Do you have an old cot bed in storage somewhere that you aren’t sure what to do with? This tutorial is all about how you can turn an old cot bed into a garden bench – and a super summery one at that!
My parents-in-law gifted us a fab solid wood cot that converts to a junior bed and basically does everything you would want a cot to do. Unfortunately, neither of my boys wanted to sleep in it.
So rather than spend time trying to offload it to someone else and have it go unused I decided to repurpose it so that the boys could still get some use out of it – just not to sleep in! Instead they are now relaxing on it as a garden bench out in the sunshine on summer days!
Creative Ideas for Old Foam Mattresses
Don’t let your old foam mattress go to waste! Discover innovative ways to upcycle, repurpose, and transform it into something new and useful. From furniture to home accessories, here are some ideas for your old memory foam mattress.
Turn Old Mattress into Couch
Turn your old foam mattress into a comfortable, stylish couch by cutting it to size and adding upholstery fabric. This creative idea not only saves money but also gives a new life to your old mattress. Here’s a guide on choosing the perfect mattress for your health needs.
Upcycle Memory Foam Mattress as Pet Beds
Cut the memory foam mattress into smaller pieces and use them as cushioning for your furry friends’ beds. Add a cover made from leftover upholstery fabric for a cozy, stylish pet bed. Check out these tips for spinal health to ensure your pets sleep comfortably too.
DIY Floor Cushions
Transform your old foam mattress into comfortable floor cushions for your living room or patio. Cut the mattress into squares, sew fabric covers, and voila – you have unique floor cushions for extra seating or lounging. Find the perfect mattress for low back pain sufferers if you need a new one.
Create a Garden Kneeler
Gardening can be tough on your knees, so repurpose a piece of your old memory foam mattress as a cushioned garden kneeler. Wrap it in durable, waterproof fabric to protect it from the elements and ensure it lasts. Explore the best bed bases for memory foam mattresses when you upgrade.
Craft Soundproofing Panels
Old foam mattresses can be repurposed as soundproofing panels for your home studio or entertainment room. Cut the mattress into pieces and cover them with fabric, then mount them on your walls for a stylish and functional solution. Discover the top Nublisse memory foam mattress models when it’s time to replace your old one.
Build a Foam Play Mat
Make a soft and safe play area for your kids by creating a foam play mat out of your old memory foam mattress. Cut the mattress into puzzle-shaped pieces and cover them with colorful fabric. Here are some mattresses used by Hampton Inn hotels for when you want to upgrade.
Make a Foam Headboard
Design a stylish and comfortable headboard for your bed using pieces of your old foam mattress. Attach the foam pieces to a plywood base, cover it with fabric, and mount it on your wall for a chic, budget-friendly headboard. Choose the best mattress for fibromyalgia to improve your sleep quality.
Before disposing of your old foam mattress, consider these creative ideas to give it a new life. You’ll save money, reduce waste, and add unique, personalized touches to your home.
My boys were happy enough to play in the cot – they just wouldn’t stay asleep in it at night!
The boys preferred snuggling in with me and in the end I did too (they now both have double beds in their rooms so Mum or Dad can give them a cuddle when needed and then escape…or fall asleep there as the case may be!).
So, lets just say I turned to upcycling this cot rather sooner than I anticipated.
The great thing about this cot is it is super solid and therefore super strong. It had a short lived lifespan as a playpen for my eldest son and I was even able to get in it with him for laughs and it held my weight just fine.
Materials Needed – Garden Bench
Cot bed with removable sidesPaint of your choice (this is optional but it does brighten it up – I used Rustoleum Chalky Finish Garden Furniture Spray Paint in Powder Blue. I would recommend using the non spray paint version in hindsight though!Waterproof fabric for your mattress & cushions (see below for how to calculate how much you need based on your cot size).Old cushion or pillow filling.Bag webbing for ties (optional) – you will need 16 ties in total if you do the same number of cushions I did (see below for how to measure)Sewing Machine (or needle and thread and a lot of patience!)4 x Zippers
Step 1: Remove one side of the cot
The cot bed I used for my garden bench is designed to be converted to a junior bed, so it doesn’t rely on the two slated sides (the sides with the cot bars) to hold it up or steady it. I simply removed one side and set it aside for another project.
You then want to test that the cot like this can take the weight of an adult or two. If yours isn’t as solid you may want to cut a piece of thick plywood or similar to reinforce the seated base area. I didn’t need to do this for mine.
Step 2: Paint (Optional)
This next step is completely optional if you like the colour and finish of your cot as it is.
Obviously though your cot wasn’t painted originally for outside use so if you aren’t painting it (and even if you are) make sure you use a garden cover to protect it from the rain.
I wanted my garden bench to be really summery and fresh though so I decided to paint over the wood.
I can be lazy sometimes so I thought I would try a Chalk Paint Spray Paint that I haven’t used before – because I love how quick spray paint can be.
BUT…this wasn’t quick.
I ended up using 4 cans of the stuff!
My garden is windy – so some of the paint blew awayThere are gaps in between the railings – so again I was spraying a lot of my paint into the wind!
The take away from this is, unless you have a well ventilated indoor space to do your spray painting it isn’t the ideal method for this project. Use a brush or roller instead and save yourself from wasting paint!
I do like the colour though so that was something anyway! Rustoleum do the same colour in a traditional brush on version – in hindsight I should have picked that!
Step 3: Sew your Mattress Cover
To turn my cot bed into a garden bench I reused the existing cot bed mattress as the seat pad for my bench.
For your cover you will need 2 same size pieces of waterproof or water resistant fabric + 1 zipper that is at least the length of one end of your mattress.
To make the garden bench seat cover I measured two pieces of waterproof fabric that were the size of my mattress plus half the depth of my mattress plus a 2′ seam allowance just to be sure. If you are short on fabric you don’t need to make your seam allowance that big, I just like to be on the safe side!
As you can see from my photos I used a waterproof canvas fabric that has a kind of rubbery feeling on the underside. I thought this would be tough to sew and I was a little nervous about it.
I used a denim needle just to be sure.
But I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, this is one of the easiest to handle fabrics I think I’ve ever sewn with…who knew?
This is the fabric I bought – the colour I used was Jade & Ice Blue 2Tone.
I attached the zipper to one of the ends (if you never attached a zipper you do it right sides together – so zipper head down against the right side of the fabric and repeat on the other side).
Placing the zipper on one of the short ends means quite a squishing effort to get the whole mattress in the cover, but it leaves you more options for flipping the seat cover over in future without worrying about the zipper showing.
I then sewed all the way around with my fabric right sides together (leaving my zipper halfway open). You need to leave the zipper open to make sure you are able to turn it right side out when you are finished!
Before turning my seat cover right side out, I added a ‘gusset’ to the corners to give it that boxy corners to fit around the mattress properly. To do this you need to line up your seams at each corner and sew a line across (see image). Make sure to backstitch and then cut off the excess when you are done before turning your cushion right side out.
Step 4: Sew your Cushion Covers
I wanted a super comfy bench so I decided on 4 cushions. Two for the back and one for either end. I measured my bench and found my pillow measurements from there.
You could choose to do one long cushion for the back and leave the sides or even just use throw cushions.
I didn’t do that because I wanted to leave my cushions outside (under a cover but covers aren’t always 100%) so I wanted to do them out of a waterproof or water resistant fabric just like the seat cushion.
I had also learned a tip from a previous project where I had used a slippy water resistant fabric for back cushions but I hadn’t added any ties to them – which meant they just kept slipping down.
The ties help keep the cushions in place and I think they work really well for this project.
The image above shows all the pieces you need for four cushions.
For each individual cushion you need:
2 x waterproof or water resistant fabric (I used the same waterproof canvas I used on the seat cushions for the back of these cushions and a tropical patterned water resistant fabric for the front).
- 1 x zipper
- 4 x ties
I measured on the cot the size I wanted my cushions to be and added a 2′ seam allowance all the way around (feel free to make your seam allowance smaller).
I attached my zipper and sewed the front and back of the cushions all the way around right sides together with the 4 ties sandwiched in at the top 2 corners (2 for each of the top corners) – see photos.
You need to actually measure on your cot how far the distance is from the railing you will be tying these to and the top of your cushion. Add enough to allow you to double knot it.
I made my ties from the same waterproof fabric as the seat cushion but it would be quicker and easier to use bag webbing or similar.
I didn’t add gussets to the corners of these cushion covers, I just trimmed the excess seams and clipped the corners before turning right side out.
More Cushion Cover Zipper Hacks here.
Step 5: Fill your Cushions
I used old cushion filling from some couch cushions I wasn’t using to fill the the square end cushions and regular bed pillows (old guest ones) for the longer back pillows.
If you don’t have anything like this to repurpose you can buy cushion inners fairly cheaply.
Step 6: Sit back, relax and enjoy the sun in your ‘new’ upcycled Garden Bench
That’s it. You’ve transformed an old cot into a garden bench. All you have to do then is tie your cushions on, sit back and relax.
I am beyond happy with how my bench turned out and I am confident it is going to get way more use in this new life than it ever did as a cot bed!
What to do with an old memory foam mattress? There are numerous ways to make use of your old foam mattress.
If you want to get rid of your old mattress, do not throw it away immediately. Please make use of it!
You could still make use of it for another purpose. All you have to do is to be creative.
I want to make use of my old stuff as this does not only save me money, but it could also be of some help even though it’s old.
Your memory foam mattress, for example, could still be of use in many ways, even if you have your new one already.
Ready to try out how creative you are? Try one of these ideas to make use of your old foam mattress!
Making use of the old ones unlocks the creative side of yourself.
If you don’t know what to do with an old memory foam mattress, use the following ideas.
Not only will you be making things useful but have fun too.
If you have a pet at home, like cats or dogs, you could use your old foam mattress to make their beds.
That way, your pet will have a pleasant and comfy sleeping area wherein they can rest and have a good night’s sleep.
Unlock your creative mind and make something out of the old ones.
If your foam mattress happens to have a spring, it’s your lucky day!
You could use the springs of your old mattress as a candle, cutlery, photo, or snack holder.
You can still reuse the fabric and other mattress parts.
Recycling these parts could create cushions, bean bag filers, stuffed animal fillers, and bed pillows.
You could also use these to add a bouncy feel to your furniture, and other Do it yourself (DIY) projects.
The mattress protectors you use have made your mattress fabric free from stains; thus, making it a rug is a good idea.
Add some extra old clothes and create a patchwork style of rug to decorate your home.
As much as we love to prevent kids from jumping on the bed, they love to do it.
So instead of telling them to stop, let them play with your old mattress.
Place the mattress under the jungle gym to provide a cushion whenever they are playing.
It will not only offer a children’s play area but security also.
Try making it into a porch chair instead!
Make your old mattress into a cushion on your porch wherein you can relax while feeling the gist of the wind on your cheeks.
The bedframe of your old bed mattress can be an excellent kitchen rack.
Place it at the ceiling together with the spring so you could hang your kitchen paraphernalia there.
If you are an artist or someone aspiring to be one, there are various ways to make an artwork out of the old mattress.
You can always disassemble the parts of the beddings and reuse them separately and make use of each part for your new mattress.
The old innerspring of your mattress can be excellent plant holders. You could design them with paint to brighten up your garden.
If you want to recycle your old mattress, make it environmentally friendly.
Make the materials from it into a compost container.
The old bed frame can be an excellent compost container. The fabric could be your lid to keep the compost dry.
If you are tired of your old mattress, you could always sell it for a bargain.
Ensure that the bed is still usable so that your buyer won’t feel bad about purchasing it.
Check if your mattress manufacturer offers leverage for used and old mattresses.
Some offer a recycling program or have a disposal agreement.
If you still want others to make use of your old mattress, donating them can benefit others.
If yours is still in good condition, others can still make use of it too.
You may give it away to those who can’t afford it or to those that need one.
Just dumping an old mattress could endanger the environment, so giving it to a recycling center.
The mattress chemicals could harm the environment like the PBDEs or polybrominated diphenyl ethers used as flame retardants.
Recycling or reusing mattresses has been very beneficial, especially to those concerned about their budget.
I’m not exaggerating or anything but the mattresses that are dumped into the landfill take up to 23 cubic feet of space, so if you reuse one, you could lessen the use of space.
Imagine if all people will recycle and reuse their old mattresses without having to throw them away.
You will save the environment from the chemicals the bed emits.
Anything recycled saves money.
Of course, it is based on my experience with DIY projects and reusing scrap materials. It holds more than just buying new.
With this information, I hope you know what to do with your old memory foam mattress.
But if you can’t find the time to follow the tips and dispose of them, you want to read this article.
That is all.
Now you know what to do with an old memory foam mattress, make use of it as much as you can.
You will not only save the environment but save your money also.
Always remember the benefits and drawbacks of protecting and ideas that can make the environment survive as well as we do.