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Repurpose your headboard and footboard into a functional and useful bench!

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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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If you enjoyed this repurposed project, you’ll be sure to love my other posts like this Repurposed Ladder Idea. Click for more details and video.

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