making a padded headboard

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The attic room is finally finished! This was a project I'd been contemplating since scoring some great block printed fabric at the Galbraith & Paul sample sale in Manayunk last December.
This year's sale is coming up on the 3rd, so it only took me 11 months to complete the project. I call my process "turtle mode". I'm excruciatingly slow, but I do eventually finish things.
We use the attic room as a guest room, and it's been slightly embarrassing to send guests up there with it being on the dingy side and not pulled together. Bad leaking in the window wells prompted me to get a contractor in there to fix the damage, but a few months later it's still leaking, I'm sorry to say. Third attempt in 9 years to fix it- oh well! That's an old house for you!
My boy helped me with a fresh coat of milky white paint. Those little rollers are great for kids. The shade wasn't hugely different than before, but it was enough brighter & cleaner to make all the difference.
I use the Martha Stewart method to place pictures and the new padded headboard. I trace the frames on kraft paper, marking where the nails need to go in for the hooks. Once the templates are arranged pleasingly, you nail the hooks in right through the paper, then just tear off the paper.
Anna See prints
I got these fabulous bird block prints from Anna See on Etsy. I framed them in floating frames like she suggested so you can see the deckled edges of the paper.
The padded headboard was fairly easy to make. We cut a piece of plywood to 21"x67" which we tested over our Ikea platform bed in kraft paper to make sure of the proportion. I left it there for a few days, ok a month and a half, before I felt totally secure with it. Then I cut some 2" foam to the same size with one of those electric meat cutters (cuts like butter!). If I were to do it again, I'd go thicker with the foam- maybe 3" or more. I cut the fabric & a layer of batting 5" bigger than plywood/foam all around to allow for wrapping around the edge. To reduce bulk, I trimmed the batting from the corner.
Am I a bad mom for letting my 5year-old use the staple gun? There was no stopping him so I supervised. it's kind of nice to have two sets of hands for this, so one person can hold the fabric taut while the other staples. To get even tension, you want to start in the middle and staple top & bottom across from each other, then repeat on the sides. Work you way around alternating like this, leaving the corners for last.
The corners are a little tricky. It's like doing origami to get a nice fold there. Patience. Experiment until it looks neat. We used two flush mount hangers from our local mom-and-pop hardware store to hang the headboard. Home Depot did not have them- the bums! Even with the Martha Stewart method, hanging the headboard was a bit of a comedy of errors. Being so wide, it was really obvious if it was a little off level. There are 30 holes or so behind it from us redrilling over and over to make it right.
after again
And here it is again in 3/4 view taken with my new wide angle lens! The final touches were switching out the rice paper lights for more more functional table lamps from Target and customizing a plain white duvet cover with a linen appliqué band (pain in the butt!). Guests, you may make your reservations now!


Anna See said...

The result is gorgeous! I love the padded headboard and will have to get some table lamps from Target! Thanks so much for including my birds :)

Unknown said...

I've slept there! Carl says it is time to go back. Of course, I agree. Love it!

Becky said...

You guys are welcome any time, Cynthia!

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