Make it with Me Monday - Making a Lover's Bed Bench

Posted by Jaclyn Byers on

I'm starting something new.  Make It with Me Monday - to show you all the fun projects that I get up to over the weekend.

Today I'm going to show you the Lover's Bench made out of a bed that I picked up for $50!! This is a project that I've been wanting to do for MONTHS.  When I saw this bed pop up on FB market place I quickly wrote SOLD!! 

The bed was in great knick, I just had to re-glue some joins, but otherwise it was perfect. (I know that I'm going to have people out there hating on me for chopping up a perfectly good bed).

I watched a few youtube videos with Adam and we thought about what we were going to do and how we would make it work for the bed we had.  Basically the head board of the bed becomes the back of the bench, the foot board becomes the arms, the side of the bed becomes the front and the slats become the seat. 

One thing this bed had was a turned rail on the top of the foot board which lined up with the turned wood piece on the head board so it wouldn't be as easy as just using a pocket hole and screwing them together.  After talking with Bevan (my father-in-law) he suggested a mortise and tenon join, which worked perfectly. So with this in mind we made marks to make our cuts. 

For the bottom flat piece of the foot board we measured 18" (or approx 45cm) from the side of the board, and for the turned rail we added about 1.5" to take into account  the Tenon join.  I cut the flat piece with the circ saw and used a handsaw to cut the rail.  I did this for both arms of the bench. 

We then used a hole saw bit and bored out the Mortise on the bed head for the rail to attach into and chiseled out the timber.  (You will see that Adam let me loose on the drill 🤣)  We made a mark on the hole saw to make sure we took it down that far and not go the whole way through the post. 

Live Action Shot
You will see the mark we put on with marker
Adam chiseling the timber out

Once the holes where made in the head board we drilled a hole the whole way through to the back to be able to attach a screw into the rail when we attached the arms.

When we attached the foot board arms, I applied wood glue both in the mortise and on the rail and on the flat piece of the foot board and then screwed it together.

This is Jemma, the site foreman, the fat Lab who is ALWAYS in the way

We used pocket wholes and timber screws to put it together.  I do have a Kreg Jig on my birthday wishlist, but we did it the old fashioned way.

Once the arms were attached, Adam and I went for a romantic drive to Bunnings (my favourite) to buy some timber to make the seat frame.  We also needed timber to make a level space were the flat timber of the foot board and the posts are to be able to attach the seat frame to. 

To make the seat and have it at a comfortable height, the standard is 18".  So taking the slats for the seat into account, I measured up 17" which gave us the height to attach the frame.  First we added the 2 pieces of timber to give us something to screw into on the sides and then I added the front piece which I measured in 1/2" from the front so the seat has a 1/2" overlap.  We cut down the side rail of the bed to make this front piece.  I found that it was too wide and it was coming down below the square bit of the post, so Adam ripped that down with the circ saw.  We used the wider part on the front and the narrower part on the back. 

Not the easiest to see, but the blue timber is to be able to screw the frame into.

Next we made the frame for the seat.  This was quite simple to do and we used structural pine.  We cut 2 runners the length of the inside of the chair, and then 5 bearers to take the weight and have something to nail the slats onto. 

 The configuration of the frame

            Pre-drilling holes for screwing it together

Putting the frame together

Once this was done, we attached it to the bench frame, and voila it started looking like a bench.  Insert my happy dance!!

Now, all that we had left to do was the timber slats.  As used the timber slats from the bed as the seat.  We started from the front of the seat and worked our way back.  We only had to notch out one board to fit around the post and I did this with the jigsaw and it was a perfect fit.  Who says girls can't build stuff!!

I used the finishing nail gun to nail down the slats (however we realised that we didn't have long enough brad nails, so another romantic drive to Bunnings to get longer nails and some no more gaps to fill the pocket holes), and Adam found some bullnose edging in the shed to tidy up the ends and we nailed those in and I filled the holes and around the mortise and tenon join with no more gaps the build was DONE!!!

Ain't she pretty 😍

I'm just a little bit excited!!

My wonderful husband and myself, I love that this man helps me and goes with my crazy 99% of the time.  I couldn't do half the stuff I do without him teaching me or him helping me.

Now to stain the seat and paint the frame!!  I am completely and utterly in love with how this turned out. 

All from a $50 bed and about $50 in supplies. 

Until next time

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