Monday, February 10, 2014

DIY Upholstered Headboard

A couple of weeks ago, Andrew and I decided our bedroom was looking a little..well...blah. We were also a little bored and looking for something to do, so we decided to try and upholster our metal bar headboard. It was a lot easier than we thought and we are in love with how it turned out! So I thought I would share what we did.

We first looked for tutorials on how to do it, but mostly what we found was people making their own headboard out of plywood and then upholstering it. We already had the headboard, so we decided to just wing it a little. 

Plywood (larger than your headboard; will need to be cut down to the headboard's exact shape and size)
Craft foam (can be found at any fabric store, but ours was from Joann's)
Quilt batting 
Fabric (ours was $4 a yard at Joann's with a 50% off coupon)

The first thing you need is the plywood. Andrew and I found a large sheet at Home Depot for about $10, but we got lucky and were able to use an old piece that my father in law had lying around the garage. Since we're renting an apartment right now and don't have many tools or a place to store them, we actually did this project out in my father in law's shop. 

We laid the plywood down on the ground and the headboard on top of it, and traced around the headboard to get the shape. Since ours has a rounded shape with a little of the metal sticking out on each side, we just went straight down from there...the headboard is actually a little bigger now that we've done that.

Then we sawed the shape of the headboard out! Andrew did that part for me. :)

Next, it was time to lay the headboard down with the plywood on top, and drill it into the metal. Make sure the plywood will be on the side of the headboard that goes against the wall--ours screws into the bed frame, so we had to make sure it was on the right side. 

This picture is misleading--I did not drill anything. I let Andrew do it all :)

Next came the fun part! We took the headboard inside and laid it on the table. The next step was the craft foam. This is another part of the project where we got lucky--Andrew had squares of foam laying around from high school that we were able to use, but it added another step to the project. We had to lay each square on the top and glue it down. If you were using one big sheet of craft foam it would be a lot easier--just cut it to the shape of your headboard and you're ready to go!

So you would lay the fabric face down, then the quilt batting, then the foam, and finally the headboard!

Now this is where it gets a little bit sad. We weren't really sure what the point of quilt batting was, and thought we'd be okay not to use it, so we actually went ahead and finished the project without it, just wrapping the fabric around the foam-covered headboard. We took it home and set it up on our bed, and realized that the foam was making odd lumps in the fabric all across the top. It looked really bad. 

So the next weekend we went and bought the batting, took the staples out of the fabric, and did it all again--wrapping the quilt batting first and stapling it to the plywood in the back with a staple gun, and then doing the same with the fabric. But of course I forgot to take pictures. 

The result was much better! The moral of the story is: You need the quilt batting. We were trying to be too cheap and it was definitely a mistake.

So here is what it looks like all finished!

We are head over heels in love with how it makes our little apartment bedroom look so much nicer. It gives the room a nice focal point, which it was missing before, and adds a little interest. Plus we're pretty proud of ourselves that we made it! 

All in all, this was a fairly easy and inexpensive project. Since we didn't have to buy plywood or foam it cost us less than $20, but you might be looking closer to $50 if you had to buy those two things. 

So what do you think? Is this something you would try in your own bedroom?

Next on our list is some art for those side walls along our bed...they are looking pretty snooze-worthy right now!