I read through dozens of helpful tutorials online before embarking on my own project, and was most inspired by Southern Exposure's. She made a gorgeous headboard with a simple and elegant shape, thick edge, and stylish nailhead detailing. I followed her model very closely, so I encourage you to check hers out as well!
Even when following a model or tutorial, with any DIY, there's usually some trial-and-error and adaptation along the way. So, in the spirit of good blogging, I documented my own step-by-step process.
First, I taped off the shape of my headboard on the wall to determine the height and exact shape. I played with this masking tape mock-up for days before getting comfortable that I had the right height.
Next, I sketched out my design (based on the Southern Exposure model) and determined the measurements. I used a 48" x 65" piece of OSB (based on a little research that suggested OSB has less of an off-gassing problem than plywood) and added primed solid wood in 5" widths for the edge pieces and legs.
I was lucky enough to have my contractor (who was remodeling our bathrooms at the time) cut the pieces and build the frame, since I don't have a jigsaw and the OSB was super-heavy. If you don't have able and willing contractors that happen to be at your house... you could have the pieces cut at Home Depot or Lowes and rent a truck for about $20 to bring the materials home. You'd need access to a jigsaw to get the curves, though.
Once the frame is built, the next step is attaching upholstery foam on the inside part of the frame. I used poly-fil NU-Foam to avoid urethane products. Rather than using spray adhesive, I just stapled in a few strategic places to hold the foam in place.Next, I covered the headboard with batting (Warm & Natural in twin size).
Stapling the batting is easy because it stretches. So, when I got to the velvet, I did not anticipate how tricky those curved edges would be!Next up is attaching your upholstery fabric. Follow the same steps as for the batting - laying the fabric flat on the work surface (front-side down), and then the headboard face-down on top. (This was when I realized I shouldn't have been skimpy with my fabric! See what a close call it was in the photo below.)
I tried to cover up those ragged edges. It's not pretty from the back, but luckily, it doesn't really need to be!
I did ultimately cover the legs entirely, but you can't see that in these photos.Another lift-up to check on progress. (As with most of my projects, I had to work late at night after the kids were asleep... apologies for the grainy photos.)
Once the upholstery is done, it's time to plan out the nail-head trim design. I determined the distance from the edge, and taped it off with painters tape.
Have fun getting to work with those upholstery nails! I used a nailhead spacer, and it took me a while to get the hang of it, so I'd recommend starting on one of the legs, rather than right at the top - where mistakes will be fully visible. This is a very tedious process (hours of work), but I am really glad I went with the individual nails, rather than the pre-fab trim tape. I think the rounded edges would have been virtually impossible to pull off with trim-tape.
As you can see, this is not an exact science, but I like to think the imperfections give it character. And, once it's all done - you really don't notice them.
Getting just the right curve was basically a game of trial-and-error.
Once it's all done, the final step is securing the headboard to the wall and bed-frame. Per my contractor's suggestion, I used velcro to affix the headboard to the wall. I used adhesive velcro and attached long strips to the wall just below the top of the headboard. Then, I stapled the other side of the velcro strips to the back of the headboard. It holds really well, and didn't require drilling into my plaster wall - always better avoided!
To attach the headboard to the bed-frame, simply place a few screws through the harvard frame directly into the wood legs.
And, there you have it!
What I loved about this design, is that you have a soft cushy center, but the double-layer of wood and OSB around the edge allows you to attach the upholstery nails without nailing through a 2 inch layer of foam. The thick edge also gives it a nice solid look, and the added height above the euro pillows creates a bit of drama and is a grounding force in the room.
One word of wisdom... I love the look and feel of the velvet, but a dark colored velvet is high maintenance! Every speck of dust is visible... so, I'm constantly vacuuming, and keep a lint roller near the bed.
Thanks again, Shelli
for inviting me to be your guest today!
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