Old Headboard and Banister to Funky Table

3 Hours
When it's bulk trash pick up day in the area most people haul their trash to the curb. Instead, East Coast Upcyclers hop into their cars in pursuit of some fine pickin'! Yup, that's right, we're not above digging through trash to find our next project. This day I happened to hit the jackpot with a gorgeous old chunky headboard and footboard set (note: the footboard is not pictured here because I had already taken it off the tray). My 5 minute drive home was just enough time for me to brainstorm the funky table that I was going to create. Anyone can do this project with minimal tools and an imagination.
old headboard and banister to funky table, how to, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, BEFORE
You're going to need some type of saw, preferably a reciprocating saw and a table saw. Then, grab some 2 1/2 inch screws, a 3/8 spade bit, drill, belt sander or finish sander and some clamps. Depending on how much usable wood is on the headboard, you might need to supplement. Consider using an old banister like we did. As far as sourcing this stuff, YES, people are throwing awesome things like this out every day. I bet you'll pay more attention to the side of the road now... But, if you don't find what you are looking for then your next best bet is to go to your nearest reclaimed building material store or check craigslist. There is an awesome free section on craigslist where you can find all kinds of cool stuff.
old headboard and banister to funky table, how to, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, AFTER
About 3 hours......
STEP 1: Take apart the headboard. No need to go all Chuck Norris on this thing. Just look for the pre-drilled holes and you will find all the screws holding it together. Take care with backing these screws out and you're going to have nice clean pieces of wood. And, you can re-use the screws.
You're going to find some of the pieces set in together and a saw will be your only option. A word of advice, USE CAUTION as you don't want to cut more than you need to.
And BINGO! Here's a snapshot of what a headboard and footboard will get you if you take your time with pulling it all apart. I feel like a fisherman proudly displaying my catch...This picture doesn't even show you the plan wood I got from the middle of the headboard, these things are an upcycler's dream!
STEP 2: And now let's get started with customizing those awesome chunky old table legs... I was making a coffee table so I cut the legs at 17 1/2 inches.
STEP 3: Once you have the legs cut, it's time to make the frame. You should have more than enough wood from the headboard to make the frame. But, me being me, I wanted to use different mismatched material that would give an added funky look. So I decided to visit my trusty old pile of wood where I found an old banister rail that I had picked a few months ago.
STEP 4: Brace yourself, you're dealing with some thick wood here. So, pre-drilled holes are necessary in order to get the screws to connect securely from one piece to the other. I used a 3/8 inch spade bit because I like the look of a bigger pre-drilled holes.. Once you've drilled the holes, use clamps to hold the pieces together flush and screw them together.
Wallah (is that how you spell it?) Here's what the table looks like all framed up.
STEP 6: At this point all you need to do is take the fat trim wood you pulled off of the headboard and cut them to size for your table planks. More than likely they are not going to fit perfectly width-wise. If you're a perfectionist you can rip one of the planks using a table saw or circular saw, I decided just to space them about 1/8 inch apart so no ripping needed. You'll see in this picture that the sides came out looking a little unfinished. No biggie, I had some extra banister rail wood left so I trimmed it up and screwed it to the side.It was the perfect touch!
STEP 6: Either you want a finished look or the distressed look. I went with the distressed loo. I just hit this thing with a belt sander using 50 grit sand paper. I got this funky design and plan to sand it smooth with 120 grit and then 220 grit and then hit it with some uneven stain. You can sand and stain to your heart's content. I'd suggest starting with a belt sander and then use a finish sander. For stain, try soaking steel wool in vinegar and mixing in a little paint (instead of buying a new can of stain from the store).
Here's the finished product. The best part is that I still have enough material to use on my next project.
Now it's just time for final approval from my wife before I set up for our pool party later that afternoon!
Let this post be inspiration for you to keep your eyes open as you are driving. There's no telling what you can find on the side of the road. Or, under a porch.... just loo
If you’ve ever bought or found something with the intent of giving it a new life, you have upcycled. East Coast Upcyclers shares your passion for giving new life to old things! In 2014 a group of upcyclers along the East Coast joined forces to pair their DIY experiences with tips on where to source, build, buy and sell upcycled. They spend their time pickin’ for junk (treasure) and have a blast upcycling it into funky or functional creations that anyone can do while documenting the process! Subscribe to their blog at http://www.eastcoastupcyclers.com or follow them on facebook, twitter, youtube, pinterest, instagram or home talk. Who knows you may just learn something or catch the upcycling bug!
East Coast Upcyclers
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Questions on this post

Have a question about this project?

Your question...


Join the conversation

Your comment...