How To: Make a Headboard Bench from Scraps

Nia's February Jumpstart Project 2009

Title: Headboard Bench from Scraps
Name: Nia Sayers
Time: 4 hours
Cost: $38

This is where recycling and intelligence meets decor. Check out how Nia inventively turns this old headboard into a totally new piece of furniture. Click above for the pics and head below for all the instructions. Give Nia a THUMBS UP if you find this project helpful....



I used an antique twin headboard and one of its siderails, scrap 2x2 for a ledger, scrap plywood for the seat, fabric, leftover foam & batting, fabric covered buttons, a circular saw, a staple gun, finish nailer, screws, glue gun, upholsterer's needle, tufting string & 2 old chair legs.


I first upholstered the headboard -- using a tufting technique, but you could just do a simple, straightforward panel. I used scraps of 1" foam and batting under my new fabric and stapled it to the headboard panel.

Then, I trimmed it out using a double welt trim. Any trim will do - just hot glue into place. Next, I measured 14" from each end of the side rail and using my circular made my cuts. I made one more cut from the remaining piece of side rail and nailed it to the side rail end pieces to create 3 sides of the bench "box".

Using the metal hardware already in place I hooked the side rails into the slots on the headboard. To support the bench top, I cut scrap pieces of 2x2 and nailed them to the inside front and back portions of the box. I added additional screws from the back of the headboard for added support.

For the bench seat, I laid 3" thick foam and batting on top of the plywood that I cut to fit the space, and upholstered it using fabric that I had been saving for the perfect project. I topped the bench with the newly upholstered seat and it was such a snug fit that it didn't need any additional securing.

The last step was to screw in 2 chair legs to the front part of the bench box. I got the legs from my local salvage store at $3 a piece.


All materials except for the fabric were scraps, second hand or garage sale finds. Even the buttons were rejects from another project that I recovered.

Give Nia a THUMBS UP if you find this project helpful....


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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.