (or follow directions on the ceramic paint bottle).


  1. Love the bench! So beautiful ;)

  2. mixette says:

    Hmmm…I’ve been saving a Hendrick’s bottle that I thought was too pretty to recycle: now I’m totally inspired.

    (p.s. the piping link doesn’t seem to work)

  3. love the made-over bench and also the whole setting that it is a part of! I’m going to try the decanter bit myself..too cool!! thanks for sharing, Grace!! xx meenal

  4. whitney says:

    I like the addition of the time, cost, DIY break down. I have always been curious about that information when you post entire house or shop makeovers in the “before and after.”

  5. Caroline says:

    bench and bottle are both beautiful!

  6. Katy says:

    ooooH! I love the photo styling with the dog!

  7. Erica says:

    That Sewing 101: Piping link is fixed, Mixette!

  8. Wow, wow, wow. I love the DIY bench. I think I love the whole stylized entrance even more!

  9. Joshua says:

    I must know, what kind of dog is that?

  10. Rachel says:

    Love love that bench… Adore the black globe too… so sleek!

  11. Claudine says:

    I love the fabric. Where did it come from?

  12. Rachael says:

    I love the bench and the bottle! I really like how they stacked their books on the table to display them all – gorgeous!

  13. Maycie says:

    It’s amazing what a little fabric can do.

  14. Thank you everyone for such positive comments! I’m so glad you like our bench and our entryway!

    @Claudine: I bought the fabric at InVu Drapery Co in Toronto, but there is no information on the selvedge about the manufacturer. I’ve also seen it in navy here:

    @Joshua: Fiver, our dog, is a rescued street dog from Thailand. He is a wild mix of who-knows-what! Thanks for asking!

  15. hyzen says:

    love the bench and entryway, and the pup! Joshua, the dog looks like some sort of a border collie/shepherd mix to me–very attractive.

  16. Rupal says:

    Beautiful! Can you please tell me where the console table is from?

  17. Suzanne says:

    This is super fab. Great job on the piping. I will never look at bulk trash the same way. I’ll forever want to pick up throw away furniture off the side of the road and save it!

  18. Paula says:

    That decanter would look great in my friends black/white/yellow bathroom for mouthwash. Love it. Love the bench idea too. I’m inspired!

  19. Jensy says:

    @Claudine: I found the fabric online at very affordable at $13.98 a yard

  20. hena tayeb says:

    The bench looks great. Love the fabric a great pop of color

  21. Lisa says:

    Great projects! Thanks to D*S for including the cost and material breakdowns.

  22. Katie says:

    Love the pop of colour the new upholstery adds…and the dog! I’ve never really been one to sew, but this project is inspirational. I’ll have to hit the Chicago antique market when school lets out :)

  23. @Rupal – We purchased the table at a local furniture store. If you google “metal sofa table” you can see one that is very similar for sale at many stores. Hope that helps!

  24. Nikki says:

    Where is that painting from? It looks so cool, reminds me of a photo in Nate’s home which blew me away.

  25. @Nikki – do you mean the chandelier? That’s actually a large mirror reflecting the ceiling in my living room! :)

  26. meg says:

    Thanks for the additional info and links to the Before/After posts. I love all this info!

  27. Karen says:

    I have lots of old Whiskey bottles, but was about to sell. Do you actually bake the bottle and the cork?


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