DIY Coffee Sack Upholstered Bench

Have you guys seen all the grain sack goodies that are coming out in the home decor department? Grain sack upholstered chairs, pillow covers, tea towels … the list goes on. It’s farmhouse decor at its finest and definitely should have been included in our farmhouse decorating post last year! At the time, we were hopping around various coffee shops and breweries in and around Lexington, though, so we had coffee sacks and burlap on the brain instead. After we visited Nate’s Coffee Roastery, he gave us some coffee sacks along with a bunch of other awesome freebies which we weren’t sure what we were going to do with at the time. Fast-forward to Christmas, and Amanda made some really cute stockings out of hers! I still had mine sitting around, though, begging to be used!

Well, y’all, I finally got around to it! I’ve been wanting to upholster this bench that I made that sits in our entryway, but had just never found the time to sit down and do it {even though it’s a really quick process} because I had so many other projects lined up. That is, until now! This entire entryway will be one big DIY, so be sure to head over here to check out how to frame your own canvas art. Before I dive into this super simple upholstery tutorial {which doesn’t require any sewing, by the way}, let me give you a little history on this bench.

It was one of my first builds and isn’t really a stellar one. You can see the screws aren’t even embedded into the wood because at the time I didn’t know what a pocket hole was. All I knew was I wanted a bench and I wanted it to be white. So I used what I had on hand — the top is MDF, the frame is 2×4 pine and the legs are 4×4 posts. Zero consistency in those materials. I even used a screw that was just barely too long to attach the top and ended up having to shave off the top of the screw that poked out of the bench seat. I didn’t even do a great job of painting it! I filled no cracks… nothing. Not my best work.

This bench holds special significance to me, though, because it represents all the mistakes I made early on and how far I’ve come since I started woodworking a few years ago. So you can see why I wanted to keep it around. The top and apron needed some desperate help, though, so out came the coffee sack and supplies, and this cute upholstered entry bench was born!



For this project, you’ll need:

  • 1″ foam {or 2″ depending on your seat cushion preference}
  • Batting or white material {I used one yard for a 30″ bench}
  • One coffee sack
  • Staple gun
  • Scissors


The first step for my particular bench was removing the legs. If you’ve purchased a bench that you’re recovering, check to see if the legs unscrew. Some do, and some don’t. If they don’t, not to worry! You can still fold the liner and burlap around the legs and staple them in the back. I recovered my dining room chairs this way with no problem. For any spots that the staple gun couldn’t get right, I used a hot glue gun to hold the fabric in place while I stapled the other sections. They’ve held up really well.

Next, I cut two pieces of 1″ foam to lay over the top of the bench to give it some cushion. The lines don’t have to be perfect when you’re cutting. Just be sure to completely cover the corners and edges. Wider is better than not wide enough.

Because grain sacks and coffee sacks are generally made of a looser stitch, I’d suggest using a liner or batting underneath them to hide the color of the foam. My foam was a really ugly yellow, so I definitely didn’t want that showing through. I did not measure ahead of time. I just laid out the liner fabric and cut it to fit the bench. My bench is 30″ long, so I got a yard and a half of fabric to work with. Once the fabric was cut, I made a faux hem by folding in the edges and stapled all four sides to the underside of my bench.

Then I repeated the exact same step as above but using the burlap. In order to fit around the extra thick apron of my bench, I had to cut the coffee sack sides so it opened lengthwise which gave me plenty of extra fabric. To give the upholstery a clean lines look, I folded in the corners and pulled the short sides straight so the overlap didn’t show in front — kind of like wrapping a gift.

The best method I have for this type of upholstery {thanks to trial and error after recovering four dining room chairs} is to start with one of the long sides. Pull the burlap taught, tighter than you think you need to, and staple in place. Do the second long side next, then move on to the short sides. If you removed the legs from your bench, make sure to leave holes in the fabric where the legs will need to reattach. You can do this with the end of scissors or a screwdriver. Once I had all sides secured, I flipped my bench top right side up and made adjustments as necessary.

Then I just screwed the legs back on, and it was ready to go! I love that I have this little piece of pretty imperfection in my entry as a reminder of my progress over the last few years as a DIY-er. Do you have a special piece that you can’t get rid of because of what it means?

Have a happy Tuesday, friends!





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