Patterned Bench DIY Project

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Oh blog  friends… I just spent close to an hour learning how to make a banner in Inkscape (open source Illustrator). It was a 10 minute video that I had to keep pausing and backing up because he would refer to things I’d never heard of, not to mention looking up solutions for all the weird problems I kept encountering. What I can tell you is that I know that program much better now, and I am grateful for that. What I can also tell you is that, all said and done, I didn’t care for the banner. Live and learn, right? On to the post!

When we started looking for houses, one of our hopes was to be able to have a living room large enough to have the furniture off the walls. Our sectional couch was exploding out of the living room in our townhouse (literally, part of it was in the guest bedroom), and we wanted to have a living space where we could move freely around our furniture, a space that would feel open and airy. The living room in this house was a huge selling point for us; instead of the living space split between a living room and dining room (very common in 1950’s ramblers), we have a little eat in kitchen and a big living space. Love. it.

After we really started to solidify our furniture in this space, we did notice a bit of a void. The couch has to be far enough away from the wall to accommodate a walkway from the front door, and while we like the open space, it always felt like a bench belonged there.

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For months I had a note on my phone with the max height the bench could be; we were vigilant for the right bench. We ended up finding it at HomeGoods (because, lets be honest, pretty much everything is at HomeGoods) for a crazy steal of a deal with an extra 10% off because I whined about mentioned the chipped corner.  While the bench was the perfect size, its just a slightly different blue than the curtains. Not close enough to look like they matched, too close to contrast. Is anything worse than something looking like you tried to match and failed? Gross.

Instead of painting the entire bench, I decided to do a pattern on the top and bring pattern mixing into the living room. After a hunt for super thin painters tape (if you’re in the upper Midwest, Menards is the place to go!), I got to work.

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1 inch painters tape for the edges | .23 inch painters tape for the pattern | Tape measure, scissors, and cardboard to make a guide

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Check out that corner. Yikes!

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I tediously measured out a chevron stencil, although I ended up altering it a little bit once I got the initial chevron lines down.

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I like that the extra lines make it a little bit more unique than traditional chevron, which is classic and lovely but oh man is it everywhere right now!

I used a sample can of white paint I had around, and brushed it on. The end result isn’t perfect, and I choose to keep it that way intentionally. I like that it looks loved.

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