Tuesday, October 27, 2015

DIY upholstered headboard



If there’s one thing you should know about upholstery foam, it’s this — it’s crazy expensive. Like, honestly, it’s so much more expensive than you think.

I’d been wanting to make an upholstered headboard for years now, but every bed in our house had a headboard that was worth keeping. So when my sister moved into her new apartment in September, I pounced at the chance to make her something special.

It’s quite fun to do a project on someone else’s dime, especially when the upholstery foam alone costs more than you’d spend on two restaurant dinners for your family of four.

We decided to make an extra-tall, super-plush headboard covered in textured charcoal grey fabric. Once we’d picked up the supplies ($30 on fabric, $50 on wood and a staggering $90 on five 24x24 pieces of three-inch foam), Michael got to work building a simple frame. He constructed a plywood back that measured 52” wide and 48” high, and then added removable 2x4 legs to make the finished headboard 60” tall.

When it was time to attach the squares of foam, I realized it would have been a good idea to make the headboard exactly the size of four squares. Alas, we did not do that. Oh well. I used a serrated bread knife to slice the fifth piece into slivers for the gaps. We secured the foam with a bit of contact cement so nothing shifted when we put on the fabric.

(Confession time: We actually had to purchase a second piece of fabric because the first piece wasn’t quite wide enough to wrap around the massive squares of foam. There may or may not have been a tired late-night adult tantrum.)

Upholstering a giant headboard is really no harder than tackling a little project, like a bench, except that it’s heavier and more awkward and ... generally much more difficult.

Continue reading in my weekly DIY column, My Handmade Home ...

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