Toy Bench

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a friend and asked if I would be interested in helping her re-design her kids play room. I was so excited about the opportunity! My imagination ran wild with fabrics and colors and patterns (OH-MY!) Play rooms, nurseries (really anything "kid") is always super fun to decorate. You can use bold elements that you might otherwise be fearful of and chalk it up to the fact that it's "for the kiddos."

The main element I wanted to bring to this family and their four amazing children was organization. The play room space is not that large, but with four kids in the house, toys are abundant! I brainstormed with the owner and shared some ideas, but at the end of the day I was given carte blanche. Although my play room reveal is still a week or so away, I thought I would share my storage bench idea with you. 

One of my first posts on this blog was a DIY bench seat cushion that my dear friend Andrea shared with me. It seemed simple in theory, and she told me time and time again that it was - BUT - this is a girl who is also an electrican and can mount her own kitchen you can understand why I wasn't super confident :)  

Now that the bench project is complete, I can assure you all that it is indeed quite straight forward and not as scary as I thought. Check out my step by step tutorial to learn how to do this at home:

Getting Started
(Choose your fabric and measure your bench dimensions)
  1. After measuring out the length and width of the bench you are working with, cut a piece of plywood to those specifications (Home Depot, Lowes, etc, will even cut it for you if desired)
  2. Get to your local craft store (Joann Fabric, Hobby Lobby, etc.) for 'Poly Foam' - I selected the 2" thick and it worked perfect!
  3. Lay the plywood on the poly foam and use a razor blade or sharp scissors to cut it to the exact dimensions of the board (this will ultimately be the cushion top for your bench cushion)
  4. Purchase batting from your craft store - this will be used to cover the poly foam and keep it in place
  5. Cover foam and use a staple gun to secure the batting to the bottom of your bench cushion
  6. Fold your batting like you would a gift and staple the ends in place on the bottom
  7. Now you are ready for your last step - THE FABRIC!!!! You will work with the fabric in the same way you worked with the batting. Keep the fabric taut as you fold it around the cushion and staple to the bottom (see photo below for close-ups)

Continue to staple the same way you did for your batting until everything is in place underneath. If there is excess fabric, cut it! I had long strips of excess fabric (I'll show you what I did with this in a moment).

Here it cushion ready to be placed atop the storage benches we selected.
As with most things in life, budget was a key part of the planning process. Not only was budget important, but so were the dimensions of the play room and the area we selected to have the toy bench. We ended up finding the perfect options from Target and they worked well with the fabric.

We purchased two Circo brand storage benches in white ($50/piece). Next, we decided to go with red fabric bins to fit the bench ($5.99/piece). Great deals!!! The red bins work well as an accent color and tie into the red chevron pattern fabric that I'm having made into pillows for the bench. drum roll please...TA-DA! A beautiful, functional, affordable and Semi-Custom toy storage bench. Total cost was right around $150!
Oh - and remember that I told you I had some extra fabric left-over from the bench...well I have a friend who sews and she is making a valence for the window. Stay tuned to see the full reveal in a week or so when I post the before and afters of my play room makeover... :)

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