A friend of mine said she came across a blog where a built in bench was done using an Ikea mattress. Could you believe? I wasn't sold until I read the post. Here is the original post on Teal and Lime - click here. After I read the post I thought, no problem, let's give it a shot. We headed down to Ikea (first thing in the morning and middle of the week to guarantee no one was there). Monica chose cowhide to compliment her awesome late 1800's farm house.
We picked up two cowhides ($199 each) and a twin size mattress ($79) some kitchen gadgets and a giant size chocolate bar at the cash register. On Teal and Lime, she used the foam and the mattress cover as batting! Brilliant!! Foam is not cheap and this bench is almost 8ft long. This mattress was a pretty good savings compared to 4" foam at any fabric store.
I should also mention, the bench was built in by woodworkers and the sewing of the two hides were done by a cobbler. Other than some edge roll and staples, no other supplies were needed.
The project took one afternoon and it turned out great! Click on the image below to see the project in action.