Let it Bee

Updated: Jun 13

We all know life has been vastly different for the last couple months. One of our local auctioneers has switched to online auctions. I am glad they are still doing auctions, but it isn't optimal. Not being able to really look at things before you buy can be a problem.


For example, look at this gem. Who wouldn't want this filthy dirty lavender bench with a polka dot skirt? There is a major flaw (other than the dirt), but I'm going to make you wait for it.

I won the bid at $11. Great price for solid wood bench that only needs to be reupholstered.



So I started tearing off the fabric. There weren't that many tacks left in the skirt and the lavender fabric had a minimal amount of upholstery tacks holding it to the wood.

One layer of the foam under the fabric was disentigrating, the kind that gets everywhere and is a real mess to clean up. I managed to get it all into a trash bag. Wait for it...

I cleaned off the rest of the dust from the foam off the bench.



Once it is cleaned up, it reveals a solid wood bench. It also reveals the flaw....do you see it?

One of these things is not like the other. One of the legs had been replaced with a leg from another piece of furniture and other than being wood, it doesn't remotely match the other three. This wasn't something that was clear to me in the online auction. I am not saying I wouldn't have bought it at a live (in-person) auction, because I do love all things broken and general misfits. Now I had to figure out what to do with it. I was going to do a simple upholstery job with a neutral fabric so it would sell quickly.


Then I thought I would accentuate it maybe paint the odd leg a different color and use a funky fabric. As I dug through my stash of fabric and noodled over the options for colors, I found a bee-themed fabric. I thought it would work well for the bench and I had an idea for how to handle the oddball leg.



I painted the base and legs with a coat of Kilz primer. Then I coated it with two coats of Waverly chalk paint in the Cashew color. I distressed it and applied a coat of matte polyurethane.

I used my Silhouette Cameo 3 to make a stencil for the leg. I used some art from the Silhouette Design store, but I altered it to make the bee just a bit larger. The way to handle the oddball leg? Let it Bee.

I applied it to the leg and used a bronze color paint on the stencil.

I removed the vinyl and frehanded a flight path for the bee.



When it dried, I added a coat of matte polyurethane over the stenciled area.


Typically, the seat will come off to make the upholstery easier, but this seat was firmly nailed to the base. I cut the foam the size of the bench, added a layer of batting and used a piece of white felt to tack it all down before I added the fabric.

I wanted to ensure no extra batting or felt was hanging below the top and would show when finished.


I cut the fabric to allow a couple of extra inches to tuck under the bench. This bee fabric has a specific pattern so it is important to ensure it is square on the bench.

I began by putting one staple on each side of the bench, stretching the fabric taut when stapling.



At this point, you can flip it over and ensure the fabric is straight on the bench. This appears to be right on point.


I continued working my way out to the edge of the bench on each side adding a couple of staples and then turning to work on another side until you meet at the corner.

This illustrates the fabric is straight on the bench. You can see the bees are aligned and the staple hits the bee in the same place all along the bench.


Side note: As I was working on this bench, I was listening to my music library on my phone on shuffle mode. As I was putting the last few staples in, Let it Be by the Beatles started playing. How fitting is that? You can't make this stuff up!

This is the finished bench. Hopefully someone will find it whimsical and will want to take it home. It makes a nice bench for an entryway to put sit and put on your shoes. I think the Let it Bee stencil adds a nice touch.



Can we pause for a minute and admire these wooden boot making forms?

These are a recent acquisition as well. I absolutely love them. I bought them to resell, but the more I look at them, I really want to keep them. I don't really have anyplace to put them, but dang, I might have to find a place.


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UPDATE: I had stated in my original post, "Hopefully someone will find it whimsical and will want to take it home." Well, a couple of my readers contacted me wanting to buy the bench. The first one was from the Philly area and we decided we were too far away from one another to make it work. Then Donna contacted me. She loved the bench and really wanted to buy it. And she lives in Georgia! She said she was serious so I contacted the UPS store to find out what it would cost to box up the bench and ship it. I relayed the cost to Donna and said YES. I am so humbled that she saw the whimsy and really loved it. I am also very happy she shared photos of the bench in her home and she gave me permission to share them on my blog.

Looks like a perfect spot to me! And it fits so well with Donna's decor!

This little guy seems to like the bench as well! Photo credits to Donna B. And a big personal thank you to her as well! I love it when the things I create find a good home and I love it even more when they share photos! Thanks Donna!






Whether my junk is from a garage sale, estate or farm auction, flea market or the side of the road, I love to find it, fix it, clean it, sell it or keep it. So come along the backroads of Indiana with Junk is My Life (me), let's find something vintage and do something cool with it! Formerly Junk Journal.