Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Window Seat Ikea Hack

 Today I have the a tutorial for the biggest part of this porch project.  I have seen this project done by many bloggers so this isn't too original but I'll lay it out for you anyway.  Back in March we took a trip to Minneapolis so that my husband and I could run in the Get Lucky 7K race.  Minneapolis is the closest place with an Ikea so I was on a mission to get two of the Expedit shelving units because I had heard that they would work as a bench if turned on their sides. I decided to go with the brown/black finish because I wanted pops of dark to contrast with the mostly light neutral color scheme that I was envisioning.

Now these are not intended to be used as benches but there are two ways to add strength to them so that they can be used that way: 1) add legs (that option would be too tall for my windows on the porch or 2) add a board over the top which is what I opted for.

Other supplies needed:
1. 2 Ikea Expedit shelving units cost: $120
2. MDF board (I used 1/2 inch board) cut to proportions of the sides of the shelves (15" by 72.5")-I got it at Home Depot and had them cut down the board to two pieces of that size for my benches. cost: $30

3. 2 inch foam-this stuff is expensive.  I ordered it from Joann online and used 2 50% off coupons. cost: $80 (without coupons $160 yikes!)

4. An electric knife for cutting the foam-I actually didn't own one of these so I bought one.  Since I plan on using it in the kitchen from now on I won't include this expense in the total cost of the project.

5. Roughly 2.5 yards of fabric assuming the fabric is wide enough to fit the width to upholster both benches. I used an indoor/outdoor fabric so that it could be easily cleaned.  I found this particular Ikat fabric at Fabric Guru.  I had never bought fabric from them before but they have great deals on upholstery, drapery, and outdoor fabric.  They were also fast. $30

6. An upholstery stapler and staples (I already owned one)

7. Screws, a drill, and necessary bits and drivers cost (for screws only): $3

Total cost of project: $263

Now onto the process.  First I assembled the Expedit shelves per product instructions.  This was the easiest part.

Then I cut the foam with the electric knife using a piece of the MDF as my guide.

Then I cut my fabric in half and laid one piece out on my living room floor.  I placed the foam on the fabric followed by the piece of MDF.  I tried to line it up with the pattern of the fabric.

 Then I pulled up the sides and stapled them down making sure to pull nice and tight.  I folded the sides kind of like I was wrapping a present.

Finally, I attached the upholstered pieces to the Expedit units.  This part was frustrating because of the road blocks I kept running into.  First of all, the screws that I bought required a #2 square driver bit which I only realized after I got home.  So I took a trip to Sears to retrieve said driver bit and ended up buying a huge set of various drivers so I don't run into that problem again. Then the package on the screws said you didn't need to pre-drill which was a lie in the case of this project.  Then I had trouble getting the screws to go into the MDF since my drill bit wasn't long enough to go all the way through to the MDF.  Then finally my drill battery died half way through the second bench.  I did finally finish it though.  I used 6 screws per bench, two on each end and two in the middle.  I forgot to take pictures of that part of the process however.

 I have already used these window seats for the purpose of reading and it is great.  I get to enjoy the beauty of the summer while enjoying one of my favorite past times.  I am so in love with how this project turned out!

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