Expert upcycler picks up free bed frame and turns it into a bench and shelf

Expert upcycler picks up free bed frame and turns it into a bench and shelf


Here’s proof that you don’t need to spend a load of money if you fancy a DIY project this weekend.

Just take a leaf out of expert upcycler Hellan Pearce’s book.

The former payroll manager from Melsham, Wiltshire, managed to craft herself a lovely garden bench and a shelf for her plants without spending a penny.

Hellan, 56, started by picking up a bed frame for free on Facebook Marketplace.

With some hard work, creative vision, and crafting skills, she was able to turn the unwanted old frame into two snazzy new items.

Hellan, who has six kids and three grandkids, told money-saving community I saw the bed advertised on Facebook and thought it would be great to turn into a bench for the garden as we’ve had our current bench for years and it was rotting on the legs.

‘My hubby wasn’t convinced and thought I was mad.

‘We picked it up adhering to social distancing rules. The headboard made a perfect back for the bench and the size was great too. I cut the bed end down to the size of the bench arms I’d decided on: roughly 18 inches each.

‘I used all the fixings that came with the bed and I just had to drill new holes to attach to.

‘I used the slats as the bench seat which were the right size as the bed and bench were the same width.

‘Easy! Then I painted them to match the rest of our garden furniture.’

Once Hellan had made her new bench, she wanted to put the remaining bits of wood to good use.

She decided to use the blow torch she and her husband had bought recently to deepen the wood’s colour, then cut the pieces into shapes she liked.

The mum popped the pieces together to form a set of shelves to display her plants.

‘I had some slats left over and had an idea of a shelf I wanted,’ Hellan explains. ‘We had recently bought a blow torch as my hubby thought it would be good to bring the grain out in the wood.

‘I used this on the pine slats after cutting to random shapes that I liked. I decided on the width and how many shelves I wanted.

‘The slats were held together at the back with two pieces of wood screwed across, which the shelf can be hung with too.

‘The shelves were attached with screws too. Then it was varnished. The effect using the blow torch is beautiful.

‘I had two lovely things made from a free bed! There are still a few slats left, so watch this space.’

Hellan says this sort of project is an ideal way to flex your creativity in lockdown, and urges everyone – even beginners – to give a crafting project a go.

Picking up unwanted materials for free on Facebook is an easy way to keep costs down – and that means you won’t be too heartbroken if your DIY efforts go a bit wrong.

‘Personally, I love making new things from old and all the better when they are cheap or free,’ says Hellan.

‘It keeps me busy and I hardly even remember we’re in lockdown as I always have something new to design and make.

‘Facebook is a great source to find items that can be transformed easily and at hardly any cost if not for free.

‘If you’d like to do the same, go for it. There’s nothing to lose. Find inspiration and take the plunge!’

Tom Church, co-founder of, adds: ‘Even when I don’t need to buy any furniture or anything for my house, I still spend far too much time scrolling through Facebook Marketplace because of all the fabulous deals on there. If you get something, just be sure to maintain social distancing when picking it up and perhaps cleaning the item down with anti-bacterial wipes when you get home.

‘If you’re keen to try your hand out at some DIY, keep your eyes peeled for second-hand furniture that’s totally free because someone is decluttering.

‘There are so many incredible bargains to be had, and with some step-by-step online tutorials, you can make your own totally unique piece of upcycled furniture!’

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