Vintage Waterfall 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

Vintage Art Deco Waterfall Headboard Bench With Embossed Leather Hide Seat

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

Vintage Art Deco Waterfall Bed Before

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. I've included a detailed Materials List towards the bottom of this post.

Step 1 - Slicing the footboard 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 foot board for sides of Vintage Waterfall 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.

Vintage Waterfall Headboard Bench Seat Frame

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.

How to build Vintage Waterfall Headboard Bench

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).

Vintage Waterfall Headboard Bench assembled

Step 5 - Filling the gaps

Vintage Waterfall Headboard Bench assembly with wood filler

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.

Vintage Waterfall Headboard Bench Chalk Painted in 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.

Vintage Waterfall Headboard Bench Dark Waxed

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

Vintage Waterfall Headboard Bench Aged Trim

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.

Vintage Headboard Bench Embossed Leather Hide Seat Assembly

This is where that gorgeous piece of Embossed Leather Hide came in. Just love the Western Tool embossed pattern on the leather and the color of the hide. The Leather Hide Store offers a very helpful Furniture Reupholstery Guide that outlines how much fabric you need for specific styles and types of furniture.

Embossed Leather Hide for Vintage Waterfall Headboard Bench

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 Gütermann thread, I sewed each corner together and cut off the excess for a snug fit over the foam.

Vintage Waterfall Headboard Bench leather hide seat corners

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.

Vintage Headboard Bench Embossed Leather Hide Seat

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

DIY Vintage Headboard Bench With Embossed Leather Seat Left

DIY Vintage Headboard Bench With Embossed Leather Seat Right

As promised, here is a detailed list of the supplies and tools used to make this project.

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 Gütermann 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 Drill Bit
1 1/4" brad nails

Power Tools

Table Saw
Miter Saw
Brad Nail Gun
Staple Gun
Sewing Machine

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

DIY Banner With Leftover Embossed Leather Hide

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

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Vintage Headboard Bench With Embossed Leather Hide Seat
How would you use a leather hide? Have you ever turned an old bed set into a headboard bench?

This wasn't the first headboard bench I've built and it won't be the last. For more headboard bench inspiration you can find my others like this Vintage Headboard Entry Bench With Shoe Storage, Outdoor Garden Bench For Two, Upholstered Headboard Dining Bench, and Twin Captain's Headboard Bench.

This project is being shared at these fabulous LINK PARTIES.