Art Deco Headboard Bench With Embossed Leather Hide Seat | The Interior Frugalista: Art Deco Headboard Bench With Embossed Leather Hide Seat
Art Deco Headboard Bench With Embossed Leather Hide Seat | The Interior Frugalista

January 28, 2016

Art Deco Headboard Bench With Embossed Leather Hide Seat

When the good folks at the Leather Hide Store contacted me about making something using one of their leather hides, the plan was to build a leather ottoman. When Mr. Frugalista (a.k.a. my furniture buyer) came home with a Vintage Art Deco Waterfall Twin Headboard and Footboard set that he purchased from a local collectibles dealer, I knew it would make a perfect Headboard Bench With Embossed Leather Hide Seat.

Headboard Bench with embossed leather seat

This is what the Vintage Waterfall headboard and footboard used to look like.  I just love the details on these pieces.

Twin Headboard and footboard before

Vintage Art Deco Waterfall Headboard Bench With Embossed Leather Hide Seat

Materials List

Twin Headboard and Footboard
2" x 3" lumber
3/4-inch plywood
3/4" x 4" MDF trim
2-inch high-density foam
Embossed upholstery leather hide
#18 Denim sewing needle
Quilters G├╝termann thread
Chalk paint in the color Arles
Clear and Dark wax
3-inch 2-inch wood screws
Countersink drill bit
1/8-inch drill bit
#8 Robertson Screw bit
1 1/4" brad nails

Power Tools

Drill
Jigsaw
Table Saw
Miter Saw
Brad Nail Gun
Staple Gun
Sewing Machine

Part of this post was sponsored by the Leather Hide Store by providing the embossed upholstery leather hide for this project.  All opinions, project inspiration, and words are 100% that of my own.  I only share items that I think will bring value to my readers.  See my disclosure policy.

Step 1 - Slicing the foot board in half

The first order of business is to slice the footboard in half with a table saw. Except ours is in the shed and the path to the shed is knee deep in snow so we improvised by using a jigsaw. I marked the center with tape, which also helps the wood from chipping from the jigsaw blade. Can you tell by the grin on my face that I'm having fun?

Cutting a footboard in half for a headboard bench

Step 2 - Building the seat frame

Using 2" x 4" lumber, we built a frame for the seat. You can see the measurement of ours based on the twin headboard in the picture below.

Building a frame for the headboard bench seat

The height of the seat before adding the cushion is 16-inches so we drew a line across the headboard to mark where the frame will be attached, using a level to ensure the mark is straight and perfectly level.

Step 3 - Prepping the headboard to accommodate the footboard sides

In order for the footboard pieces to fit flush onto the headboard, we had to build up the bottom section of the frame with pieces of plywood. We also added 2" x 3" blocks of wood for added support where the sides would be attached (see picture below). To make these cuts we ended up dragging the table saw out of the shed after all.

Headboard frame built out to accommodate bench seat

Step 4 - Attaching the seat frame and footboard sides to the headboard

Using the 16-inch high line we drew onto the headboard from Step 2, we attached the seat frame onto headboard using 2-inch wood screws.

Next, we lined each footboard flush with the frame of the headboard and the sides of the seat frame and clamped them in place, checking to make sure it was level and square. Again using 2-inch wood screws the sides were attached from the inside of the seat frame (as pictured below).

Bench seat attached to the headboard frame

Step 5 - Filling the gaps

Wood filler to fill in gaps and screw holes on the Headboard Bench

We filled any gaps, screw holes, and scratches with wood filler.

Step 6 - Attaching trim to the front of the seat

To hide the 2" x 4" board on the front of the seat frame, MDF trim was attached using a brad nailer. I had a photo but accidentally deleted it but you can see it in the very first photo at the top of this post.

Step 7 - Painting the bench

Now my favorite part, adding the pretty. Like chairs, painting benches with a brush is a heck of a lot of work. To speed up the process I used my HomeRight Finish Max Pro paint sprayer and applied four thin coats of diluted chalk paint in the color Arles.

Headboard bench painted with chalk paint in the color Arles

I used 180-grit sandpaper to lightly distress the bench. To add depth to the color and inject some rustic charm, I waxed the bench with both clear and dark wax. Normally I would apply the clear wax first followed by the dark wax but instead, I blended the two waxes together on a paper plate using an Artist Pallet Knife. Working in sections, I applied the wax using a wax brush and wiped away the excess with a lint-free rag.

Headboard bench aged with clear and dark wax

I love how the dark wax rests in all the crevices and joints of the bench.

Headboard bench with dark wax inside the details

Step 8 - Upholstering the Seat With Embossed Leather Hide


We cut a piece of 3/4-inch plywood to fit the top of the seat frame. Using an old electric serrated knife we cut 2-inch high-density foam the same size as the plywood. The foam was attached to the plywood using spray adhesive.

Plywood and 2 inch foam used on the headboard bench seat

This is where that gorgeous piece of Embossed Leather Hide from the Leather Hide Store came in. Just love the Western Tool embossed pattern on the leather and the color of the hide.

Embossed Western Tool Upholstery Leather Hide on the headboard bench seat

We laid the seat onto the leather hide and cut it to size so it would wrap around the foam and onto the back of the wood. Using white chalk, I drew the four corners and cut a small dart where the two ends should meet when sewing the corners (see picture below).

Using a #18 Denim Needle and Quilters G├╝termann thread, I sewed each corner together and cut off the excess for a snug fit over the foam.

Corners on leather hide Headboard Bench Seat sewn together

The hide slipped over the foam like a glove. After pulling it taut, we stapled it to the back of the plywood.

The upholstered seat was attached to the bench from underneath with 3-inch wood screws.

Embossed leather hide upholstered seat on headboard bench

I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I think the Arles paint color pairs well with the color of the hide.

Recycled Headboard Bench with embossed leather seat

Recycled Headboard with Embossed Leather Seat

I had some fun with some of the leftover pieces of leather hide making this banner.

Banner from leftover leather hide from headboard bench

I want to thank the good folks at the Leather Hide Store for supplying the beautiful Western Tool Embossed Leather Hide for this piece.

If you enjoyed this headboard bench tutorial, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

How to recycle a twin headboard with a leather upholstered seat

How would you use a piece of upholstery leather hide?

I'm sharing this project at these fabulous LINK PARTIES.


I was featured on #DIYLikeaBoss Weekly Features

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