How to Build a Headboard Bench

Hello lovelies! Today I’m going to share with you what I did to my pineapple bed I found at Lucketts this Spring. You may remember it looking like this:

Pineapple-bed-before (2)

Both the headboard and my garden look much different these days! Here’s what that headboard is looking like these days…

How to Build a Headboard Bench from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

I knew when I bought it that I wanted to make it into a bench!  If you look closely at the before photo, it was in pretty rough shape with several gouges and scratches, so I also knew it needed to be painted.

Well I finally did it, and I love her in her new life as a bench.

How to Build a Headboard Bench from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

It’s been raining for four days straight here, so I finally had a few minutes to take some pictures as the rain was taking a break.  I am so pleased with how it turned out!

I’d love to show you how easy it was to do…that is if you have an assistant to help you.  My little assistant didn’t get off the school bus till after 4:00. I was too impatient to wait. He did arrive just in time to hold the final piece in place for me while I attached it…BIG help!

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First I cut my footboard in two. These pieces will become the arms and side supports. I removed about another two inches from each side so my seat wouldn’t be too deep. I was aiming for 18″ deep.


Next, I needed to attach the side pieces to the back. For this part, I knew I wanted to use a Kreg Jr. Pocket Hole Jig System aka Kreg Jig. A Kreg Jig is a tool that helps to make pocket holes, perfect for attaching things at  ninety degree angles. This mini version works perfectly. (I recommend investing in one of their clamps [I eventually did] which is made to fit the Kreg Jig perfectly.) Meet the Kreg Jig Jr:



Kreg Jig Jr

Here’s a quick recap of how it works:

How to use a Kreg Jig Jr.

  1. Kreg Jig Jr and screws that work perfectly with this system, although not required.
  2. Set your Kreg Jig to the proper depth buy moving the gray sliding piece on the side to the thickness of the wood. Mine is set at 3/4″. Clamp in place to the edge of your wood. (This is my clamp, their clamp is round to fit perfectly in the top of the Kreg Jig.
  3. This is the drill bit that comes in the kit, which you attach to your drill. Set the guide (the round thing) on the bit to the proper depth according to the instructions. This will stop you from drilling too deep.
  4. Drill your hole/holes.
  5. Tada!
  6. Add wood glue to the edge.
  7. Screw in place.

The big difference between this and the $100 version is this requires that you clamp it in place, while the other one has a clamp built in.

After drilling my pocket holes, I attached the side pieces to the back, using my level as I went:How to build a headboard bench

I wasn’t able to use the Kreg Jig on the top because my arms are rounded, so I used a 3 1/2 inch screw and secured it from behind (using wood glue also).

I added the piece across the front using the same method as the bottom, side pieces. That’s when my assistant showed up, so helpful to have a helper!

Then I cut my seat pieces from 1 x 4 pieces of pine


I waited to attach them since I was planning to paint something on the back.

Looking all Sanford and Son…bomp bomp bonna…bomp bomp bonna bonna bonna…


My neighbors love me. 🙂

Next, time to paint. I planned on using my DIY chalk paint in Behr’s Cottage White, but because this was mahogany and the varnish had worn off in several places, I sealed the entire piece with a coat of shellac first to prevent bleed-through. See my tutorial for How to Paint using Chalk Paint HERE for more details!

I primed the bare wood before painting with a spray-on Rustoleum Primer. I wish I had stained or spray painted those pieces dark before painting so that when I sanded, some dark edges would show through. Honestly, though, I think my family was ready to get the kitchen back. Remember all the rain I mentioned?


The final detail was to add something to the back. I chose a simple, “Welcome” in one of my favorite fonts, Edwardian Script. Here’s a quick pictorial, but see HERE for more details on transferring graphics.

How to transfer letters

Voila! Simple, but perfect:

How to Build a Headboard Bench from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer



How to Build a Headboard Bench from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer


I nailed the seat slats in place with finishing nails, spacing them apart evenly. They rested on the front bottom piece of the original headboard and the piece I added across the front.

How to build a bench from an old headboard

After sanding the edges just a bit to bring out some detail, I gave the entire piece a coat of clear wax.

*Its important to note that if you plan to use a bench like this outside, I would use a polycrylic to seal as the wax can melt with the heat of the sun!

How to build a bench from an old headboard

I wasn’t able to rough it up too much since I couldn’t really sand the seat part. I really wish I had stained it or painted it dark first. Boo…

How to build a bench from an old headboard


How to build a bench from an old headboard


How to Build a Headboard Bench from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

I’m still loving how it turned out.  Did I mention I only paid $15 for the headboard? What a steal!

If you liked this headboard bench, there are two more in this round-up of ten awesome Upcycled headboards…click the image or the link below to see them all!

10 Upcycled Headboards from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

10 Upcycled Headboards

How about you? Have you ever tackled a headboard bench?






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  1. You did a wonderful job on that bench. Your Welcome is impeccable. My son was making benches from bed frames and other pieces of repurposed furniture summer. He made glider benches, rocker benches and storage benches. He was so creative and had so much fun doing it. I can’t wait to show him yours, he’ll love it!!

    • Thanks, Sandra! Your son must be very talented to create glider benches and rockers. Hopefully you benefited from his hobby 🙂

      • Christy,
        I claimed the very first one, but it wasn’t a rocker or glider, it’s just beautiful. He loved your bench by-the-way. He wishes he could think of unique things like the “Welcome” sign on the back.

  2. Wow! It’s awesome! I can’t tell you how often I pass by old headboards while thrifting because I don’t know what to do with them. Thanks for some inspiration!!

  3. It looks amazing Christy! I love how perfect the little pineapples are for a “welcome” bench – so symbolic!! Amazing work, as always!

  4. Hi Christy,
    This is awesome! I don’t know anyone in real life who repurposes things, so I love reading posts like this. Keep up the great work!
    Dee 🙂

  5. Christy – that bench is absolutely amazing!!! I LOVE it and what a fantastic job you did. Wish you could make one for me! 😉 I especially love the pineapples, because Krista said, they symbolize welcome which is just perfect. Pinning and sharing! Have a happy Sunday and a wonderful week!

    • Thanks so much, Cindy! I made this to sell at the Christmas Market I’m doing this November, but I’d like to keep it for myself lol! Thanks for your sweet words and have a great week! XO

  6. These are just the cutest things that are being seen all over the place…it’s so great that you made such a nice tutorial for those that would like to make one. I am pinning it to spread your great post!

  7. Thanks for the tutorial, I want to make one of these someday!

  8. So cute! We found you from That DIY party. Pinning! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Could I ask, how would you assemble if you didn’t have the jig? I can’t afford one and dream of completing my own bed to bench.

    • Hi Terri, you could screw through the back of the headboard post into the side pieces, like I did with the top pieces of each side. You would need to pre-drill your holes to avoid splitting the wood. Since I am selling this piece, I was trying to avoid a bunch of screws at the back. If I were making it for myself, it wouldn’t matter as much. For $40, it was worth it to me and I know I’ll use it again. (Plus I was looking for an excuse to buy one ha ha!) Hope this helps! 🙂

  10. Stunning makeover! I can’t believe you only paid $15 for the headboard. What a steal! Coming over from Between Naps on the Porch and so glad I did!


  11. Beautiful, Christy! I will never look at another twin bed the same way again! : )

  12. Hi Christ,
    Love your bench! I have a child’s head board in que for a refinish. A bench would be so cool, but I’ll have to get creative as I don’t have the foot:( Pinned

    • Thanks, Michele! I have another headboard that I started with that was missing the headboard. I got the whole frame built, then realized, the headboard was warped! It wouldn’t have sat straight. I’ll find something to do with it. Good luck with yours:)

  13. I see in my comment I left the y off Christy, lol:)

  14. Freakin Sweet! I love the Sanford and Sons reference. I can’t wait till we get all settled in and I get to use my pickup truck to go curb shopping and bring home lots of crap Phil won’t want in his garage. 🙂

    Love the bench!!!


  15. Christy, what a terrific idea you had. It’s really lovely! I’m over from Met Monday, and hope you visit my post.


  16. I love it! A couple of years ago I mentioned to my husband that I wanted one of these and that I was going to hire a carpenter to make one for me. He insisted on doing it himself! It came out great. I just love it so much. It’s on the pretty little (what I call) service porch that is to the left of our main, front door porch. I made throw pillows for it that I change with the seasons. I like it so much I think I might want another one. 😉 Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks, Pam! I wish I had a covered area to put mine! Unfortunately if I want anything like this made for me, my husband would say, “You can do that yourself!” I still try to make him think there are things I can’t do, so he will do them ha ha…”honey, I always mess up when I mow the grass…” 🙂

  17. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Well I’m proud of you for doing stuff like that, yourself. But I must say, I’m glad my hubby will do it for me. I used to be more adventurous, but now I’m all thumbs and butterfingers. Saws and power tools are better in his hands, lol! Thanks for responding. It really did come out so pretty. 🙂

  18. Girlfriend this is amazing!! You did a beautiful job. OMG !!!

  19. Love this bench, it turned out so beautifully. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  20. Hi Kristy! Just popping in (again!) 🙂 to thank you for sharing this fabulous project at Best of the Weekend and I wanted to let you know that I’ll be featuring it at tomorrow night’s party! Hope you have a happy Thursday!

  21. You did an amazing job! I have been wanting to make one of these but haven’t really found any good tutorials until now. This is perfect! You should be EXTERMLY proud of it….. Pinning so I can attempt in the spring…

  22. I love that! I have a twin headboard that’s been in my garage for over a year (collecting dust!)….for this purpose. 😉 Haven’t gotten around to it yet…one day!! I love how you put the “Welcome” on the back…so perfect!

    And oh yes, the rain….SO glad the sun decided to come back out finally!
    Hope you have a great weekend Christy!

  23. Great idea! I love this and you can always find cheap… AFFORDABLE headboards at Goodwill. Thanks for sharing! Stop by my Friday’s Five Features tomorrow and link up this post (and others)!

  24. Wow, this is great clever lady! I love anything you can use the old Kreg jig on, it’s my new best friend! I made this storage bench window seat with it have about 100 more things I want to try. I am going tp add this bench to my list!

  25. Hi, I found you on hometalk. This is exactly the tutorial that I’ve been looking for! I have an old head and foot board that was my husbands when he was little. I also have the side rails and have tried to make it work in one of my kids rooms but it’s just not a standard size (and I really don’t want to pay to have a mattress made!) I’m wondering if you think it will be weather proof? Does the wax work for that?
    I’m going to pin your cute bench so I can remember where it is when I get time to do this project and to share with all of my followers how clever you are!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Ashley Rane Sparks

    • Hi, Ashley…I’m so glad you found this post helpful! Thanks so much for visiting to check it out. I think this would work fine under a covered porch outside. I’m not sure about leaving it exposed and if it’s going to be in really hot conditions or direct sunlight, I would use a polyacrylic to seal instead of the wax. (It may melt.) Hope I answered your question 🙂 XO

  26. Laura Strack says

    Hello Christy, So glad I saw Miss Mustard Seed Blog today and noticed your darling bench. This was your first bench? Great job!! I have a bed that I received from my neighbor, for free! Lucky me. I too want to turn it into a bench and you have motivated me to go for it! There’s a matching mirror, as well. I’m stoked to get started. Thanks so much for the inspiration 🙂 XOX Laura

    • Awesome!! Inspiring others is my absolute favorite! Just make sure you have a helper to hold the pieces while you attach them and you’ll have no problem. Good luck! 🙂

  27. Hy Christy! I love your bench. I would never had thought a woman can do this kind of job.. Hugs, Cristina

  28. Danita Courtney says

    Hi Christy,

    I have been wanting to try this project for a while now. My husband who has all the power tools says it’s a “big” job, but I think the job is well worth the effort as a Welcome bench is what I want and do not has it in my budget to purchase a $300 one. I will show him how you did it in the hopes that he will SEE it’s not so hard! Thank you for the inspiration AND the awesome tutorial! I love learning new things! I usually do stuff inside and much smaller to be truthful! So I need his help and you provide just the right motivation! Thanks for sharing!!! If it happens….WHEN it happens I’ll share back!

    • Oh I hope you go for it, Danita! I’ll be honest, I thought it was going to be way more difficult than it was. But when I got started, it wasn’t bad at all! Please share WHEN it happens 🙂

  29. Gina, I am truly honored to be a part of your final features! Thanks so much. Like many, I will certainly miss your party! Have a wonderful weekend :)XO

  30. Thanks so much for featuring my bench!! It’s a great way to start my weekend! Have a good one! 🙂


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