Corner Bench from Head and Foot Boards

3:01 AM

  This project has been a year in coming.
I started on it last summer, but got stuck and realized I didn't know how I was going to build this thing.    Unfortunately, Ana White didn't have a plan to follow on this one.  Plus I got pregnant and exhausted and so I put it away.
It was over my head last year, but this summer, having had more experience, I felt up to the challenge.

I was able to figure it out thanks to our Kreg Jig my mom gave my husband for his birthday (which was really for me I think because we've had it 5 months and Rhett still doesn't know what it is and hasn't used it at all...too busy working.  Maybe my mom will give me some fly fishing tie stuff for my birthday so it's a fair swap.  Or maybe I should ask her for men's dress shirts that are non-wrinkle fabric since Rhett has to wear them to work and I HATE ironing.  Gift to us both that way.)

I Love the Kreg Jig.  You can find them at Lowes or on the Kreg tool website. 

Last summer I bought these head and foot boards from the thrift store for $10.00
They both slant to one side, so I assume they were once for an ugly daybed.

I'd seen on blogs where people take headboards and cut them in half to make corner benches, usually just cutting a triangular seat.

But when I snagged these, I wanted two seats perpendicular to one another, as a triangular seat can only be for one person.
Even with designing a seat on both sides, it's still a smaller bench, as seen here with my husband lighting the fire.

But you can fit a few kids on there.  I hosted a little ice cream party a few weeks ago, and this was built but not painted.  So it's a kid's bench for the most part.  If you had full or queen sized identical head/ foot boards you could build a big one that would be cool.

So I obviously don't plan on giving a full tutorial, as the chances of someone actually finding the same head and foot boards is so slim, but here's the basic way I built it and you could always customize your own dimensions.

1. First off, I had to cut a post off so the two sides could hook together at a right angle.  So I took the chopped post and divided it in chunks to provide 2 more legs for my bench.  I still needed one more, so a scrap hunk of 2x4 became the center leg.  Obviously these three legs are all totally different....this is kind of a Frankenstein bench from dead left overs.

2. The corner where the seat would go had the post jutting out 1/2".  Rather than notch the seat, I chose to add 1x2 strips to the front of the frames to make the corner flush, so I could build my supports and seat to butt right up to the foot board frame.

3. Next I built the supports.  These are all just 1x3 furring strips.  I used the jig to connect them all together.  You can see here the post legs in contrast to the naked 2x4 leg. 
So this front support system got screwed to the foot board back.  

4.  Now for the bench seat.  I saw a few months ago, how cheap 2x12s are.  If I remember right a 2x12 is less than a 1x12.  So I used the 2x12 for my bench seat.  To cut the 45 degree angle for the corner was a little tricky.  I don't own a table saw, so I used my garage sale miter saw, which can only cut 6".  Then I flipped it around and cut from the other side on the same angle, another 6" in.  But then I was left with 4-5" in the center.  The last piece was cut with a handheld circular saw.
**I did need my husband's help on this step.  The 2x12 was too long and heavy for me to hold and cut.  Then I wasn't up to use the hand held circular saw so Rhett had to make those center cuts for me too.*** 

So the beauty of the Kreg Jig in this case is the ability to join two pieces of level wood from the bottom.  I cut the 2x12 with the 45 degree angles, then used the jig to drill the pocket holes into one side.
Then I could join them at a right angle and screw them together to create a level sturdy bench seat.

Here is my hod podge of different woods and scraps ready to paint.  Yes, that 2x4 leg stands out, but I wasn't about to pay $10.00+ for a turned leg, and it works!
 5. To paint the bench, obviously with all the different wood I was painting.

Oil based primer
2 coats exterior latex semi-gloss paint: Glidden Swan White
1 coat outdoor Polyurethane

Now we have another addition to our patio that makes it nice to sit around the fire pit for smores nights.

I plan on storing this in the shed during the winter months, but with the oil based primer, exterior paint and outdoor poly, it should be pretty weather resistant for the summer months.

I threw some outdoor pillows I got at Costco on there, but they kind of look too big for the bench to me.  
Anyway, keep an eye out for head/ foot boards that could become an affordable, unique bench!
This obviously isn't perfect because I was the one who built it, but I'm really proud of this because I planned it out myself.  It's been so fun to learn to build furniture--definitely something beyond my comfort zone when I started.  18 months ago I'd never used a power drill.  I remember Rhett teaching me how to change a drill bit, and now if he needs his drill he can't find it because I use it most of the time and never put it back where it goes.  So even if you're a girl, you can pick a little building project, and soon you'll be addicted and be building all sorts of junk.  

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  1. It looks fantastic! I'm going to be on the look out for a head and foot board now!

  2. I've never seen such a thing! It's so cute!! Is it creepy that I just want to adopt you? Yes? Oh... :)

  3. I love seeing how you've learned to build things! I think buying a home totally brings out some kind of, "I can totally do that-or learn to," switch on our brains when it comes to fixing things up. We just bought our first home, and I am just starting to think about trying some of this stuff! Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. OMG! You are soooo creative! I LOVE it. I have a head board only that I have been trying to decide what to do with. Thank you for the great things you do! I love seeing them.

  5. wouaw ! amazing what you can do !
    bravo !

  6. Is this creative, well put together and CUTE or WHAT!?! Love the slope. Especially when it is shown off by your excellent model. I hope he doesn't charge too much! I will mentally file this away, when someday, I can actually attempt building one myself. :) Awesome tute, too.

  7. I like this idea.. i will buy some materials tomorrow and build this one. thanks for sharing your idea.. this is great..

    Upholstery and Vancouver Upholstery

  8. I love this idea! I have an extra crib and was thinking of making a bench out of it. Great inspiration! Thanks!

  9. Great job! Your bench is too cute!

    {my simple messterpiece}

  10. This is too adorable! And so is your blog...XoXo

  11. Jessica ~ you are UBER talented! What a great idea :) Thanks for sharing!

  12. found you on Roadkill Rescue-LOVE your little bench. I make benches all the time, and I've made corner benches, but not like this. I'm definitely putting this on my to do list! ASAP
    great job!
    ps LOVE my kreg jig!


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