Monday, August 9, 2010

$10 Vintage Bed Project

I've been busy.

This weekend we finished our bench project. This bench started out as a full size vintage headboard and footboard.
I found it at a yard sale almost 2 months ago for $10.00!
I decided I wanted to try making it into a bench. I searched the internet for tips and tricks and came up with a plan.
I apologize for not taking as many "step-bystekp" photos as I could have.

You know how it goes....sometimes you are just focused on getting the project done.

But here's a few before shots.

First I decided my bench should be about 21" deep. We took the footboard and cut off the two ends.

We attached the ends of the footboard to the headboard.

We pre-drilled the holes so we wouldn't crack the wood.

Then we started to build a frame or box on the inside.

Here's what it looked like with the frame built.

Then we cut a piece of plywood to creat the seat of the bench.

We didn't use anything higher grade than plywood because we knew we were going to cover it with a cushion.

Here's the way it turned out.

While out searching for fabric we decided to create two cushions instead of one.


Because we found this fabric we really liked and it is of course only 54" WIDE. Well....our overall bench width is 56".

We didn't want the dragonflies flying sideways. So...right there in JoAnn's we decided to make two identical cushions.

In the end, I think it is much more interesting this way.

This great graphic was found at The Graphics Fairy and I just had to whip up some pillows with it. Doesn't it work great with this project. I made a couple extra for the shop.

To make the cushions we bought two - 1 yard pieces of the fabric. We also bought 28" of foam in the 3" height. We had to have the foam cut into 28" x 21" (both pieces).

Thanks goodness we got the woman at the fabric counter who was very helpful and agreed to trim it down to 21" for us (they don't usually do that).

We cut a piece of plywood slightly smaller than the foam (about an inch all around).

I went to the antique mall and found some fun vintage buttons that were on the large side.

We pre-drilled holes in the wood where we wanted to use the buttons for tufting. We ended up using a heavier gauger wire to pull through the foam and fabric and tighten down the buttons. It seemed to work very well. Trial and error.

Isn't that what most of htese projects are about?

Then we flipped the cushion over and trimmed away the excess fabric. We used the electric staple gun to secure the fabric.
There was a big Founder's Day Sale at JoAnn's this weekend, SO we got the fabric and the foam 50% off. That is a great thing, since both of these items can be quite pricey.

I am very happy with the results of the bench. I must admit I had distressed the back of the bench even more and my husband wasn't happy with it. So...I settled for just the edges sanded and a bit of distressing on the headboard.

After all, I do want him to help me make more of these! : )

Now, I have nothing on the wall above thisl and am thiniking about ideas. If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears.

This was a great project. I have to admit when we started it I planned on using this bench outside, but when I saw how great it was turning out I knew it deserved a place in our hallway/gallery..

Don't pass up these great full size beds. So much potential!

Oh yeah...forget to mention I applied a coat of the Minwax Finishing wax at the end. Love that stuff! Gives your painted projects such a nice finish at the end.

Happy Monday to all!



  1. what a fab. project and I love the pillows.
    TFS.Came over from Brag Monday.
    Have a great day.

  2. I've seen several of these and this turned out so pretty. The headboard has great curves.

  3. Your bench looks wonderful Cori! You have done a wonderful job and I love how your cushions turned out!

  4. Wow! I really love your bench! I have seen quite a few headboards turned benches in blogland, and I must say that yours is one of my favorites! Love the pillows, too! Saw you over at the Graphics Fairy :)

  5. Your bench turned out great Cori!! And the price can't be beat! Love the pillows, they're perfect with the bench. Thanks for linking this up to Brag Monday.

  6. Your bed is absolutely darling! Makes me want to run out RIGHT NOW and get an old bed to do this to. It's really darling and you should be very proud of yourself for making this!

  7. Very, very nice! Great job, love the bed frame.

  8. Thanks for all your sweet comments. This project has given me an EXTRA bit of satisfaction. I just love walking by this one of a kind bench in my hallway each day. Just goes to show you--we can pretty much do what we set our mind to.

    You have to love that!

  9. Wonderful project and great tutorial. I can see a stenciled monogram in it's future.

  10. That turned out beautiful. I love the fabric and the pillows added that special touch. ~~Sherry~~

  11. I have a bed that I am wanting to make into a bench. I love the distressed look that you achieved on yours. I hope I can get a similar look on mine (once hubby builds it for me).

  12. Very pretty! The two cushions are just right.

  13. I just bookmarked this... I can't tell you how many times I have passed these sets by.. Love your bench.. enjoy it! AND I like the two cushions too!


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