Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Making a Headboard

I finally have the time to redo my headboard I created years ago. It's been reupholstered a few times throughout the years and it is now time for another change. Here is what it looks like before the redo.

To make this upholstered headboard, I used a sheet of OSB found at any local hardware store. It is the cheapest wood you can get. It's not that pretty to look at, but it doesn't matter because it will be covered up with fabric.

If you want to tuft your headboard like I did, you will need to drill holes into the headboard at all the points you want it tufted. I measured out the location of the holes, drew circles where I wanted it and drilled away. The circles you draw also help you find it later on when you actually do the tufting.

After drilling all your holes, it is now time to soften up your headboard. Thick cushions can cost a hefty penny so what I did was take some patio furniture cushions to soften up my headboard. I found some seat cushions for 90% off so instead of spending about $75, I ended up spending only about $12. I stripped the fabric off the cushions and laid them on the headboard. I sewed the cushions together by hand.

It's hard to see my stitches in this picture. The headboard can be made without the thick cushion. It just depends on how soft and thick you want your headboard to look.

My original headboard didn't have the thick cushion. It only had a couple of layers of batting underneath the fabric and it still looked good as seen below.

After the cushion has been sewn together, I added a layer of batting to smooth everything out. You can find this at any local fabric store.

You can see my original gray fabric underneath. I stripped the teal fabric off, but was a little too lazy to take the gray one off. It is now time to take out the staple gun and hammer.

Lay your fabric on the floor with the OSB board on top (cushion should be between the board and the fabric). Starting from the center of the headboard, staple your fabric to the board.

Hammer any staple that isn't flush with the headboard.

Work your way out to the edge of the headboard. When you are done, start stapling on the opposite side of the headboard, pulling the fabric tightly and removing any wrinkles.

Cut off the excess fabric and take a look at your new upholstered headboard.

Now comes time for the tufting. A normal sewing needle would be too short for this job. You can buy upholstery needles at any craft store. The extra long length will make the job a lot easier.

Locate a drilled hole on the back of your headboard and insert a long needle through the hole, through the fabric. Make sure you tie it to something like a button or a washer. Since my headboard had thread from the last time I tufted, I just knotted my thread to that.

Pull the needle out and insert something to hold the thread from coming through. The majority of tufts are done with fabric colored buttons. I don't want it to be a big deal so I used a single bead. After the first tuft, I found my fishing line and instead of thread, I used the fishing line. I like the fact that it is strong and clear.

Once you have the bead at the end, insert the needle back through the fabric out through the drilled hole in the back.

Pull it tight by pushing the bead close to the board so that it creates a good indentation.

On the other side of the headboard, make sure you tie the end so that it remains tight. Back in the day, I just continued on with the tufting by pulling the thread to the next hole, but to keep the thread from coming out, you can tie the end of the thread to a washer or even a button that you used previously.

Like I mentioned before, since I have thread already there from my previous tufting, I just tied my thread to that. The final outcome is this.

I was going to build a frame around the headboard and stain it an espresso color, but I didn't get a chance to do that this weekend. For the time being, I am super happy with the look of this new fabric that I will leave it as is for now.

So now it is time to hang the headboard. The easiest method to hanging this headboard is to screw a piece of wood to the back of the headboard. You can use a 1x2 that is slightly shorter than the length of your headboard. Make sure it is level.

Next, locate the studs on your wall and screw another 1x2 on to the wall. The piece of wood that you applied to the back of your headboard will sit on this piece of wood so measure your height accordingly.

I also added another 1x2 a little lower on the wall so that the board would be level and not bang around when you lean on it. Yes, the bottom board was covered with fabric. I thought that you would be able to see the sides of the board so I covered it, but this is not the case.

Hang your headboard simply by placing it on top of the top piece of wood. You can then slide it to the right or left to center it where you want. Easy peesy. My headboard is large enough that the mattress leans against it and keeps it from going anywhere.

It's hard to really calculate the price of headboard because I have added to it throughout the years.

My first headboard without the cushion:
OSB $7.98
Fabric $2.00
1x2 FREE
Total Cost $9.98

When I reupholstered it for the second time, I added the thicker cushion

Cushion $12.00
Fabric $30.00
Total Cost $42.00

Yes, the fabric was a little pricey here, but since I removed it carefully, I will be able to reuse it for something else.

To get my new look this time, I only had to pay for the fabric and that was $12.00. I decided upon a cream linen fabric. I will add a frame later on which ended up costing about $24.00 in wood.

Depending upon how you want your headboard to look, the cost varies. I've gotten three different headboards in 10 years so I am not complaining. I can't wait to build the frame and see how it turns out.

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