I have a great mid-century headboard bench to share with you as part of the monthly Power Tool Challenge with some of my favorite DIY bloggers! Be sure to check out all of the other great projects shared below.
The theme was “repurpose”, so easy for My Repurposed Life! Because headboard benches are what I’m known for, and it’s been a while since I’ve made one—I thought it was the perfect project for this challenge.
Free Twin Mid Century Headboard
Do you remember me blogging about my DIY picket fence? I hired Rodney, a nice neighbor from across the street to help me build it. Recently while Rodney was rummaging through his garage, he came across this cute little Mid-Century Modern twin headboard and delivered it to my driveway.
How to Taper a Leg
I used this taper jig to get a tapered “foot” on the end of the front leg to match the back leg of the original headboard. *I rarely use my table saw without the guard installed. If you do not have the proper skills, do NOT attempt this cut yourself.
What is the first step to making a headboard bench?
After sanding the legs I measured to see how wide my front brace should be. By the way, the pieces I used for the legs were from another headboard I dismantled. They were a little chunky so I ripped them before using the taper jig. So, the first step to making a headboard bench without a foot board is to decide on what you will use for front legs.
Pocket Hole Assembly on Mid-Century Headboard Bench
I used a 1x4 for the front and side braces. I attached these by using pocket holes made with my Kreg Jig.
Assemble Headboard Bench Frame
I use these pocket hole screws so much I buy them by the box on Amazon. Using a right angle clamp helps hold the boards in the right place.
You may have to add a brace in the back to support the seat
I made this bench shallow at only about 14” so I needed my right angle drill to secure the screws on the sides.
The board in the back is merely for extra support. Many times when I make headboard benches there will be a board there already. This mid-century bed’s brace was very low, and I ended up removing it because it wasn’t needed.
Install a Center Brace
I added a board in the middle for more support. Securing the pocket hole screws from the top made it easier to get to, and they will be covered up when the seat is in place.
Notch Plywood Headboard Bench Seat with a Jigsaw
I used some plywood that I buy at a thrift store to make the seat to this headboard bench. I cut it to size on the table saw, then used a jigsaw to cut out the notches for the back of the seat.
This is a dry fit to make sure the notched seat worked okay. If you look closely, you can see the (lower) back brace is still in place at this time.
Cut away lower brace and clean up rough wood
I used my reciprocating saw to cut the lower brace away from the headboard. (I can’t help myself, I get a little giddy when it comes to sawing furniture)
Sorry for the blurry picture, but I wanted to show you how I cleaned up the extra wood left over from the reciprocating saw. A rasp (pocket plane) is a handy tool to have in your collection.
Gel Stain is Great for Matching Original Color
After sanding the headboard, and legs—I used some Hickory Gel Stain to give the bench a cohesive look. The front legs were originally painted white, I sanded the paint away so I could stain them.
Choosing Clearance Upholstery Fabric
Then it was off to look for some fabric. Are you surprised that I’m actually using a fabric covered seat for this headboard? I don’t do it very often, but I should! I’ve only done it a couple of times, once on this ruffled seat headboard bench, and again on this repurposed drawer headboard bench.
I was texting with my daughter Jamie and she helped me decide which fabric to get—a very pretty velvet (NOT on clearance) lol
Blue Velvet Fabric for Mid-Century Headboard Bench
I cut several layers of batting (I used an entire queen size package of batting) and the blue velvet fabric to fit my bench seat. You may notice the three small holes . . .
Make Your Own Fabric Buttons
Here’s a sneak peek at the fabric on the covered buttons. I wish I had invented something this cool!
Button Tufted Velvet Upholstery
I am by no means an expert at button tufting. In fact each of these three buttons was probably secured in a different way.
I love it! It’s difficult to see how well the legs match in these pictures, but it was definitely worth the trouble to figure out how to use that taper jig.
I’ve never worked with velvet fabric before. It was pretty easy, but I think owning it would drive me bonkers!
I’m so happy to have made a new headboard bench! I seriously could make these every single day. Each one is so different, including this mid-century version!
See my favorite Mission Style Headboard Bench with Storage-The Complete Tutorial
sharing at Inspiration Monday
Check out these other great projects from some of my best DIY blogger friends:
1 Hanging Picket Pendant Light by Designed Decor
2 Garden Bench by Create and Babble
3 Bed Spindle Pedestal Bowl by H2OBungalow
4 Industrial Cart Coffee Table by Refresh Restyle
5 Mid Century Headboard Bench by My Repurpose Life
6 Framed Wall Spool Rack Upcycle by Kim Six
7 Vintage Tennis Racket Table by Virginia Sweet Pea
8 Recycled Wood Plant Stands by Designs Bt Studio C
9 Rustic Coffee Mug Holder by Interior Frugalista
10 Repurposed Cabinet Door String Art by Domestically Speaking
Ohhh Gail, this is gorgeous !
I love simple furniture designs. This MCM bench is stunning.
The velvet fabric looks so rich on the color of this bench.
Your headboard benches are always beautiful.
Thanks for sharing your process - Very helpful.
I hope someday to find an outcast headboard / footboard to work with.
Thank you so much for your sweet comment. It brought a smile after a long day of working on the blog. Friends like you are what keep me going. 🙂
Beautiful! I love the color stain you used too.
My goal was to match the original color the best I could. It just didn't seem natural to paint this little beauty!
You probably know this but you can get cushion foam at Lowe's. They sell it as pads for sleeping bags.
Love your work. And I really want one of those key hole jigs!
I have been buying my foam on Home Depot (.com) It's so much cheaper than buying it at the fabric store. I rarely shop at Lowes, but thanks!
You would love your Kreg jig. so handy! 😉
I should have known you were sourcing well! Same type of thing. I have that jig on my list don't you sorry and I am going to put it to good use.
Jen @ upcyclednest
Awesome bench! And for not being a button tufter they all look great, nice job!
Debbie @ Refresh Restyle
I love everything about this bench! It's beautiful and I love a padded seat! Hope you're having a good weekend!
Debi @ Add Value To Your Home
What a transformation Gail! Love the color of the velvet. Yes - I agree! Velvet is tricky - it's so slippery but it looks really pretty!!
Julie @ follow your heart woodworking
I wrote a comment this morning but don't see it here, maybe it's lost in outer space?
Anyway, I LOVE the bench you made, so original and just beautiful!
(Can you please email me about the taper jig, I have a question on how you used it.)
For some reason your comments were landing in spam! I went there and un-spammed them. 🙂 I appreciate you emailing me to let me know.
Maryann @ Domestically Speaking
That is GORGEOUS Gail!!!
I liked learning how to taper legs using your table saw and a jig. This bench turned out so pretty and I really love the tufted bench.
LOVE this! love the color, the style, the tapered legs & the velvet fabric!!!
That is a great looking bench. Hooray for the Bench Queen!
Cher @ Designs by Studio C
Stunning bench, Gail!! The blue velvet upholstery is the icing on the cake...
Oooooo! Gail I may have a new favorite bench! This turned out so beautiful!! The tapered legs are awesome, and that tool...cool! You seriously nailed it and tell Jamie good job helping you with the fabric, it is perfect! Pinned!
Christy @Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer
I didn't know a table saw could even do that! I am so impressed at how well the legs came out. Such a beautiful bench! You always inspire me! XO
Marie, The Interior Frugalista
Wow Gail, you impressed the heck out of me with your carpentry skills then you did it again with your upholstery skills. Love how you tapered the legs on the front to match and love how you added the tufting on the seat. The dark rich stain and the pretty blue velvet are gorgeous together. You rocked this bench!
I love your headboard bench, it is so stylish! Beautiful work.
I am swooning over those tapered legs! And that fabric is perfect. As usual, nicely done Gail! Pinned!
Thanks so much Jeanie, funny we both made benches for this challenge. 🙂
Pinned it. And the word rasp...... I love that word. Sometimes I'll just repeat it to my husband when he is using it, just to hear myself say it. Rasp.
Julie @ follow your heart woodworking
WOW that is lovely, Gail! I really like that, so different!
Also, I did want to ask you about the taper jig and how you use it because it appeared that you didn't have the wood sitting on the little L-shaped "leg" on the left of the jig. It is what pushes the wood through (and you can leave on the blade cover and splitter to do it). Maybe it's just the photo you took, I just wanted to help out for safety reasons!
Thank you so much Julie, it is definitely different than any other I have done.
I did have the the wood sitting on the little L-shaped "leg" on the left of the jig. I'm not saying that the little "L" shaped leg is properly installed, but yes, it pushed the leg through. I took this picture after the cutting was done.
After looking at the picture I do see that the guard could have been left on. I was very, very careful, and think of you every time I think about using a saw for something new. Sort of like "what would Julie do"?
My neighbor Rodney actually suggest me doing it on the compound miter saw, but I remember you frowned upon that method once before. I would love to use this jig more often so I can fully understand what it's capable of.
thanks for "having my back" Julie!
DeDe @Designed Decor
I love all the benches you make! It turned out great!
Wendi @ H2OBungalow
This is great! I LOVE the tools you share and how you tapered the bench leg. I learn so much from you! Hugs & pinning 🙂
cassie @ primitive & proper
this bench looks great- i love how it's all in line with the style of the headboard!