French Script Sewing Bench Makeover & Flying Dust

Yesterday, I shared with you an 1872 French letter written in a lovely script.  Today, I’m going to share what I did with the PNG version of this letter.
French Script Gray Chalk Paint Bench by Knick of Time
During the summer, I hit a great yard sale that had lots of my favorite kinds of finds, which included an old sewing machine in a stand and included this little bench seat.  The seat lifts off the chair and it was filled with sewing notions – a bonus!  It has a cute shape, but the red pleather (plastic “leather”) had to go and the wood needed some love too.  First, I painted the stool with homemade chalk-style paint.  I used my favorite Dover Gray from Lowes.  I’ll be sharing more about this later, but I used Chalk Style Paint Powder to make my paint.
Next, I created an adhesive vinyl stencil with my Silhouette.  I used this PNG image I shared yesterday (the last image on the page) and selected the “trace” function so the machine would create the cutting lines around the words.  You do need to be very careful when removing the vinyl from the backing paper, so you don’t tear the detailed letters.  I didn’t bother trying to replace the insides of letters (like inside of “o”‘s, etc.) – I knew it wouldn’t really show.

The vinyl didn’t stick very well to the fabric, so I used a gentle hand when rolling my foam roller over it.  It’s important to use a foam roller to get less bleed under the vinyl and it’s really important to have very little paint on the roller.  Just do a light coat, then go over it again with another light coat.

Lifting the stencil – here’s that beautiful script!!  I had a little bit of bleed in a few spots, but overall it went really well – better than I’d hoped. You’ll notice there’s a gap at the top of the fabric where I didn’t paint the words.  That’s because my machine will only cut 12″ wide (unlimited length), so that was as big as I could make the stencil.  I hoped I’d be able to center it on the stool, with just a little gap around the edges, but I should have centered the image in the middle of the fabric better before I painted it.  When I attached the fabric over the seat cushion, I wasn’t able to center it because there wasn’t enough extra fabric edge at the bottom left to attach the fabric to the seat.

Having that gap at the top was driving me nuts.  I thought about cutting another stencil to add more text at the top but decided to root through my fabric bits and pieces and came up with a beautiful old handkerchief with pretty flowers on it.  I used one corner of the hanky (saving the rest for some future project) and used some Wonder Under (that was inside the bench when I got it!) to adhere to the hanky to the fabric.

I stapled pleated ribbon trim to the edge of the seat, then glued pleated gray grosgrain ribbon over that to give the edge a softer and more finished look.
French Script Gray Chalk Paint Bench by Knick of Time
And, VOILÀ!  
My new Frenchy bench!  I’m putting the finishing touches on the sewing table that came with the bench and will show that to you next week.

If you’ve visited here in the last few days, you may have noticed lots of “flying dust” as I do some tweaking to my blog.  I’m attempting to streamline the look and make things as viewer-friendly as possible, so pardon the mess.    If I’m not remodeling my home, you can bet I’ll remodel my blog…and sometimes both at the same time!



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  1. What a fabulous job you’ve done on the bench! I love the romantic script, but most of all the letter flap you created with the hanky. That sweet violet adds just the right touch. We’d love to have you link it.

  2. Well now Angie … that is one cute stool !!!
    Love the effect the handkerchief creates.
    Hard to believe you cut that on your Silhouette.
    Maybe I will get brave enough to try it.
    Just beautiful … thanks for sharing.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

    • I could not see any pictures except the one from Pinterest but this looks GORGEOUS! I’ve been trying to find your post on the sewing table that went with it but I haven’t been able to come across it. Could you send me the link? I love your work!

  3. quite a wonderful project – great job!

  4. That turned out beautifully, Angie…love how the document worked for this! Wonderful re-do! And I love your pretty photo on the sidebar, too!

  5. Veramente molto, molto carino! Complimenti! 🙂 Really very, very cute! Congratulations! 🙂

  6. Just adorable. I love this idea and it’s it funny that even though we do stuff like this all the time, we learn something new every time!

  7. I just bought a Silhouette Cameo and my heart went pitter pat when I saw this post. I love the results and thank you for all the detail. I reallly need the help with all the steps. Thanks again.

  8. Angie, this turned out Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing~

    Huggs, Nancy

  9. Love the bench transformation. Blessings

  10. The little stool looks fabulous! Very creative! I just redid one recently and painted the vinyl seat with chalk paint-turned out really well. Now I wish I had thought to stencil it. Sold to a very nice lady who bought it to go with a vanity we had. My stool even included the worn divided cardboard tray for the accessories-the first time I have found that item inside. Love these little things and next one is being foofied!! Thank you for sharing!

  11. This is so delightful, Angie! Wonderful work.

  12. Oh wow, this is gorgeous Angie. I love your creative fix to the gap at the top. A job well done!!!

  13. I love how you transformed the fabric with your stencil! Looks great!

  14. Beautiful job with this bench, Angie. I like your new photo as well!

  15. Rosemary@villabarnes says

    That letter flap detail takes it to the next level. Beautiful.

  16. Visiting from grey dey….ohhhhhhh, that is beautiful! I love the addition of the little hanky corner at the top, the little pop of color makes such a difference! Beautiful!

  17. what a sweet transformation. all the details are pure perfection. thanks for the DIY instructions….just lovely. 😉

  18. Angie, Beautiful and I love the French script. Thanks for linking to the Open House party and check out your feature this week.

  19. Hi Angie, I Love this project! I tried to click so that I would be able to make my own stencil… but It did not work… would you be able to provide me with that link? Thnks

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