Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How To: Shaped Upholstered Headboard

Happy Tuesday (that feels like Monday!).  I hope you all enjoyed your long weekend and finished your Summer off with a bang.  I finished my Summer off with a hammer, a power drill, some painting and a glue gun...just the way I like it!

It was a busy weekend full of checking things off the to-do list which feels oh so good.  The first big accomplishment was the completion and installation of the two headboards I made for a client.  I told you a little bit about the projects here, but to refresh your memory... I have been working on a fabric headboard and a reclaimed wood headboard for my very first paying client (woohoo!).  And I have to say I am pretty pleased with the result.

Now I have done an upholstered headboard tutorial in the past but I thought it couldn't hurt to do another one.  They are so simple and can make such a huge impact in a room so you should all try it out...now!

This time around I stepped away from the basic rectangular shape and instead worked off of this great visual as a guide.

Headboard Shape Options

My client selected the Finsbury option, which is also one of my favorites.  To begin you will need a piece of plywood.  I splurged a little and went with the formaldehyde free wood, but I think it is worth the $.  Remember that Home Depot will cut your wood for you so if you don't have a big car have them at least trim it into a rectangle of the measurements you need.

But what measurements do you need?  The height of the headboard is up to you.  Tape it off with painters tape on your wall so you can get a good visual, then measure out what you have.  Heights really vary depending on what kind of impact you want to make.  My client chose to go with more height for more drama, which I love!

Once you have the plywood home you will need to create your shape.  Find a large piece of paper - I used the back side of leftover Christmas wrapping paper and it worked great.  Cut a piece half as wide as your headboard and freehand your design with a pencil.  Once you have it the way you want, cut it out and trace it onto half of your plywood.

Then flip the paper over (Merry Christmas!) and trace it on the other half of your plywood.

Now pull out your jigsaw and cut out the shape.

You may need to do a bit of sanding to even out the rough edges since you don't want your fabric to get pulled.  Now what do you need from here?

You will need:
Fabric - use Home Decorators fabric
Foam - the thicker it is the pricier it is so don't forget a coupon
Batting - you can buy it packaged but JoAnn's will cut it by the yard which I prefer
Spray adhesive or hot glue
Staple gun and staples

Using the spray adhesive or hot glue cover one side of the plywood with the foam.

Cut one large piece of batting - large enough to cover the plywood as well as wrap around the edges.  Lay the plywood down on the batting and wrap it around the plywood pulling gently.  Staple the batting into the plywood about every 4-6 inches.

Cut a similar size piece or fabric but allow for a little more overlap on the back side.  Again lay the plywood, batting and foam side down, on the fabric (make sure the front of the fabric will face out).  Be sure the fabric is flat and symmetrical under the plywood.  *It is a good idea to iron the fabric to remove any wrinkles or seems before you get to this point.  Then wrap the fabric around the back side of the plywood and staple.  Take your time as you work through this step.  Check the front of the headboard often to make sure the fabric is laying smoothly.  When you reach a corner fold the fabric just like you would when wrapping a present, being certain the seems are looking good from the top and front.

The rounded edges (depending on which shape you pick) can be a little more tricky so again just take your time.  And try to find someone to help, this is definitely easier with an extra set of eyes and hands.  Just remember it doesn't have to look good from the back as long as it looks good from the front!

And for the final step, mounting the headboard to the wall.  The absolute secret to my success is a product made by Hangman.  They make these amazing picture hangers - one side mounts to the headboard, one side mounts to the wall and then they slide right into one another.  Oh and they have a cute little level built right in!  I buy them at my local ACE but you can also find them here on Amazon.  I use two per headboard and make sure they are mounted to the stud.  The previous link is for 50lb rated hangers.  Today I used 75lb rated hangers - might as well be safe than sorry!      

So let's see, where are we...oh wait, we are done!  You have now made a beautiful, one of a kind, custom headboard.  So get under the covers and enjoy it.  Oh you know you need a nap after all the fun you had over the weekend!