Homemade Reading Bench Tutorial

Hi everyone, I hope you are enjoying this week’s iHomeschool Network Back-ToSchool Blog Hop!

Today I’m going to share the details on how I made our really easy homemade reading nook! Okay, not the bench part, but the cushion at least!



Remember that left over peg board from my desk stabilizing efforts? Well, I convinced my husband to cut this bad boy into the exact size to fit the top of my Ikea Besta Shelf Unit.



Next I went to JoAnn’s Craft Store and purchased some 3” foam, cute fabric, and some fabric glue called Fabric Fusion.



I laid out the fabric pretty side down, then added the foam and finally the peg board.



Next I folded up the fabric along the short edges, and ran a strip of the fabric glue along the edge. Then we stapled the corners  along the short side down using a staple gun.



Next I folded up and secured the corners so that the edges are smooth on the side that will be showing.



Here is a close up of the corner. I’m sure there are better ways to fold these, but I’m not exactly a seamstress, so this is what I came up with!



We repeated these steps all the way around the board, gluing then stapling the edges all the while pulling the fabric taught.



Next we flipped it over to see our completed cushion!



Next we put the cushion in its new home on our reading bench and added some accent pillows to create an inviting little reading nook for everyone!



And here it is along the wall with all of the other shelving units.



This week is School Room Week with the iHomeschool Network Back-ToSchool Blog Hop! Make sure to stop by and see what other homeschoolers are doing with their rooms!



  1. Love it!!!!!! Such a great idea!

  2. This looks great!!!

  3. Leah Mick says:

    I love it! Thanks for sharing! Can I ask about how much the foam cost you?

  4. This is fabulous!

  5. SUPER cute! I just made a bench area in my entryway (this post: and I’d love to make a cushion for it. This looks great. Thanks for the idea!

  6. that is GREAT! i love that craft fusion stuff!

  7. Melissa Little says:

    I am a public school teacher and just want to give you a suggestion for cleaning any table surface. Mr. Clean magic erasers will clean anything off of a table or wall. They are great and save lots of scrubbing.

  8. Suzanne D. says:

    How big was the fabric you used? I love this and hope to do this soon!

  9. Love it – Thank you!! I’ve been stressing b/c I need to “sew” a cushion for my breakfast nook bench and can’t sew – This will be perfect. Great idea!!

  10. Shannon says:

    Hello! This is absolutely adorable! Do you think it would work just as well with just the 8 cube shelves? One on either side of the reading bench? Are they sturdy enough? We are a little short on space and I’ve never used IKEA products before but I assume they are super sturdy for the price! Thanks in advance! Shannon

  11. Suzanne D. says:

    How much fabric did you use?

  12. What is the depth of the IKEA shelf you have? Is it large enough and strong enough for an adult 100 to 200 pounds to sit on it? I’m thinking of this idea for a bench in a dining nook area, but the max. shelf load says 33 pounds. I’m not sure what the load limit is for the top of the bookshelf.
    Thanks! Wendy

  13. How do you clean the cushion?

  14. Wow just stumbled upon this – thank you for posting! It’s wonderful! I have been looking at cushions for our Expedit “seating” area but I’m not a seamstress, and I’m seeing them on etsy for almost $200 – a lot more than I want to spend! This is perfect! Can’t wait to try it out!

  15. Stephanie says:

    Wondering how this has held up… I’m always nervous to use fiberboard/particleboard as seating. But I love this! So cute!

  16. I love this idea but found the “Lack” tv shelf was lower and wider for little ones to crawl on with a heavier shelf load. I also found a 3″ foam in one long piece at Home Depot for $24 in the carpeting/turf area. it’s perfect and now I just need my fabric! 🙂 hope this helps anyone trying to re-create this idea.

  17. Natasha says:


  18. It looks great! I got a quote for $776 for three, 18″ square cushions for our mudroom! I’ll be using your ideas to make my own, thank you very much!

  19. Tiffany Brown says:

    Hi, I LOVE your technique on this cushion and am going to use it to create 2 cushions for our new built-in benches. I was wondering if you had any problems with the staples sticking up through the cushion? Can you feel them when you sit near the edges of the bench? Maybe this is a silly question…I’ve never used the no-sew staple method. 🙂 Thanks!

  20. I absolutely love your reading bench! Do you know if Ikea still carries something similar? I couldn’t find it and most options I find seem to be pricey. I would love any advice. Thank you for sharing and always inspiring me through my homeschooling venture. Have a blessed day! 🙂

  21. Jenni Doseck says:

    How do you prevent the staples scratching the surface

    • Not sure, we haven’t had any issues with that, but I suppose you could glue some fabric over them or something like that?

      • Kayla Brown says:

        Do u know how much you paid for the foam at joannes and did they cut it to size for you?

        • Yes, they cut it to size for me, and I’m sorry we made this bench so long ago I can’t recall the exact pricing. But I do remember that it was fairly inexpensive.

  22. Could this be a headboard? Maybe not as thick the foam? It looks like it might work. Thoughts?

  23. It looks great! I’ve been able to save a ton by getting my foam padding at the local army surplus.

  24. Tracey Oliver says:

    Did you have any trouble getting the staples into the peg board?. I cannot get the staples to go in to the board and was hoping you had a crafty solution lol

  25. Where did you get the fabric?

  26. Thanks for this! I have a blanket chest at the foot of my bed that has had a plain white cover on it for way too many years. Finally got it covered using your tutorial.

  27. Thinking of using your idea for a headboard. I was planning on just using the foam, but the pegboard will stabilize it. Just have to figure out how to hang it on the wall.

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