Pinterest WIN: Turning a Bed into a Garden Bench


Pinterest things are usually iffy with me.  But that doesn’t stop me from trying.  Oh no.

So when I scored this bed for $4 at a local garage sale, and the woman who sold it to me mentioned she was going to turn it into a bench “like the ones you see on Pinterest”, you know I was all over that.

“All over that” = dumped the whole project in Ken’s lap.

He told me the pieces needed to be sanded and painted, and made a face at me that suggested he wasn’t going to break his neck getting those steps done.  So I pulled on my martyr britches, queued up The Walking Dead on Netflix, and sanded and painted my heart out one night.

bench1I know.  Come for the witty banter, stay for the high-quality photos.  In my defense, however, it was really late, and the room probably wasn’t terribly well ventilated for painting.

Pieces sanded and painted, I piled them all up in Ken’s workshop.  But in a friendly manner, without a trace of nudging.  Honestly!

On Saturday, tired of walking around blue pieces of wood, Ken looked on the internet for “instructions for making a bed into a bench like you see on stupid Pinterest”.

Shockingly, this yielded zero results.

So he winged it.  Because he is a genius like that.  I came back from taking Gabriel to a reading class and running some errands, and found Ken sitting in his workshop, watching the World Cup.  As I was drawing in breath to complain, he pointed over his shoulder at….something.  I turned and looked:

bench2The start to my bench!  I was way more impressed than he was, because, in his words, “All I did was clamp some stuff together.”

I don’t get him.  “Just clamped some stuff together”?  IT ALREADY LOOKS JUST LIKE PINTEREST!


The master at work. Shortly after I sneak-took this picture, he heaved a mighty sigh at me, and invited me to sit down and watch some soccer with him. Knowing me all to well, I cleared out in a hurry at that point.

Anyway, here’s what he did in his words (versus my words, which are “he sawed some stuff, and I left him alone, and then I had a bench”)”

If you have the railings to the bed (we did), saw off the ends, rather than dealing with removing the hardware.  These will become your seat boards.  Figure out how long the seat boards will have to be to accommodate the headboard length.  Then measure out how deep three boards, side by side, will be.  That will be the seat depth.  Cut the foot board to that depth (the foot board becomes your bench sides), then screw them into the headboard.

He used two pieces of scrap wood, attached them to the sides, and then screwed the seat boards into that.  If he had had the slats to the bed, he would have created an apron of some sort from those, but you just can’t get good, intact $4 beds anymore, I guess.

Then I painted over the screws and the support boards on the underside, and what was once this:

Became this:

benchbigI can’t even.  It’s so pretty.  And Ken didn’t even swear once while making it, which must mean it was pretty simple.  Either that or I need to schedule all projects during the World Cup.

Oh, and while I was staging this photo specifically to pin to Pinterest, our neighbor brought back Veronica, who was trying to ride her toy car down the street after her brother.  While I was dying a thousand deaths that our children are escaping and being returned by the neighbors, she’s going on and on about how the bench looks “just like something out of Pinterest!”

High praise indeed.  Just don’t pay attention to the escaping children, and life over here looks pretty bucolic.

Anyway, still riding high off the buzz of a Pinterest project done well, I scored this slightly more expensive bed off craigslist:

bench4I cannot wait to see what he does with this one.  I will keep you posted.


  1. says

    Nooooooo. I come for the witty banter and stay for the pictures taken by a woman all hopped up on paint fumes!

    I’m pretty sure that if I left my husband alone with a $4 bed and the World Cup I’d come home to a $4 bed and the World Cup but no husband.

  2. says

    Ken’s search didn’t turn up ANY results? Weird. I seriously love how that turned out. If I had a good, usable, Southern-style porch, I would want one just like it.

    • Cari says

      I long for a good, usable, Southern-style porch so much. I was *just* talking about it with Ken this morning. It went something like this:
      ME: “Honey, don’t you think our house would be perfect if the porch was just another six feet long? Wouldn’t that be the best? I don’t think that would be hard to do, do you?”
      KEN: “Excuse me, honey. I have to go reassess my entire vocation because I think I actually had a calling to the priesthood because you’re going to kill me with this husbanding gig.”

  3. says

    He did a great job, can I have him for a weekend. I have a headboard waiting to be done, I have to tell you though, I’m not sure where I’m going to put this.

  4. Mitzi says

    I love this!!! Beautiful benches, handsome husbands, witty words and fuzzy photos: you’ve got it all. Love.

  5. says

    We’re living parallel lives, escaping children and painted bed projects both! Your bench is gorgeous. The blue is so fun. And Marian! I’m planning to post my project tomorrow.

  6. says

    I love the bench! And you painted it a great color.
    Are you re-watching The Walking Dead this summer? I am. Chris keeps rolling his eyes when I suggest he watch it with me. He thinks watching it once is enough. Ha! He is funny!

  7. Sarah says

    Seriously cracking up over here about your daughter escaping and the neighbor returning her. I only have 2 crazy kids and I still have people returning them to me – like my 1 year old son, at library story time. Trying to escape out the door and up the steps. We are great parents, we promise! ; )

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