Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Making a headboard with A&A

We made a headboard Friday night.
I have wanted a new headboard for a while. Actually, I want a whole new bedroom, but one thing at a time around here. 
I will try to give directions but more my commentary of pics! ha.
I think I have told you before, but our bedroom furniture consists of a few pieces from different places:
1. Our mattress, box spring and metal plain frame we bought right before we got married. Like a month before. Our first purchase and it was needed when Andrew moved here from NZ  because I was sleeping on a twin day bed at the time :) I am not a picky sleeper. ha. Plus, I lived in small city rooms.
2.  When we bought our house my grandmother gave us a bedroom set she had from a very modern house she built/decorated in the 80's. The furniture was/is great quality, but its shiny black with gold trim. VERY DATED.   That set consists of headboard, LARGE wide 6 drawer dresser with large mirror and one  night stand.  I love the size of the dresser, but looks wise? eh.  I also like how nicely the drawers move and glide.
3. One nice tall dark oak dresser my parents got for my first off campus apt.
4. Shorter really old crappy wood dresser my Papa gave Andrew when he first moved here. I don't use it. The drawers suck. I use the rest of the dressers :)
5. A "nightstand" that was really part of a desk I had in college that we painted black.
SO ya- black shiny mixed with oak and pine and well...its not the prettiest room! ha.
Back to the headboard.
I have been drawn to some cloth tufted headboards. Saw some at Ikea and online.
I google imaged them.
I watched a few youtube tutorials.
I went to the fabric store. I was really drawn to prints and patterns, but since we don't know where this room is heading (furniture and d├ęcor wise)- I needed to stay neutral.

I liked some light beige/ivory fabrics and I picked them up, but then chickened out and thought- we have almost 2 kids, a dog and my dirty husband. Light is probably not a good idea because when I see grime and dirt that will only annoy me.
Ironically, although our furniture sucks, I am very anal about having clean rooms and house. ha- not always pretty, but at least clean and clutter free.
Also, this is a VERY low budget project. We are not buying new bedding or anything else at the time.  I am about to go out on maternity leave- I really should not be spending money AT ALL, but I NEEDED a new headboard before the baby comes.

Above- old black shiny headboard :)
So, the tutorials gave a few options- plywood or jeb board (That utility board with holes in it).
My dad had a piece of 3/4 inch plywood already!  yes please.
3/4 inch was thicker than I wanted but I figured it would be ok.  It was also a tiny bit longer than I needed, but again- that's fine. It was 63 inches long.
When Andrew got home Friday night, I had my materials all ready to go :) After dinner and after Anika went to bed, we got to work. I had warned him earlier in the week that I had a project for him. He knows me. I have a sense of urgency when I get something in my mind. Anika and I went to the fabric store Thursday and I got the wood Wednesday night after work.

Anika and I also bought foam and batting at the fabric store. The foam only needed to be 1 inch but I got 2 inch. Not sure why. ha. What I could find.  I also realized when I got home that I HATED the fabric I chose. It wasn't something I loved in the store, but it was a dark khaki color so it was neutral AND wouldn't show dirt as much.  I really regretted my fabric choice with our bedding but once the fabric is cut, you cant return it!  I also spent way more than I expected. The fabric is upholstery fabric and more than I thought it would cost. The 63x30 piece of 2 inch foam, the 70 inches of batting and the 75 inches of fabric cost me $80. I was bummed about that especially since I didn't love the fabric.

We talked and went back and forth about the buttons for the tufting. I had bought 6 button forms to make buttons. I was planning on 2 rows of 3. Andrew said how about one row of 4:  one button for each person in our family. I said that was dumb. he knew it was dumb but then said how we can each pick our own button and make the headboard funky! He talked about what kind of buttons him and Anika would pick out. 
This conversation really happened.
I knew he was just getting me going.  After I turned down his funky button idea, he wanted to cut holes into the plywood to make the headboard like a guillotine- holes for my head and arms! 
Again, I had to say no.

I have to say, there were lots of laughs so I guess that's one good thing about this project.
We decided on one row of 4 to start with. So, we measured and divided and realized we needed to drill holes 12.6 inches apart.  Andrew only really knows the metric system. Our tape measure has 17 lines for one inch so we needed to do  a lot of real math to figure out what 12.6 inches on our tape measure was, EXACTLY. I said oh just go a little over 12.5, but oh no. 
So we used our math skills and somehow figured that out and then we marked it and then he drilled the holes in the board, while I held it up. Then we cleaned up the mess from the drilling.
Then, We glued the foam to the board. We just used a hot glue gun because that's what I had. Some people use a spray glue.
Then Andrew couldn't get the glue gun to work and I had my hand down and I told him to push the stick in and then a bunch all flew out all over my hand!!! HURT LIKE A MOTHER EFFER!
It wasn't totally his fault, nor mine.
I needed ice.

After the foam was glued on, we laid out the fabric and the batting on the floor. Pulled tight and then laid the board/foam on top.
Oh and our foam wasn't the same width as the board, but that was ok since we knew it would be down near mattress anyway. 

Then he pulled the fabric tight around the whole thing and stapled a million times with a high power stapler that we borrowed.  This took some time and some skill to keep the fabric taught but not too tight.
Fabric all on. You cant see here, but the fabric has some texture to it. You will see in close ups below.
I had some wood to use as legs, but we ended up using the legs AND screws from the old headboard instead. Easy. Took them off one and he measured and put on the new one. They don't show so it doesn't matter what they look like.  I was still icing and supervising.

We put it behind our bed and by this time it was after 11pm and we both had to be up early the next day- Andrew was taking Anika to an all day thing in Boston. 
The next day after my stuff I had to do (errands)  I made the buttons out of fabric from the headboard. Same fabric. I cut it in little circles and then put around these button form/cover things bought from fabric store as well. I think they were $3  something for 4.

I used a screwdriver to help push the fabric in. At first, these were hard, but then I got the hang of it.

I also bought HEAVY duty upholstery thread and a LONG upholstery needle at same fabric store- Button forms, long needles and heavy thread all under $15. Some tutorials showed how to make a free needle out of a wire coat hanger.
I threaded my long needed pushed it through the hole we drilled in the wood (back of it), through foam and fabric. When the needle was on fabric side,  I put it through my button and then put the needle back through to the other side. I pulled SUPER tight and used the high power staple gun to secure the thread on the other side like 4 times into the wood.

I only did 4 because of the holes we drilled.

Then I made the bed (My duvet needs to be washed and ironed, I know)..
AND when I make the bed with how I like my pillows- it COVERS MY buttons! OOPS!  Should have taken a made bed into account.
So, I need to make another row on top- Just need to drill holes and make 4 more buttons. Will probably take 30 minutes.  I think that will be enough. I like the more tufted look, but that's the time consuming part. Making holes and putting in buttons. Also if you make a lot of tufts, the material shouldn't be on as tight as we put it on.

I played around with making the bed. ha

 So there you go- before and after headboard. And hopefully the new one will match with whatever we decide to do with the room...or Now that we made one, we know what we need to do better next time and we can probably whip one up a lot faster!  So, I could make a headboard with fabric I like more.  Or if my new baby vomits on this one or something.
IT was a bigger project than I thought, but we laughed a lot and had fun doing it... and to be honest- what else do we have to do on a Friday night when we have kids sleeping and Im knocked up? ha.


  1. Impressive! I would have never thought to tackle such a thing!!

  2. That looks so much better!!! You all did a great job. I get a sense of urgency as well. When I want something done it has to happen. Soon. Or I get anxious.