Monday, October 10, 2011

Headboard Tutorial

So I did promise not to go on about the baby and being pregnant and how great I feel (sorry I had to rub it in!)I did promise to post something that might be interesting to almost everyone, and here it is... the headboard tutorial. Again please excuse my pictures, but I have stated that I'm not a photographer, which is a shame that would make it more enjoyable for you!

So to start with you will need need to figure out how big you want it. Our bed is a Cal King size so I took measurements along the mattress and compared with some other Cal King sized headboards from various websites and came up with a width of 78" I wanted to be able to have puffy bed linens and still have the side of the headboard a little visible.
 (Below is a list of what you will need)

Then you have to decide how high you want it. I wanted a fairly low modern look to mine with the option of adding legs later. I decided right  now to make so it sits flush to the floor attaching to the bed frame with a couple of bolts (maybe) which was around 4ft high

So after you have this down you need buy the wood and make a frame for it.
I used 2x2's and put plywood on the back to keep it sturdy and so the foam would sit nicely in it.
We screwd the corners together and also used screws to hold the plywood in place on the back, placing a screw approx every 7" and keeping the plywood square.

Now I could fill the middle with foam, I din't want the foam to go right to the edge of the outside which is why I made the frame, I wanted to put over-sized nail-heads (most expensive part too!) To finish it of along the edge without making it look upholstered... make sense?
When you are choosing your plywood don't go for the super thin option as this is a little to flimsy and won't keep the frame from rocking!

So here is the frame waiting to be filled, my husband cut the 2x2's and plywood down for me... being almost 6months pregnant I figured it would be a better option... see picture below!


Isn't he cute and muscular! ;)


So now it looks like  a basic frame, now you need to fill the middle with the foam, which is super easy, you will need to cut down the foam, if you have one use an electric knife it's so much easier, if like me you don't have one then use a bread knife, the serrated edge makes it easier to cut through the foam. I also used a yard stick as a "straight" edge and a guide for cutting after I had drawn my line in a sharpie pen to guide the way.
Cut this in long even strokes and keep going back over the same spot until it has gone all the way through, I would suggest putting some cardboard underneath to protect your surfaces.


Make sure you don't cut it it the exact size of the frame, leave about 1/2 an inch over-hang so you can push it into the frame...

like so...
This way it wont need to be glued in.


You won't get a completly straight edge either...

And that's okay, you won't be tested on this and NO-ONE will see it!
 As you can see I assumed my two pieces of foam had been cut to the same length so I  cut the same amount of of each (silly me)! They wern't so I had to put a little extra padding in! You can see it here on the right hand side of the photo...
Next you begin to wrap the frame and foam with batting, get the cheap stuff, as it just needs to add a little cushion from the wood & foam and the fabric.

  It doesn't need to be smooth, the fabric will even things out.
Wrap underneath the frame and staple here and there just to hold it in place.

Next place the fabric the over the foam side of the board and centralize it, using a few staples in the back to hold the fabric in place, it's best to stretch from one corner to the other making sure you keep the pattern straight, the fabric I used has a geometric pattern so it was fairly easy to keep it along the edge of the board.
Sorry I didn't get any pictures of this if your confused, feel free to email me.

Now your going to want to flip the board over, it's best to get a helping hand here so the fabric doesn't move to much, I managed it on my own but this is not the first headboard I've made.
So now you have the board face down with the back exposed.
You will need to staple down the fabric
Make sure you do one edge at a time, start in the middle and stretch out to the sides and its best to start at the top edge and then go to the bottom edge, and then do the two sides. Staple every 8" apart or so in case you need to take out some staples to re-stretch later on.
This is what is should start to look like...

Now with all the sides done and stapled get your lining fabric.
Take the lining and line it up with the top edge of the board
Use an upholstery tack strip to staple along the top edge inside the seam. you will be turning the lining back over on it's self. Tacking strip is basically a thin strip of cardboard you can staple into.
You can pick this up at joanns etc...  
This strip will give you a straight edge at the top and keep it looking neat.
Make sure you leave enough of the lining to turn in for each side and place the tack strip along the where the fold will be around 1/2" from the top and sides of the back (see picture)

Staple that down every 3-4"s apart.

Now turn the sides in so you have a nice finished edge like so...


Now flip the lining over the strip and turn the edges in to the sides and just staple that down, I like to keep the staples around 2'-3" apart to make it look nice and finished of.
In this picture I haven't started to staple the sides down yet, I have just turned them in.


Here I have started to staple, you can see the fabric along the edge puckering from me doing so.

So flip the board back over and this is what it should look like, it should feel nice and tight but not look to stretched.

You could actually leave it like this if your fabric was interesting enough but I wanted to add the big uphosltry pins to make it look finished and give it a modern twist.

This was NOT fun and was the most time consuming of the whole thing.

I measured the center of the board and started from there, this way you can make sure you have an even number of pins.
I also suggest that you draw a line on the fabric with pencil and use that as a guide to keep the pins straight and not use a "Straight Line" like I used, this kept moving and I ended up taking it of and just winging it.
So draw your line, you can do it wherever you want but for something like this they look better close to the edge which was approx 1" in.

 Do you see how the line moved with the first nail?
Start to knock your nails in using a "soft hammer" you can get them at home depot for a good price. This way you won't leave a mark on the nails.
make sure you keep the pins butted up close to each other too but not overlapping, this make take a few goes to get right and you will have to take a few out and re-do them once in a while so make sure you order enough to cover that...

Here is the finished product along with the new blinds I had made a couple of weeks earlier.


Here is roughly the cost and what you will need, I had a lot of this in stock already, after all I do this for a living! but I thought I would break it down in case you were starting from scratch?

Shopping list
Tack strip $11
Hammer $15
Fabric approx 2yds $60
Lining approx 2yds $20
Foam 2' depth and two sheets approx $80
Batting, one big bag approx $15
Plywood approx $25
2x2 Wood for frame around 3 full lengths approx $5
Over-sized upholstery nail heads $120 (yikes)
Staple gun and staples approx $25

Approx total:  $376

I drew my inspiration from West Elm and a King size headboard with a patterned fabric is around $600 on sale. So not only will you have a one of a kind custom it will also save you money.

Happy headboard making!
Feel free to email me if you need to.

No comments:

Post a Comment