In Which I Make a Headboard

I have received several emails asking for a tutorial on how I made my headboard. Unfortunately when making it I never anticipated making a tutorial so I took no pictures:( I just kind of had an idea of what I thought would work and made it up as I went, I stole some photos from Stephanie though so I will attempt to give you some instruction on how I did it and with a little creativity you can come up with one too!

Read it all on this post after the jump!

You will need
Wood (cut and measured to your size specifications and legs to hold it up)
Foam padding (to wrap around the board whatever thickness you want)
Staple Gun and staples
Drill to make holes for legs
Two yards of fabric
Button covering kit and buttons (however many you want)
Curved upholstery needle and heavy thread, or glue gun
A friend or husband to help!

First I sent the hubs to the hardware store. He got a piece of plywood (he thinks it was 3ply) and had them cut it 48'' by 64''. A queen bed is just about 5 ft wide, but I added two inches on either side to make it really "frame" the bed. I wanted my headboard to be very tall, I had found a photo of a bed I was trying to copy and it was all tall and glamorous like, and I swooned. Just a helpful should have them cut the wood at the store, unless you have a big garage and a table saw. Keep the leftover wood to make legs! Cutting that yourself would be a headache and a half.

So he brought my prized wood home and I headed out to the fabric store. Fabric, sewing and upholstery is really all about the math. It is like a big puzzle and you fit your inches to cover the board just right. since my wood was 48" tall and 64" wide I needed my fabric to be decorators fabric which comes 54" wide, otherwise I would have to piece and sew fabric together to make it big enough. This also meant I could not choose a one way directional print, or it would be laying sideways unless I pieced and sewed too. (this was fine for me since I wanted a solid color) Fabric comes in yards, a yard being 36", so to make 64", I chose to get two yards. That gives you approx. 8" of wrapping room and you must have the wrapping room!! You should also choose a heavier weight fabric so you can yank on it without worrying about tearing or stretching.

Once I chose my kinda boring beige fabric (I am so grown up now), I headed over to the batting and foam side of the store. I wanted the headboard to be really cushioned! Probably about 4" of cushion and the foam padding at the fabric store cost an arm and a leg! Like $80.00 or more! I almost choked and then I had a grand idea. We have a foam pad we sleep on from target, and before I was married I bought one for cheap! So I went to Walmart, thinking they must have the cheapest option, it didn't need to be fancy since it was only serving as padding.

I found the cheapest option in a full size, it was a 1.5" foam mattress topper! So I loaded up my cart with 3 of those babies and pretty much did a little dance in that isle and wanted to kiss Walmart! Maybe not kiss the Walmart but be happy with it yes. They were about $11 each so I spent $33 and got the most crucial piece of the project for less than half the price! Check it out

Then I went to JoAnns and wanted to find some buttons for the tufting. I did this project with cousin Stephanie, and she talked me into doing the tufting which I am so happy with now. If you have a plain fabric like me, tufting adds a lot of visual interest, just an idea.

So in JoAnns we mulled over button making for probably half an hour. This was the hardest part for me to spend on but we did it right and got the button covering kit. (buy this on sale please!! JoAnns always has half off notions sales and we were just too anxious to wait!) We chose size 45 which means 1-1/8" buttons, and the bottoms need the little holes where you put thread through if you will sew them on, if you're gluing flat bottoms will work. we bought a set and some extra buttons too. You can do whatever size you like but we found bigger to look better on a large scale headboard.

I brought my treasures home and we got to work!

First I laid the pieces of foam padding down to let them air out and puff up. You really should do this overnight, I think I only did a couple of hours. Then I piled two on top of each other and cut them to be slightly bigger than the wood. The last piece I left larger for wrapping room. I put the biggest piece on bottom the smaller ones on top centered.

We needed to drill holes where we could attach the legs and stick the bolt through the fabric before we wrapped it. We didn't figure this out until after so work this out before so your fabric can hide the bolts.

Then, Stephanie and I picked up the wood and centered it above the padding and set it down. We used a lightweight staple gun and stood on the wood ( to push it down and keep the padding tight) as we stapled pulling the foam really tight. The corners were trickiest, I wish I had a photo to show, but just mess with them a bit so they lay flat on front. Be generous with your staples. 

** note ** while doing this process we had our husbands start the buttons because they were hard and our hubbies are buff. I think they resorted to hammers though too! It hurt our fingers!

The same process was used to do the fabric, we laid that on the floor, put the pad wrapped wood on top and stood on it pulling and stapling. We broke a sweat and got a little goofy!

(after the fabric was done)

Last year I covered a headboard for our old apartment, it was not nearly as cute but it served its purpose.
This photo kinda shows how I wrapped the wood:

I hadn't learned the standing and stapling technique yet. 

Then for the buttons! 

More math yay!

Measure out your buttons depending on how many you have and how many rows you want, make sure the distance between each is the same in all directions.

We started cutting out little circles the same size to represent the buttons and where they would be, the we realized hey! they' re about the same size as a quarter lets just use those. Then we looked at each other and said, "Why don't we just use the actual buttons."

Probably the silliest of mistakes I've made crafting, except maybe the one time Heather and I tried to sew reversible pillowcases, but that's a whole other story.

So set out your buttons all pretty and fancy and start measuring. Make them all perfectly even and then mark with a pencil or something you can see where those buttons will go. This will be where you tuft it up!

There are many ways to do the tuft. I chose the easiest way I could think of. To staple gun an "x" shape right through all of my headboard. This is risky however, your fabric must be heavy, and  it must have a good weave or it might rip and run and  ruin your project putting you in a tantrum. You also must have a heavier staple gun with longer staples, or they will pop right back out.

You need two people. One to push the padding and fabric down to the wood the other to staple. I ended up doing about three staples in each spot. 
Angle your staples to make the appropriate tuft meaning your staples should form a "X" or "t" making it pull the same direction. Then staple another one in for good measure.
Can you see how it pulls the fabric and makes lines? Make them all the same.

 After these are all in you are almost done and can add buttons!

I was so anxious to do this and this is the longest part so although you're nearly done prepare yourself and don't rush!

We contemplated just glue gunning those puppies in and decided against it, thinking they would pop off. Now I think that might've been just fine. What we did was take a curved needle, some heavy waxy thread stephanie had and went to work!

The needle looked like this:

We curved it in those tufts as deep as we could and sewed it back and forth and wrapped it around and pulled it super tight and tied a knot. That's the best I can describe it.

And then they are done! You will need to attach some legs so it will stand up behind your bed. I had Jordan cut legs and drill holes that we could screw them on and stand it up. This is what they turned out like!



Woo hooo!! Good luck and email me if you have questions.


Post a Comment


Blogger news


Follow Me on Pinterest