Telephone Table Bench Seat

You know those old-fashioned telephone tables? Like this one….

Most of them have good bones and smart lines (and can be found super-cheap!) and I’ve seen lots of them looking great once made-over though the utilitarian function is some-what defunct nowadays with everyone having cordless phones and the like so I thought I’d do a little re-purposing….

First, I removed the screwed-on drawer (don’t worry, I didn’t just throw it away – I’m keeping it for a rainy day) and old chair pad then painted the base crisp white.

Then on with some jute webbing. Kinda like this….

Next, a layer of foam wrapped in some thick wadding followed by a piece of cute fabric (taupe and cream ticking stripe in my case).

I pulled, stretched and staple-gunned the fabric into place before trimming away any excess and hot-gluing a length of braid trim around the whole bench to conceal the staples.

Some covered buttons were then added for that finishing touch.

So, from this…

To this…

Some co-ordinating pillows and a throw rug really make for a cute ensemble.

The throw is plain taupe polar fleece trimmed with the matching ticking fabric and the cushions have simple faux envelope fronts dressed with some more covered buttons.

In the pic below you can see the braid trim and fabric. To give the base a bit of extra character and a slightly more relaxed feel I lightly distressed the edges.

Here’s the set in my parent’s guest bedroom….

I know as a tutorial this is kinda vague (sorry!) though I didn’t take any step-by-step photos because, to be honest, this was the first project of its kind that I’d ever attempted and I really didn’t know just quite what I was doing and how it might end up (plus who knows if I did it the ‘proper’ way anyway!).

If you wanna give something similar a go though are a little hesitant, seriously, just go for it. Let’s face it, I could hardly have made it look much worse!


  1. beautiful execution!

    do link up the tutorial here also, so our readers can find you:

  2. What a great transformation! Kudos and thanks for sharing!


  3. seat says:

    WOW!!! It looks great! and It’s absolutely darling gorgeous
    Thanks so much for sharing :)

  4. Hello. My good friend from Paper Tree Design just showed me your blog and I really enjoy. I will be back because I just love ‘before’ and ‘after’ stories :)

  5. Stephanie says:

    That is such a great idea. I have seen these on our local craigslist. I would have never thought about turning it into a bench! Thanks so much! I love , love, love it by the way!

  6. Who would’ave thought that such an ugly duckling would end up being such an elegant swan? GREAT job, Kristine!! I LUV the ticking!!! :)

    xoxo laurie

  7. Astral Riles says:

    This is great. How did you do the tufting? I have been so afraid to attempt that. :(

    • The Painted Hive says:

      Hi Astral
      It sounds a little complicated though was actually pretty easy…
      Using a long needle I threaded twine/string from the base of the bench (through the webbing, foam, wadding and fabric) through to the top and into the back of the covered button (they have a little loop for this) then back through the top of the bench to the base where I tied the ends of the twine/string together, pulling it tightly. Pulling it tightly pushes the button down into the foam and creates a tufted indent.
      Hope this helps.

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