Headboard Bench DIY style
When my friend Kim from Farmhouse Made announced she was hosting an outdoor themed blog hop I knew right away what part of my outdoors needed help. In fact, you might say this space is crying out for someone to save it from its dreary existence.
Let me introduce you to my sad and uninspired patio
When we moved into our home 7 years ago my boys were still little. This space was a place for water guns, frisbees, sidewalk chalk, and bubble solution. Not to mention grilling supplies and citronella candles that ultimately melt in the Texas heat.
We already had the wicker set you see and this has pretty much been the extent of my patio decorating.
Oh, every summer I have big plans of doing something grand back there complete with outdoor curtains, strings of lights, pillows, and plants. I imagine myself sitting with a cup of iced coffee as the Texas-sized bugs buzz around my head. As you can see, none of these ideas have come to fruition.
So one day I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat on my patio and pondered exactly what I wanted and needed this space to be.
My “little boys” are not so little anymore and the days of bubble blowing are over for the most part. It’s so true what they say that childhood is but the blink of any eye.
I could allow this to make me really sad but instead, I decided to embrace this new season of life and make the most of it. I really want our patio to be a place to sit and enjoy each other’s company or a place to just be still sometimes.
Truth be told we never really do any of this. I thought to myself why? Why don’t we do this? This is something we should be doing. We should be outside more just sitting and talking about all the things, shouldn’t we?
What’s keeping us from doing this? I realized as I looked around we didn’t really need anything fancy to have a place to make memories. Isn’t that how Pinterest and magazines make you feel?
So just like when Linus said, “I never did think it was a bad little tree..it just needs a little love.” My patio is not a bad little space it just needs a little love.
Love in this space means a headboard bench with many pillows
Here’s my short list of patio goals:
- add color
- find or make affordable pillows that are easy to clean
I know you are probably wondering about #3, but let me explain.
A few months ago these kittens showed up on our front porch. Do I even need to tell you what happened next? 6 months later they are still here and both have names.
The irony of this is my silent partner is terribly allergic to cats. If a cat so much at looks at him his eyes start to swell, (slightly exaggerated for storytelling purposes) and itch. These little furry ones have taken over the furniture.
I wanted many pillows to make it feel cozy but without fur.
I was chatting with my silent partner about this outdoor challenge and my idea of making throw pillows out of a vinyl table-cloth to which he replied, “we should build a storage bench.” I suddenly had a flashback to our 2 x 4 project. I wanted to build a shelf and somehow we wound up with a farmhouse style table.
His idea was not without merit. I remembered I had an old headboard and foot-board that I had already envisioned as a headboard bench anyway. It would be perfect with a storage compartment added to stash some non-vinyl table-cloth pillows and keep them clean!
As you can see there was some pretty crusty paint on this piece. I could have painted over it but I had a feeling my paint would have trouble adhering so I decided to strip it all off. It only took me 3 days but it was worth it. Sometimes you just need to start with a clean slate.
After it was all cleaned up, I passed it off to my silent partner to so he could start work on the build part.
In the meantime, I set out to find some fabric for pillows. I already knew I wanted to use a vinyl table-cloth to recover some crusty outdoor pillows I already had. I found a tutorial here. I found mine at Wal-Mart for $3.97 and I was able to get 3 pillows from it. I whipped these up by hand because you know I’m allergic to my sewing machine.
And here they are. Yes, they are bright but since they are outside, it works.
I think they turned out pretty cute.
I looked around at actual outdoor pillows for my headboard bench and the cheapest I found were $5 each. Not bad but I just didn’t find any I could fall in love with.
I spied these napkins by Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman but I decided to pass on them. I couldn’t stop thinking about them. This is part of her Flea Market Collection at Wal-Mart. She got me with teal. I went back for them. Can you believe a 4 pack is only $4.97?
Each napkin measures 18 inches so I picked up 3, 16-inch pillow forms and stitched these up (by hand again).
Now that my pillow problem was solved it was time to shop for plants. This was the most expensive portion of this makeover.
My patio gets early morning sunshine so I chose a mixture of sun and shade lovers. I love Impatiens and this is the only spot around my house they can survive.
The best part of all this planting was my 16-year-old helped me with all of it. 🙂
I HAD to have a purple hydrangea this year because well, you know. 🙂
I found this chippy little bird house in my yard one day about 5 years ago. Serendipity!
Converting this bed frame into a headboard bench turned out to be a real challenge as far as the build part was concerned. I plan on doing a full tutorial on this over the summer.
(The following portion of this post contains affiliate links I added for your shopping convenience. This simply means I may receive a small commission when you use my link to order.)
My paint choice, of course, was Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint. I decided to use Typewriter on the headboard and foot board. In order to try to marry the new and old wood I used Curio as a base on all the raw wood but I felt like it just needed a little more color. At the last-minute, I dry brushed Kitchen Scale on and that did the trick.
Sealing milk paint for outdoor use required some serious research on my part. I decided on using Helmsman indoor/outdoor spar urethane by Minwax. This is the first time I have used this product. I really dislike using any type of poly but I felt this piece needed a heavy-duty sealant to protect it. It’s tricky to work with and I still need to do some finish work on it but I kind of love the way this turned out.
It doesn’t have to be perfect to be pretty. (preaching to myself here)
This has to be the lowest headboard I have ever seen so we added bun feet to give it some much-needed height.
These little pots used to be red but I took care of that with some leftover emerald green chalk paint I scrounged up. They are the perfect size for cute little succulents.
It’s amazing what pillows and plants can do for a space, isn’t it?
Now that all the hard work is done…bring on the iced coffee and conversation!
Your sister in paint,
Please be sure to hop around for more outdoor inspiration from my friends!
Pssssst, here’s my front porch with panache.