Dwell Made Presents: DIY Leather Bench

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By Ben Uyeda
Craft your own padded leather bench with these simple, step-by-step instructions and video.

In this episode of Dwell Made, Ben Uyeda of HomeMade Modern makes a padded leather bench with hairpin legs. This is a beginner-level, DIY project that only requires two power tools, a circular saw, and a drill. At the end, you'll have a great leather bench that can serve as dining room seating, or as a place to take shoes off in an entryway or mudroom.

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I used my circular saw to cut a piece of ¾" thick plywood, 1' wide and 4' long. If I wanted a bench longer than four feet long, I would double up the plywood and glue the two layers together.

Step 2: Cut the Foam

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I used my Kiwi knife to cut a piece of 1 1/8" thick kaizen foam that was 4' long and 13.5" wide. I then cut a ¾" wide strip of foam and then split that piece in half the long way.

Step 3: Glue the Pieces Together

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I used spray adhesive to glue the pieces of foam and plywood together.

Step 4: Cut the Leather

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I placed the foam and plywood on a piece of leather I got from Tandy Leather, and then cut a piece with about five inches of space around the bench.

Step 5: Wrap the Leather

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I used blue painter's tape to hold the leather in place, and then stretched it tight and stapled it down to the plywood with ½" staples. I folded over the ends and stapled those as well. Some of the staples didn’t go all the way in, so I just pounded them the rest of the way with a hammer. 

Step 6: Screw On Hairpin Legs

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The leather has a thickness, so I cut some leather pieces to act as spacers so that the hairpin legs wouldn’t tilt between the plywood and leather edges. I used my Kiwi knife to cut slits in the leather before screwing on the legs. This keeps the leather from twisting and bunching up. I screwed some 16" hairpin legs to the underside using ¾" pan head screws.   

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