Tufted Headboard

October 22, 2014

Making my own upholstered headboard is something that has been on my fairly expansive ‘Projects I’d like to do someday’ list for quite a while. Our bedroom set that we’ve had since we got married is straight out of a 1987 Ethan Allen catalog and while I don’t terribly mind the dressers and nightstands, the bed…well, it’s pretty boring and the headboard is so short that you can’t even see it when the bed is made and the pillows are propped up. I’ve always wanted something taller and upholstered so we could lean against it and not get jabbed in the back by the wood railing.

After skimming through just about every headboard tutorial I could find on Pinterest, I knew exactly what I wanted…rectangular, tufted, sturdy, wood legs and trim. I mainly used these two tutorials for reference on the tufting part, Little Green Notebook and Addicted 2 Decorating. Now, there are a bazillion tutorials out there but none of them had the exact wood detail that I kept picturing in my mind so I just went for it and customized what I wanted.

Here’s the whole process with pictures:

The backing is 5/8″ particle board, cut to 63×30 inches {which Lowe’s supposedly won’t cut for you but I talked someone into doing it anyway}. I measured out where each button would go and marked it with sharpie. There are three rows with 7 buttons and two rows with 6 staggered in between; each button on a row is 9 inches from the next and the end ones are 4.5 inches from the edge. I left some extra space at the bottom but that will be covered by the mattress anyway.


Then I drilled all 33 holes…they look like little gopher mounds, haha.


Now here’s where I start to do things differently…I added eight of these little “L” brackets around the top edge and two sides and bolted them to the particle board. These brackets will hold my 2×4 framing and legs after all the upholstering is done.


Two brackets near a top corner where two of the 2×4 pieces will come together.


Here’s the layout of the 2×4’s. The top board is the width of the headboard and the two side boards measure 50 inches.


After a light sanding the boards got a quick stain in a dark walnut.


About the foam…I wanted the upholstered part of the headboard to be 30 inches tall and the foam sold at Joann’s was only 24 inches wide {not to mention insanely expensive}; not wanting to deal with piecing together bits of foam I ordered a twin sized, 3 inch thick mattress pad on Amazon and it worked perfectly.

I marked on the foam through my drilled holes and then used a paring knife to cut out a little hole for each button. This is supposed to help with making deeper tufts by allowing the button to sit deeper in the foam.


At this point I moved into the living room so I could watch countless episodes of Gilmore Girls on Netflix while I worked :) Next was to add the batting over the foam and staple it to the back. I didn’t worry about getting a ton of staples in the batting because I knew I’d be going right back over it all when I stapled the fabric anyway.


I propped the whole thing up on two five gallon buckets so I could reach underneath then draped my fabric over the top. I ended up using a suit fabric and I love the look, it’s solid while still having a nice texture to it.


The button making kit I ordered on Amazon. It’s a pretty simple process; tedious but simple.


Time to start the tufting! Starting on the top row and in the center I used a 6 inch long upholstery needle to thread up through the hole, through a button and back down through the hole. I would push down on the button with one hand while holding the thread tight with the other. Then I would lie on the floor and staple the thread to the particle board from underneath all while holding it taut. To anyone watching this probably would have been a hilarious sight, me lying underneath this headboard like a mechanic trying to get enough leverage to make the staples go in deep enough.

First row done. As I started on the other rows I would press down on the foam and fabric where a button would go and play with the amount of loose fabric until I got the wrinkles that I wanted.


All the buttons done but the edges are still loose.


Again starting in the middle I made a small crease that aligned with each button and carried it over the edge of the headboard then stapled it to the back. I went around the whole thing the laid it on the floor face down, trimmed the extra fabric and added a bunch of reinforcing staples.


Next was attaching the wood trim. I screwed in the top board first then the side boards.




And here’s the finished product!



Here’s a closeup of the wood trim detail. It turned out exactly as I had imagined :)


The next step will be attaching it to a bed frame and getting our guest room set up!



Our First House

October 16, 2014

Well it took us nearly 5 years of marriage but we are finally homeowners! We officially became Houston residents in June and were living at Mark’s dad’s house until we found a house which we closed on at the end of July. The entire process went very smoothly and we couldn’t be happier with our home and our neighborhood.



The house itself is only 8 years old so there weren’t any big projects to tackle as soon as we moved in but I was quick to grab a bucket and brush to freshen up some walls with new paint. To date I have painted the pantry, powder bathroom, office bathroom, master bathroom, guest bedroom and guest bedroom closet. Mark also painted the garage floor; it’s one of those little details that not many people do but it’s SO NICE. We had the entry, stairwells and entire second floor painted by professionals and I’m so glad that we did…what their 4 person crew did in 8 hours would have easily taken me at least 2 weeks.

One thing that we did take on ourselves was revamping our little backyard. We started by power washing the deck which was so dirty it was almost black in places. When we bought the place the entire yard was covered with wood chips so we dug that up, broke up the soil, added some compost and laid some sod. Ben got to help us with the hard part :)






With some freebie red bricks we formed a little flower bed in the corner and we have since planted some flowers and grasses there that will grow taller and help cover up the electrical box. We also found some solar powered lights for along the fence, they charge during the day and come on automatically every evening when it gets dark.




The entire backyard project only cost us about $225 which includes the grass, plants, hanging flower pots, solar lights and a few miscellaneous things. Now that the weather is starting to cool down we’re definitely enjoying the space!

Boston & Maine 2014

September 18, 2014

Thrown right in the middle of our move, Mandy’s wedding and buying our first home was our trip to Boston and Maine! The timing was a little crazy because we ended up closing on our house the same day that we flew back but it was so nice to have some time to relax during this very busy time in our life!


We ate a TON of lobster this trip and it was glorious. We also had the most amazing lobster roll at Woodman’s in Essex, definitely the best I’ve ever had.


This was the first year that we were up at camp without any other family and though it was kind of nice to have some time to ourselves we definitely missed having everyone else around! Mark’s best friend, Daniel, and his girlfriend, Joslin, joined us for part of the trip too.


Janie graciously let us borrow her new fire pit a few nights so we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows at the water’s edge, watched the sun set and listened to the loons.



My go to ice cream this year was the black raspberry/cake batter swirl on a sugar cone…my mouth is watering just looking at this picture, YUM!




This trip will always be remembered as the year we had four boats. Thanks to a little miscommunication with the marina, a mechanical issue and some bad luck we had three loaner boats before we finally got ours on the second to last day. The silver lining is that we got to have a boat with a tower for a couple days and it made water sports much easier. This year also marked a special accomplishment for me, I finally got up on the wakeboard! Once I got up the first time I instantly knew what I had been doing wrong the past three years, haha.









We also spent a day in Boston and caught a Red Sox game at Fenway. They’re not doing so hot this year but thankfully we got to see a win!




Awesome, awesome trip. Can’t wait until next year!


We’re Moving!

May 22, 2014

After two amazing years of exploring and experiencing everything California and making some of the best friends we’ve ever had, we’re moving back to Texas!! We’ve always known that Texas would be our forever home and we couldn’t imagine living this far away from our families for the rest of our lives so it was only a matter of time before we found our way back. We knew that living here was a temporary season in our lives and it’s hard to believe how quickly it flew by! It’s definitely going to be bittersweet to leave because the friendships that we’ve made here run deep and we know that we won’t ever be able to replace them. In spite of that, we truly feel that God is calling us back to Texas to begin the next stage of our lives, to buy our first home, to be near to family and to forge new friendships.

The transition is going to be relatively quick, we roll out with our Uhaul truck in less than 10 days, so the packing has already begun! This is what our living room looks like right about now…


We have big plans for our last weekend in California including a SF Giants game, wine tasting, the Art & Wind festival and our going away party. It will be a great last hurrah with friends and then next week the serious packing begins!

Would You Believe Wood

April 1, 2014

March 1st, 2014 was opening day for my Etsy shop, Would You Believe Wood, where I sell hand painted signs made from reclaimed wood…just typing that sentence still gives me butterflies, I can’t believe it’s real and not a dream! I’ve always enjoyed being a “crafty person” and I knew that someday I wanted to sell my wares instead of creating solely for fun. That day has finally arrived and I couldn’t be loving it more!

You can see what I currently have for sale and request custom orders here: www.wouldyoubelievewood.etsy.com

And here are a few examples of my work!


This Mr & Mrs sign was made for my sister-in-law and her hubby-to-be. I love that they used it in their engagement photo shoot!


This anchor sign with Hebrews 6:19 is probably my most favorite, the turquoise doesn’t hurt :)



This Texas sign is pretty fun and the best part is that it’s completely customizable; I can make it with any state in any color combination. Endless possibilities!wybw_05

Here’s a look at what my painting process is like…I create a template on my computer, print it out, cut out the lettering with an Xacto, adhere it to the sign, then paint over the stencil.


Here is proof that I’ve been creating things out of wood for literally 20 years now. There were always plenty of scrap pieces to play with in dad’s workshop. Check out my about page to read a little more.


And here’s what my “workshop” looks like now. It’s not huge but it’s just enough space for what I need to get the job done. My go-to tools are my jigsaw and my power sander; I don’t know what I would do without them!

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately, lots of cutting, sanding, building, painting, photographing and listing. It’s been a lot of fun to learn from the Etsy community and I’m excited to improve, grow my business and add more and more items to the shop!



Baking, Lately

March 29, 2014

If you know me at all you probably have an idea about how much I love to bake, if you don’t know me then this post should make it obvious, ha! Here’s a look at some things I’ve baked and managed to document over the past few months.


I’m quickly gaining a reputation for these sugar cookies and to be honest they really are the most delicious sugar cookies you’ll ever gobble down. The secret is in the recipe (found here), it uses powdered sugar instead of regular granulated sugar which gives the dough a soft, pillow-y texture and helps the cookie to hold its shape during baking.

I boxed up some of these Christmas cookies to send to our grandparents up in Massachusetts. Naturally, I made a couple lobster cookies to top off their care packages. Aren’t they cute?!


Cupcakes for our Superbowl watching party…I clearly just have way too much fun with this, it’s an addiction that I don’t care to break :)


A recipe for a delicious, moist, rich, full-flavored chocolate cake is something that I’ve always searched for and I finally found it. This is literally THE. BEST. CHOCOLATE. CAKE. EVER. The recipe came from Smitten Kitchen and when paired with some homemade raspberry filling, it’s just divine.baking04

When I make this cake I always have a little leftover batter because the recipe is for two 9″ pans and I use 8″ pans. No big deal, I use the extra to make half a dozen little cupcakes. I made this cake for our New Years Even party and it was a huge hit.baking05

These earth sugar cookies were for a “welcome to the world” themed baby shower for a friend. It’s fun to experiment with new decorating techniques, I think this was the first time I tried lining and flooding.


And here are some more baby shower cookies from last weekend. I loved making the little onsies and the smiling sunshines.


They just look so happy!


I’ve also dabbled in some bread making lately. Even though we don’t eat bread much, I love to make it from scratch; there’s just something about working a ball of bread dough in your hands that’s therapeutic. This is a honey wheat loaf that was super simple to make, recipe is from Life In Grace.


I love to volunteer to bake a cake when someone’s birthday falls on or near a small group event and last week we had our first outdoor cookout of the season so this hamburger cake seemed appropriate. Nobody believed me when I told them but this was seriously the easiest cake I’ve ever made. Instead of delicately icing the entire outside of the cake layers all I had to do was squirt some on with a couple piping bags. White for mayo, green for lettuce, yellow for mustard and red for ketchup…throw a few sesame seeds on top and voila it’s a burger!


Nothing brings me more joy than seeing something I’ve made bring happiness to someone else; cookies and cakes are pretty good at doing that ;)


Bear Valley 2014

March 28, 2014

This spring we made the drive to Arnold, CA to once again have a fun winter weekend with our small group friends. We’ve nixed the title of “ski trip” and officially dubbed it a “winter weekend” since most people have children now (except for us and the Krouts, holla!). Mark and I still hit the slopes for a good part of the day on Saturday while everyone else did some sledding and playing in the snow.


It was quite warm with temps well over 50 degrees on the slopes so we quickly regretted any and all layers that we had put on. There were plenty of people wearing shorts, jeans, t-shirts or no shirt at all which was hilarious and reminded me of when we used to ski in New Mexico. Only a few of the trails had icy spots so overall I’d say the snow quality was pretty good. We survived without sweating too much and had a nice time just the two of us.


We’d been hearing from everyone in Tahoe that the snow was pretty weak this season thanks to little rain and an early spring. Here’s a photo looking down one of the runs and you can clearly see a line where the snow ends.


And here’s a shot from that same vantage point on our trip last year. What a difference! Regardless, the views were spectacular, the skiing was fun exhausting and the company was tops :)

bear valley01

Marin Headlands

March 27, 2014

Mark and I finally made the drive up north of the city to do some hiking in the Marin Headlands last month. The views of the Golden Gate bridge with the backdrop of San Francisco were absolutely breathtaking.



There are lots of places to stop and take in the views on the way up and then all of a sudden the road turns into a narrow, one-way drive on the steep trek down the backside of the hills. With nothing but the vast Pacific in front of you, it almost felt as if you were driving off into the ocean.


The western side was unbelievably picturesque, like something straight off of a postcard.




We hiked over to this small lighthouse that you could only get to by foot; you also had to cross a swaying footbridge to reach it.



It was great to venture out and experience a new part of NorCal. With the weather starting to make a turn for summer hopefully we’ll be spending more time outside and finding new places to explore!


2014: Q1

March 12, 2014

What? We’re almost through the first three months of 2014? And my last post was about Christmas? Oops. In my defense I have a legitimate excuse…I started my own business! At the end of January I quit my job at 24hr Fitness and got to work submitting paperwork to obtain a business license and all that other fun stuff that comes with becoming a small business owner. It’s been quite a process, sometimes challenging, sometimes frustrating, but at the end of the day I’m finally doing what I love full time and I couldn’t be happier. Big shout out to my incredible hub who let me quit my day job and who is letting me stay home and build signs all day long; he’s the best.


My business is called Would You Believe Wood and I design and build hand painted reclaimed wood signs to be sold on Etsy. If you’re not familiar with Etsy, it’s basically an online marketplace for individuals to sell their handmade goods (anything from jewelry to home decor to art to clothing). I’ll be sharing another post soon with more details about my new venture.

But for now back to the original purpose of this post, a photo dump from the past three months. It’s honestly the easiest way to “catch up” without actually writing a bunch of posts…some might call it cheating or lazy but I prefer the word efficient :)

Let’s start from the beginning, aka: 12:00am, January 1, 2014. We rang in the new year once again with great friends, great wine and great food. Last year our wine won second place in the blind tasting but sadly, this year we got second to last. Womp, womp.



We are bound and determined to make our California friends love football as much as we do but that’s no easy task, they weren’t brainwashed growing up in the South like we were. These pretty cupcakes for our Superbowl party helped though!


The first week after I quit my job I helped a friend renovate her bathroom; we had almost no idea what we were doing but we were excited to learn from her dad and brother who are both contractors so we figured we’d be ok. Basically every morning Haley’s brother would stop by and give us instructions for the day, then we would get to work for a solid 8+ hours and go to bed exhausted. It was fun…most of the time…if you call mixing thinset a billion times fun. It was definitely fun learning how to use a wet saw to cut tiles :)


We started by tearing up the existing vanity, floor tile, hardware and shower insert. Then after lots of prep-work (the part you never think about but takes the longest) we laid the floor tile and lined the shower with waterproofing. Here we are a couple days later laying the floor to ceiling subway tile in the shower. Haley was the butterer and I was the layer, the dynamic duo!


And here’s the beautiful shower after grouting! I am in love with that pebble floor…it was a pain to install but I still love it.


Here’s a before photo during the demo…


And an in progress photo before the subway was grouted and before the shower door was installed…


And finally the gorgeous after photo!


For Valentine’s Day Mark and I spent a weekend in Monterey and we stayed at a cute little 18 room boutique hotel called Hotel 1110. It was super nice and a welcome change from your typical Marriott, very “hipster.” We had an amazing dinner at our go-to fancy pants place, Restaurant 1833, where we tried bone marrow for the first time and indulged in their famous bacon cheddar biscuits with maple chili butter. The weather was quite beautiful and sunny while we were there so we spent our afternoons walking along the beach searching for sand dollars.


Things are finally budding, flowering and greening up around San Ramon thanks to a few good rains over the past two weeks. I don’t want to speak too soon but unless something else blows through in the near future I think we’re in the clear for our 8 months of non-stop sunny gorgeousness. I personally cannot wait for the temps to break 80, this girl misses her long Texas summers.


Christmas 2013

January 12, 2014

This year’s Christmas was a wonderful whirlwind of travel, family, friends, presents and fun; I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. We were in Texas a total of 11 days, flying in to Houston first; we spent a day there and then drove to Rogers to spend some time with my family. I absolutely love the difference between our time in Houston versus our time in Rogers…In Houston we’re always all over the place, visiting every friend we can and going out often…but in Rogers the pace is slower, we spend most of our time outside, roaming the property with pellet guns, loving on the animals or just lounging around. The two environments couldn’t be more opposite but I love them both and always look forward to time spent in both places.

I just love the Christmas tree at my parents’ house, I think I could stare at its glow for hours. The mountain of presents underneath are pretty nice too ;)


One of the most entertaining things that we did while in Rogers was rake all of the leaves from the trees in the yard into one gigantic pile. We honestly didn’t know what we were going to do with it when we were finished but we knew it was going to be huge so we did it anyway.


Then we had an amazing idea…Sadie loves to play fetch so let’s throw the tennis ball into the leaf pile and see what happens…she leaped in every time as if she were jumping into water! It was the most hilarious thing to watch and we threw the ball over and over again.


The crazy part is that she found the ball almost every time; she would root around in the pile, her wagging tail sticking up out of the leaves, until she sniffed out the ball.


Mark got some pretty awesome pictures of Jack in his natural habitat. Actually he threw Jack up in a tree for these photos which explains the “what the heck is your problem?” look on his face, haha.


We managed to snap a few nice family photos while we were there too. I think the last time we took a good family portrait I was still in high school so it was long overdue.


Christmas in Rogers wouldn’t be complete without the Christmas Eve Barn Service. This has been something that our church has been doing since the 80’s and it’s one of my favorite traditions of the holiday season.


The service was pretty packed this year and it was uncharacteristically nice as far as the weather goes; usually it’s raining or freezing or windy. There’s just something about sitting on hay bales, singing Christmas hymns and sharing communion in an uninsulated barn that really brings your focus back to the one who was born in such a place.


On Christmas morning Mema and Papa came out and opened presents with us. It’s so nice to have them living closer now so we can see them more often :)


We all got some great gifts, Mark’s favorite was probably the quad-copter that he and Ben both received. They had so much fun trying to fly them around the house and outside. My favorite gift was a new power sander!


After spending the morning with my family we packed up, said goodbye and hit the road for our second Christmas of the day in Houston. We did presents with everyone around 4 o’clock and then had a yummy dinner afterwards.



Mark and I had the pleasure of giving the “big gift” this year. We wanted to buy a car for Tricia since hers wasn’t very reliable. The funny thing is that we ended up finding a car almost identical to my Mazda, just a couple years newer with fewer miles and a pretty blue color. She was beyond thrilled and thankful and I only wish that we had done this sooner.


After the craziness of Christmas Day, we unwound with a little shopping, golfing, puzzle making and fort building with this not-so-little 6 year old.


The whole family spent one evening at TopGolf which is an awesome three story driving range that is set up kind of like a bowling alley. Each person’s name is on a screen and when it’s your turn to take a shot, your ball’s sensor is activated so the system can tell how far you hit it. They also serve food and drinks, like an upscale bar/restaurant/driving range…it’s loads of fun!


And as per tradition we completed our third family puzzle; we also took a group shot to be turned into the puzzle that we will work on next Christmas!