How to make a woven bench seat

Weave some interiors magic with this simple but stunning – and practical! – DIY woven bench seat.

Bunnings magazine, March 2020

This classic woven bench could be just the furniture piece your home is missing. It’s ideal for the hallway or walk-in robe – anywhere you might want to take a load off for a few minutes.

Made from dressed pine and cotton webbing, this project shows how simple materials can have a great impact. To secure the webbing to the timber frame, invest in an air stapler or use a hand stapler with 10mm flat wire staples.

Tools and materials

10G 30mm timber screws

10G 50mm timber screws

180-grit abrasive paper with a sanding block

42mm x 19mm-wide DAR pine @ 1.8m x 3 lengths

42mm x 42mm DAR pine @ 1.8m

8G countersinking bit

Air stapler with 16mm crown staples

Black screw caps

Combination square

Drill with driver bit

Hammer

Measuring tape and pen

Mitre saw or handsaw with mitre box

Safety equipment

Scissors

Superglue

Timber adhesive

Two 10m packs of 50mm-wide cotton webbing

tools and materials needed to create a woven bench seat

1. Measure and mark the legs

On the 42mm-square pine, mark out four legs 450mm long. On the 19mm-wide pine, mark four side rails at 900mm and four end rails at 450mm. Cut with a mitre saw.

Tip: measure and cut one of each to use as templates for the rest.

4 lengths of timber cut to size for the legs and another 4 900mm rails

2. Drill the holes

With a combination square, mark holes on the side rails 40mm from the ends and on the end rails 10mm from the ends, drilling with an 8G countersinking bit.

Tip: holes should be 10mm in from the side to prevent the timber splitting.

Using a combination square and pen to mark measurements

3. Assemble the end frames

To assemble the end frames, set out pairs of legs with end rails over the top, and 120mm up from the base. Apply timber adhesive and secure through the countersunk holes with 30mm screws.

Tip: attach top rails first, ensuring they’re flush with the side legs.

End frame assembled by placing three pieces of timber in an upside-down U shape, rails attached at top

4. Add the end rails

With the end frames upside down, position side rails against the top end rails, apply timber adhesive and secure with 50mm screws, then repeat with the lower rails. Sand all over with abrasive paper, rounding over the edges. Dab superglue onto the screws and tap in the black screw caps with a hammer.

Tip: our hall bench makes a comfy seat, but is not for standing on!

Using a Ryobi drill to fit a screw into the end rail of the bench seat

5. Weave the webbing

With the completed frame upside down, run the webbing underneath lengthways, wrapping it around an end rail to staple inside the frame. Use the excess to pull the webbing taut, wrapping around the opposite rail to staple and trim with scissors. Repeat to attach five evenly spaced lengths.

Tip: to keep the seat secure and comfortable, alternate the under-and-over weaving, pulling it as tight as possible while stapling

using a ryobi staple gun to secure webbing to the underside of the bench seat

6. Weave the webbing widthways

To weave widthways, thread webbing over and under the long pieces, positioning it flush against the legs at either end. Staple the ends, pull the webbing taut to wrap around the opposite rail, staple and trim. Attach webbing at the centre (a) and halfway along either side. Fill the remaining spaces by threading under then over to alternate the weave (b).

Tip: when you’ve finished weaving the seat, spritz water onto the webbing to dampen it slightly, so the cotton shrinks and tightens as it dries

weaving the webbing under and over, keeping tension tight

Photography credit: Anna Robinson, Natasha Dickins and Beck Rocchi Photography.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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