How to Make an Easy Farmhouse Bench from a Headboard

Farmhouse Bench Upcycle from a Twin Headboard

For the last year, I have seen so many gorgeous headboard bench conversions I had to make one of my own. The headboard I used is solid pecan except for the circles, I think the circles are fiberglass.  We aren’t sure of the age but the style seems the 70s to me.  We went junking while in BC and found this headboard at a consignment store for $20.

How to make a DIY Bench from a Headboard

All too often I forget to take my before picture, my apologies but this is the before picture after I removed the two long spears that were where the arrow is. The spears were used as legs and you can see where I cut them off.

A bench made from a headboard, before receiving a paint makeover. Headboard bench ideas, diy bench seat, diy headboard bench, how to make a bench from a headboard

This bench is super simple to make, the exact amount of lumber you need will depend on the size of your headboard.  This headboard is a single so we used two 1 “by  6″ pieces of lumber and some leftover melamine board, 1/2 ” plywood works as well.

How to make a bench from a twin headboard, an Farmhouse makeover using paint and buffalo check upholstery

We measured the distance between the centers of the two legs on the headboard, ours measured 40 inches.    Hubs placed markings on the headboard for the placement of the wood frame making sure the markings on both legs were level.

We cut the long boards 40″ and the short boards 17″. Our bench is 17 inches deep so we could use up some leftover material you can make yours a bit deeper.

Looking back we should have built the bench frame first and then attach it to the headboard.  We were sorting the process out while building it, so we attached the back piece of the lumber to the headboard with screws first.  Then we attached the sides and finally the front.  Hubs attached the lumber together using both wood glue and nails.

Gluing the pieces of a DIY Head bench together with wood glue. A DIY farmhouse decor project idea for cheap

Next, we made the front legs by attaching the headboard’s spears to the front of the box frame.

A headboard bench idea being made using a twin wood headboard

The legs were attached by predrilling and countersinking the holes first.  Hubs then used screws to attach the leg to the bench frame.  Countersinking allowed me to fill in the holes and hide the screws.

A step by step tutorial photo of how to make a DIY Bench from a twin headboard, using wood paint and upholstery

Once the frame was built I used wood filler to fill in the screw holes, the holes on the bench where the spears had been and any knots or blemishes we found in the lumber.

The headboard had a little bit of scroll work on both the legs and the back, I  find them really pretty and well worth taking the time to hand sand around it.

A close up of the woodworking details from headboard conversion to a farmhouse bench. Headboard bench ideas, diy bench seat, diy headboard bench, how to make a bench from a headboard


The bench was first sanded with 220 sandpaper to remove the shine.   I then primed it and painted it with three coats of Benjamin Moore Diamond White paint.    Let each coat of paint dry thoroughly and then lightly sand with 220  grit sandpaper to make the surface smoother.  Once painted seal the bench with one coat of polyurethane.

Bench Seat

The melamine board was cut to the dimensions of the box (40″ by 17″) plus 1 inch for overlap (41″ by 18″).   Once the board was cut I  began adding the upholstery.

You will need fabric and some sort of stuffing material,  For our bench, we had some leftover packaging foam and polyfill.  Alternatively, you could use the stuffing from old comforters, pillows, or cushioning.  Search around your home for anything soft that may work.   Cut the foam and polyfill to the same size as the board.  Cut the fabric 5 inches longer and wider than the wood (45″ by 22″).  This will give you adequate fabric for stretching and stapling over the stuffing.

A pretty white farmhouse style bench that was made from a twin headboard. Headboard bench ideas, diy bench seat, diy headboard bench, how to make a bench from a headboard

Layering the Cushion Material

Lay out the fabric.

Center the board on the fabric and mark with chalk. Use these marks to place your stuffing material.    Place your stuffing layers on top of the fabric.   Cover the stuffing with the board. (seat bottom)

Adding upholstery to small headboard bench idea. Adding farmhouse style with upholstery and buffalo check fabric

Make sure to fold over the edge of the fabric a little bit before stapling.  This will keep any stray threads under control and make the bottom of the bench neater.

If your fabric has a pattern double check that the board is centered so that your pattern is even.

Fold the center of the two long sides first, then work your way out stapling every four inches or so.

Repeat this process on the short sides.

Once the four sides are done start on the corners.

The focus is on how the top will look, the underside is secondary.  The seams will be hidden by the wood frame so don’t fret too much about it.

Trim any excess fabric away from the corner.  Make sure to pull a little bit of stuffing over the corner.

Making a bench from a headboard and adding extra upholstery over the corners to avoid fabric damage.

Fold over the center of the corner and staple in place.

Attaching the corners of a DIY headboard bench. Part of the upholstery tutorial showing how to staple the corners of the fabric.

(Our melamine board was a bit tough for the stapler, so after stapling we used the hammer to flatten the staples out. )

Fold one side over and staple.

Headboard bench ideas, diy bench seat, diy headboard bench, how to make a bench from a headboard

Then finish with the other side.

Neatly folded and stapled corner of a DIY Farmhouse bench made from a twin sized headboard and painted

If you find that you need to remove more excess fabric to make the corner neat go for it, just be very cautious not to cut your fabric too short.

Fold over the other three corners of the bench seat.

White farmhouse bench makeover from a headboard. Headboard bench ideas, diy bench seat, diy headboard bench, how to make a bench from a headboard

Attach Stuffed Seat to Bench

Working from the underside of the bench, predrill the wood and then screw in L brackets. Attach the brackets to both the inside of the bench frame and the bench seat.  Hubs put in four brackets.

Headboard bench ideas, diy bench seat, diy headboard bench, how to make a bench from a headboard

I absolutely love the fabric, unfortunately, the store had limited stock but I thought the bench was worth using some of it on.

A painted farmhouse bench project with new upholstery. Headboard bench ideas, diy bench seat, diy headboard bench, how to make a bench from a headboard

As you can tell by the tree in the background I have just begun to decorate for Christmas, it’s very busy around  here and I am thankful to have the bench finished  in the foyer

Enjoy your week.

A farmhouse bench project made from an old headboard.

Related Posts

Benches are so handy to have and I love the look of them.  Here are some other benches I have made I think you may enjoy checking out.

DIY Farmhouse bench with simple painted stripes.

Easy Farmhouse Bench Using Paint and Dropcloth

This is another buffalo check bench I did, but this time its fully upholstered in fun black and white buffalo check.

A buffalo check bench for Christmas. A DIY reupholster project for the holidays.

This is a little outdoor bench we made for out front porch, it comes with a tie on cushion for the banister making a really comfy place to check out whats happening in the neighbourhood

A pretty diy turqoise bench on a front porch. porch, small front porch ideas, porch ideas, front porch ideas, front porch, front porch decorating ideas 

DIY Outdoor Bench with Soft Cushion Back

Headboard bench ideas, diy bench seat, diy headboard bench, how to make a bench from a headboard


  1. Where’d you buy the fabric?

  2. Love the bench and the rabbit is adorable. How are they as pets in the home. Do they use altter box. I have been wanting to get one since my cats are gone!

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Its actually a cushion Maria, but rabbits are great house pets. I use to babysit one for a friend. The only thing with a rabbit is you need to make sure all your cords are covered with something as they love to chew them and could electrocute themselves.

  3. How lovely Leanna. I’ve been wanting to make one for ages and can just never seem to find the right headboard. This one is so pretty with the scroll work and all the detailing and that fabric is gorgeous. Perfect for the whole look

  4. Your bench is lovely Leanna – love the scroll work on the back!

  5. Looks so pretty and compact, perfect for the hallway! I almost feel like I could tackle this project myself following your guide. I might look for interesting headboards in the local ‘antique’ place soon:)

  6. White just makes everything look softer! Your bench turned out so pretty and I love the fabric too!

  7. What a lovely little bench. I like the new white paint look too!

  8. It is wonderful! You did a great job. You are inspiring me to tackle the 3 headboards stuffed I have stuffed in my garage for this very project. I love your tutorial.

  9. Hi!
    Superb Design Bench ,Very Useful article Thanks for sharing this information.

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