Makeovers | Trash to Treasure

The New/Old Guest Bed

August 6, 2014

The New/Old Guest Bed

Well, summer is almost over. This past weekend my husband and I moved our youngest son back to Pitt for his second year of college. He had much more stuff to move than last year as he is renting a house with several other students. Thankfully we had the craft trailer to pack most of the stuff, but the kid’s car and ours were also full.

The weekend was spent packing, unpacking and shopping. My son wasn’t sure what he would need (and he put off asking until we arrived), so we had to hit the yard sales in Pitt on Saturday morning. Yep, I’m sure you know what kind of hardship that was for me. 😉 We had a list and tried to find as much as we could, but in the end we did end up going to Dollar Tree and Walmart to finish getting the necessities.

And then we came home…

The kid bought a new mattress and box springs just before moving, so we were left with the old mattress and box spring…and no bed frame.

My frugal radar started going off. We needed to have an extra bed for occasional guests, but I was not willing to spend any money on it. I had made a bed frame for our king bed many years ago. I knew it could be done. The problem was determining whether the mattress and box springs were salvageable. The kid had been telling us for years that it kept sinking and felt like it had no support when he laid on it. hmm…

I decided to remove the dust cover on the box springs to investigate what the problem was.

Ah ha! I found three breaks in slats and the side frame. Now can I just say how confused I am? Not about the breaks, but the fact that we call the thing a box spring and there was not one spring on the whole thing. As you know, I have used bed springs in a lot of projects and have taken apart my share of vintage bed springs. This just confuses me. Oh well, on with my story.

Since I already had the dust cover off I could clearly see how the fabric cover was attached. I removed it so that I could repair the skeleton of the box spring.

I patched the breaks and added additional braces across the box spring and more 2×4 braces between the top and bottom of the box.

The cardboard overlay on the top side of the box was cracked and sagging. I removed it and replaced it with fresh cardboard. Then it was just a matter of replacing the fabric cover and the dust cover.
Tip: A staple gun is your best friend. 😉

I built a frame around the box spring to make sure it would fit. I just used 2x4s from my wood pile. Yes, I brought my wood pile along when I moved.

After the frame was built I added slats across the width and cut more 2x4s for the legs. The whole thing then got a dry brushed coat of paint.

I had a vintage metal headboard and foot board in storage that I had thought I would use to make a bench, but this seemed like the perfect option for my guest bed. Vintage beds do not necessary line up with modern mattress sizes, but in this case it really didn’t matter. I had my husband remove the brackets for the rails and drill holes through the legs.

I cleaned the headboard and foot board and gave it a couple of coats of poly to shine it up and seal the rust.

I bolted the boards through the drilled holes in the legs to the 2×4 legs of the new bed frame.

Woot! Woot! That’s it! Nothing left but to make it. Uh…ignore the wimpy pillow. I found this one in my extra bedding. I have no idea why I kept it. It’s awful! I actually want two, so I will be making my only purchase for this bed. Not bad. I think I can spring for a couple of pillows.


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  1. Boy where’s there’s a will there’s a way huh? Love it that you decided to use what you had to get a guest bed. You’re always so busy with one thing and another. Was it hard to send son off to college again? Is it his room that is guest room now? You did such a great job making that bed frame, why not if you had lumber and knew how? Smart gal and it was free, of course your labor is worth much more.
    We get company so seldom we don’t have a guest room. Extra bedrooms are so small in our house, one is craft room, other is sewing room and both are chuck full of my “stuff”. They both need cleaning up, what a mess in both. Not dirty, just very messy. When we painted living room so much stuff got shoved in both rooms. Ah well not first time they’ve been messy so will wait til I’m in mood to tackle them both, .
    The “new to us” couch I bought at Habitat is a sleeper sofa so have that for company and we have a travel trailer also. We took mattress out and had it cleaned so it’s usable. Wouldn’t ask somebody to sleep on something I didn’t know was clean. Habitat had it cleaned also but I wanted to have it done for my own peace of mind. With all the clamor there’s been about bed bugs I wasn’t going to take any chances, lol. EEeuuuwww, gives me willies just thinking about it.
    If you want to reply please do so at my email address. Don’t work too hard.
    Of course you moved your wood pile, why wouldn’t you?

    1. We didn’t have a guest room before he moved, but since he moved everything I am going to use it as a guest/craft room. My crafts have been stored in a gazillion places since we moved. It will be nice to have a specific spot. I’ll have it cluttered in no time. hehe

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