7.21.2013

How NOT to Make a Bench!

This was my first attempt at making a bench!  It was made from an old crib, and it was an 
EPIC FAIL!  
It may look decent from afar, but let me tell you, it is quite horrific!  
 I'm going to show you what we did....so then you will know What Not To DO!

To preface this project, I have been wanting to make a bench from an old headboard/crib for a long time!  However, I wanted it to be exactly how it was pictured in my head...nothing less! HA!
So I had been searching for months to find the perfect piece.
When I came across this Jenny Lind style crib on Craigslist for $50, I knew she was the one!

Here she is before I ruined her:


Because I wanted the bench to be the length of the crib (not the width), I cut the curved ends off of the width pieces

and attached them to the length pieces because I thought that would give me the length I wanted with the cute curved ends that I liked

But once it was cut, we weren't sure how to attach it, so we ended up taking a long screw and screwing it together right on the curve.....Not a good idea!



 We then built the frame for the seat, which went according to plan...no big issues here

The planks for the seat turned out ok, but the middle board was warped.  The black plank was actually the bottom rail of the crib

For my perfect bench, I really wanted arm rests on the sides.  So we took the other width piece of the crib, cut it in half, and cut off the bottoms to give the sides the height we wanted

Yeah, another BIG mistake!  But we finally got it all together.  She was awful, but we had spent ALL day on her, so I was going to paint her anyways!

I painted her using my homemade chalk paint with Valspar's Polar White.  Are you still thinking she looks ok?! Well, let me show you...


First of all, the sides are so crooked, and the entire bench leaned forward, so we had to add furniture levelers to the front legs of the bench!  
Also, the seat of the bench is too narrow...my bum hardly fits!!!! lol

 We couldn't get all the pieces to fit exactly, so we ended up with gaps like this everywhere:
And remember this...isn't it lovely?!

We also ended up with many of these, even after drilling holes first!

So here are my suggestions:

Don't try to piece together the back of the bench
Stick with one solid piece for the back!

Don't use wood that is bowed! 

Don't guess on the width for the seat
Measure an average chair or bench seat!

And Don't be like me, and expect it to look like it does in your head!!

I'm not sure when I'll be willing to give a bench another try...but I'm thinking I might stick to a headboard next time...

Until then she will sit on my back porch!

Therena

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48 comments:

  1. She will look cute with flowers if she is too small for tushies!

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    1. Haha! Yes, that's what I need to do with her!

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  2. we all live and learn from our own mistakes. I think she looks pretty. MAybe not good for sitting on it, but looks pretty. We are usually our worst critics...

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    1. Thanks Daniella! She does ...from a distance lol

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  3. visiting from I should be mopping the floor. I think this is awesome. I love the "how not to" instructions. But at least you tried to do something

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    1. Aw, thanks! I'll have to try again someday!

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  4. I have to say I really, really like this. I bought a couple of twin beds to do just exactly what you a made... a bench. Well, I haven't done it yet and now I want to make one from a crib like you did. I like this style also. I'm going to look for one at a tag sale, though. It seems I can find anything I need at a tag sale (yard sale). So glad you posted this. Linda

    http://www.craftsalamode.com/2013/07/what-to-do-weekends-29.html

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  5. I actually think it looks pretty good! You still did a way better job than I could ever do on something like this. :)

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    1. I don't believe that!!! But thanks so much Lisa!

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  6. The bench is pretty! Thank you for the, er, untips.
    Kathy

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  7. Making mistakes is the best way to learn. Don't hesitate to try again!!

    I think it looks cute and you're on the right track. Hope you find another crib like this so you can get the bench you really want.

    Cheers!

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  8. I think it is adorable. If you didn't point out what you see as your mistakes, no one would be the wiser... BUT Thanks for the tips on what not to do... If I ever attempt this project, I will remember your post... : )
    Thanks for sharing (stopping by from A stroll thru Life : )

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    1. Haha, that's true...unless they try to sit on it! :) Thanks Kathy!

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  9. Hi, I came across your site through GFC bloghop! :) I think the bench looks nice. I like the color you chose for it. :)

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  10. I made a bench from remnants of an old deck and it wobbles and now 17 yrs. later it is leaning forward (& it's by my front door!) I think it's past its best before date (which was 16 yrs. 10mos. ago). I want one this time with a back...will have to look for a crib (not using my 24yr. old Ikea one-it's still usable) or head board at thrift stores for my new bench. Thanks for the tips. I think yours looks good and anyone who inspects it deserves to see the 'oopses'

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    1. Thanks Libby! Wow, not sure mine will last 17 years!!

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  11. It's nice to know there are other people out there that have as much trouble as me when trying out a new project. I think it looks pretty good! The flaws just make it look more rustic.

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    1. Yeah I like that, "rustic"! lol! Thanks so much!

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  12. I think it looks great.... Maybe you can't sit on it but load it up with flowers and it'll be good... Thanks for linking up to my 3rd Clever, Crafty & Creative Linky Party at Dorothy Sue and Millie B's too...

    It's nice to be reminded that I'm not the only one that makes these kinds of mistakes!

    Suzie

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    1. Aw, thanks! I think I will put flowers on it...so no one tries to sit on it! lol

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  13. LOL ~ I luv it~!
    And, I don't feel so alone in the world anymore.......
    (3rd time is usually the charm!)
    It's adorable. I agree with the prior commentors. It will look very cute as a flower pot bench!
    Jen @ Lace Crazy ~ popping over from The Shady Porch Rock N Share
    (=

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  14. It's actually pretty cute! Just think how festive it will look this fall with pumpkins, mums, and an autumn colored wool blanket thrown over the back!

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    1. True, true! Good idea! Thanks Vickie!!

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  15. Ha! Enjoyed your blog post. I like the bench :) thanks for sharing on Fluster Muster!

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  16. gREAT POST! lol Isn't it funny how we think things in our head then when we try and do them it's harder than we planned. Err lack of planning. THanks for sharing on DIY Sunday Showcase!! I will be pinning this!!

    Shelly-cohost
    minettesmaze.blogspot.com

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    1. Definite lack of planning on my part! Lol! Thanks Shelly!

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  17. Therena, I hope when I make my bench, it looks as good as yours. I understand that you're critical, and I would be, too, but I think she's gorgeous ! If she's too narrow for butts, then she's a pretty plant stand !

    patty
    soriano471@sbcglobal.net

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    1. Oh Patty, you are sweet! I'm definitely going to put flower pots on her!

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  18. Thanks for linking to Take-A-Look Tuesday over at Sugar Bee Crafts - I featured you today!
    --Mandy, SugarBeeCrafts.com

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  19. I like it. If you can't sit on it, use it for seasonal decor and call it good. I would recommend that you take a look at the blog My Repurposed Life for tips on making benches. Gail does an amazing job. I have never met her in person, but she sends very sweet emails.

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    1. Thanks Sylvia! Yes, thats the plan! I LOVE her blog, and I'll definitely be following some instructions next time! lol

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  20. I think we have all had our share of projects in our heads that didn't quite turn out as we thought it would. I looks good and think of all that you learned and all the others you have helped. I am your newest GFC.
    Have a wonderful week,
    Bev
    @ Eclectic Red Barn

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    1. Haha, thats good to know! Thanks so much Bev!

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  21. Live and learn, right? I'm sorry it did not turn out as expected. I have a crib seat that I started months ago and have yet to finish. Thanks for sharing your mishaps. Your honesty helps make all of us better DIY'ers.

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  22. BUT you DID it!!! Give yourself credit for that and learn from the things you could have done better. There are some pretty good posts on blogs on how to do this so do a little more research and then try again!! Read this on Miss Mustard Seed furniture Friday.

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    1. Thanks so much Carla! I will be using instructions next time for sure! lol

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  23. This looks great!! I but it's not as bad as you think it is.

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  24. It looks so pretty! Good to know tips in case I attempt to make one though. I'm featuring your bench in the PoPP Spotlight this week.

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  25. I appreciate your what NOT to do DIY. We all (hopefully) learn from our mistakes. I too have been wanting to make a bench similar to this. Instead, I'm taking the easy route. I repurposing a mid-century modern coffee table into a bench. Just added the foam padding today. Now I just need to find the perfect fabric at the very discounted price! Oh, and I agree with Art and Sand--turn it into a plant stand of sorts. Either cut out holes for the pots, or just place them right on top. Maybe an ivy on each side to cover some of the more noticeable errors. Like you said--it looks good from a distance--so I'm sure that with some pretty plants and flowers it will look great up close!

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    1. Haha, thanks! I figured even if it wasn't helpful, it might be kinda funny! Yeah, I'll be putting flowers on it!

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    2. Fetched my Jenny Lind from storage today. Only brought home the wooden parts. No clue what to do with them yet. Thought about a bench, lol, but yeah, nope. Pot rack? Porch railing? Craft room organizer? Laundry room drying rack? Kindling for the fire pit?

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Thank you for your comments! They brighten my day!

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