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How to Repurpose a Bed to a Bench

Learn how to turn your trashed items into treasure and repurpose them into another useful and functional item for your home.
Time: 16 Hours Cost: $200 Difficulty: Medium
I've done it again.. I went walking with my dog around the block and found another gem at the curb! Someones trash seems to always become my treasure.  I found this old headboard and footboard lying there so helplessly screaming for someone to take it and give it new life.  I saw the potential the minute I turned the corner.  I wasn't a big fan of the metal posts but I loved the basket weave detail and knew once I got my hands on it, beauty would ensue.
I began by lugging this baby home then heading to my local hardward store to pick up a bunch of lumber and fasteners.  For this queen sized frame I needed the following:
2- 4 x 4's for the posts
A couple 2 x 4's
3- 1 x 4's for the shiplap
2- 3/4 inch sanded plywood pieces for the seat
Nuts & bolts
My first step was to use an allen wrench to remove the metal posts.  I took the 4 x 4's cut them first in half and then down to the size I needed and matched the pre-existing holes in the metal posts to the new wooden ones to ensure the frame would line up the same way. I then drilled in the holes with my drill press (which I must say has an awesome lazer light).

I then bolted the new wood posts to both the headboard and footboard by lining up the holes in the original metal frame and drilling them together.
After that I needed to make a wooden frame which would sit inside both pieces connecting the headboard and footboard together.  I used 2- 2 x 4's which were 72 inches for the length of the bench and 3- 2 x 4's at 17 inches going across connecting both 72 inch pieces (Follow along with my drawing and explanation in the video if this seems confusing). Here it is clamped together.
I drilled the wood frame to the headboard and footboard by first using a center punch which indents the metal making it easier to drill the holes.  Then I drilled a hole into both the wood and metal frames and added a carriage bolt to attach the two pieces, securing it with a flat washer, lock washer and a nut.
Then I needed to add the seat and in this case used 2 sanded plywood pieces that I cut to 36 x 21.5  inches.  I drilled and counter sunk holes into the plywood and screwed it to the wooden frame inside.
I was almost finished and since it was 95 degrees outside that day I was super happy to almost be done.  I then decided to make the sides a bit prettier by adding some homemade shiplap pieces.  I took some 1 x 4's and used my Kreg Routing Table to router out the edges giving it a finished shiplap look.  Adding them down the sides of the bench along with a decorative piece of trim molding to the front of the bench really gave this piece a unique and rustic look.
Lastly I needed to add some wooden newel posts to each post.  Originally I used thread inserts which I drove into the pre-drilled holes I made in the post.  I screwed the newel post inside of the thread insert.  Unfortunately for this beast of a bench, it was too heavy and not secure enough when I grabbed the newel post and lifted it. They popped right off which was no bueno.  I then chose a different option.  I purchased a dowel screw which is a screw on both ends and is also a longer, sturdier type.  I simply screwed it in to both the newel post and wooden post and it made for a much more solid, stronger fit.  The final step was to prime and paint the bench white, add some throw pillows and a cushion, and viola I had a newly repurposed bench!
Be sure to check out my YouTube video on how I made this bench: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z-2bMf64hQ&t=23s

Materials used for this project:

  • 2- 4 x 4s   (home depot)
  • Some 2 x 4's   (home depot)
  • 3 -1 x 4's   (home depot)
See all materials

To see more: http://fixitchick.org/repurpose-bed-bench/

  • Andrea Braden
    Andrea Braden Rockaway Beach, MO
    on Sep 14, 2017

    This bench is so beautiful, I love this and I have an old headboard that I was going to throw away but now I can make this gorgeous bench with it instead of trashing it abecause I didn't like it as a headboard. Thank you so much for sharing. Hugs Andrea

    • Allison Kohmann
      Allison Kohmann Deer Park, NY
      on Sep 24, 2017

      That makes me so happy Andrea. I love that this helped you save $$ and gives you a chance to repurpose something great in your home. Let me know how it turns out!!! Thanks for watching!

  • Mandy.trevett
    on Sep 25, 2017

    That is absolutely stunning. Great work and imagination.

  • Denise Conlon
    Denise Conlon
    on Sep 25, 2017

    You are so creative! Absolutely stunning.

  • Stephanie Rountree
    Stephanie Rountree
    on Sep 25, 2017

    Whoa! Snazzy!!

  • Joann Romero
    Joann Romero
    on Sep 25, 2017


Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!