Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Head & Footboard Bench Tutorial

I'm so excited!
I have officially finished my first piece of furniture!
I've been seeing a lot of benches that people have made from headboards and footboards and I loved them...So I thought that would be a good project for me to start with.

I grew up watching my dad take old beat up furniture and pianos and completely restore them to absolute gorgeousness! (is that even a word?? lol..If not I guess it is now)

My brother and husband are also quite handy when it comes to building stuff, but I've never had the chance to try to build something myself.

My husband probably won't like to hear this, (so cover your ears, or in this case your eyes, hunny) I'm hooked! Already I have ideas brewing for my next two or three projects...

There's just not enough time or money to get it all done as quickly as I would

So anyways..enough of my's how I made my bench...

The first thing I needed was a solid wood headboard and footboard. I didn't want to spend much on it so I put an ad up on our local Freecycle and within one day I had a this set  for FREE!

I did the majority of the work on the bench myself...but I have to admit I had a lot of help from my husband...He did a lot of supervising and instructing since he was completely convinced I was going to cut off a finger or a body part of some kind. lol

He also helped in drawing up the plans..This is where me and my husband are completely different...I'm more of a pile it all in front of you, scratch out a design on a scrap of paper and start working on it, type of person...He's a little a lot more anal than that..That's not always a bad thing though..
He's a drafter and a instead of my scratched out design he broke out the AutoCad and made me a 3D picture  :0)

Every bench is going to be different since the headboards, sizes, etc will be different so I'm just going to show you how I made this one and you can adapt yours accordingly.

I made a base using 2x4's, with metal support brackets in the corners

Next we cut down the legs of the footboard.

I then attached the headboard and front legs (from the footboard) to the base.

 Next I used the bottom slat of the footboard as the back bench trim and attached 1x6 to the other 3 sides to match the back and to cover the 2x4 base. I then cut and attached all the top slat pieces.

We then took the two remaining tops from the footboard and cut them here

Then I attached the tops to the front bench legs so that the tops would match the back bench posts

Then it was finally time to start sanding, priming, and painting.
The sanding was by far the worst part of the whole process...
It sucked and it took forever,
but it was worth it.
Chandler came out before he went to bed and wanted to help put on the primer, and he did a great job!
He says he wants to help every time I have to paint

Here it is finished. 
It ended up a little bigger and a whole lot heavier than I had expected it to be, but I really like it. 


It's currently sitting in the ignore the chore board I haven't updated in a few weeks..the kids are still doing chores, I just haven't been writing them down...oops :0)

This is not going to be its new home, but I still have to do some rearranging first.
I also still have a cushion for the bench and pillows to make, but that will be for another day.

Hope the instructions made sense...If you make a bench using this send me a pic and let me know!
Hope everyone has a good night  :0)

{If you enjoyed this post please consider "following" me.
I'm attempting to grow my fan base. Thanks! }


  1. I have 2 headboards sitting out in my garage waiting for me. I'm so glad I got to watch you do it first :o) This turned out beautiful! Congrats on your first piece of furniture!! Quick question, how did you attach the seat part to the headboard and footboard? It looks like you used a smaller piece of wood underneath it, but I couldn't figure out exactly what you did :o) I'm your newest follower!

  2. Sorry! I guess I should have explained that part thank you for your compliment, and it's great to have you as a follower!

    I attached 2 small squares of wood to each of the legs so that I would have something to rest the base on when we were screwing the base to the legs. It helped with the weight of the base, but it was also so we would know that the sides were even and in the right spots before we screwed it all together.
    I then had my husband shoot really long screws through the base and into the legs on a diagonal..I had him do it for 2 reasons..1. I'm horrible at shooting screws sideways, and 2. the headboard wood was super hard and I definitely needed the extra strength to get the screws in...Hopefully the wood on yours won't be as hard as mine was...
    If you look really closely at the picture of the bench underside you can just barely see the indention on the bottom of the base on the left side where the screw went in. We did that on each leg at the top and bottom of the base. I also left the small wood pieces just for a little extra support. Since I attached trim wood to the outside they are covered and you can't see them.

    Hope this helps, and please send me a picture of your bench when you get it completed! I'm sure it will turn out great! :0)

  3. I do have a headboard and footboard and am tempted to try my husbands powertools out and surpise everyone! Love what you did thanks so much for sharing tutorial!

  4. Great Job! I have a bed frame almost identical to that and would love to try that too. Funny, my husband is also a drafter and his autocad skills come in very hand!!

    Thanks for sharing the pics and info.

    Marilyn C.

  5. Thanks so much for answering and for visiting my site! I will post about my bench sometime soon (hopefully!) I feel like I have 10 projects lined up for the next few weeks :o) Thanks again for sharing your tutorial and I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with in the future!

  6. It's beautiful! I also have a headboard/footboard put aside to make one of these neat benches too. This is the motivation I needed. :)

  7. Great idea! Hubby is the creative one when it comes to wood in our family. However, he usually just wings it with the scratch pad!

    Your bench is beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  8. I love the bench!!! Thanks for the tutorial!

  9. Heather, this is such a cute idea!!! Very unique!! What a great idea!!! I am a newbie to blogging and now following you. I hope you will follow me too! Bless you!

  10. What great team work :) Wow, it looks terrific! Love it. I may have to try that one! I am your newest follower. Thanks for sharing. Hope you can visit me sometime:)

  11. Hi! I found your post on TT&J's weekend wrap-up party. :) I have an adorable head/foot board sitting in my garage waiting to be made into a bench. I love seeing how other people build them. I'm your newest follower. You're welcome to come visit me at oldewindmillfarm(dot)blogspot(dot)com.

    Great job on the bench - it looks terrific! ~Rachel

  12. SO so sooooooo cool!!!!!!!! :o) Just fabulous----you tell your hubby that you are going to keep doing great projects like this because you are inspiring your blog friends!
    Jaime from crafty scrappy happy

  13. This is totally awesome! I just love it! I would love if you would come link this up at the Thursday Crazy Cute link party today!

  14. Looks awesome!!! I have a headboard and footboard waiting for this exact project in my basement! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Come by and say hi if you want! :) I love your blog!

    Mallory @ Classy Clutter

  15. Great Job, I love it! I found you through *I linked up 4 below you! :)

  16. I LOVE it! And thanks for the tutorial! These benches are so charming, and I'd love to have one. You've made it look pretty do-able for a girl who also might cut something off!


  17. I am a new follower. I am so glad I saw your link up on TT&J. I have an old antique headboard and I have been trying to think of something to do with it and thanks to you I think I know what I am going to do with it now. Love the bench and I can't wait to see the pillows and stuff you make to go with it. Thanks for sharing!

  18. I've made a lot of headboard benches, they are indeed all different in their own way.
    I really like the way you capped off your front legs with the curved part. :)
    I usually use the entire footboard cut in half as "arms".
    Great job!

  19. What a great idea. I love it. I would love for you to stop by and link up your project to More the Merrier Monday. It lasts through Wednesday so you have plenty of time to link up.