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DIY Tales: Repurposed Metal Headboard Bench

By Southern Revivals on Sep 19, 2013


I have wanted to build a repurposed antique metal headboard bench for more years than I can remember. In fact, I have had the picture below saved to my phone so long I can't even remember where it came from.


What I do know is that when I had a client ask if we were interested in building one for her, I was all over it!


The thing about turning a metal headboard into a bench isn't so much about the level of difficulty as it is about the details.

(This is actually the foot board of her grandmother's metal bed! Can you imagine how tall the headboard is?!)


It's like Johnny said to Baby in Dirty Dancing (one of my most favorite movies of all time!) - "You gotta hold the frame"!

Without a good square frame the legs are uneven and everything is off. Nobody wants a wobbly bench just like nobody wants a wobbly dance partner.


"It's a feeling; a heartbeat."

The bench's seat should feel buttery smooth. After all, someone's bottom will likely sit there repeatedly and you don't want them thinking of all they things they wish you'd done differently when they do.

The edges of each board were routered to give them a smooth rounded finish. Then each board was sanded until completely smooth.


Maybe nobody puts Baby in a corner but if you're doing corner pieces they should be mitered. Check out that perfect seam!

And don't forget to fill in all of those tiny nail holes.


" A little precision please, Baby"

Attention to detail is never more important than when you're making something beautiful. Take these fancy routered decorative pieces, for instance. These were hand drawn and then routered to give them the decorative edges.


Lag bolts for extra security

"We're supposed to do the show in two days, you won't show me the lifts, I'm not sure of the turns, I'm doing all this to save your ass, what I really want to do is drop you on it! "

In addition to beauty, safety is also a top concern. You never, never want to drop a client on his or her arse. Never.

We used our Kreg Jig to make our joints extra sturdy.


"I have to say it. I'm known as the catch of the county."

I have to say, I totally agree!


I love the way this bench turned out.


I am sort of sad to see it go. It looked great sitting in front of my pallet garden wall.


It looked great sitting on my front porch...


I adore the look of layering paint. There's brand new wood under there but you'd never know it.

And I can almost hear Lisa Houseman saying

"Where's my beige iridescent lipstick?" when she looks at it.


"Max, our Baby's gonna change the world."

I may have felt like this about the bench once we were done. It was hard to send her to her new home. But I know she will be loved.


It was a lot of hard work but "I'll never be sorry".

Do you love this bench (or Dirty Dancing!) as much as I do?

*Find more Dirty Dancing quotes here:

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