Thursday, September 9, 2010


I've been talking about wanting to make a headboard for my bed for quite a long time. For some reason I was under the impression that it would be an expensive and difficult project to do, so I was putting it off.
Well, with a new apartment, newly painted bedroom, and a 3 day weekend for Labor Day, I decided it was time. You might remember my bedroom as it was without the headboard:

I decided on the dimensions I wanted for the headboard-- 34 inches high and 54 inches wide (the standard width of a full sized bed). This is the size plywood I will need for the project. Knowing that most fabric is 45 inches wide, I knew that about 2 yards of fabric would be good, I already had nail head trim, so I just needed foam and some batting. 
So I headed to Joanns. I wanted to use a neutral, solid color so that the headboard would go with virtually any colors I had in my room. I really, really lucked out at Joanns- I found some tan suede-ish "home decor" fabric that was on the clearance rack. At Joanns, I also picked up batting intended for a twin-sized blanket, and then headed to Target to get some foam. Regular foam by the yard is extraordinarily expensive for some reason. I had seen some other projects where people used foam mattress pads instead, and I found that was a much more economical way to go. Finally, I got a sheet of 1/2 inch plywood at Lowe's. They cut a piece to the size that I wanted, and then cut the left overs so it would all fit in my car.

When I got home, it was all about stapling. I have a manual staple gun...which worked for this time, however my hands were quite sore when I was done. If I were to do this again, I would most certainly get an electric staple gun. Apparently I was so excited when doing this project that I forgot to take any "action" shots. But theres hardly any difficult steps here. I laid out the batting, put the foam on top, and then the board. I cut the foam to the size of the board, and then wrapped the extra batting around the back of the board, pulled tight, and stapled it on. Then I went through the same process with my freshly ironed fabric. Not too hard, since there is no pattern in my fabric. The most important thing is to pull the fabric tight enough.
The last step was to put on the nail head trim. It was harder than I imagined to keep those little buggers straight, but in the end, I'm very, very happy with the result!

I decided to go the route of hanging the headboard on the wall (it's really not much heavier than a large mirror) instead of trying to make feet for it. I just used two heavy duty picture hangers, one on each side.

Of course, once I had the headboard up I thought the wall above the light on each side of the bed looked really empty, and the bed was rather white/tan. So I went on a search for mirrors or some other decorative accent for the wall, and some throw pillows. Unfortunately, I didn't find any pillows that I was interested in buying, but I did find something for the wall.

These are actually picture frames, which I found at Pier 1. They came two together, with a spot for a 4x4 picture. Since I wanted mirrors originally, I decided I would just put a mirror in the spot for the picture. I got some mirror sheet at Joanns (instead of actual mirrors, because the mirrors were both not the correct size but also would have been too thick to fit into the frame) and cut it to the correct size. You would never be able to tell that it's not a "real" mirror, its awesome!

So I'm still on the lookout for some throw pillows. Or perhaps I will just make some??


  1. Wow the headboard looks great! LOVE your mirrored project too! Very creative!

    If I could make two suggestions: 1) Move the two mirrored things you just made and put them over the white bookshelf. It will give it some height. Don't hang them two high though and you'll want them closer together so that they are less than the width of the bookshelf. Those are really pretty and will pick up the white in the bookshelf.

    Next, get some taller lamps for the side table. That's what is throwing off the headboard. I've found great lamps/lamp bases at Goodwill for only $5 each. Go there and check them out. Even if they are printed bases or the wrong color, paint them in a neutral to go with your headboard. If you don't like the shades that come with them, you may be able to use these shades on them. If you want to keep your current lamps, then move the white mirrored pieces down and place them behind the lamps-I'd place the center where the mirror is directly behind the center of the lamp. What that will do is to give the lamps some presence and make them seem more substantial next to the headboard. Ideally though, I'd probably place them over the bookshelf so you can see the pretty graphic design and then they'll also pop against the wall.

    Finally, I think your idea for some pillows would be great! I'd probably stand up your two pillows, add another set with some shams and then some toss pillows in front. As talented as you are, you could make them.

    LOVE the gray paint color and the new headboard. I've been thinking about making a new headboard for my bed as well.

  2. I made my own tufted, upholstered headboard awhile back, and liked it. Lots of power tools, haha.

    Your headboard came out pretty sweet.

  3. Iris-
    I just checked yours out-- I like it!
    I'm going to have to try to even out that nailhead trim. It's not that noticeable in person, but in the pictures it's glaring. It was really hard to keep even!

  4. It looks fantastic, Allison. reminds me of the covered headboard I made at the motel that summer, only I didn't tackle the nail-heads BRAVO!.