One of our most popular products is our Seat Top Outdoor Storage Bench. These combine the practicality of marine grade fiberglass deck and dock boxes with molded lids that can be used as benches and seats. Whether you use them on the dockside, or on your deck, they add additional storage and seating without taking up extra room.
Recently one of our customers, Christie Laconia from Maine, sent in pictures of cushions she’d made especially for her husband’s Seat Top Storage Bench. We thought you might appreciate learning how she did it.
“We love your Seat Top Storage Benches,” Christie writes, “but thought they could do with a little extra to make them more comfortable, and give our deck a more homey appearance. My husband tasked me with the job of making cushions for them.”
“Before we started this product, we’d just used cushions from our kitchen chairs when we wanted to sit outside – but on a number of occasions we left them out during the rain and they got soaked! So right from the beginning, I decided the cushions I was going to make especially for the Seat Top Storage Bench would be as weatherproof as I could make them.”
“I started by measuring the actual seating area of the storage benches and planned on making two separate cushions for the bench, which would sit on it side by side.”
“My husband then took my measurements and cut out two squares of exterior grade plywood to serve as the bases of my cushions. He left off about an inch from each, so they’d have room to sit next to each other on the bench even after finishing them with foam and covering.”
“Once he’d done that, I measured foam squares and cut them our with sewing shears. I made sure to buy closed-cell foam – that’s the type that’s waterproof. If you buy regular foam, it’ll soak up rainwater like a sponge!”
“Next, I measured out some white, waterproof vinyl material. We chose white because it matched the bright and brilliant gel coat of the Seat Top Storage Bench and would also not absorb the heat of the sun. A black one could get scorching in hot weather.”
“My covers consisted of two pieces. One was going to be the bottom of the cushion. I simply placed the plywood square over the material, traced out the shape with chalk and then used scissors to cut out a square the same size and shape as the plywood it was covering.”
“For the top part, I did the same thing – but left about three inches of extra vinyl material all around. This was so it would fold over onto the other side.”
“To make the cushions, I placed the foam squares I’d cut out onto the top of the plywood squares and then placed the oversized pieces of vinyl on top. I then flipped the whole thing upside down and used heavy-duty copper staples and a staple cut to attach the folded-over material to the base of the plywood. It was like making an envelope with the food and foam inside.”
“To finish it off, I took the second square of vinyl I’d cut out – the one the same size as the plywood – and used the staples to attach it to the bottom. This covered up the leftover material and made the cushions look neat and professional.”
Job done! In just a few minutes, Christie has managed to make two cushions that perfectly fit her outdoor storage bench and could be left out in the wind and rain without concern.”
“Okay, when it gets especially windy they sometimes blow straight off,” she admits at the end of the letter, “but if that happens we just pick them up and throw them inside the Storage Bench itself. After all, that’s what it’s designed for!”
Thanks, Christie, for sending in your story and instructions. If you have any advice on how to make our marine grade fiberglass dock and deck boxes more of a part of your home, we’d love to hear about it – and feature it on our blog!