Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Padded Headboard!!

What??!? Is this a new blog post from me you're reading?
Why Yes! It is.
Amazing right?? I know. And i'm sure, all 3 of you readers have been glued to your seats waiting on me to get to it.

I'm so proud of him every time i look at this picture.

Husband is gone on his 2nd Deployment of the month. He got home earlier this last week from the first one, was home for 2 days and took me to the midnight showing of Harry Potter, and then was off again for this next deployment at 5 the next morning. He's working like crazy this summer and yet he still manages to take me out and help fulfill my dreams. Yes, seeing the last Harry Potter movie was one of my dreams (: He'll be gone at least a week again, and my house is clean for the most part, so it was a choice between either laying on the couch watching a movie i've seen at least 80 times -- Pride and Prejudice, the Keira Knightley version. I admit it -- or make that post i've been promising to make for months and listen to the movie in the background. I figured since I know all the words to the movie... the choice was pretty obvious.
So here we go.
I've been coveting a new headboard for my bed for years. My whole life growing up i never had a headboard, just my mattress set on the metal bed frame. Depriving right? Ok, not really depriving, but at the time i felt like that was the case. There's nothing wrong with not having a headboard on your bed. But i'll be honest, i was jealous of my friends that had nice pretty ones. It wasn't until college when i got a queen size bed that i went to Kmart and found one for $7 (i couldn't believe i hadn't done it sooner when i payed that at the checkout).

So i've had this metal headboard that looked perfectly acceptable, but.....i hated it. Looks wise, its fine, and any bedding i put on my bed worked great with it. But trying to sit up in bed was a pain. Literally. I would pile up all my pillows against it, but that would only work for a short time. I had to position my spine exactly between the bars and i would be all slumped over and i would only be able to last about 10 minutes before either laying down or leaving the room all together. So, my answer was a padded headboard.
If you've ever looked, to buy one is expensive for those of us with a budget. But i'm crafty, i'm not afraid to try making things, so i made the decision to make it myself. I've been wanting to do it for years now, especially since we got married. And i'm so honest when i say this; it is soo comfortable. Compared to what i had before, its like night and day. I shouldn't have put it off for so long.
I had planned to make this post into a tutorial on how to make you're very own, but silly me, i didn't take pictures throughout the process so that's not really going to work too well for a step-by-step thing. But I drew you some pictures in paint and I'll do my best to break it down for you.
Basically, i found my instructions to make this headboard here on Beck's Chic Life while looking for different ways other people have made their own. I read through it and i got to work. Once I knew the technique it was simple.

What I used:

Particle Board (i had it cut to size for me at Home Depot)
Carpet Padding (or Foam if you would like)
Box Cutter
Quilt Batting
Upholstery Fabric
Staple Gun w/ Staples
Husband (this is optional - to help hold things while using the Staple Gun)

Beck said that while purchasing and getting the particle board cut at Home Depot, she was recommended to use Carpet Padding in replacement of the Foam most of the other sites recommend. I did my price checking, and it ended up being about the same price, and since i had gift cards for both Home Depot and Jo-Ann's (thanks Mom!), and i knew i would want more things later from Jo-Ann's, i went with the carpet padding and used up the HD card. I'm pretty sure using foam padding would have been just as comfortable, it was just a decision of what i could do with what i had at the time. If you don't know what carpet padding looks like, this is what you're looking for:

They have pre-cut selections all rolled up for you, or you can have them cut it for you to the size you want. I decided to go with 2 layers of carpet pad for my headboard like Beck did in her instructions, so i went ahead and purchased the pre-cut. It worked out great and i didn't have very much left over as scraps i wouldn't know what to do with later.
The first thing you need to do when making your own headboard is to figure out the shape and measurements of how large you want it to be. I went with the basic rectangle, and since i liked how tall my original metal headboard was, i just measured it and went with those numbers. I thought about splitting it up into 3 tall sections, covering them individually and then bracing them together across the back, but i wasn't sure if i trusted my skills at something like that yet so i kept it simple.
It was an adventure buying all my supplies because Husband came along for the shopping -- men usually agree to go to Home Depot without too much complaint when you say you need help (: But be prepared, if you are taking a man along, they have opinions about what works best and that's not always going to coincide with what you want or need. Sometimes they're right, and sometimes you're going to have to argue your point. I didn't want a super heavy headboard, but Husband wanted me to get the thicker, heavier, particle board because he didn't think thinner would last as long. I think he said something about "warping" and "chipping" and stuff along that line. Honestly i don't remember, i just went with it because he was so adamant about it, and he worked for a cabinet builder in college so i figured he knew a little bit more about wood then i do. But when i said i wanted to get brace plates to make it taller, he fought me on it for 30 minutes until i could demonstrated what i was talking about and show him i was right. Taking him along really wasn't bad though. He was more help then hindrance for sure. I was even able to get him into Jo-Ann's to get the fabric in the same trip. But i had already picked out what material i was going to get ahead of time so we were only in the store long enough to get it cut. If it had been for more then that he probably would have gone home and made me come back on my own.
Anyway, particle board is in sheets of 46" x 96", and then has different thicknesses. The height of the particle board on its side is a convenient size (46"), so you may only need to make one cut off the length. Because I was using the measurements of my original headboard, i wanted it taller then that convenient size by about 6 inches i think, so i used what was cut off -- i had to cut it down to 6" -- and used brace plates to attach it to the bottom to make it higher.

You'll need a drill if you want to go taller like i did. I used 4 brace plates, 2 on the front, 2 on the back. The brace plates are staggered on either side to keep it from getting bent. I centered the extension board along the bottom and butted it up flush with the main board, then i got Husband and we drilled the screws in to hold the boards together. They're extremely secure and i'm happy i won the argument to use them (: Husband even admits that i was right to use them.
I decided i wasn't going to pad and cover the entire board, just the part you'll see. The rest of it is below and behind the mattress line so there wasn't really much point in padding the whole thing. So, you're going to need to know those measurements as well if you decided to do the same thing.
Now, when picking out your fabric, make sure to pick out an upholstery weight fabric. Thinner fabrics can rip easily when trying to get it pulled tight across the board. Beck also recommends that if you use a light colored fabric that you may want something like quilt batting or a white piece of fabric between the upholstery fabric and carpet pad because otherwise it will show through. I chose a dark fabric, but i decided to go ahead and use the quilt batting in between because i could feel the texture of the carpet pad under the fabric. I know when i was little i was the type of kid to ruin my parents things. If i had felt the texture of the carpet pad underneath that fabric when i was little, i would have dug my fingers into it and tried to pull it apart through the material. I know i will have kids exactly like i was one day as punishment for what i did to my parents, so i decided to head that off and try to avoid it. The quilt batting softens it up even more so i think it was a good call no matter which color fabric i had used.
Now, on to the assembly. If making all the decisions on what materials to use, figuring out all the measurements and actually getting all of it weren't hard enough, now you have to put it together.

Make sure you have a large area to do all your work. Mark the board with a line across the front of the wood of where you want to start/stop covering with the materials. After that you will line up the padding with that line. You will want to have AT LEAST 3 inches of overhang, if not more, around the board on the sides and top so you have enough to pull around and staple down. You can start by laying the pad flat on the ground and laying the board on top of it. And then it's time to staple!! Staple to your hearts content. The first layer of padding doesn't really require talent....except when it comes to the corners. What I did was cut the corners off like you would if you were sewing a corner on a sewing machine to make it look sharp when you turn it inside out. And that makes absolutely no sense at all when i try to explain.... So i drew you another picture which is probably even more confusing (:

It all makes sense in my head, but I can only imagine how confusing i'm making this. Beck had a different method of doing the corners you may be more comfortable with, but this was my method and it seemed to work for me. To do it you cut off the corner (like the arrow says to do in the picture) and then fold the top of the padding over the top of the board (like the next 2 arrows show to do) and then staple it down across the back. This is where it's handy to have a Husband or friend around, especially when you get to the second layer. One of you can hold it down in place while the other of you can staple with all your weight behind the stapler. Make sure it is smooth -- if its laying flat on the floor you shouldn't have a problem -- and start stapling at the top in the middle and work your way out to the sides. Once the top is done, you'll do the same thing to the sides.
Then, you're going to repeat the whole process over again for the second layer of carpet padding.
And after that, again for the quilt batting. Line it up, fold and staple.
And then the upholstery fabric.

The upholstery fabric step is the one you need to make sure you pay attention to while you're doing it. Make sure it's SMOOTH and tight. You can lay it all flat and do this on the floor. I turned the board over and laid it on its back for this step first. This was the only time i used the staple gun on the front of the board. I lined the fabric up along the bottom, pulled it down below the line a couple inches and then stapled it. Make sure the staples go all the way into the board, even if you have to go over them with a hammer. You don't want your mattress or anything getting snagged on the staples later. After that I flipped the board over again onto its front (making sure it was smooth) and stapled along the top starting from the center and working my way out. I didn't do any cutting of the fabric when i got to the corners though. I folded the corners and used the fabric to cover the padding to keep it all tucked in and hide the messiness of it all.

I took a few pictures and then I got Husband to help me get it upstairs to take some more pictures of it all finished.

I even made my bed.
This headboard doesn't need mounting at all since i measured from the floor, it just leans against the wall. Because it's padded around the top and edges, there's no scratching on the wall. You could screw the bed frame onto the headboard if you would like, but i didn't feel the need because it was sturdy against the wall with the bed holding it up. It doesn't feel like it's going to fall over onto the bed at all.

I had a great debate with myself to decide which color upholstery fabric to use, and if i should use a patterned one or not. When it came down to it I ended up using a solid chocolate brown fabric. I had planned to use Taupe, which is a grayish tan/brown color, so it would go with more colors if i changed my bedding, but the samples looked different in the store light compared to when i brought them home to see which i liked best. They had a green tint in my room that i didn't like. I was against Chocolate Brown because i wasn't sure it would go with all my future linen choices, and also because i had the fear that i wouldn't notice if there was a spider on it. But, thankfully i haven't had the spider problem (yet). And when i changed my bedding from my winter bedding -- which is a blueish gray duvet and solid gray/blue sheets -- to my light summer bedding that's yellow and gray with matching solid colored sheets, it still looks good with the brown (:

Some time this summer -- probably while Husband is on deployment and i have free time -- i'll be making some big ruffled throw pillow to go with my pretty bedding.

Good luck in all your adventures making your own headboards. If you do make one, i would LOVE to see some pictures please!


Jen, Jenny, Jennifer said...

Love the headboard! Seems like it would be great for reading in bed, a favorite of mine.

Emily@Little Forever Family said...

Cute! Nicely done!