New Uses for Old Headboards

It is always a joy to transform something old and broken into something new, beautiful and functional. Transforming old headboards is a hobby that captures the essence of recycle, reduce and reuse. There are many new uses for old headboards, each style influenced and made different by personal preference and decor.

Deciding on an Idea

When considering new uses for old headboard, think first of where the refinished piece will go.  If meant to be an outside bench, purchase paints and fabric designed for exterior use that will hold up against the elements.

If considering it for inside use, buy durable fabrics that will resist stains and wash easily.  Headboards come in a variety of styles, shapes and materials; each distinct detail can accentuate or inspire design ideas.

Browse craft stores and hardware stores to come up with décor-friendly items that will give the old headboard a personalized touch.  Embellish with paint and scenery, beads or mirrors, making sure that the new use for the old headboard coexists seamlessly with the surrounding décor.

Headboard Bench and Table

One of the most common new uses for old headboards is transforming it into a sturdy bench.  These benches look beautiful inside, but they also create stunning focal points in the garden.

Create a frame for the seat from two-by-fours and attach sturdy legs made from thick wood pieces, or reuse the previous headboard and footboard legs.  The headboard attaches to the back of the seat frame, creating an attractive backrest for the bench.

Be sure to keep the bench level during construction, and supplement support wherever needed with extra wood ledges and cross sections in the center.  Next sand, prime, and paint or stain the piece according to the design idea.

Finally, top off the headboard bench with a comfortable cushion, either store-bought or handmade, and relax Ornate wood or iron headboards create gorgeous tables when attached to sturdy legs.  Consider using the old spindles from chairs or other headboards as decorative legs.

To level out the top, simply place a sheet of thick table glass on the headboard.  An extra shelf underneath adds storage for magazines, books or remotes.


For some do-it-yourselfers, another bench in the yard is boring.  These creative minds envision unexpected new uses for old headboards and incorporate functionality into the construction.

For a shabby chic appearance, leave the wood distressed, but for a sleek and new outlook, sand, prime, and paint or stain.  Attach corkboard and a mirror to the headboard and fasten securely to the wall.

The cork-boards hold notes and reminders or wire baskets for keys, while the mirror provides that last minute chance to check your appearance before you leave.  Add a shelf along the bottom or top for extra storage space and hooks to hold hats, gloves and scarves.