Upholstery – a two-seater bench stool with Lucy Thomas

Ref: S2D31628

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About this course

Upholster your own two-seater birchwood bench, using a mixture of modern and traditional upholstery techniques. Experience upholstery using sustainable materials, leaving with a self-made piece, covered in a stylish fabric.

Course Description

On this two-day course, make your very own ‘Rounded by’ upholstered modern two seater birchwood bench. In this fun, informal, friendly introduction to upholstery, you will gain experience and confidence with a mix of modern and traditional upholstery tools and principles. With a focus on sustainable design, you will take home a finished piece.

You will learn methods using pre-cut and treated birchwood leg frames and bases.

Use natural latex, hair and coconut filler, which you will cut to form in the studio.

You will learn how to use traditional tools, including magnetic tack hammers, tack lifters, mallets and regulators.

You will shape the filler, and apply and fix edge rolls.

You will tension the upper upholstered section with the calico and tack. Then you will cover the upper in top fabric, and secure using electric staple guns.

If using buttons and piping, these will be applied by sewing bespoke piping and learning button knots.

You will attach the base and legs to the bench upper, and we will all stand back and smile.

Dependent on the interests of the group on the day, the tutor will talk through different ways to upholster fabric and material selections, answer general upholstery questions and share details on suppliers, etc.

With each element of the process, you will learn and follow best practice, paying attention to measuring, cutting and placement, and the implications this has for more complicated projects. Wastage, efficiency and workshop etiquette are considered, and how best to make use of offcuts, imperfections in materials and problem solve.

The skills learnt and confidence gained within this two-day course will equip the novice or improver with the principles and tool experience to tackle a small self-guided modern project at home.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course, the tutor will supply all of the materials, including a selection of top cloth.

What students need to bring

  • Wear clothes that you are comfortable in, that you don’t mind getting dirty or catching a thread on. Wear layers, as our work is quite physical at times and, if you have an apron, bring one. Wear closed toe shoes with a good sole, as we will be working with metal tacks and hammers, and will be standing for most of the course.
  • Fabric supplied will be 100% recycled wool yarn top cloth or Linwood End of Roll Velvets, and there are a selection of colours available. You can choose to have matching or contrasting piping.
  • If you wish to bring your own fabric for use on your bench, please note, it must be upholstery weight and no leather please. Stripes, checks and thick pile velvet can be more challenging. If using a pattern, please ensure that the pattern drop repeat is less than 30cm and/or that you are happy with the placement of the pattern on a 80x40cm rectangle – for example, a 55cm parrot would likely end up being headless/footless. The tutor is happy to advise on your fabric choice, but you will need to send a photograph and details through to the Bookings Office at: [email protected]

Additional information

Please note this course uses natural latex, hair and coconut filler, so will not be suitable for those with with allergies or sensitivity to any of these products. Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified. There may be restrictions on equipment available to students in tutor’s absence.


Lucy Thomas

Lucy is a designer maker living and working in East Sussex. She produces modern upholstered footstools. Useful objects, made well. Her practice is informed by the idea that “If you can’t fix it, you don’t own it”.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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