Five years ago, we moved into a new house. A brand-new house is marvelous for many reasons. A clean slate! New roof! New electrical and plumbing fixtures! New flooring! New windows and walls and doors and ceilings! The freshness of it is wonderful.
The not-so-wonderful parts are hidden at first. For instance, those brand-new, energy-efficient windows are naked. Those freshly-painted walls are bare. And so the adventure of moving into a new house may include the fact that all your money goes to pay for necessities like blinds or shutters to cover your naked windows, and you have very little left for the fun of decorating the new space.
One of the reasons we chose our house was because we could tell that our existing furniture would fit nicely into our new spaces. The scale and proportion of this house fit our stuff just right. Still, there were blank spaces here and there.
One of those was the guestroom. I was beyond thrilled to have a house with a dedicated guest bedroom and bath en suite. I love having a space set aside that's always ready for guests. I already had twin beds, a nightstand, and a dresser. But the beds were just frames and mattresses--not exactly the luxe look I wanted in a guest bedroom.
Then I happened upon a roll of fabric on sale for less than $1/yard. With that fabric in hand, I bought a sheet of plywood and had the nice man at Home Depot cut me two pieces 41" wide x 44" tall. Using a dinner plate as a template, I rounded off the top edges with a jigsaw. I had some old foam mattress pads in the attic, so I cut one of those in half and glued foam onto the front of the plywood, making a nice, cushy surface. After that, I upholstered the foamy board with my $1 fabric and added a little trim, and presto! I had comfortable, pretty headboards that cost very little.
Fast forward five years. I still liked the idea of upholstered headboards, but the gold fabric was looking a little tired. I still liked floral fabric I'd used to make throw pillows and window treatments, and I still liked the room's other furnishings. So I wanted to keep that, but I wanted to change the headboards.
Enter this beautiful fabric, found last week at my local discount fabric store:
54" wide, $7.99/yard. Score.
If you've never upholstered anything, a headboard like this is an excellent place to start. It's really as simple as wrapping a present.
Lay your fabric out on a flat surface (I used the guest room floor), wrong side up. Center the item to be covered on the fabric. Then simply pull the fabric onto the item you're covering, making sure to keep the edges straight (use the fabric pattern to guide you) as you go. Secure the fabric with a staple gun. I suggest using just a few staples at first, because if you end up having to re-do a section, it's much easier to pull out just a few staples. Wrap, pull, and staple all the way around your item. When you get to the final side, pull extra hard to make sure the fabric is taut and wrinkle-free. Turn the item over to be sure that the fabric placement is right, then go back and add plenty of staples to make sure everything is secure.
I wanted a little something extra to finish off these headboards, and I found cording that included the green of my new fabric with the red and gold colors in the throw pillows that I wanted to re-use.
This part was very rewarding because it took so little time: less than five minutes and it was done.Voila! A brand-new headboard!
You may have seen headboards that were built onto special legs or mounted directly to the wall with special brackets. I'm here to tell you that you can make a great headboard simply by upholstering a piece of plywood and leaning it up against the wall. No mounting required. Push your bedframe and mattress against it; the weight of the bed will hold it in place.
The finished product:
A new look for about $25 per headboard. What do you think?