Hi guys! I have been making beds turned benches a lot lately. I love how each one of them is so different from each other – its almost like putting a puzzle together and i love me a puzzle! I have actually taken pics along the way of most of them to do a blog post, but life gets busy and blogging gets pushed to the side. And its honestly a little hard to do a tutorial on these, because each and everyone of them is so different from each other. There is no wrong and right way to build your bench – there are tons of configurations you can make these depending on what your working with. I just like to take my head/foot boards, prop them up against a wall and then take a chair and sit back and stare at them for a minute…or two. Then i just try and visualize the best way to take most of the foot board apart and reconfigure it to either be the sides of the bench, the seat or on this case, its both the arms and the front/seat.
But i will take you step by step on how i did this one and hopefully it will show you the basics so you can tackle yours :)
I started with this vintage head board and foot board. I try to find these really cheap because im not just painting them as is and selling them. It takes a couple hours to build/paint one and it costs more in supplies so you need to figure that in if your building one to sell.
I determined on this one, that i wanted to use the foot board as the front base of the seat. So i measured up from the floor 19 inches – thats normally the standard height that i cut my seats (remember there will be an added seat so that will add a bit more height). I made my mark and then cut it with a hand saw.
After cutting down the foot board, i cut the sides of the bench from the side rails of another bed i had. I dont recall the exact depth i cut them, but i think it was about 20-22 inches. I wanted this bench to be a bit deeper and more substantial so i cut them a little longer.
When i made my 1st couple headboard benches a few years ago, i would just use wood screws and angle them to attach everything together. But, now i have a Kreg Jig and its the best thing ever for building! It makes it so much easier to put together and so much sturdier. If you plan to build anything – i would highly recommend adding this gadget to your life!
After making my pocket holes for the sides, i attached them to the back of the headboard with wood screws and glue. Then i ran a board across the back the same height as the sides – i just glued and screwed it into the headboard.
Always make sure you use a good glue! It will make your project all that more secure than just using screws. The pic below is of a piece i cut to run across the front to sturdy up the bench even more and it will give something for the cross braces to attach to.
After running boards across the back and front, i cut some 6 in pine boards and ran them down the middle and sides. This sturdies up the bench even more and its also what i will use to attach my seat too.
Again, i just used the Kreg Jig to make pocket holes so they were easy to attach and are nice and flush.
After attaching my supports, i added my seat.
I just flipped the bench on its side and screwed the boards in from up underneath – obviously i screwed them in from the support brackets. Just be sure to measure your screws so you dont go through both pieces of wood and stick out the seat :)
Remember this curvy piece that i had to cut from the top? I decided i wanted to use that as arm rests. I am so glad i did this – it made them bench so much “grander” and it almost made it seem like an old vintage couch or settee. It was the perfect touch :)
To make the sides fit snug into the back of the bench, i had to cut out little pieces of the trim. The best tool ever for little things like this, is an oscillating tool. It has all different attachments you can add to do almost any job. It was perfect for what i needed to do here.
I also had to cut a little chunk out of the arm to fit over the ledge on the back. I used my jigsaw for that so i could get a nice straight cut.
See – all nice and snug :) To attach the arms to the back – i just used glue and then screwed it in from the back up top where its wider – that made it really secure.
I didnt take a pic, but i also screwed in the front part of the arm from up underneath the seat part as well. Then i just used my nailer to put a couple nails through the rest of the length of the arm where the wood is thinner and cant get a screw in there.
I decided that i wanted to paint the seat as well – so i gave the new wood a coat of stain so it would show through when it was distressed.
I also decided i wanted to fancy up the bench a little bit, so i took some appliques that ive been working on adding to our online shop and glued them on. They fit perfect!
Then i got to painting after letting the stain dry overnight. I used Sweet Pickins Milk Paint in Sweetwater – our newest milk paint color! I didnt use the Extra Bond because i wanted the milk paint to chip. I thought this was a perfect choice – its the perfect vintage green for this style of bench. At 1st i was going to two tone the details on the bench and add in some white, but then after the 1st coat i decided that i loved the simpleness of just the one color.
After painting it, i gave it a light coat of our new Cream Wax in Dark and it added just enough age to it and highlight the details.
This definitely is my favorite head board bench to date! Wouldn’t it look amazing filled up with pillows or with a custom fluffy down cushion made for it! I so wanted to keep it, but i have nowhere for it. She actually went to a really good home today :)
Be back soon with another tutorial – i just got a church pew and had to cut a bit off to make it work. So i took pics and will post about that one later this week!
Bye guys :)