Repurposing a Headboard into a Bench Part 1

I’m so excited to be sharing this project with you all. This is my biggest project to date. I repurposed a headboard into a bench, most of the work was in building the bench. This project is so big that I’ll be sharing in two posts. This post is the building part, the next post will be about the finishing. Repurposing a headboard into a bench Part 1

A few years ago my husband and I were out together with our little baby Nolan when I spotted a headboard leaned up against trash cans on the curb. I asked him to stop but we had already passed it and decided we would stop if it was still there on the way back. Guess what?! It was there on the way back. It was fate. lol So we took this dirty broken headboard and footboard home where it sat.

Did I say dirty and broken? It was filthy! So my first step was to clean it up. I used Goo Gone to remove pieces of tape and stickers and gum?(Ew!) Since the headboard was missing spindles I cut out the remaining spindles with a saw.

Keep the blade flush with the frame and just cut each end of the spindle at the ends. I’m going to fill the openings later in the next post.

Now on to building the bench. We plan to use our bench at our dining table. If you plan to use your bench somewhere specific this is an important step! Measure your space. Since we are using this at our table I measured between the table legs where the bench will sit. Now decide how high you want your seat to be. We measured from the floor to the top of the frame for the seat on our chairs. Now with all of these important measurements apply them to the headboard. For us we had to “beef” up the headboard by adding boards to support the frame because our measurements landed in weak or open spaces. Note: I won’t be sharing our measurements because every headboard is different as well as the intended use for the bench.

Where our frame was going to connect to the bench wasn’t long enough for the frame support. We cut a board to the same length as the opening between the legs and attached after adding pocket holes with the to the piece.

The support frame front piece needs to be smaller than your opening. This is where your seat top will sit and the top will go over. For us we wanted the bench to go under the table and not be a tight fit. Then the side pieces will need to be shorter than you want the bench to be leaving an overhang for the seat top too.

With pocket holes in each end of the frame boards assemble and secure to the headboard.

With the three boards that you just added measure between the side boards. Cut a board to fit that opening. This adds a back lip for the seat top to sit on. This is why we had to “beef” up the headboard earlier. I used a counter sink bit to secure the piece to keep the screws out of the way.

The bench frame will need support pieces. We decided on 3 support boards. Measure inside the opening of your frame from the front to the back and cut 3 boards. One board should be centered in the opening then the other two evenly spaced on either side. I had a little help for this part.

The last step is the legs. I mentioned that we salvaged the footboard from the curb too but the footboard was too low or short to work. We decided to make our own legs. We used a 3×3. Once you have your frame built you can cut the legs to the right height so the bench will set level. Or you can by legs to add to your bench like these.

After you have your two legs cut to size if you want a rounded side that can be done with a router.  Drill pocket holes into the legs, add wood glue and screw onto the frame.

Now you have a bench frame with a headboard back finished. Next is the fun stuff- paint, stain and fabric….oh my!

In part 2 of I will show you how I filled the holes where the spindles were, and what we used for a seat. I am so proud of myself right now! Look at that, I built it. Of course I had the help of my husband who I may have mentioned a time or two is an excellent carpenter. He was patient to teach me how to use the tools as well as guiding me on the construction, based on his experience. I wouldn’t have thought to “beef” up the backboard or to add the support boards. Being a carpenter he could have just taken over and done the whole build for me but he stood back and let me do the work. He gave me more reasons to love him on this project.

What have you done recently that you are proud of?

Thanks for stopping by At Home with Sweet T!!!


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