You turned a headboard into WHAT?! (Project #23 done)

Last week I shared a list of 24 projects with you that I seriously need to finish. Or else. I’ve put these things off for far too long, and I just need to get.them.done. once and for all.

Monday I showed you my finished Project #10 (pictures for piano room), and today I’m happy to report that I’ve checked another project off the list!

Which project did I tackle next?

Why, it’s Project #23: Finish the King Size Headboard project.


I haven’t been THIS EXCITED about a project in a very long time. It took me several months, but I’m so thrilled to report that this top-secret-project I’ve been hiding up my sleeve turned out better than I could have imagined.

Are you dying to know what on earth I did to this bookshelf headboard?

I turned that bad boy into an extra-long sofa table! squeal!!!


Is it seriously fabulous or what?! I still can’t believe I actually even thought to do this with a headboard.


Let’s just take a minute and back up a little…

The headboard started like this:


I’ve had this headboard (and matching 3- and 6- drawer dressers) for 11 years. The set was my grandparents and I was the fortunate granddaughter that inherited them.

When I was 20, back before I had a clue what I was doing, I received this set and attempted to strip them down and refinish them. They were originally a light cornmeal yellow and were obviously straight from a department store circa 1950.

Here’s a great view of the original color before I attacked it with cherry stain:


I was thrilled to have the bedroom set, but honestly, I have never loved the headboard. (I do adore the dressers though.) I did a terrible job on the refinishing; the color was awful, and the pieces are covered in sanding scratches (I didn’t use a fine enough grit and it shows).


Here’s the entire headboard, not obstructed by my mattress and embarrassingly ugly bedspread.


Like I said, I have never loved this headboard. It’s too short, not substantial enough, and is a magnet for junk while we lay in bed (alarm clocks, books, ponytails from my hair, jewelry, etc.) It was my grandparents though, and I’ve got some sentimental attachment to the set, so I’ve never been able to stomach getting rid of the headboard (even though I hate it).

One day, it just hit me… What if I put the headboard behind the couch to act as a sofa table? I’ve wanted a table behind the couch for a year now, but we need one that is very narrow (check!) and very long to accommodate the long sectional (check!).


I was giddy when I drug it around back and realized it was the perfect size; not the perfect height, but the length and depth were spot-on.

I let it sit behind the couch as-is for at least 3 weeks, maybe longer. Every single person that saw it thought it looked ridiculous (which it totally did). I would explain my vision, and I kid you not, every person but Ben (love him!) thought I was crazy and that it would be hideous.

How come after 31 years of being crafty and doing projects all the time, PLUS having a popular home blog, do my friends and family still have zero faith in my vision? It’s insulting, honestly.

Finally, I’d had enough justifying to every person that came to my home, and I tackled the headboard-turned-sofa table-project. First, I measured how much shorter I wanted the table to be.


Next, I tipped the table on its side and measured how much of the leg I needed to hack off. I ended up cutting off 9″.


I used a yard stick to draw solid dark lines around the legs of the headboard.


And then I busted out my new awesome DeWalt jig saw that Ben and the kids surprised me with for Mother’s Day.


This was my first time to get to use the jig saw, and I was really excited! It was so easy to use, and I had all my cuts done in a matter of about 10 minutes.


* If you decide to use power tools on your carpet, do so at your own risk.


It made a decent sized dusty mess, but nothing my dyson couldn’t take care of. 🙂 (Because, you know me, I’m way too lazy to drag the table outside where it would be easier to cut.)


I stood it up excited to see what it looked like (and nervous that I may have cut too much off). Oh-meeee-gosh, I lurve it. Lurve it, lurve it, lurve it. Except for one little thing that stuck out like a sore thumb…


Much better! Next I prepped the area by covering the carpet and couch with plastic and propping the table up on some 2×4’s so it would be easier to paint. Prep work is no fun, but it has to be done! I gave it a good once-over with a sanding block, then wiped it down with some TSP.

headboard_sofa_table_16  headboard_sofa_table_17

Then I primed the hell out of it. Literally. I think I gave it like 4 coats. Usually I use zinsser but I had some Sherwin Williams water-based primer in the garage, so I used it and it did a great job.


Yay, finally time to paint! This should be fun. It’s exciting to paint because you can start to see the final results. I chose Haystack by Martha Stewart and I couldn’t wait to get ‘er done.


Three coats later…


If I were painting a table for a baby nursery, I would have been SPOT ON! But, OMG, this yellow looked anything BUT fabulous, and I even gave myself two full days of staring at it to try to will myself to like it. Not happening.

So I hoped that maybe if I added some white accents it would magically look better…

Ya, that might be the ugliest thing I’ve seen this year… This vision of mine is getting totally de-railed very quickly. I need to redeem myself or all my friends and family will tell me “I told you so!”


Getting desperate, I painted all of it white, then I busted out my trusty Slate by Restoration Hardware… (night picture, I’m sorry)


The grey/white combo is definitely better, but those “wings” on the side just look silly… So I painted them white too.


Ahhh, finally. It finally looks dare I say it? … Good?!


Just try really hard to ignore the massive piles of crap in my living room. I tried to push them all out of the way. 🙂 Kids…


And now, I will bombard you with every angle of the table that I could manage to snap a picture of.






And that, my friends, is the story of how I turned an ugly, outdated, book-shelf style headboard into the most fabulous sofa table that was ever created.


The End.


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  1. stunning! i love it!

  2. Wow that’s really fabulous! Great job;. 🙂

  3. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!!!!!!!!! Awesome job!

  4. Definitely love the white! How wonderful that that special piece of furniture can be used and loved everyday now!

  5. I think it looks great! I love it white! Way to repurpose your headboard!!

  6. I absolutely love your idea! I think it looks great! It looks like it would be great behind a loveseat too! We have some wierd shaped rooms in this house we’re in and it would probably help define where one room ends and another begins 🙂

  7. Brilliant!! It’s beautiful. I am laughing at the fact that you paint inside your house and cut inside your house, too! You are crazy! But, it looks super!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

  8. I have to admit – this is one of my favorite things you’ve done to our house so far. It looks soooo good!

  9. Wow, you did an amazing job! It looks great. You are so creative!

  10. It looks fantastic! Great job! I would never have thought to do that.

  11. That is so freaking awesome! I just made hubby come and look at it and he’s super impressed too. Way to go! I love it!

  12. great job!! I can’t believe you are going to tackle all those projects! sounds like a lot of work. can’t wait to see what you do.

  13. I am very impressed. I love doing this type of repurposing.

  14. A-MAHHHHHHHHHHH-ZING! I love it!!! Way to go!

  15. I just love that. You are so clever to think outside the box like that!

  16. Ohhh now THAT is recycling at it’s best girl! Bravo! Now you’ve got me thinking about the old headboard I have similar to that with the sliding doors on little cubbies. You are goddess of inspiration my dear!

  17. It looks wonderful!! So creative! What a great idea for a narrow space. Definitely prefer the white over the yellow.

  18. Well so cool!!!! Wow! Fabulous and I love seeing pics of the process!!
    Well done girl!!

  19. Squeal is right. What a fabulous transformation. Love repurpose projects like this. Well done!

  20. Love the accent color with the white. It turned out awesome!

  21. Wooooweeeeee!!!!! This is gorgeous!!! Gotta love it when others don’t see the vision! We had faith in you all along! Good to know you have your hubby and other DIYers to tell you how amazingly fabulous you are!!

    xoxo, Mallory

  22. This is an amazing transformation!!! I never would have thought to do it and it’s PERFECT!!! You should be very, very proud of yourself.

    Thanks for the inspiration…once again 🙂

  23. Looks fantastic. Great eye for finding something and thinking outside the box for its next use!

  24. Wow, very cool. Great Job.

  25. What a great idea! I love your creativity in repurposing that headboard.

  26. Such a fantastic idea! Great transformation!

  27. Love this! Something like that just might fit behind my sofa!

  28. Great post ! it is perfect as a sofa table and accents your fire place and the large frame above. Great Job !!!

  29. Fabuloso!! Really!

  30. Wow, looks great! Such a good idea for a sentimental piece of furniture! Always a pleasure to read!

  31. Now THAT is a clever idea!

    (Cracking up over here. Painting in the living room? Is that blooming where you are planted?)

  32. That is absolutely fantastic! I love that you made it into a piece that everyone who comes into your home can see and that is has such a special sentimental meaning for you and your family. It is wonderful.

  33. Love it!! Fab job!! And I love that you got a Jig Saw for Mother’s Day!!!

  34. you know what, i am really liking this! i couldn’t tell that you painted the back grey-it blended in with your couch so well that i thought you removed it, and i was wondering how well it would hold up sans back. super smart girl, love it white!

  35. I love it!!! You did a great job. We just inherited some antique furniture that I need to tackle! I will definitely be using your blog to help me get started!

  36. OH my gosh, Allison!! It’s FANTASTIC!!! I love the white with the grey! FANTASTIC!! It came out PERFECT! 🙂

  37. Looks awesome! A lot of work, and it turned out fantastic. And your husband gets brownie points for seeing “the vision!”

  38. Very very cool!! Love how it turned out!

  39. Amazing! I predict this will be all over Pinterest this next week. Very clever. 🙂


  40. It looks as though it was made for your sofa. So hip and stylish! Love it.

  41. No one must ever doubt your vision again! I will be fervently searching for a similar headboard… I’m totally gonna knock-off your idea for my living room. THANK YOU!

  42. Shut. The. Front. Door.
    You’re awesome.

  43. i cannot believe you did all of that in your livingroom!

  44. This is honestly amazing! You guys always come up with creative projects!!!

  45. It turned out so great! It’s a perfect outside-the-box inspiration. Love!

  46. Love it!
    Such a wonderful idea and very resourceful!

  47. Very very creative! Congratulations on a nice job, even inside the house!!!

  48. Genius my friend, pure genius! Great job once again. I ♥ HOH!!


  49. Ben, that is so great you are supportive of your wives projects.

    Alison, What did the previous negative Nellies think after you were all done? It looks great and as usual very creative.

  50. Such a great idea. My parents have a bookcase headboard on their bed, I’ll suggest this to my Mom. 🙂

  51. You are brilliant and the queen of repurpose! This looks fabulous…I don’t know why anyone would doubt you.

  52. Wow Allison, great job on seeing your vision through to the end {even with the family and friends not on board} That is two items checked off! Dang that is awesome. Sometimes I just don’t listen to my family when it comes to my vision on stuff, they don’t see it like I do, and in the end they always like it. But to give them credit they always fess up and give me compliments when it is done, so I will keep them around. LOL

  53. Great headboard-turned-console!

    And I wanted to thank you for posting the Fire Victims button. My parents sadly lost their home in Bastrop near the Colo Vista golf course. Thankfully they had great insurance and are not in need of donations, but SO many people are! Especially the renters and less fortunate side of town. Thanks!!

  54. Wow, seriously awesome!! And I love your process, makes me feel better about my own projects that somehow snowball. You are so creative.

  55. I love it! so awesome!

  56. Hey, I love your blog, and I appreciate how you even post the mistakes. makes me feel normal. I blogged about you here today.

    and I was inspired to do the same with my to-do list.

  57. I love your blog and appreciate how you post the mistakes as well as the fabulous projects,
    I did something similar with my to-do list, thanks for you inspiration, I mentioned you in my blog today.

  58. Kim {ShopKim on Etsy} says:

    It turned out amazing! That was some really great vision.

  59. I pride myself on using the “non” obvious items but this would have been missed by me! I love this idea ! What an awesome transformation! Don’t you love when you even surprise yourself? Love it! Love, Me

  60. LOVE IT!!!! It is perfect! If I came over to your house and you mentioned the project I might try to sneak out the piece which is the highest form of flattery, right? 😉

  61. has to be one of the best and most creative i have ever seen give yourself a hand!!!!

  62. AMAZING!! you’re so brilliant!!

  63. That is super cool! Wish I had a headboard or two that could fit behind my couch!

  64. allison,
    this is a wonderful repurpose! i love your vision and insight, despite the nay-sayers- how could they NOT believe that you could pull this off!
    i also love the sentimental value of the now turned sofa table. hey if you can’t use it, repurpose it! the slate gray background looks stunning in your room too.

    found you via roadkill rescue


  65. Love it!!!! If I came to your house and you told me all about the project I probably would have tried to sneak out with it. Theft is the highest form of flattery, right? 😉

  66. Love it!! Great idea!

  67. one of the most fabulous things i’ve seen ! LOVE IT !! awesome work

  68. Wow …. all of that work paid off in a big way. It looks fabulous!

  69. What a terrific vision you had to keep a family item in the house and find a way to love it!

  70. What a great idea for repurposing! It looks awesome.

  71. Perfect for the space!!! Great use for old things. . .thanks for sharing 🙂

  72. Beautifull! You’ve got golden hands!

  73. You know what I love about this post (the first one I’ve read on this blog), is the way you tackle your projects in the middle of the house and unashamedly confess to being too lazy to drag your stuff outside or wherever! Love it! That’s me completely! I get so excited about a project that I want to do it NOW…on the spot! Yes, a vacuum cleaner will take care of the dust! LOL

    Beautiful job. Creative and functional. I’ve gotcha bookmarked and plan to come back and see more of your cool transformations.

  74. Found this on pinterest! I absolutely love this. Along w/everyone else. I hope once my husband is out of the army (Oct after 10yrs) we can finally have a home as beautiful as yours. I love your home and decor! Your wall colors are beautiful as well. I dont have a blog but I DO have pinterest I added my link. Love new crafts and home ideas! Thanks so much again!

  75. randomly came across your blog through pinterest. you are amazzzing!! genius ideas! im a 20 yr old college student and can NOT wait to be able to start decorating my own house…wayy down the road… but im savin your blog for future reference 😀

  76. This was a great inspiration to transform that bookself headboard. I really like the turn out. The white dye works perfectly.

  77. Have you had any problem with the stability since it is so narrow?? I’m about to do the same project. It’s behind the couch right now. I haven’t shortened it yet and its a bit wobbly. I’m hoping shortening it will help. Any tips?

  78. Great job! I saw a nice big sturdy twin size headboard shelf in my neighborhood and I am so glad I stopped and killed myself squeezing it halfway into my trunk to bring it home. I am so inspired to turn it into a beautiful decorative accent shelf for my home! Tomorrow the fun begins!


  1. […] DONE. You can see the finished headboard HERE. […]

  2. […] I like to spray paint IN the garage so that no debris blows into my object and sticks to it. I just propped the pipe up against the leftover feet from my sofa table project. […]

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