How To Build A Relaxing Outdoor Headboard Bench

Every yard could use at least one garden bench, right? Here's a budget-friendly idea for how to build a relaxing outdoor bench for a deck by repurposing an old headboard. I've included a detailed tutorial on how to build it plus instructions for how to add a playful graphic.



How to turn an old headboard set into a relaxing outdoor garden bench for two. A budget-friendly outdoor furniture idea for a deck, patio, or porch.

DIY Garden Bench From An Old Headboard

The motivation for building the headboard bench was that we needed more outdoor seating after our deck makeover. We couldn't believe how expensive small garden benches retailed for.



The inspiration for our outdoor bench was this headboard garden bench. Too large for our small deck, we found a smaller twin headboard set that is the perfect size for a small bench for two on our deck.



How to turn an old headboard set into a relaxing outdoor garden bench for two. A budget-friendly outdoor furniture idea for a deck, patio, or porch.

We've made several repurposed headboard benches for both indoors and outdoors. We have never paid more than $20, so that gives you a good idea of how inexpensive the benches are to make.



The best source for finding old wooden headboards is Habitat ReStores, thrift stores, garage sales, and estate sales. Look for ones that have both the headboard and footboard, and especially ones with interesting details.



I fell in love with this one because of the large bedposts and interesting finials. Arched headboards make gorgeous benches and those with ornate details too.



How to turn an old headboard set into a relaxing outdoor garden bench for two. A budget-friendly outdoor furniture idea for a deck, patio, or porch.

What You'll Need To Build One

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.



Supply List

Wooden Twin Headboard and Footboard
1 each 8' x 1" x 4" Lumber (for supports)
2 each 8' x 1" x 6" Lumber (for seat slats)
Kreg Pocket Hole Jig
Kreg Premium Face Clamp
Kreg Pocket Screws And Plugs
Level
Bar Clamps
Wood Glue
2 each 2 1/2-inch Angle Brackets
1 1/2-inch Brad Nails
Sea Foam Green (SC-132) Behr Exterior Wood Solid Stain
Najavo White (SC-157) Behr Exterior Wood Solid Stain
Power Drill
Mouse Sander
Pneumatic Nail Gun
HVLP Gravity Feed Spray Gun (alternatives)
Graphite Paper
Delicate Surface Painters Frog Tape
Script Liner Art Brush OR Paint Pens
White Acrylic Craft Paint
Red Acrylic Craft Paint
Exterior Clear Coat



Here's How To Make It

Pictured below is the headboard set that we used to build our small outdoor bench. The twin headboard practically fell apart in our hands but nothing a little wood glue can't handle.



How to turn an old headboard set into a relaxing outdoor garden bench for two. A budget-friendly outdoor furniture idea for a deck, patio, or porch.

Headboard Repairs

If this happens to you, dismantle the headboard by removing the bed rails from the posts (pictured below). Squeeze wood glue into the joints and put the bed rails back in place. You may need to use a rubber mallet to get them back in tightly. Use bar clamps to hold the joints nice and tight while the glue cures.



How to turn an old headboard set into a relaxing outdoor garden bench for two. A budget-friendly outdoor furniture idea for a deck, patio, or porch.

If you're wondering about the masking tape on the left bedpost, that is because a slice of wood came off with the upper rail when we took it apart. We set the piece of wood back in place with wood glue and the tape is holding it in place until the glue cures.



Slice Footboard In Half

For the sides of the bench, you'll need to slice the footboard in half down the middle. You can use a sliding miter saw, table saw, circular saw, or jigsaw with a cutting guide (how we did it).



How to turn an old headboard set into a relaxing outdoor garden bench for two. A budget-friendly outdoor furniture idea for a deck, patio, or porch.

Pocket Hole Assembly

Attach the footboard sides to the headboard with a pocket hole assembly. To join the footboard sides you'll need a handy Kreg Pocket Hole Jig and Premium Face Clamp. Set the jig to accommodate the thickness of the wood and clamp in place (pictured above).



Set the drill bit that comes with the jig to the same depth setting and drill your pocket holes (pictured below). Put two pocket holes on the wider top rails and one on the narrower bottom rail.



How to turn an old headboard set into a relaxing outdoor garden bench for two. A budget-friendly outdoor furniture idea for a deck, patio, or porch.

This is where bar clamps and a level will be your best friend if you are building the bench alone. Make sure you are working on a level surface when building the bench. See the pictorial below to see how the headboard bench is assembled. I've included the written tutorial below it.



How to turn an old headboard set into a relaxing outdoor garden bench for two. A budget-friendly outdoor furniture idea for a deck, patio, or porch.

Attach Footboard Sides

Set one sliced footboard against the headboard and secure it with a bar clamp. Place a level vertically against the side and adjust until it's perfectly straight. Attach the footboard with the 1 1/2-inch screws that came with the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig. Repeat these steps for the opposite side.



Attach Front Support

The height of the seat (after adding the wood slats) will be 17-inches and the depth 18-inches. Attach the front 1" x 4" support with a 2 1/2-inch angle bracket 16 1/2-inches from the floor and 17-inches from the headboard.



This allows for a one-inch overhang on the seat slats. Be sure to double-check that the front support is perfectly level before attaching it with 1 1/2-inch wood screws.



Attach Back Support

Clamp the back support with spring clamps onto the bottom rail of the headboard. Place a level from the front support to the back support to ensure it's the same height. Make sure it is level with the front support before attaching it with 1 1/2-inch wood screws.



Fill any visible holes on the headboard with wood filler, including the slats for the metal bed rails. Once the filler is dry, sand it smooth with a mouse sander.



Stain Headboard Bench

Instead of brushing the stain, it is so much quicker to spray the stain on. Flip the headboard bench upside down and spray the underside first. We stained the bench with Behr Solid Exterior Wood Stain in the color Sea Foam Green.



We used a pneumatic HVLP (high volume low pressure) spray gun that came with our air compressor. I share tips on how to stain with a paint sprayer in my Easy Way To Stain Adirondack Furniture post.



How to turn an old headboard set into a relaxing outdoor garden bench for two. A budget-friendly outdoor furniture idea for a deck, patio, or porch.

Once dry, flip the bench over and spray the top of the bench. You'll most likely need two coats of stain per side.



How to turn an old headboard set into a relaxing outdoor garden bench for two. A budget-friendly outdoor furniture idea for a deck, patio, or porch.

Wooden Seat Slats

For the seat slats, use 1" x 6" lumber cut 18-inch long. You may have to notch the two end slats to fit around the posts (pictured below).



This is a good time to stain them before attaching them to the bench. We stained ours with two coats of Behr Solid Exterior Wood Stain in a Navajo White color.



How to turn an old headboard set into a relaxing outdoor garden bench for two. A budget-friendly outdoor furniture idea for a deck, patio, or porch.

Once the stain is dry, attach the wooden slats to the seat supports on the bench with 1 1/2-inch brad nails.



While I had the white stain out I also stained the base of each finial and the top of the feet. But the headboard bench still felt like it was missing something.



How to turn an old headboard set into a relaxing outdoor garden bench for two. A budget-friendly outdoor furniture idea for a deck, patio, or porch.

Playful Handpainted Graphic

This step is completely optional but I added a cute graphic onto the back of the backrest.



How to turn an old headboard set into a relaxing outdoor garden bench for two. A budget-friendly outdoor furniture idea for a deck, patio, or porch.

I created the graphic in PicMonkey and then uploaded it onto the Blockposterssite and sized it to fit the back of the bench. It printed onto a few sheets of regular bond paper and I taped them together.



I've included a free download for an unwatermarked printable should you want to use the graphic. Just click on the image below to get your free copy.

How to turn an old headboard set into a relaxing outdoor garden bench for two. A budget-friendly outdoor furniture idea for a deck, patio, or porch.

With Delicate Surface Frog Tape, attach it to the bench and use this Image Transfer Technique to add the graphic onto the bench.



Once the image is transferred onto the bench use art brushes and both white and red acrylic craft paint to paint the details OR you could use paint pens.



Pro-Tip

It is much easier to paint the graphic with the bench laying on its back.



How to turn an old headboard set into a relaxing outdoor garden bench for two. A budget-friendly outdoor furniture idea for a deck, patio, or porch.

I've definitely got a bird theme going on in our new deck space. I painted the adorable vintage camper flower pot pictured below one afternoon when my daughter and I spent a fun afternoon at a ceramic studio.



How to turn an old headboard set into a relaxing outdoor garden bench for two. A budget-friendly outdoor furniture idea for a deck, patio, or porch.

Thanks for stopping by the Interior Frugalista today! I hope you were inspired by this relaxing outdoor headboard bench idea.



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How to turn an old headboard set into a relaxing outdoor garden bench for two. A budget-friendly outdoor furniture idea for a deck, patio, or porch. #headboardbench #diyoutdoorfurniture #diyoutdoorbench


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Comments

  1. Thanku finally a detailed tutorial on how to make a headboard bench. Beautiful cheers Kaz 😊

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    Replies
    1. Glad you found our tutorial informative and helpful Kaz! Thanks for visiting 😊

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