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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Head of the Bedroom

This was my first (and only, at this point) project using a drill. I've been wanting to make a headboard for awhile, and I finally had the chance during spring break and while Mr. R was away. I searched for headboard projects online and found several that said to hang the headboard on the wall, but because we live in a small, rented apartment, I didn't want to drill a bunch of holes in the wall nor place the headboard based on where the studs are. So I knew I was going to build legs for my board.

Armed with my measurements, I went to home depot and was very lucky to find a really nice employee, Miguel, to help me. We have a king-size bed, and with an inch extra on each side, the headboard had to be 78" wide. I decided to make the actual headboard 24" tall based on recommendations from some of the websites I found, and because our bed is on raisers, the legs would have to be 32" to make the total height 56". I bought 1/2" plywood cut to size into two pieces, each 39"x24". The only reason why I did this was because one large piece would definitely not fit into our tiny two-seater car. Actually, the two pieces barely fit, but I'll get to that later. For the legs, I decided on 2x3's (meaning that I told Miguel I wanted the cheapest wood possible that will hold up my headboard, and he told me to use 2x3's). Those were cut into 2 pieces measuring 56" long, and with the scraps, Miguel cut 4 pieces measuring about 30" long. Those would be used to attach the two pieces of plywood together. I also purchased 1 5/8" drywall screws.

I wish I would've taken a picture of me driving home from Home Depot, with the top down, wood hanging out, and me squished against the driver's side. Luckily, we live about two blocks from the store, so it was a very short (but cold) ride. Total cost at home depot: about $30.

It's drill time. I set up my building area in the living room using a "work bench" made of two small Ikea Lack tables. First, I attached the two pieces of plywood together using the 4 short 2x3's. I started with the outer two and worked my way in. Next, I attached the legs upside down, so the headboard could be leaning against a wall. Here's what it looks like so far:

I painted the legs with a layer each of primer and white paint that I had leftover from the drawer project. Next, it was off to the fabric store. Again, I was lucky to find nice people to help me. This is a rarity in NY! All of the instructions I found online said to buy upholstery foam, but they suggested to just get an extra layer of batting because it's cheaper. So I bought two layers worth of batting, which I eventually cut to about 86"x32" (4" more than the headboard on each side), a can of spray adhesive, and the cheapest, plain white fabric I could find, which was cut to about 90"x36" (6" more than the headboard on each side). Total cost at the fabric store: $70.

This was my favorite part because it was one of the first beautiful, hot days of Spring. Unfortunately, it was also the same day that the wasps started coming out, but luckily, they really hate spray adhesive. With the headboard lying face-up on the ground, I cut the batting in half lengthwise, and put it on top of the headboard. I pulled up half of the batting so I could spray and lay it back down, working towards the end. I repeated that on the other side, and then again with the second layer of batting. Then, I moved the headboard and put the fabric face down, and then laid the headboard on top, also face down (the batting should be against the fabric now). With the help of MMG and her husband, we stapled the fabric to the back of the headboard, starting with the bottom, then sides, then top, and then corners. The corners were the hardest part and took a few tries to get it perfect and unwrinkled. We put it behind our bed, and voila!

Once we decide on a color scheme for our bedroom, I'm going to cover the headboard with a coordinating pattern, but for now, I think the white looks good. That was fun!

Total cost for the headboard was about $100, but if I ever make one again (probably for MMG!), I'll do a few things differently. We don't have a Joann's Fabrics nearby, but they definitely have cheaper prices than the local shop here. I'd probably buy the batting and spray adhesive there (or online if I'm patient enough to wait for it to be shipped), and then go to Ikea and buy a twin size sheet to cover the batting. I bought some sheets there for $3 each to make a quick bedskirt, so something similar would have made the project about $35 cheaper.

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