Last night I was trying to sort through a file on my computer where I put all of my pictures that I take off of my camera’s SD card. I figured it was about time to do some sorting and purging since there were over 3700 pictures in that one file (yikes!), all still in their original, really huge format (which could have a little something to do with why my computer runs at a snail’s pace at times).
So while I was going through this file, I came across a couple of things that for some reason, I never shared with you! So this one is an oldie, but a goody–a bench made from a $5 headboard and footboard that I picked up at an estate sale.
When I first brought it home, it looked like this…
The first thing I did was use my sander to smooth out the finish, and then I gave it a coat of primer…
Next, on the footboard, I marked a line down the center and used my circular saw to cut the footboard in half.
Then on the newly-cut ends, I drilled four holes (two holes on each section) to place furniture dowels. These can be purchased at Home Depot, Lowe’s, or any home improvement store.
Then on the side posts of the headboard, I measured and marked the exact same spacing to drill holes for the furniture dowels.
So after inserting four dowels into the holes in the footboard halves, and then inserting the other ends of the dowels into the holes in the side posts of the headboard, it looked like this. Please note that I also used wood glue, not only in the holes I drilled, but also all along the cut edges of the footboard pieces. Then I let it sit like this until the glue dried.
Once the glue was dried, I placed it on its back to work on the seat.
I used three 1″ x 6″ pieces of pine lumber, cut to the width of the bench, for the seat. Each piece rested on top of the lower section of the footboard halves, and I secured them with wood glue and small “L” brackets.
Then on the front of the bench, I added a 1″ x 3″ piece of MDF lumber across the front to create an “apron” just under the seat. Note that in this picture, the bench has been flipped over, and is now resting with the front on the gound, and the back facing up.
Here is a wider view, and you can see the MDF lumber positioned in such a way that it creates an “apron”, which just gives the seat a bulkier, more substantial appearance.
Next, I caulked all of the cracks and joints.
And it looks like a bench!
This last step is completely optional, but I wanted to fill in the areas on each leg where the metal bed rail hardware can be seen. So I unscrewed the metal hardware, and used it as a “pattern” to trace onto a thin piece of wood, and then used my jigsaw to cut it out. I needed four of these.
Then I glued a wood piece into each hole left by the rail hardware, and filled in the cracks with wood filler. When the glue and wood filler had dried completely, I used my sander to sand it completely smooth.
And there it is! A pretty little bench, ready for paint, perhaps a cushion, a few pillows.
This is a terrible picture, but this is what I ended up doing with it. I painted it a creamy white, and then added a diamond-tufted back (made exactly like this diamond-tufted headboard), and an uphostered cushion for the seat.
But just think of how many different looks you could give a bench like this. You could distress the finish and add grain sack pillows for a French country look. You could paint it a bold color and add bold, modern pillows. They sky’s the limit!!
So now that garage sale season is headed our way, don’t over look those old headboards and footboards!!