My new headboard!

Totally not baby related, but I HAD to share – I made a headboard!! It was not quite as easy as the tutorials promised, but it was still hella easy. Troubleshooting was the toughest part, so if you want one, I can probably bang them out in about 2 hours now 😉

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Step 1: Read 80 million online tutorials. The one I ended up using most was this one: Thrifty Decor Chick but the inspiration came from here: Little Green Notebook

Step 2: Convince your ex-boyfriend to use his tools and truck to help you. (You can probably skip this step if you have an actual boyfriend, husband, or in-state dad who is obligated to help you. Or, your own tools and truck! #girlpower)

Step 3: Go to JoAnn Fabrics and ogle all your supplies. Buy nothing. Repeat this step 800 times.

Step 4: Go to Lowe’s and buy stuff. Return the wrong stuff you bought. Repeat THIS step 1,000 times.

Step 5: Fall in love with fabric (metallic linen!) that can only be bought in the Garment District of NYC. Rearrange all of your clients so you can go buy it.

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Step 6: Go to Lowe’s (1/2 plywood cut to 60″ for queen, screws, staples, spray glue), Bed Bath and Beyond (foam mattress pad), and JoAnn (scary huge needles, button making kit, waxed thread, batting, nailhead trim) and buy what you ACTUALLY need.

Step 7: Begin! Cut the corners out using a jigsaw – so fun! I just traced a large plate and then used the cut piece to mirror it on the other side. The cut wasn’t perfect #jigsawvirgin but it’s being covered with fabric and batting so it doesn’t matter.

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Step 8: Measure where you want your tufts to be. Have scientist ex-boyfriend decide that all of your measurements are off by 1/8 of an inch and have him REmeasure everything using complicated decimals, and then not listen when you remind him that fabric fixes everything.

Step 8.5: Drill holes. Make them pretty big – ours were too small and it was really hard to find the hole on the other side. Wear rhinestone sunglasses for safety and look super badass with a drill.

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(Note: Some sites suggest just using a screw to do the tufts, and then gluing the buttons. While I could see this being faster, I did a trial run of it with some scrap materials and decided against it. A) You have to measure and mark still, only this time on the fabric – eek! and 2) The screws are somewhat sticking out of the headboard, which can be uncomfortable to lean against – the sewn buttons mush back when you lean against them. But not everyone is a princess and the pea like I am, so you may not find this a problem.)

Step 9: Cut your foam (which you have totally taken out of the package 5 days before, per package instructions, to “decompress”. Like I did. Totally.). I used a Queen size and folded it over, but it wasn’t quite wide enough so I had to trim some off to fill in the sides. It looked like crap but again, upholstery fixes everything! It ended up being about 32″ high. Attach with spray glue. (I know JoAnn sells upholstery foam but I wanted it to be tall. For the short piece the price was about the same with coupons, but for a longer piece it was MUCH cheaper to do this.)

Step 10: Make your buttons! So fun.  I recommend doing this while watching Netflix, but not Silver Linings Playbook. It was stupid and totally overrated. (You can do this the night before or whenever.)

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Step 11: Cover the foam with batting and staple tightly around the edge. Leave the bottom free, you’ll see why soon. (Tip: Make sure you have the right size staples – too long and they will NOT go in, and you will try hammering them, and they will break, and it will be a WHOLE THING.)

Step 12: Lay out your fabric and staple the top only. Begin tufting with scary needles. I tied a big double knot in the thread and stapled it on the back so I could pull it really tight. See above tip re: big holes so you can actually find it with the needle. One loop through and you should be good, the waxed thread is awesome and really strong! Once I had it through, I stapled it again and pulled, then tied another big knot to the staple (don’t try to understand, just do it 🙂 ) photo 3 (1)(Note: Fabric looks terribly wrinkled! I thought I’d have to steam it once it was done but once I pulled it all tight I didn’t need to!)

Step 13: Staple the fabric tightly all around. I didn’t want to hang mine on the wall, I wanted it freestanding, so I used the whole length of board, which meant I had to staple below the foam as well as all around. Again, I left the bottom free.

Step 14: Attach nailhead trim – also so easy and fun! I did it down the whole side of the board.

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Step 14: We used the excess plywood to cut short legs to attach to the bottom. We only needed about 10 extra inches (that’s what she said), so we Tim cut 2 10″ pieces and 2 pieces about 16″, attaching the longer ones to the front with screws and the shorter piece to the back of the leg to make it flush with the wall – does that make sense? I don’t have pics of this part, except where I let him get this close to my toes with the saw.

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Step 15: Wrap the remaining fabric and batting and staple all around – I just cut out for the legs and tucked it under, that part is under the bed anyway. Finish the nailhead trim.

Step 16: Admire your handiwork and share pics on Facebook. Repeat 1 gazillion times.

Note: Don’t worry about it being perfect, the process is REALLY forgiving! I stressed a lot and re-did a bunch of stuff really unnecessarily.

Shopping list:

  • Plywood ($30)
  • Foam ($24 with coupon)
  • Batting ($6 w/c)
  • Fabric (2.5 yds = $35 but I could’ve gotten away with just 2 yds)
  • Button kit ($5 w/c)
  • Nailhead trim ($10 w/c)
  • Needles and thread (~$7)
  • Spray glue ($5)
  • Staples ($3)

Total cost = $125… not bad!! Without the tufting, it would have been a bit cheaper and much less time consuming, but I love it so much! You could also save a lot buying regular fabric with a coupon.

What do you think, have I inspired you? 🙂

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