One morning while Mr. Frugalista and I were enjoying coffee on the deck, I said: "wouldn't it be nice to have a wooden garden bench by the back flower bed?" That's when I remembered that sitting under a tarp was a sweet head and foot board that we picked up for a song at a local thrift store.
In that moment we decided to repurpose the headboard into a garden bench. When we pulled the tarp off I gasped - some little critter decided it would keep them well fed over the winter!
The two banisters, shown in the picture below we got for $15.00 at an online auction.
Thankfully it only gnawed on the bottom half so it could easily be hidden by the frame of the bench seat as pictured below.
Instead of a long drawn out step-by-step tutorial on how we made the bench I've created a pictorial that I hope will help.
Step 1: Bench SeatBuild a frame for the seat with 2 x 4 lumber and attach it with wood screws from the back of the headboard so the top is 18-inches high.
Step 2: Decorative front face placeAttach a face plate onto the front of the seat frame.
Step 3: Cutting the foot boardSlice the foot board in half using a table saw.
Step 4: ReSizing the foot board sidesCut each footboard piece 18-inches long (this will be the depth of the seat).
Step 5: Attaching the sidesPlace a piece of wood under the seat at a height of 18-inches from the top of the seat frame (this will be the height of the seat). Square and level the sides, clamping them in place. Attach the footboard onto the seat using wood screws. Attach it to the headboard post from the back as well.
NOTE: you could use a Kreg Pocket Hole Jig to attach it onto the headboard post but we didn't have one at the time of building this bench). You will be filling in the screw holes later with wood filler.
Step 6: Cutting the banisters to use as front legsThe size you cut them is your personal preference but they do need to be a minimum of 18-inches long. You can see in photo 8 that we made ours longer to add a decorative element to the bench.
Step 7: Level the seatDouble check that the seat is perfectly level and attach a temporary piece of lumber to hold the seat level.
Step 8: Adding the front legsAttach the banister legs to the front of the seat frame.
Now it's time for the pretty...
I used a (*affiliate link) Stain Blocker because our bench was made from all sorts of different wood and I wanted a unified finish. I was also worried about tannin bleed from the dark wood on the headboard and footboard. I'm glad I took this step because the finish turned out beautiful!
You may have noticed in the tutorial photos there were no finials on the front legs. As an afterthought, we purchased fence post caps and they echo the posts on the headboard perfectly!
Isn't the *(affiliate link) DecoArt Chalky Finish*(affiliate link) paint color gorgeous? It's called Serene!
It went on like buttah and I only used 1 1/4 jars to paint three coats, underside included. I could have gotten away with only two coats but there were some spots I missed so I added a third.
To add that special touch to our wooden garden bench for two, I created a graphic in PicMonkey using the Silhouette Image Birds On Branch graphic from the Graphics Fairy. Next, I went to Blockposter to enlarge the graphic to fit the back of the headboard.
I rubbed a pencil on the back of the graphic and traced it onto the wood. Using *(affiliate link) art brushes I hand painted the details.
I could sit here for hours listening to the birds chirping while enjoying my morning cup of coffee.
I just love how this bench turned out and don't you think it just begs for some time with a good book!
While I adore this sweet bench I did put it up for sale because the pretty serene color does not go with our outdoor space color scheme. I'm happy to report it sold VERY quickly and I hope the new owners enjoy their new Outdoor Garden Bench For Two.
This isn't our only headboard bench, we made an Embossed Leather Upholstered Bench as well as a pretty Parisian Dining Room Bench.
Have I inspired you to think twice about all those headboard and footboard sets you see at your local thrift stores?
You will find this project linked to these fabulous LINK PARTIES.
A big Thank you to the following for featuring this project: