Turn an old headboard into a stylish bench with this easy DIY from Designs by Studio C with step by step pictures and instructions.
Happy Veteran’s Day to all of our wonderful service men and women who are serving or have served our wonderful country. I don’t mention it often, but in honor of this day, here’s a little bit of my family’s patriotism. There are many of my relatives who have served but I love listening to my grandfather’s stories about his days in the Air Force and his brother’s service in the Marines. Of course, my husband has spent 16 years in the Marine Corps (so far), my twin sister is currently in the Army Reserves, and I actually spent a couple of years in the Army after I had finished my undergrad 10 years ago. I would love for you to leave me a comment if you would like to share your personal military connections. =)
Today I have a special treat for you! Cher from Designs by Studio C is sharing one of her favorite posts. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. In fact, she is so close to 500 likes on Facebook, let’s help her get there today!
How to Build a Bench Using an Old Headboard
I’ve been wanting to build a bench using an old headboard for the back and it wasn’t until I found this cute headboard at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore that I could finally do it! A lot of the benches I’ve seen using headboards seem to look horribly uncomfortable because the back sits straight up. I toyed with the idea of cutting the legs off of the headboard, cutting an angle in the top of the legs, then reattaching them but it really seemed like a lot of trouble. I decided I would make the seat a little longer front to back so that bolster or lumbar pillows could be added thus making the bench a lot more comfortable!
I started by cutting two legs for the front at 17-1/4″ tall (a seat height is generally 18″ high). I used 2×2 pine and tapered them using a tapering jig on the table saw. I used the legs I cut to make a mark on the headboard legs for the back apron position.
I then cut pieces of old shelving I
stole acquired from the Rebel house remodel for the aprons. The shelving board measured 5-3/4″ wide so I ripped it in half on the table saw, then cut them to length. I drilled pocket holes in each end then thoroughly sanded them. I attached the front and side aprons to the legs I cut.
I attached a board between the headboard legs to support the seat –
Then attached the entire assembly to the headboard.
After checking for square (and luckily, it was square!), I cut three supports to connect the front and back aprons. Not only do these pieces help support the seat but they also help keep everything square!
I have never been a huge fan of spray primer but I’m finding that there are some projects that require it and this was one of them! There are a lot of nooks, crannies, and angles in the headboard, and I really didn’t want to find thick spots or drips of primer there! I like to use Zinsser BIN primer on some furniture projects, especially when there is a previous finish. This particular primer, in my opinion, creates the perfect surface over the old one for paint!
I used Kilz 2 primer (my other favorite) on the frame but rolled it on with a sponge roller. The board I used is very old and smelled like pipe smoke when I sanded so I definitely want to block the stains and smell! (I forgot to photograph this step but I’m sure you know how to roll primer on furniture!)
In the meantime, I cut a piece of plywood (I used PureBond) for the seat 3″ shorter in length and depth than the finished measurement. This would allow me to add a 1×2 to each end so I could use the router to cut a decorative edge on the seat. I forgot to photograph this step as well but see my post on How to Salvage a Piece of Plywood Cut Too Short – it uses the same concept!
I secured the seat to the frame using glue and 1-1/4″ brad nails, then gave the entire bench a coat of Valspar paint in Pantone Emerald.
Isn’t she gorgeous? I plan on making cushions for the seat and back in coordinating fabric prints… What do you think?