Listen up all you like minded people who can’t stop collecting promising salvage yard junk and upcycling it into functional, refreshed furniture-like OLD BUS SEATS!!! That’s right, here’s a project that gives new meaning to the word REUPHOLSTERY!.

First of all, you have to know a little about Carey,  former student and current friend. She’s amazing! During her first class about a year ago, she recreated a channel back chair with NO instruction. All she did was take it apart, figure out how it was made, went home and made it and brought it back to attach. I was dumbfounded. This is intuitive ability at its’ best.

Anyway, here’s Carey’s personal story of the bus seats makeover.

I first spied the worn out benches in a friends new shop and knew they needed some help. This place is so clean and shiny that you could eat off the floors!  Since all of his equipment is John Deere, I immediately envisioned the green and yellow with the big deer or John Deere spelled out on the backs. I’m told the seats came out of an old school bus and they have been using them for years as seating when they take their Coke breaks.

I started by doing some measuring and estimating the fabric needed. I had to go online to find the right colors of vinyl. I tore the benches down and took pictures of everything as they came apart. My husband sandblasted the frames and we spray painted them black. I cut out new plywood bases for the backs and seats. The springs in the seats had to be retied. I covered the springs with burlap and then 3″ of foam and finally wrapped the bases with batting. The backs were just foam and batting. I used the old pieces that I took off as patterns for the new vinyl. I found a bumper sticker with the deer and the verse/lettering that I liked. I had the bumper sticker enlarged on a copier and used that as a pattern. I appliqued the deer and lettering to the backs by gluing in place and then zig-zagging around them. I made the contrasting cording then stitched the pieces together. I needed some with help with stretching the new covers over the bases. The extra pair of hands and extra muscle were helpful in getting the pieces positioned, stretched  and stapled into place. The final step was attaching the seats and backs on the frames.

It was a labor of love that costs about $200. for materials and few hours of our time. The best part was delivering them back to their home and seeing the smile on my friends face. Priceless! He’s very proud of his new benches and says everyone who comes into the shop notices them. They are quite a conversation piece.

See, wasn’t that easy? Now, here are some of her photos that she sent over.

Before: Outside Back

The guts:

The springs:

Now she must have gotten too busy, because she sent me NO process photos. She did come to my shop to stitch the vinyl cording in place. Where was I??? I should have been over there clicking away.

New outside back:

New side view.

And finally, ta da!!!

Wow! Wow! Wow!  Can you believe the difference? And this gives me an idea-if these were reupholstered in some designer fabric, wouldn’t they make the most interesting kitchen table benches? Instead of a banquette, the reupholstered bus seats could be bolted to the floor or mounted on a wood base, or even put on casters. Kids would LOVE them!

The down side of teaching Carey the basics is that she’s now gone and purchased a brand new upholstery sewing machine. She’ll never have to come back and visit me again.  (However, I’m thinking up some ways she can help ModHomeEc with her mad skills!)