The Bed That Keeps-On Giving


Don’t you just love it when you score an amazing deal and your return on investment is crazy good? I know, that doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it is sweet! That’s how I feel about the $50 Goodwill bed I have already devoted three posts to. But wait, there’s more!

In the previous posts you learned about the bench, sign, leg extenders, and cake stands, all using old bed parts. Believe it or not, there was still a little more good material to work with, namely, the straight sections at the bottoms of the bedposts. They had giant mortises in them plus were chewed up.  But there was beauty there so I decided to embrace the imperfect. 


Definition: A mortise is half of a mortise and tenon joint. It’s basically a wide slot in which the tenon fits. 


The challenge with this bed was that the finish was that really thick and shiny 70’s look, which is sometimes hard to sand through. To make the job easier, I used denatured alcohol, which you can read about in an earlier article called “The Virtues of Denatured Alcohol. After using the palm sander to get the posts down to raw wood, they took on a really cool character. I sealed them with a coat of polycrylic. The result? Rustic but chic candle holders. (By the way, these are battery operated candles. This particular brand even fakes people out up close.)

The final project from my thrift store bed was really unexpected. There was one chunk of wood, almost a cube, that had a mortise. I picked up a piece of plywood from the scrap pile and low and behold, it fit into the slot perfectly.  As a bonus, there was an existing bolt hole that I widened a little to accommodate a piece of chalk. By painting one side of the plywood with chalkboard paint and adding two clips to the other side, it became a dual-purpose item. I just put a coat of the same urethane on the raw wood to seal it. This minimalist, yet warm piece is the perfect place to write a list or menu and display photos or kids’ artwork.

So, there you have it. One bed, six projects, and oodles of satisfaction. Now it’s your turn. Dig through your scrap pile and see what you can find!