I have noticed that futons are extremely convenient products especially when you have company over wanting to spend the night and do not want to have them sleep on the hard floor. A stylish product for an living room, a futon transforms from a comfy sofa into a bed instead of trying to find a comfortable position in a small couch. As a project for a class required to reuse materials the idea came to me when my roommate was going to throw out an old headboard. Futons regularly average $100 and more and I created one for less than $50 using the headboard, an old table top and scrap wood that I found.
The futon can seat up to three people and sleep two-three people comfortably. The bench version is at about a 120 degree angle and the bed lays down rather flat to 170 degrees. This project was not too difficult, just time consuming but a pretty exciting accomplishment to create it.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Some of the tools:
- head board (I used a full size bed headboard but whatever is preferred by the creator if they want to make it bigger or smaller)
- table top measuring AT LEAST 65 x 30 inches (or bigger if bigger head board is used) and 2 inches thick
- hand saw (or power saw which is easier and faster but only if there is previous good experience using one)
- screwdriver with a star head (or an electric drill with a star head for screws, again if only there is good previous experience)
- ruler of about 70 inches long
- wood glue (for extra support)
- pencil or marker
- 43, 2 inch screws
- 27, 1 1/2 inch screws
- 3, 6 inch t-hinges
- 4, 4 inch strap hinges
- 4, 6 by 4 by 4 inch piece of wood
- 2, 22 1/2 by 10 1/2 by 20 1/2 inch triangle pieces of wood
- 2, 13 1/2 inch long pieces of word that are 3 inches thick
- 4, 4 by 4 inch blocks of wood at about 6 inches tall
- 3, 2 by 1 inch block that are 1 inch thick
Step 2: Preparing Headboard
I didn't have the ideal work place so I had to set the head board over these two old sofas that I had outside in order to saw it. A table works much better, especially to not be bending over so much which hurts your back. To start off, I cut the legs of the headboard off in order to set it flat down on the table top.
Step 3: Hinges on the Headboard
Next, attach the long cone half of the T-hinges to the bottom of the head board with the 2 in. screws. Attach one about 2 1/2 inches from each edge of the headboard and one in the center but use the 1 1/2 in screws for this one. I used a hand screwdriver which was pretty difficult and I switched to the electric screwdriver which alleviated so much effort and time.
Step 4: Prepping the Triangle Flaps
Attach one half of the strap hinge to the triangle wood about a third of the way away from the edge and a second one another third of the way down using the 1 1/2 in screws. The hinges should be attached to the longest side of the triangle being the 22 1/2 in side. Also do that for the second triangle piece.
Step 5: Attaching the Triangle Flap to the Headboard
The extra piece of wood on the opposite half of the triangle I added for extra support, it is optional but definitely encouraged. It measures about three inches thick and 10 inches long. Attach the other half of the hinge with the 1 1/12 inch screw from the triangle wood to the BACK of the headboard. Make sure the hinges are on the inside so that the triangle folds inward, not outward. The 10 inch side of the triangle should touch the bottom of the headboard and the entire piece should be places about 5 inches from the edge of the head board. The second piece of triangle wood should be placed the same way on the opposite side of the headboard, equally folding inward.
Step 6: Preparing the Table Top (seat of the Bench)
Unfortunately, I did not have the correct wood so I improvised with the scraps that I had. The measurements I used were 3 blocks of wood measuring the 4 by 4 inches in perimeter but about 2 1/2 inches thick. I used the 2 in long screws to connect the three blocks then to the actual table top. The recommended blocks are the 4 six inch tall blocks which will be the legs of the seat. Connect these to the four corners of the table tops.
Step 7: Attaching the Headboard to the Table Top
We are almost there! Place the headboard as centered to the table as possible width wise. With the flaps on the back of the headboard opened place the headboard at the end of the table top, there should be a minimum of 25 inches from the head board to the other edge of the table top which will be the seat of the bench. Once it is placed correctly place the small inch thick blocks under the t-hinges. Once those are place, screw in the other half of the hinge with the 2 inch screws.
Step 8: Final Support for the Bed Version
At this point it fairly done as a bench version. To finish up as the bed version, use the 2 thirteen inch sticks of wood and attach them to the back of the head board with the 2 in screws. These should be placed 12 inches from either edges of the headboard and 3 inches down from the top side of the head board. These will act as the bottom support for the headboard when the flaps are folded in and the headboard is laid flat. I added a small block of wood to add more support to the sticks which i attached to the head board and the stick which is definitely recommended as well.
Step 9: Finished Product
The futon is done! You now have a bench that reclines back to a bed! I added a twin size memory foam and old couch cushions to make it comfy. I recommend doing the same, just reuse some old cushions for both sides. Once the headboard folds in, it make it much easier to transport!. I tested it with my friends for a party and without telling them that I created it and how and from what, they were all using it as a couch and felt secure and comfortable on it. It fit four people which was fulfilling for me! I sure hope your product was successful as mine. Although it was major work I couldn't be happier with how it came out.