Tinker Around

Welcome to my blog. It is full of basic projects and tutorials for things that I have done and feel like others out there would benefit from learning too. Be sure to take time to leave me a comment. Thanx, Pam

Friday, March 7, 2014

From Headboard/Footboard to Bench

This entry is going to show you how easy it is to take a headboard and footboard and turn it into a bench.  So... mainly, there will be lots of photos.  By now, you should know that I am a visual person... hope you are too.

First, purchase a headboard at a yard sale or flee market.  IF you are lucky, you will get a matching footboard.  IF you are REALLY lucky, you will get them both for $20.

You can see here how the footboard was cut down for the arms.  The footboard base was pulled out and put across the front.  Then some old 2x4's were used for support bars.

Then, it gets a seat put on $10.  This is held together with lots of screws and some wood glue.  

Last, spackle up the holes and any imperfections, let it dry, give it a gentle sanding, and put on a couple of coats of paint with primer.  

I went to get a cushion that would fit the bench, and they didn't make them the right length and depth.  So, the next best thing is a body pillow for $9.99 at Garden Ridge.  I know, it looks really fluffy, but they usually smoosh down over time.  Then, a quick run to Anna's Linens and I purchase another curtain panel that matches my living room for $15.

Ok... now I could have left this without the cushion, but that is not very comfy for folks to sit for very long.  The whole purpose of this is that it sits inside the front entry and is carried into the front room for extra seating for our Bible Study Group and family get togethers.

I didn't realize how important this part was til later...can you see how wide and long I left it?  I knew that it would puff up some, and that would make it smaller all around.

These are lined curtains, and that makes them thicker, but they still sew up just like anything else.  Start with one seam down the length.  I didn't cut anything off of the sides, just trimmed it in length.

On the picture above, at the top left, I put a pin.  Then, I take the seam from the right and flatten both out and pin them together.  

Fold that long seam out flat, no reason to run the presser foot over a bunch of fabric and lining if you can split it out flat.

This shows it a bit better.  Then, take a seam across that entire short end.  

This shows it seamed up.  

I went ahead and turned it and stuffed the pillow inside to try it on for size.  

The corners are really pointed, and I didn't like that at all.  So, I am off to box the corners.  Do you know how to do that?

It is just a seam across the triangle at the corner.

It will look like this when it is finished.

I think that a three to four inch pocket will be deep enough.

Ok, here we are again, wrong side out.  There is the corner.  I am going to take that and fold it open so that the seam... oh, just see the next picture...

Fold it flat, measure down for the depth...

Take the seam.  Do it again on the other corner.  Remember the other end is still open, we made a giant pillow case.  

Time to do something with this other end.  Sold that seam open just like you did on the other end, BUT... only sew in about six inches from each side.  You need enough room to box the corners, but if you pillow is as large and fluffy as mine... you need all that other area to stuff the pillow in.

This end looks a bit different than the other end because of the curtain being hemmed.  But you can see where I came in just a bit on each side and then "boxed" the corners again.  Boxing the corners is also how you take a flat tote bag and make a bottom where it can stand up instead of laying flat.  IF you are interested in a tutorial on those for shopping bags, just post a comment below and I will work one up.

Turn it part way and start stuffing in the pillow as you finish turning it.  What a chore... this is gonna be tight!

I finally get it in, but it doesn't look so good.  It takes me crawling around on the floor and pushing and pulling a bit to get it all squared around inside.

Now, how bout those corners!!!  Don't those look so much better that the pointy ones that we had to start with?

The area that I left open for stuffing will get pinned and hand sewn shut.

Hmmm... nope, don't care for it.  Sorry, it is just way too fluffy still.  

Buttons!  That is what it needs, some tacking with buttons.  That will smoosh it down and make it flatter... I hope!

Have you ever sewn with a button and the knot keeps popping through the fabric?  I came up with a way to keep that from happening here.  Well, maybe others have done it before, I dunno...anyway, it worked.  I took a really long length of thread and folded it in half, and then in half again.  I don't wanna go through this pillow any more than I have to, so I am doing the equivalent of four threads at one time.  Thread the need leaving the loop at the long end and slip on a small button...

 Take the needle and go back through the loop and pull it up tight... just stay with me, I think you will understand.

Now, this button is my "knot" on the underside of the pillow.  I will run the thread through the pillow and out through the top seat area, then through a large button and back down through the pillow.  I go back and forth a couple of times, pulling it very tight to make a "tufted" area.

You can see here, the bottom button that acts as the "knot".

Here is the top button on the other side.  This is almost impossible to do by yourself with a pillow this large.  I got the longest needle I had and then called a friend to come over and hold it as smooshed flat as she could while I did the hand sewing of the buttons.  These buttons are not so cute, but that is fine with me for now.  I can always go back and tack another button on over the top of these if I see something on sale sometime.

Remember when I said that I left the fabric longer and wider than it needed to be?  Look how much it all drew up once it was stuffed with that pillow.  Now, we have already sat on it a couple of times, and it is very comfortable.  You know how after sleeping on your bed pillow for a bit it gets all flat and you have to fluff it.  I am still counting on that to happen with this, and then it should fit the bench just right.  All in all, I am very happy with it.  

A very special thanx to Linda and Phil.  Linda is one of my shopping friends and puts up with me turning down lots of "deals" before I settle on "the" piece that I want.  And Phil, he is love of Linda's life.  They are retired and do lots of shopping and exploring together.  He is actually the one that made my drawings and thoughts into reality.  So, thank you both!!!

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