Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My DIY Upholstered Headboard

Before we moved we had a sleigh bed, with a headboard and footboard.  This is what it looked like:
(That pic was taken before we put up blinds in the bedroom - those are the paper "construction blinds") I liked the look of the bed but what I didn't like was changing the sheets.  The footboard made it really difficult to make the bed, what with our mattress being so thick and heavy.  I also didn't like the way dust (and cat hair) settled under the bed.  What a pain to dust mop.  The bed was also pretty high so I needed a step stool to get in it.  Which meant one more thing to dust.   I really liked the comforter set but it had to be dry cleaned which was a bummer.  By the time we moved I was ready for a complete change.

I knew I wanted to find a machine washable comforter.  I really want a quilted bedspread, but can't find just the one I want and haven't devoted the time and expense towards making one myself.  I found one that worked with my color scheme at Anna's Linens.  It is machine washable but looks like silk. 

I also knew that I wanted an upholstered headboard.  I found several online that were nice but too expensive.  Target has one that you can slipcover for around $200, but add to that the cost of the slipcover fabric... 

Pinterest has scads of upholstered headboards with links to tutorials.  I studied them all carefully and decided to go for it.

I found a beautiful cut velvet upholstery fabric at JoAnn, which I was able to get for 50% off.  The total cost of the fabric was about $45.  I have just enough fabric left over to make a pillow, so I got just the right amount.  I like the look of brads and various shaped headboards but with this detailed fabric I decided that a fairly plain design would be best.

I won't repeat the tutorial here because you can search google or pinterest and find 29,000 good ones.  In a nutshell, here's what I did.  First I cut brown paper in the size and shape I thought I'd want and taped it to the wall above the bed to get an idea of what I wanted it to look like.  After I knew the exact dimensions, we bought a sheet of 1/2" plywood and Marc cut it to size.  I used a paint can as a template to round the corners. 

Some of the tutorials online said to use foam and batting and some said just batting.  Trying to save a nickel, I just used batting (which I got half off at JoAnn's too).  In retrospect, I wish I'd gone ahead and added the foam, but it's ok without the foam.  I used two layers of batting.  I laid out the batting on the floor, smoothed it out, and laid the plywood down over it, pulled the batting over to the back of the plywood and stapled.  {Sidebar note: we bought an electric staple gun when we were putting the insulation in the last house.  It is worth the $$ many times over for that, and makes various diy project so fast and easy.}  Then I laid the fabric down and made sure it was smooth, and stapled.  I pulled it taught first of course.  When we stood up the headboard I looked at it surprised - surprised that it actually turned out GREAT.  I expected problems.

Next came the issue of how best to hang the thing.  We decided to hang it on the wall cause if we'd put legs on it, it would have been difficult to move the bed.  We used "D" ring type hangers and found the studs in the wall and measured carefully... and it worked!  Again, I expected problems and was surprised when there weren't any.

I have to say that I LOVE the way it turned out.  The total cost, with fabric, etc. was just under $100 and took just a couple of hours.  It was unreal how fast and easy it was.

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