Monday, August 26, 2013

DIY Headboard

DIY Headboard

Can I just say how EXCITED I am that I actually made this?? I'm so excited and pleased with the outcome, that I wish the rest of the beds in my house didn't have headboards just so I could make more!

I will try and be as detailed as possible with my tutorial and at the end I will post a few links to other sites that I viewed before attempting this on my own. Some of the tutorials seems like a LOT more work that what I experienced and I found a few short cuts to keep this project under 2 hours.  So, lets begin!!

  • Measuring tape
  • Pen and paper
  • Black marker
  • Peg Board
  • 3 Rolls of Quilters batting (I used High Loft and got the large, 96in x 46in size)
  • fabric of choice (Enough inches/yards to cover plus 2 inches on all sides)
  • Heavy duty stapler
  • Spray adhesive
  • Buttons of choice (I used Shank Buttons, but I feel that any type of button can be used)
  • Heavy duty thread (I used an upholstery thread)
  • Upholstery Needle(s)
  • Scissors  
1. Measure the width of your bed and allow for 2 extra inches on each side. Then measure how high you want the headboard to be. We choose to do 3 feet up from the top of the bed. To be more dramatic, you can surely go taller. But remember, the more headboard, the more rows of button you will have to do (depending on the spacing you like).
2. Lowes had sheets of pegboard for really cheap (I will include a price list at the end) and we were able to get it cut down to 80x36 (and we have extra for other projects I might want to get into!)
I chose to use pegboard because some of the tutorials I found online all needed drills and precise markings and measuring etc. I did not want to use a drill and all that math involved made me nauseous. Peg board was the perfect solution and it was as simple as counting the holes and circling the placement of where the buttons would go.
3. As you can see in this pic below, I still needed to count and recount a few times until I got all the markings even. I only had 14 buttons so decided to do 1 row of 5, 1 row of 4, 1 row of 5. I would probably had done more rows, but the buttons I liked in the store only had 4 packs of 3. I chose another pack of 2 that had a gold design on it to add some flare to the headboard. But you can get creative here and do what makes you happy!

4. I counted out the holes and spaced the buttons evenly starting in the center of my first row, lengthwise, working down. It took a few tries to get the spacing right, but after the first row, it was easy. I marked each placement of button with a black circle. You can see where I X'd out a few places during my counting :-)
5. Next, flip the board over so your markings are face down. This piece of pegboard was pretty big for the size we used, but I used my wheelbarrow and the dog kennel in the garage as saw horses and a small old end table to help support the middle. I made due with what I had :-)
6. I used the Loctite spray adhesive because it is really really good at holding fabrics, woods, plastic etc but still able to adjust if you need to. Plus, when you flip it over and need to staple to the pegboard, having it stick and not flop around is a HUGE help.
I first opened up my packages of quilters batting and unrolled it, but did not OPEN it to be a single layer - however, I did have to make sure the ends were lined up (like making sure the corners and edges of a sheet are lined up when you are folding laundry) before placing it on the board.
Once all the batting was straight, I laid the first layer down and made sure it was flat and no bumps. It doesn't need to be perfect, but try and make sure there are no major wrinkles. I sprayed the pegboard on one side after lifting the batting, then placed it back down. I then lifted the other side of the batting, sprayed the pegboard and gently pulled and laid that onto the board so that the batting was taught.
I repeated this step with the other two layers of batting. Before I put my fabric on, I did iron it flat, but attached it in the same fashion.
Side note about your fabric: Depending on how tall your headboard will be, you MAY need to sew two sections together to fit over your pegboard. I wanted to avoid this step, so another reason we only chose a 36 in height. The fabric I choose was a cream color linen blend, and was 45 inch width. Make sure you check the width on the bolt so you don't get home and realize its not wide enough. Also, I got my fabric from Wal-Mart in their sewing section, for $2.44 a yard x 3 yards.
7. Turn over the pegboard so your markings are now face up. Now comes the fun part - getting staple happy!!

8. Trim away excess batting and fabric so that there is about 2-4 inches on each side. This may be more or less depending, but a good 2 inches is the best to have. (sorry my pic is a little blurry!) 

9. After you have trimmed away the excess, start at the top of your headboard in the middle and gently pull the fabric up, over and down to the pegboard, securing with a staple. Do this along the long side every 5-6 inches.

10. Repeat on the other long side, but pulling a little tighter to get the fabric nice and tight against the batting.

11. Once you have done both long sides, start on the short ends, starting in the middle and working out. When you get to the corners, do a simple "wrapping paper" fold to create neat corners. Staple 5-6 staples down the length of the seam to secure. Repeat on other side and other 3 corners.

12. Once you have gotten all the fabric stapled down, go back and staple between original staples, and much closer together, pulling the fabric tight on all sides. This should create a nice smooth edge all the way around, and make a nice flat smooth front side.  You are now ready for your buttons!!


13. I used shank buttons, but almost ALL the tutorials I looked up online talk about "Button covers" and spending hours cutting out squares of fabric, wrapping it around the button, putting on a back, and THEN sewing it into the headboard. Not to mention these hours of work, the button covers are semi-expensive and come in only packs of 5-8. This work is in attempt to match the buttons to the fabric of your headboard. I could care less, and actually think that a contrasting color or metallic is more fun and WAY more inexpensive.

Here is a photo of a shank button and then the button covers:


See what I mean?? Seems like too much damn work. I did not want to spend hours doing button covers or buying special tools to do these so I bought 4 packs of 3 gold shank buttons, and a 2 pack of a mixed metal (gold/silver) to do in my second row of 4.


 14. Thread your needed with a good amount of thread - I think I used about 2 or 3 arm lengths. I threaded the needle and then tied a knot at the end (Tying both strands together). Starting with your top row in the middle, poke through your marked hole through all the bating and the fabric. You should still have a nice long tale on the back, which you want to keep.

15. On the front of the headboard, thread your button with the needle, and do it twice, just to make sure it is secure, especially when you have to really pull it on the back to make it tight. Once you have threaded it twice, put it back in through the same hole and up through the pegboard. At this point you should have two ends of the thread, and the button should be "snug" against the front side.

Make sure your thread is not wrapped around and funky on the front before you begin to tighten.


16. Once you have both tails back through the board, you can tie a regular double knot (like tying shoes) to give a little extra structure. Then starts the most tedious (and painful?) part - securing the buttons down and pulling them tight to make the indentations of tufting.
17.  With both tails of the thread in one hand, pull firm and as tight as you can. In the other hand, have the stapler ready and get staple happy!! I found that doing a zig-zag pattern with the thread and staples held it better. I did one staple, then pulled thread over and slightly to the side and then another staple and then folded over the other way and staple and so on.  After I knew the thread wasn't going anywhere, I tied the two ends around the last staple and made a knot and cut the remaining thread.
18. Working out to each side, repeat this process all the way across. When done with the first row, begin the 2nd row, in the middle, and working your way out.

19. Ta-da! Your headboard is complete and ready to hang! Here are some views/pictures of the finished product. We hung ours on the wall using 4 nails horizontally in the wall in the studs and threaded some picture wire through a few of the holes in the back and hung on the wall. It was flush, straight and looked fantastic!!!

Pegboard - Lowes, $12.98
Fabric - Wal-Mart, $2.44 x 3 yards, $7.32
Quilters Batting - Wal-Mart, 6.87 x 3, $20.61
Spray adhesive - Wal-Mart, $3.97
5 packs of buttons - Wal-Mart, .98 cents, $4.90
1 pack of upholstery needles - Wal-Mart, $1.98
Upholstery thread - Wal-Mart, $2.98
Total Cost: $54.74
 - Tightening the thread on the back of the board was the most tedious and I think that a pair of gardening gloves would have helped to prevent "thread burn" on my fingers. But be careful, because the gloves might cause you to pull too tight, and could snap the thread.
- For a more "Cushy" headboard, you can add more layers of batting or get an upholstery foam to place on pegboard and then your layer of batting and then material. I didn't do this because they didn't have it at Wal-Mart and online research showed that it would have been almost 3 times as much cost as I spent on my 3 rolls of batting.
- If you do use foam, there is an extra step of removing a small cylinder of foam at the site the button will be going (this gives it a really deep recessed look). However, this will add on $$ and time (neither of which I wanted to spare!)
- A second pair of hands would be helpful, but not necessary. I was able to maneuver all by myself (and it was for a king size bed) so anything smaller should be easy!
If anyone has any questions, please let me know!!! Enjoy!!

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