Alisa
Alisa
  • Hometalker
  • Westerville, OH

Transform a Vintage Toboggan Into a Bench

8 Materials
$40
2 Days
Easy

Vintage toboggans and sleds are a relatively easy find these days at estate sales and flea markets. Learn how to transform a vintage sled into a bench, making for one of a kind, functional decor in your mudroom or a small space entry in your home.

transform a vintage toboggan into a bench

I picked up this vintage toboggan sled at an estate sale for $7. It was in rough condition, but it had good bones and a simple shape that would be great for transforming into a bench.

transform a vintage toboggan into a bench

Start by removing the unnecessary pieces: in this case I removed the cushion, polyester rope at the sides, and a small chain that had been used to hand and store the sled.

transform a vintage toboggan into a bench

Next up is a good sanding. 

transform a vintage toboggan into a bench

My original plan was to sand it back completely and re-stain, but as I started sanding I realized the distressed finish looked much better. I love how the two tones maintain that weathered, vintage look.

transform a vintage toboggan into a bench

The wood slats of the sled are so thin that I needed to add supports before attaching legs. I used 1 foot x 6 foot common board that we had left over from another project. I measured and cut the common board to fit flush between the support slats of the sled.

transform a vintage toboggan into a bench

Once the supports were cut I stained to match the sled as closely as possible.

transform a vintage toboggan into a bench

Clamp the sled supports in place and drill your pilot holes for each screw.

transform a vintage toboggan into a bench

With clamps still in place, drill the screws in place. I used four screws for each sled support.

transform a vintage toboggan into a bench

With all four supports screwed in place, I then added the hairpin legs. I used four screws for each leg.

transform a vintage toboggan into a bench

Once the legs were attached and I set it up in the mudroom, I realized that while the sides were sturdy, the middle was too thin and weak to hold any amount of weight. I took another piece of leftover common board and created one long support beam across the center of the sled on the underside.

transform a vintage toboggan into a bench

With the middle support stained and screwed in place, the sled was much more sturdy, and capable of actually holding weight. The last step was to give the sled a coat of  Feed-N-Wax sealer, which gave it a nice shine and ensures the wood won’t dry out over time.

transform a vintage toboggan into a bench

Here is a look at the finished product in our mudroom. I added the vintage cooler as convenient way to store hats and gloves, but also keep them out of sight.

transform a vintage toboggan into a bench

This give a better look at the top; I'm really digging the distressed, vintage look from the sanding!

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Alisa

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Em
    on Apr 11, 2019

    What is the weight capacity of the legs your used? Some are thin and designed for tables that don't hold a human.

    • Em
      on Apr 12, 2019

      Thanks Alisa. Just want people to know there are some not suitable for sitting as the hairpin legs are all the rage now.

Join the conversation

4 of 49 comments
  • La streight
    on Apr 28, 2019

    Love the curved part it can be a shelf to store stuff u want easy access to like dog leash or anything u need daily.

    • Alisa
      on Apr 30, 2019

      yes! its still chilly here in Ohio so I have been using it to store gloves and hats!

  • Love.coups
    8 days ago

    I love your old Scotch Cooler. I have one just like it that I actually take to outdoor concerts and picnics. I always get compliments on it!

    • Alisa
      5 days ago

      I love that you still put yours to good use!! I'm always on the hunt for the green and navy version too but it is a hard one to find!

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