Trash to Treasure Headboard

Hello, all.  I know, I haven't posted for quite awhile.  Life has changed a lot for me lately so I haven't had much time to do any crafts.  But recently I redecorated my son's room, as he was growing out of his "kid" decor and needed something more mature, so I thought I'd share the trash-to-treasure project I did for him.

In his old room, my son had a set of bunk beds -- the loft kind with the desk/dresser/shelves built in.  Part of the plan was to get rid of his bunk beds, and I couldn't be happier about that!  But that meant he needed a new bed.  Since his bookshelves were going away with the bunk beds, I need to come up with something different.  Pinterest is a wonderful place for ideas, as I'm sure many of you already know, and after browsing a bit, I was inspired by this:

 And here's another one:

I loved the look, but didn't spend much time looking for the source of the images, because I knew it was unlikely I would be willing to spend what it was likely going to cost.  I did find one similar, but it was $2500,  which simply confirmed it was not in my budget.  So I knew I was going to need to be resourceful.

Well I love buying and selling on Craigslist.  It's a great source for inexpensive alternatives to things, if you just apply a little creativity.  And I found this:

It's a Sauder entertainment center.  This is the new version:
I got it for $100.  Bargain!

So here's the thing.  I'm willing to risk experimenting doing things I'm not familiar with, at least when I don't have much to lose anyway.  I figured I could play around a lot with this, and even if I completely trashed the plan, still only be out $100.  So I made a few modifications to the original piece and it was all pretty successful, I think.

First, because it's really an entertainment center, I felt it was too deep.  It measured about 21".  I opted to shorten the depth of all of it by 6 inches.  Since it's made by Sauder, the parts were fairly easy to take apart again  (it was mostly assembled when I got it.)  Thankfully the person that assembled it didn't glue the parts together.  Keep that in mind if you want to try something similar.  So I made note of which pieces needed to be cut and shortened them all by the same amount.  This meant I also needed to realign/redrill the brackets since I was actually cutting some of them off, but it wasn't too difficult to do.

I wanted a mocha finish as I was trying to match a dresser I had already purchased.  The wood was just a laminated veneer, so I couldn't exactly strip and stain it.  So instead I lightly sanded the finish to rough it up a bit, then black-washed it.  When it was dry, I applied a light coat of spray varnish to the painted surfaces.  I wasn't sure how well the paint would hold up, but seems to be doing pretty well so far.

I also moved the cabinet to the top, rather than leaving it at the bottom.  If I left it at the bottom, it would have been covered by the bed and primarily unusable.  I could have done it like the inspiration photos, but I thought it would be more accessible if it weren't behind the pillows either.  And the "space" below the shelf actually helps keeps the throw pillows on the bed, so there's a double advantage.

I also painted the handles silver to match the industrial theme in the rest of the room.

A little paint on the walls, a new desk, and my little boy now has a big boy room.

He seems happy with it, which is the important part.  And since I sold the bunk beds for $400, I might actually have come out ahead in the deal, even after purchasing new linens, paint, a desk, and dresser!

What do you think?  Close?   Close enough for me!

I hope you can use this as an inspiration for your future remodels.  Let me know if you have any questions.  Thanks for stopping by!

And be sure to check out the endless list of inspirational ideas at my home page


  1. Yours looks way better than the one you modeled it after. Great job!

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  4. First ~~ I live in southern California ~ earthquake country. When I seen the two pics of the ready made headboard/shelves, my first thought was all the things would come down on your boy's head !! But, when I saw what YOU developed, I thought ~ so much better. At least the storage unit with doors could have some kind of a lock to keep things from tumbling out during our infamous earthquakes !! You did a fantastic job and your son should enjoy his room for many years to comment. Thanks for sharing. Linda.

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  8. I like your version better than the original. It looks like it will stay cleaner looking and seems like it will be OK as your son gets older.

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  10. its a great beds with storage headboard. simple & Functional

  11. its a great beds with storage headboard. simple & Functional

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