Blog, Makes, Uncategorized

Create a boho bench

Design by Juliet Bawden Photography Paul Craig

Today’s make is really an Ikea Hack of a Nornas Bench  transforming a rather dull nondescript softwood bench into an on trend vibrant padded seat/coffee table by being creative and painting, dying, and doing some sustainable up-cycling.

Boho Bench copy


You will need

Nornas Ikea Bench

2 meters thick wadding

Black paint

Paint brush

Korbond iron on hemming tape

Goldfish Orange machine dye Dylon 

Old velvet curtain

Old rug

Staple gun

Old duvet

Sewing machine and thread



Iron and ironing board

Invisible marker pen Korbond





  1. Following the makers instructions dye the velvet and leave to dry.
  2. Saw off the edges of the bench so that there is no overhang.
  3. Paint the bench black and leave to dry.
  4. Cut a double layer of wadding the size of the bench top, plus enough to drape over the edges. Cut away the corners and then staple the wadding to the underside of the bench.
  5. Press the velvet before using. Drape the velvet over the bench and leaving enough for a 2cm seam allowance, mark with a pen remove the fabric and then cut away the corners.
  6. To give a neat edges to the corners, turn the corners under and iron on the webbing
  7. Place the velvet over the wadding covered bench and staple the velvet into position on the underside.
  8. To make the cushion. Cut an old duvet up so it is the size of the bench top.
  9. Cut the rug into two pieces, the size of the bench top plus 1 cm all the way round.
  10. Sew the old duvet round its edge to the wrong side of one piece of rug.
  11. With right sides facing sew the piece of rug with the duvet attached to the other piece of rug. Sew round three and a half sides.
  12. Turn the cover through the correct way and then close the opening by over sewing.


Tips. I learnt this trick at art school, when I was stretching frames for printmaking. To get straight edges when stapling, start in the middle of one side and staple to the edge then do it with the other edge and then repeat with the opposite side and then do the other two sides in the same way.




10 IKEA Hacks

Having whetted your appetite in the last blog post with the Billy Book Case hacks, I thought you might  be inspired by some other transformations using Ikea products. First you see the  product in its original guise and then the transformation. Having said that as IKEA no longer sell traditional deck chairs and this was made and shot last summer, there is only an after shot of the chair. Its original cover was removed. A new one was made from canvas that was then stenciled  using  fabric paints


A Nornas table was hacked by halving the height of the legs and painting them black. A cushion pad was created out of a baby mattress which was then covered in a glorious Harlequin linen fabric with a butterfly print.


Screen Shot 2017-06-09 at 15.54.16

butterfly stool

The Skogsta bench is a great shape and fits in anywhere. It provides extra seating for unexpected guests or makes a hall bench or even somewhere to fling your clothes  at night. It was sanded and then given a coat of orange paint.  A special cushion was created from old velvet curtains,dyed using Dylon machine dyes  and cut up old tapestries.





These Dvala pillowcases are only £3 a pair. I tie dyed them using Dylon hand dye and then sewed them together down the long sides to create a lounger for the kids.


pillowcase lounger

Moppe boxes have been sold at Ikea from their earliest days. They come in a variety of sizes and are perfect for all that tiny storage. They look perfect covered in different  Cambridge imprint papers and  stacked and glued on top of one another.

moppe boxes


The Hampen rug only cost £10 and is synthetic. I cut out large synthetic  felt leaves and flowers did a tiny bit of embroidery with floss and then glue gunned them onto the rug . Cheap cheerful and perfect for picnics.

Hampen rug


The Hektar lamp was spray painted copper using Valspar spray paintHektar lamp .png


365 china. The first set I just decorated this using pens specifically made for decorating china. The second project was decorative wall plates. These  were masked off and paint was sponged onto sections of them.

365 plates



Skuren cutlerySkuren cutlery with the handles painted.

Dip Dyed Cutlery .jpg



Two Ikea Hacks using Billy Book Cases

Who on this planet hasn’t bought from Ikea at one time or another?

In a past life when I was doing weekly and monthly makeovers for ‘That’s Life’ ‘Sunday Magazine’ ‘Homestyle’ magazines. I seemed to spend every hour when not making, browsing or buying in IKEA.

Because the IKEA was founded on a good design, the products stand-alone and look good unadulterated, however you can also create some fantastic results up-cycling and hacking. Here are a couple of projects made using Billy Bookcases.

Billybench.jpg In the first project the bookcase is turned on its side and a hallway storage bench has been made.Here are the instructions :


Billy book case bench

 We all need more space for storing bike helmets, boots, shoes and sports equipment so here is a very inexpensive solution.

You will need

1x Vyssa Slappna Cot Mattress 60x 120cm

1x Billy bookcase 40x28x106cm

Orange Squash emulsion paint by crown paint

Wicker cotton duck fabric in green by Cath kidston 1.5m



  1. Saw the lip off the 2 upright parts of the bookcase, leaving 2 long rectangular pieces.
  2. Using fine sandpaper, sand the surfaces to help make a purchase for the paint. Using a radiator roller, paint all the surfaces including the shelves. Leave to dry and give a second coat.
  3. Follow the makers instructions and construct the bookcase including the shelves.
  4. Measure the mattress and divide in two along its length 100cm with a 20cm piece at the bottom.
  5. Using a Stanley knife and a straight edge cut off the bottom 20cm and discard.
  6. Cut the remaining piece of foam into two long narrow strips 30cm x100cm. Place one on top of the other.
  7. Cut a paper pattern to the measurement of the foam 30cm x 100x10cm add 1cm seam allowance on each side.
  8. With right sides facing sew all the pieces together to make the seat covering, leaving a gap along one side to insert the foam pieces.
  9. Close the gap with a blind hemming stitch.

crown paint Billy Book case £25 and cot Mattress £15 from Ikea

Orange Squash emulsion paint Crown cotton duck fabric in green by Cath kidston £20 a metre no longer available but they have other lovely ones instead.


In the second project a workroom desk cum table was created This Ikea hack is made from four Billy bookcases. It makes a brilliant worktable that you can stand at for designing and cutting out projects. The desk is super easy to put together using readily accessible Billy bookcases and a flush door, pulled together with an easy bang on trend ‘faux bois’ paint finish.

You will need

4x Billy bookcase

Flush door

Emulsion paint


Universal primer

Roller and tray

Masking tape

Kitchen roll

Paint brush

Paint kettle


Measuring jug

Spoon for mixing

Graining Rocker and Combination comb available online


Follow the instructions that come with the Billy bookcases to assemble the four worktable supports. To make the bookcases boxier, we cut the lower skirting section off at the base with a saw, making the bottom shelf flush with the floor.

Paint the bookcases, shelves and door with primer suitable for melamine, and then use a roller to apply two coats of the white emulsion. So you can practice the faux bois graining technique, paint the lining paper with white emulsion. For the graining glaze mix together 1litre of orange emulsion with 1litre of  acrylic scumble glaze. Paint a generous coat of glaze onto the lining paper. Take the graining rocker and pull through the glaze using a rocking motion to create the wood grain design. When you are happy with your paper practices start graining the furniture surfaces.

To get varied woody effects, try using different rocking speeds and for simple graining use the combination comb dragged through the glaze. For best results be generous when applying the glaze and work quickly. To work the glaze while it stays open paint and grain in small sections, brush the glaze on in stripes the width of the graining rocker. After each pass, clean off graining tools with kitchen roll. Don’t forget to paint the edges of the shelves and tabletop, glaze and run the comb over it. When all the furniture surfaces are ‘faux bois’, fake wood, grained, leave to dry thoroughly for a couple of days, to protect the surfaces apply varnish before assembling the furniture. To make the structure more secure use a very strong wood adhesive product, cutting out the need for nails and screws.


Credits for product and styling:

Flush door


white and orange emulsion

Crown Paint

Scumble glaze

Liberty Tana lawn fabric


scissors, tape measure pins, buttons

Rug and lamp

Printed papers