diy rustic mid century modern bench

Whew. That's kind of a mouthful. 

I'm hoping to finish the makeover in our master bedroom next month! So next on the DIY list was a bench at the end of the bed. I wanted to add an element of the mid-century modern trend happening, and nothing says that better than metal hairpin legs. When I was shopping around for benches, the only place I found one like what I had in mind was on Etsy. Don't get me wrong, it's gorgeous and real reclaimed wood, but it's $200 (plus shipping!) and I just didn't want to drop that much!

This DIY version is only $65. SIXTY-FIVE DOLLARS.

-4 metal hairpin legs (I found them the cheapest on Ebay for $55)
-2x12x10 board (2" thick, 12" wide, 10 feet long) cut to the length you want your bench to be--mine is 50" $10 
-Tools to beat up the wood (hammer, screws, screwdriver..whatever you want to use)
-Wood stain (I had some on hand, but you can buy a small can for around $6)   

First, beat up your wood. However you want to.
I enlisted the help of the toddlers, who seem to enjoy destroying things above all else. I used both ends of the hammer to hit and dig up the wood. Basically you're trying to make it look old, not brand new. Everywhere there is a ding, the stain will be darker. I used screws to scrape in some areas, and in some places set a screw on the board and hammered it to leave an imprint. 
You'll also want to sand down the edges of the board to look more worn. (I also gave the whole thing a quick sanding just to get off any splinters from all of the banging).

 ^What the edges looked like, pre-staining.
I ended up mixing two stain colors for my bench- totally personal preference. I used about 60% Minwax classic gray and 40% Minwax dark walnut. Raw wood absorbs stain pretty quickly, so once I rubbed some on (using a cut up old t-shirt), I didn't have a whole lot to wipe back off. Just follow the directions on your stain can.

^One coat of stain vs. two coats of stain

Once the stain is dry, flip the board over and attach the legs 1/4"-1/2" from the edge of the board.

And that's it! Seriously SO simple.
I didn't use any top coat, mostly because it will be in our bedroom and not really get a TON of use. But in the future if I see I need to add something for protection, I'll use furniture wax instead of poly (poly will make it shiny, which won't really look "rustic").

 Jillian wanted to photo bomb some of my pictures:

This room is seriously SO close to being done it makes me giddy! 
To recap:

-Paint walls 
-Plank accent wall
-New curtains/bamboo shade
-New lamps on night stands
-Add captain's mirrors above each night stand
-DIY tufted headboard 
-Add bench to end of bed
-Extra baskets/storage containers
-New bedding & pillows
-Large plant in corner

Just a few finishing touches left! I can't wait to share the full reveal next month!



  1. It looks awesome Whitney! Love the bench!!

  2. Love the bench! Can you please tell me the height of the hairpin legs you used? Also, assuming this is a King bed, what length did you make your bench?

    1. Hello! It's actually a queen sized bed, so my board is 50" long. With the legs I think they were either the 16" or 18" size!

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