Archive for October, 2014

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!