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French Provincial Headboard Bench with French Mattress

Sometimes there are projects that you envision in your head the minute you spy something. Maybe that doesn’t always happen, but when it does it is fantastically fun to get it done. That’s what happened to me when I spied this beauty below.. Did I need a headboard…no. Did I need another project…not really. But…did I want to take this vintage gem and create a French Provincial headboard bench…YES!

Vintage French Provincial Headboard Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

A local lady posted this on Craigslist and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to check it out. The caning alone is what caught my attention, but I’ve always had a heart for French Provincial style. You can see why in my past makeovers in these posts.

This isn’t my first time I’ve built a headboard bench, but the last one was from a bookcase headboard and had a totally different spin on it. There are dozens of headboard benches out there, so why would I want to take this one on? Well, because not many have this design to them, and I love taking on a new challenge.


Okay, so making the bench is pretty simple and straightforward – you’re adding a frame to the front of the headboard. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel and make a tutorial, but will share a few tips that I learned along the way. First, having the right tools is key.

Kreg Jig Pocket Hole Jig for Headboard Bench by Prodigal Pieces |

*post sponsored by HomeRight and contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)

To make a solid frame, my must-have is my Kreg Pocket-Hole Jig. I can create joints in any form on any size material that will be strong and tight. I love it! You can see all the ways I use it in my past projects.

Kreg Pocket Hole Jig to Build Headboard Bench by Prodigal Pieces |

I could have just stuck a plain board across the front as the bench skirt, but I wanted to make this look custom. My goal was to recreate the lines of the headboard, so I lay it on its back and traced it onto paper.

Tracing French Provincial Headboard |

Once I had it traced and cut out, I transferred my tracing to a 1″ x 6″ board and cut it out with my jigsaw. My workbench with Kreg Klamp Trak System makes this a breeze.

Ryobi Cordless Jigsaw to Make DIY Headboard Bench by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

No worries about a mess, my clean-up crew was eager and waiting to suck up any debris the minute it hit my shop floor. haha. I love it!

Toddler Cleaning Workshop with Shop Vacuum |


In another adventure, a few months ago I was doing my normal thrift store checks and found these set of 3 beautiful unfinished table legs. They weren’t price marked, but I grabbed them anyway.

Set of 3 Unfinished Turned Wooden Table Legs found at Thrift Store by Larissa of Prodigal pieces |

When I went to check out the guy said, “You do realize there are only 3 here, right?” I shook my head yes and told him I had plans for them. He replied, “There is a set of four over there too.” I had seen them, but they were heavily painted and nowhere near as pretty as these. I asked him how much for the triplets, and he answered, “How does a buck sound?” In Ohio language that’s $1. Which also translates to…SCORE!

side note: In case you’ve ever wondered where the term “buck” is came from, it’s because the Native Americans and settlers would trade buck skins for goods. That was their cash.


While originally I had planned to build a half-circle table with the legs, I found they came in handy for what I wanted to build with this headboard. Since it is a king size bed, I needed to have more than two feet supporting my front frame. I buzzed them into pieces with my miter saw and here is what I had assembled thus far.

French Provincial Headboard Bench Frame by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

I’ve added a 1″x 4″ spreader at the back, two side supports, three legs, and a front skirt. Next, I added slats to span from front to back, just like I did on my recent workbench built from reclaimed bed drawers.

Oh, and no worries as I had plans for the rest of those table legs. Stick around to see where they end up. tee hee.

Scrap Table Leg for Arm Rests on Upcycled Headboard Bench Built by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Next up on the French Provincial headboard bench was to add some arms. I could have stopped with it the way it was. However, I wanted some class added to this beauty. I pulled this bed rail from my stash of curbside hauls and knew it was the right thickness and depth for what I needed.

Bed Rail Found Curbside Becomes Part of Reclaimed Headboard Bench |

To make the design, I traced what I wanted on paper and then transferred it to my wood. Using my jigsaw again, I cut it out and sanded it down with my sander and finished with hand-sanding.

Sanding Headboard Bench Arms |

Having repaired and torn apart many furniture pieces, I knew how to assemble the rest of the bench with spiral pegs and joints. I used my Klamp Trak along with my drill and forstner bits to make the holes straight and clean. Last, I assembled with wood glue and clamps and let cure. By the way, if you ever wanted to see what’s in my tool arsenal, you can check it out HERE.

Drilling Peg Holes for Headboard Bench Assembly with Ryobi Drill |


Time for some paint fun! Obviously, to add cohesiveness to my bench I wanted to paint. There was no way I was going to break out a brush for this, especially with that caning. Instead I whipped out one of my favorite tools, the HomeRight Super Finish Max Extra paint sprayer.

HomeRight Super Finish Max Extra Paint Sprayer for DIY Headboard Bench by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

I began by placing the bench on its back to hit the underside first. My sprayer is set up with the blue tip and black nozzle for a fine finish. I’m also using an eggshell latex paint by Glidden in an Elephant Gray color. Kinda fitting, isn’t it? This thing is BIG like an elephant!

Spray Painting Headboard Bench Bottom with HomeRight Super Finish Max by Prodigal Pieces |

After the bottom is sprayed, I flipped the bench up and coated the rest. In total I did three coats of paint.

Spray Painting DIY French Provincial Headboard Bench by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

One of the beauties of this sprayer is that you can adjust the spray to horizontal or vertical positions. Plus, it can spray even when facing downward. Here it is in the horizontal position for my long pieces and caning…

HomeRight Super Finish Max with Horizontal Spray |

…and in the vertical position for my upright pieces. My dad had come over while I was spraying and commented, “That sure does a great job. Looks fantastic.” I agree – it’s an awesome tool! You can see it how I’ve used in many past projects as well as the how-to in my video below.

Vertical Spray Pattern by the HomeRight Super Finish Max as shown by Prodigal Pieces |


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While my first coat is curing, I tried my hand at sewing a French tufted mattress. Yeah…I’m crazy like that. I plan to make one for our built-in window seat, so I needed some practice. I’ve done similar things before, just not on this scale.


Off to the fabric store I head to get my supplies and have at it. Again, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel as there are many tutorials out there on how to make one of these. I would say I referenced this one the most. It’s fairly simple, just time-consuming.

Pinning Upholstery for Fitting |

I found this beautiful striped fabric at JoAnn’s, which is also where I got my foam and batting. My littlest said as we were headed there, “JoAnn’s is my favorite store.” So sweet. Make note she also says that about Home Depot. Good girl.

Sewing Upholstery for French Mattress by Prodigal Pieces |

Everything was sewn and it was time to not only hand-stitch the cushion closed, but add the side stitches and the tufting. Again, my littlest is in tow handing me pins and whatnot. She decided while perched on the cushion that I needed a picture of me sewing. I agree.

Larissa Haynes of Prodigal Pieces Sewing a French Mattress for her French Provincial Headboard Bench |

If you’ve ever done any heavy sewing like this, you know gloves are a must or you hands will pay dearly. And, of course I had to add my own personal touch to the mattress.

Prodigal Pieces Handmade French Mattress by Larissa |

The mattress is complete and I just need to add a few finishing touches to the bench. Next, I added depth and dimension by highlighting and glazing a few spots. First, I used this Vintage Effect Wash in Whiteand my Round Brush to go over the caning.

DecoArt Vintage Wash in White for Headboard Bench |

Once that cured, I used my gray wax and a second Round Brush to shade in the caning on the outer edges and hit the carved accents as well.

Zibra Round Brush to Wax Furniture Accents by Prodigal Pieces |


Ready to see my French Provincial headboard bench complete? Let’s take a peek…

Tufted French Mattress on DIY Headboard Bench built by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #furniture #diy #handmade #homedecor

Handmade French Provincial Headboard Bench with Tufted French Mattress by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

How exciting to see my vision come to life after many days of work. It came out as I had hoped, maybe even better because I hadn’t done this before.

DIY Tufted French Mattress on Custom Headboard Bench Made by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

French Provincial Headboard Bench with Mattress Handmade by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |


And how about that cushion? woot! Not too shabby, I say. I wanted to create the corners around those arms to hold the mattress in place. Notice how I used the rest of the legs I chopped. I told ya I would use them! tee hee.

Handmade French Mattress on Custom Built French Provincial Headboard Bench by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Call me crazy, but I even decided to whip up a few pillows to place on my bench. You can find the clipart I used for free at The Graphics Fairy here and here. She has oodles of freebies for you. Which pillow is your favorite? The vintage feed sack grain pillow or the ticking with the laurel wreath and bee?

DIY Handmade French Grain Sack Pillow by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

DIY French Ticking Pillow with Laurel Wreath and Bee Graphic by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

I adore them both and they helped make my French Provincial headboard bench more fun, don’t you think?

Handmade French Provincial Headboard Bench Built with Custom French Mattress by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

It was a must for me to get a picture sitting on my new creation. So many times I forget to snap a shot and I nearly forgot again this time. Huge thanks to JC and my six awesome kids for putting up with me while I built and sewed. I couldn’t do it without my team.

Larissa Haynes of Prodigal Pieces sitting on her custom made French Provincial Headboard bench with French Mattress | See the DIY details at

I create for fun and while I’d like to tuck this into a corner somewhere, I’m making it available in my shop. (SOLD) Stop by to see all there is to offer!

Shop Prodigal Pieces |


Now for some giveaway fun! HomeRight and I are all about getting the right tools into your hands so you can DIY your own projects. Easy entry – just fill out the widget for as many entries as you like, daily even. Open to U.S. and Canada residents 18 years of age and older. Winner will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to claim their prize. Be sure to check your spam!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do pin and share my French Provincial headboard bench. My goal is to inspire others to give DIY a try and it shows me love when you share. Thank you!

Simply beautiful. Larissa of Prodigal Pieces created this French Provincial headboard bench with a custom built frame as well as a handmade tufted French mattress. | DIY details at #prodigalpieces #handmade #diy #homedecor #furniture #shopping

Up next, this…err…lovely clock my dad gave me is undergoing a transformation. See the after HERE.

Handmade Vintage Clock Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |
To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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More projects like my French Provincial headboard bench:

A farmhouse industrial style cart made from reclaimed barn wood and a repurposed baby changing table. See the transformation at Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comBuild this beautiful DIY Garden Arbor to add height and growing space to your garden. Full build plans with video at Prodigal Pieces |

168 replies on “French Provincial Headboard Bench with French Mattress”

I love it! It would be a great piece to replace that sofa I never sit on! Alas, I’ll be on the lookout for a great headboard. Thanks, Larissa!

Love the French Provincial bench! My parents had a bedroom set that was this style and I always thought it was beautiful. I admire your skills at building Larissa. Great vision for this piece.

Like all your work, this is beautiful i am in the early stages of designing and building a wall of faux built-in storage for my craft room and definitely could use the sprayer to paint all those pieces.

Stunning! I love the work you do. Your pieces are beautiful. I would love to learn how to use a paint sprayer and take my painting hobby to the next level. You inspire me.

You raised the bar with this one!! That cushion! The arms and legs! Your blog is my favorite, your craftsmanship and your dedication to family make me smile.

You are sooooo talented! You never cease to amaze me.
When you use chalk paint in your sprayer, how much water do you add to the paint to dilute it?

You’re the best, Michele! Thank you. I typically don’t use chalk paint in my sprayer for no reason other than I have others I would like to use up first. Most brands have a thinning ratio on their label. Just depends.

Amazing!! I love the color and high five on the cushion . I would love to have it on the porch(perfect coffee spot)

Wow! Another fantastic makeover. You never cease to amaze me with your vision. Your little helper is so adorable! Amazing that you used the remainder of the cut off legs in the armrests. Great, great job Larissa!

Beautiful bench! I’ve never used a paint sprayer but would love to try one!!! I have thought about painting my kitchen cabinets. A sprayer would make this project so much easier!!! Thanks for the chance to win this giveaway!

This is simply beautiful! Thanks for the inspiration. I have two bed frames sitting in my garage. Need to get busy.

Larissa I cannot believe you started out with just a headboard and then turned it into that beauty! Girl if you sell this you better charge big buck! Just that tufted cushion is worth so much! Every single bit is wonderful.

Now I have a question, the grey grunge is that a wax or just paint?

What a lovely bench! And so many details. By far the best bench I’ve seen and the mattress takes it over the top. Beautiful! And I like the ticking pillow more.

Larissa…….you are amazing! That bench is just beautiful. Your talent is second to none? It is so nice that your little helper is there to learn from you! She is a very lucky little girl as are all of your children! Great work!

Wow! That was a big project and it turned out Amazing! The pillow in itself is a feat. What kind of stuffing did you use?
Good tools are key and I’ve followed your lead on many. Thank you for the inspiration.

WOW; That is Stunning. what a great master piece. How great that would be sitting in someone’s sun room / enclosed porch
Who ever buys it, is one lucky person to own such a lovely bench.
I do have another set of bar stools that could use a new face lift.
Thank you for this wonderful giveaway opportunity

Absolutely another beauty, Larissa! I wish I had the vision you do when browsing through thrift markets. Even a smidgeon would be fine with me! My first paint job would be an old dresser i have. It needs a bottom to a drawer and also a facelift to its worn outer finish.

I love how this turned out!!!!! Just added another item to look for when out thrifting, junkin, or just driving on trash pick up day. Thank you for the inspiration.

Great, awesome, exceptional project – once again! You are such an inspiration. Your vision, patience and perseverance to see things through to the finest detail are incredible. Thank you for being you!

That is really beautiful! I have to admit, I did not have your vision when began this project but boy, the end product is spectacular! The colors couldn’t be more perfect too! Love the whole darn thing!

WOW!!! I just love the French Provincial style and the cane insets…YOU are an inspiration to me!! My mom still has one of these headboards….I’ve got dibs on it when she no longer wants it!! and her nightstands and dresser too!!! and I know exactly what I’m going to do with them!!! Thanks for a terrific blog!!

really, really nice makeover! And the french tufted mattress is perfect! This project was obviously a labor of love!

I love the bench and French mattress. You are amazing! It’s awesome that all your lil ones are part of the process. I was wondering if you take orders for the French mattress?

I just love having my family around. Thanks so much! I think my hands would say no on the custom ones…haha. But, I do see awesome ones from other shops on Etsy.

I’m not entering the contest this time, but I still have to comment because -WOW!
So much to love about the bench, and the post… I’m loving how you divided the legs and used the left over part for the arms. And tracing the design and using it for the front…genuis.
And the cushion. Swoon.
And last but not least… Your adorable little girl…that brought back the memories of me sitting next to my grandmother while she was sewing…and I’d dump the entire pin box on the floor…. Just so I’d have an excuse to stay next to her longer as I picked all the pins back up.

I love all your projects- I definitely need the spray painter to finish my flower pot side table.It is also so cool that your son is involved in your projects

I love the bench!! Looks so great. And obviously I would love to win a HomeRight sprayer! It’s been on my wish list for awhile now.

Love what you did with the headboard and love, love the mattress on the final piece. You are very talented and insightful.

I love your new project – it’s stunning! I still haven’t painted our new side tables. I’d do that first.

Oh my goodness! Every project you do just amazes me so much! I’ve never used a sprayer before so I would probably give it to my brother in law who could spray some bigger pieces for me…. maybe a headboard bench… fingers crossed!

I love the fact that you took the time to match the curves n the lower front piece to the back – it’s details like this that truly make a piece outstanding! Beautiful job!

You are so talented! The project was a huge one – the bench, the cushion, the pillows! Good job!
My first project with the paint sprayer would be painting my dining room furniture – I dread doing it with a brush, but the sprayer would simplify and shorten the job! Would love to be the winner!

I love your bench! The first thing I would use my new HomeRight Super Finish Max Paint Sprayer and Spray Shelter for would be some outdoor wicker furniture, Can’t wait to try it out!

Your bench is beautiful! You’re so talented in reusing pieces you already had on hand and they fit right in with the bench.

This is beautiful! I would love to use this sprayer on my kitchen chairs. I do not want to paint all of those chairs by hand. 😳

Larissa, this is just so beautiful! My fingers, hands and back just ache thinking about how much time you put into the bench and awesome French cushion/mattress!! You will always amaze me with your talent!!

Wow!!! This is amazing!!!!!! I want It! Really stunning! What a transformation…you are soon talented! I need to get me some tool tutorials! Bravo!

WOW, Larissa……what a great imagination you have to come up with these ideas for redoing furniture. I love it. Great job!!

I love the bench. I would work on several pieces that belonged to my grandparents if I won. I would start with my grandma ‘s vanity. You are so talented and can do anything. I wish I had your skills and confidence to tackle everything. Thanks for always sharing your projects with us. Thanks for the giveaway too.

Dear Larissa-I’ve been following you for a long time but this is the first time that I leave a comment. All your projects are awesome. I like your creativity, persistence and love of what you do. You are very talented and inspire me to get my projects done. I love your tutorials and ideas. I must say that this bench is my favorite project of yours. I am so impressed and you should be so proud of yourself. High fives to you and your team of little helpers. And a big hug from Canada.

How wonderful! I can’t say enough how much comments are to me. When people come and visit my blog, it’s like visiting my home, so of course I adore hearing from you. Thank you for taking the time. 🙂 Hugs back at ya!

All I can say is WOW! I have finally decided to paint something (coffee & end tables) but waiting until the weather cools down a little bit. I hope I can do half as well as you!

That bench is stunning and the handmade French tufted mattress is something to aspire to.
Absolutely love the entire piece. So talented.

The bench turned out beautiful. This is my favorite style as well. I need your tools and hope to gain more knowledge too!

I am in LOVE with this French Provincial Bench! I would love to have a Home Right Sprayer and tent to work with. I have a set of 4 chairs with lots of spindles and design in the back rest that would be painted in a snap with that paint sprayer.

I love the French Provincial bench – how lovely and so creative. I also love the pic of you sitting on it – stunning!!

Your new project is nice.
The first thing that I would tackle with my HomeRight Super Finish Max Paint Sprayer and Spray Shelter, would be the wooden bench.

This is so beautiful and feminine! I absolutely love that your family got a picture of you sitting on it. Your children will cherish it when they’re older. Your work is awesome, but you have the most creative mind for sure! 💕

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