Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Home Makeover: Headboards

Now that we have the space, I've been looking for simple DIY projects to take on. After we had the necessary furniture, I decided we needed a headboard to anchor the bedroom and figured this would be an easy project to tackle. I did some research, put together a list of the necessary supplies and headed to Home Depot to kick off the adventure.

At HD I grabbed a big piece of plywood and had the team there cut it down for me. The gentleman was nice enough to suggest that I cut up the leftover piece and I realized that I had enough wood left to make another headboard for our guest room (barring that this project went well). I grabbed a 2"x4" and had it cut into two pieces for legs along and picked up adhesive spray, a staple gun and some screws before checking out.

Note- the plywood worked out really well from a construction perspective but it did have a distinct freshly-cut wood smell that took a few weeks to dissipate. If you're sensitive to this I would consider another type of pre-fab wood.

Next, I headed to Wal-Mart to grab the other supplies. For the batting, I initially chose a thinner, weaker piece but on my second attempt decided to spring for the more expensive, sturdier batting and would recommend everyone else do the same. Instead of getting the padding from the fabric section I headed to bedding and grabbed the foam mattress toppers as they are much cheaper. Finally I chose a pair of curtains because the fabric was thicker and more appealing than any of the fabrics I'd seen. Plus, there were two panels so I was able to get two headboards out of one package (although it means we now have matching headboards). In total the two headboards cost $100.

The full list of supplies:

-Plywood measured to the width of your bed + 2" to cover any overage and the height (I recommend 18" - 24" for a queen and up to 36" for a king)
-Legs measured to the total height of the headboard, less 6"  (or a metal plate to bolt it to the wall but as we're renters, we couldn't drill into the wall and chose legs instead)
-Foam mattress padding- enough to double or triple up the layers; anything less will look cheap
-Batting to hold the foam in- the heavier the better or else it will rip when you are stapling
-Fabric of your choice
-Screws and screwdriver/ drill
-Fabric adhesive spray
-Staple gun with staples
-Optional for tufting- buttons, heavy fabric needle and wax thread

To begin, I laid out all of my items and charged my drill (the battery kept running out which was the biggest time-suck of this whole project)

I put the plywood on the ground, smooth side up and measured the legs to ensure the bottom of the headboard would line up just below the top of our bed in the end. I flipped it over and drilled in 4 screws to each leg as evenly spaced as I could eyeball.

I then measured out the foam to ensure that it would cover the headboard without any overlap. If you are cutting, I would recommend using a knife or box cutter to ensure a straight line. I covered the board with a ton of spray adhesive before quickly placing the first layer of foam down. I made sure to put the handcut edge at the bottom to hide any bumps. I repeated this process with another layer.

I laid the batting down over the foam, flipped over the headboard and began stapling. I started with the center of each side and pulled it taught before working my way out to each of the corners. I made sure to jump between sides as I stapled to ensure an even, wrinkle-free finish. In the end I just folded the corners back and stapled them like crazy with all of the left over fabric.

Note- this is the point when I drilled in the holes for the tufting. I measured the spacing across the back and drilled down through the plywood, foam and batting. 

To finish off the project, I repeated the batting process with the curtain fabric making sure to pull the fabric taught but still loose enough to avoid showing lumps and bumps. To check, I lifted the headboard every few staples to ensure the fabric was straight and not too tight. And I wasn't afraid to take out a staple if it was pulling too tight and creating bumps.

I love the final product and how cozy it makes the room feel! Plus I can always change it out without guilt since it was so cheap to make!

xxoo jane


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