During the last few weeks I worked on several projects to kick-start my guest room makeover, but the one I’m about to share with you is the most exciting to me!
Do you remember the old twin bed frames that I rescued from my parents’ basement?
Our guest room is very small, with a low drop ceiling and a small window, and because of these factors, we need to keep the room feeling as open as possible. All it took was one glance at the above setup for me to realize that the four-poster style of the foot boards was too tall for the room.
Determined to use these curvy old bed frames, however, I devised a new, and perhaps wacky, plan. What if I were to cut out the middle section of each foot board, then re-attach the top finials to rereate a shorter version of the originals?
Confused? Here, let me show you what we did.
We lined the foot board up on the compound miter saw, and clamped it in place to help keep it steady.
Ryan made the first cut, as I anxiously watched and worried.
Ryan did an amazingly perfect job, slicing right between the square post and the beginning of the rounded post, and I lavished him with praise. Really.
Ryan made yet another perfectly-lined-up cut, this time removing the top finial from the rest of the foot board. More praise for Ryan.
We repeated the process until both foot boards were dissected like this:
Next step? Securing the top finial to the bottom of the foot board.
I traced and cut out a circle the size of the finial’s base, then found the center. I made a tiny hole in the center of the paper template . Then I taped the paper template to the finial, marked the center of the wood, and repeated with the other three finials and all four bases that I needed to attach them to.
After clamping the wood to a table for stability, I got ready to drill.
I used the drill bit from my new Dowel Jig Kit (more on this in another post) to drill a hole into each piece. The drill bit was perfect because a) it made holes big enough for the wooden dowels and b) it has a super-sharp spike on the end so there’s no chance of the drilled hole being off-center.
Once the holes were drilled, I put some glue in each hole, then added the wooden dowel. As a final assurance, I smeared some wood filler around the base of the finial, just to ensure that I got a smooth, gap-less seal with each assembly.
I pushed the finial firmly onto the dowel, wiped off most of the excess glue and wood filler that oozed out of the joint, and then taped the whole thing to hold it steady to dry overnight.
The next day, I removed the tape and had two new, smaller foot boards!
I am so excited with how well this turned out. Next step? Painting!
I know this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, altering antiques like this, but it works for us. This way we’re able to use the old bed frames, which haven’t been used for at least 35 years, and they still retain some of the original character.
Have you ever significantly altered an antique or other piece of furniture just to make it work in your space?
PS: I’m planning a local blogger meetup for Sat. Feb 4th. No details yet, but please email me if you’re in the DC area and are interested!