Sunday, August 21, 2011

Upholstery 101, possibly 99

A couple weeks ago, my beautiful mama visited for a couple days to help me tackle some projects around the house. At the top of my list was creating an upholstered headboard for our master bedroom. It was actually the only project we tackled, because it ended up being a bear. It wasn't crazy difficult, it just took a little more time than I expected.

{step one}
The day before my Mom arrived, Nate and I headed to the hardware store and purchased a sheet of particle board. He used a jig saw to create the curves, and some other saw to cut it down to King head board size. It ended up being about 6'2" long and we kept it's original height of 4'.


{step two}
After much debate at the fabric store about whether to stick with the beautiful fabric I originally bought from or to go with a simple linen look without a print, we decided to go the more complicated route and stick with the original. Isn't it pretty? We also bought some batting and foam rubber for padding.

{step three}
Next we created a pattern to help us cut the foam rubber to the shape of the particle board. We taped some craft paper to the headboard and trimmed the excess off.

{step four}
I didn't want a lot of bulk around the curves of the board, so we traced the pattern for the foam rubber about 2 inches in from the edge.

so the new pattern looks like this!

{step five}
Next, we placed our new pattern on top of the foam rubber, traced it with a sharpie, and cut it with scissors. We then sprayed the wood down with adhesive and placed the foam rubber on top and let it dry for 30 minutes.

{step six...and seven and eight}
After letting the adhesive dry, we decided to take another look at the fabric. We realized that in order to make the fabric long enough for the pattern to make it across the length of the board, we would need to cut 6 inches off the bottom of the board, then cut the fabric in half (vertically) and sew three panels together. This meant we had to match the pattern back up after cutting. This would be the step that put the other projects on the back burner. It was a doozie.

{step nine-ish}
Once the panels were sewn together (which probably deserves it's own separate post), we brought the board in and placed it foam side down on top of the batting. Then we pulled the batting tight around the edges, stapled it all around, and trimmed off the excess. The staple gun is my new favorite toy.

{step ten}
There was no time (or patience, to be honest) left to take pictures during the next step, which was stapling our newly reconstructed fabric to the headboard. Since our fabric was patterned, it was important to keep it centered while stapling. So instead of laying the board down on top of the fabric on the floor, my Mom propped it up and kept the fabric in place while I stapled.

First we found the top center of the board and the fabric and started stapling there on the back of the board. We did most of the top, then found the centers on the bottom and stapled there while pulling very, VERY tight on the fabric to prevent any sagging. We worked our way around and had to do some strategic cutting and pulling around the curves. Between the tugging, heavy duty stapling, and tripping over the dog into a pile of sewing pins, we definitely burned a few calories during this step. By the end we were very pleased with the final product.
Master bedroom pre-headboard:

and the after!


It's still propped up on the mattress, but the plan is to add some brackets to the back, lower it about 6 inches, and hang it on the wall. I really like the headboard, but I'm not sure I love it with our bedding. It feels like the tufting on the duvet/shams is competing with the pattern on the headboard. Maybe we just need more pillows. Suggestions are welcome!

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