How to Make a Marimekko Bench

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Upcycled a Marimekko bench with decoupage

Decoupage can be cool, use it to make a Marimekko Bench.

If you’ve been following my blog you’d know I’m a big Marimekko fan, and I especially love their iconic Unikko print. Instead of just painting a neglected bench in my garden that was in dire need of cosmetic attention, I decided to Marimekko it ! I got the idea from some Marimekko shoes I’d made a few months ago. I still had some Unikko napkins left over from the shoe revamp, so I decided to use these to upcycle and pimp my bench.
 
 
Upcycle an old bench with decoupage.  This Marimekko designer bench was achieved by decoupaging with paper napkins.  It is a lot easier than you think and can be weather proofed.
 
DIY marimekko Bench
 
 
This post contains amazon affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to see my disclosure policy.
 
 

What you need to make a Marimekko Bench

 

  • Old wooden bench
  • White wood paint
  • Sander
  • Paint and glue brushes
  • Marimekko Napkins – I used Unikko blue ones, 1 packet was enough for my bench
  • PVA Glue / Mod Podge – or other white glue suitable for use with paper
  • Crystal clear yacht (or outdoor) varnish
  •  
    Marimekko napkins

     

     

    How to Marimekko a bench
     
    It’s really easy to Marimekko a bench.
     

  • First prepare the Bench by sanding and then painting white.
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  • Secondly prepare your napkins by separating them so that only the top printed ply is used (most napkins are 3 ply). Then tear your flowers out, it helps if you wet the napkin where you tear. It is better to tear rather then cut the napkins as you get a feathered edge which blends in better.
  •  

  • When your napkin flowers are ready, spread the glue on the bench and then place the napkin flowers on top. The napkins are too delicate to apply the glue directly too. Gently brush out the napkins as you lay them on the bench.
  •  

  • When the whole bench is covered and dry, apply two coats of crystal clear outdoor/yacht varnish. This varnish should protect your Marimekko bench from the elements.
  •  
    I told you it was easy ! And I now have a bench to match my shoes !
     
    Marimekko Bench and shoes
     
    If your not a huge Marimekko fan, you can of course use this method to upcycle a bench with the napkins of your choice.
     
    Here are a few more of my Marimekko posts you may want to check out.
    DIY Marimekko Shoes
    Marimekko Stair Transformation
    12 Marimekko Crafts
    Giant Paper Mache Cactus
     
     


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    34 Responses

    1. Love this! What a lovely little feature to have in the garden! X

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thank you ! It does brightne up the garden.

    2. What an amazingly fabulous idea! I’m a huge Marimekko fan and this is just awesome.

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thanks, you should give it a go, there are loads of different Marimekko napkins out there.

    3. wow, really fabulous Claire! Now i wish i had bought some napkins last year when i was in a marimekko store in Vancouver…….did buy some fabric and some dishtowels that have yet to be used! I love marimekko too and have since i was a girl! I even still have my the marimekko quilt i begged my mother to buy me, and really funny, the matching striped sheets now totally match a striped blanket that i just picked up at Ikea, i’m quite certain they were totally “inspired” by that marimekko pattern, and now both the sheets from my childhood and the blanket are on my son’s bed! Thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling sunday!

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thank you. I too have loved Marimekko for years and everytime a visit a city with a Marimekko store I visit it. By the way You can by the napkins on eBay.

    4. Wow! This looks SO great – I love all the things you do those with napkins. SO clever.

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thank you, it’s an easy and affordable way to get a bit of Marrimekko into my life !

    5. Wow, I love your bench makeover. So great to have in your garden. The shoes are adorable.
      Bev

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thank you ! Never thought I’d end up with matching shoes and bench !

    6. What an awesome transformation! Love it.

      • Claire Armstrong

        Cheers thanks!

    7. hi there! my eye was caught by your project; i had tried something similar, but had disappointing results with the supposedly ‘clear’ final coat i used (recommended by my hardware gal who usually is very good!) Can you be very specific about the brand? there is a large harbor nearby, and the protective coatings are endless – i have everything else i need to replace it…

      • Claire Armstrong

        Hi I had I similar problem the first tin of varnish I bought, it said it was clear but it actually had a yellowish tint. I went back to the DIY store and after talking to the manager I bought a crystal clear outdoor varnish which worked really well. I ended up using the stores own brand of outdoor varnish (Homebase) but it was a UK store. It seams that Crystal Clear is a clear varnish whilst just clear varnish appears to have a tint.

    8. […] This old wooden bench was renovated with the use of a creative print by Finnish company Marimekko. Wanna know how? Prepare an old wooden bench, white wood paint, a sander, paint and glue brushes, Marimekko napkins, PVA glue, a crystal clear yacht (or outdoor) varnish. First, prepare the bench by sanding and then painting white. Second, prepare your napkins by separating them so that only the top printed ply is used (most napkins are 3 ply). Then tear your flowers out, it helps if you wet the napkin where you tear. It is better to tear rather then cut the napkins as you get a feathered edge, which blends in better. Keep reading the tutorial at pillarboxblue.com. […]

    9. Fab, Fab, FAb! It should be the law that all benches must be given this makeover, making the world a prettier place!

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thanks I don’t think you can ever have too much Marimekko !

    10. What a fun makeover! What a great idea! I would love it if you shared this project and any others you have done at my Making Broken Beautiful party. The party has started already but it goes each week from Thursday to saturday evenings! I hope you will join!
      Smiles!
      Terry
      http://thecuratorscollection.wordpress.com

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thank you and thanks for the invite.

    11. I’ve been a big fan of Marimekko ever since I went to Finland last year. I just love what you did with this bench! Thanks for sharing at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home!

      Jennifer

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thanks ! Wow Finland must have been great. I’d love to visit Finland and I’m sure I will one day and I will definitely go to the Marimekko factory shop.

    12. Congratulations! This post will be featured at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home!

      Jennifer

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thank you for the feature

    13. Thank you so much for joining in the Making Broken Beautiful party last week. I hope you will come inspire us again this week!
      Smiles!
      Terry

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thank you and thanks for the invite

    14. I love Marimekko as well and have used it in decoupaged hangers. The only thing I don’t like about the napkins is that they are very hard to separate unlike other paper ones. What a great job you have done and love the shoes as well!

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thank you ! I know what you mean about separating the napkins. I be your hangers look great.

    15. I really love, love your Marimekko project! I must try to do something like this! Thank you for this idea!!!

    16. CLAIRE!!!! Finally I found a way to paint the Adirondack lounge chairs on my front porch. Over the years I’ve re-varnished them, sanded off the varnish, stained ’em then put varnish back on top, even tried rubbing Olive oil into ’em but nothing worked. Since I refuse to take getting older lying down, as will my chairs!

    17. This is so pretty I love it! Must have taken you ages to complete though!

      • Thanks ! It’s actually a lot easier than it looks.

        • could I do this on a metal glider?

          • With the right kind of glue I can’t see why not. You could try it on a small section first.

    18. […] (Image credit: Claire of Pillar Box Blue) […]

    19. […] (Image credit: Claire of Pillar Box Blue) […]

    20. […]   7. Brighten up your garden with a Marimekko Bench – Pillarboxblue       8. Print your own Marimekko inspired fabrics or wallpaper by making your own […]

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