Before and After: Church Organ Bench

Thrifters rejoice, church partitioners/organ players avert your eyes.

Last weekend while on my routine trip to Goodwill to peruse for projects, I came across a 70s church organ for $49, with the most beautiful, solid-wood bench with floral carvings. So I asked an employee if they’d break up the pair, and sure enough they let me take home this beauty for just $12.99!!!!

Today, $20 in fabric later, it’s a little more modern and a little less vinyl-y.


  • When reupholstering, make sure you buy staples with the proper depth before staple-gunning everything together.
  • Remove as much old hardware/fabric/staples as you can to allow yourself a clean surface to work on.
  • But make sure you mark the place where your returning hardware (such as hinges) needs to return, before say, covering those pilot holes with fabric. Or something.
  • Measure twice, cut once.
  • Corners are hard. I still have yet to figure them out entirely. In the photos below, you can see I attempted to fold the edges like wrapping paper around the sides of a present, but the result wasn’t quite as sharp and neat as I’d hoped.
  • Picking a (much cheaper) lining fabric for the backside of your upholstered piece – especially if its visible like it is on the inside of this bench – can cover a multitude of indiscretions/sloppy staple-gunning.
  • I think I’ll leave anything more complicated to the experts. My aspirations of recovering wingback chairs have been met with cold, hard, under-qualified reality.







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