Thursday, March 25, 2010

An upholstered headboard (my way)!

I hope you saw my daybed project on AOL's new DIY Life website. The bed was made from two twin headboards that I found at a local yard sale for $10. You can learn how it was made by checking out my post: DIY Warrior: Make a Daybed from Twin Headboards. If you're wondering how I created the linen upholstered headboard panels shown left, read on.

The materials you will need include foam core board, batting, fabric, wood trim (I chose half-round molding for this project), packing or duct tape, brads (tiny nails), double sided mounting tape, and paint or stain to finish the trim. In terms of tools, you will need a miter box to cut precise 45 degree angles for corner joints, a hammer to nail the trim to the headboard, scissors to cut the fabric, and a single-edged razor (or an X-acto knife) to cut the foam core board and batting to size.

Step 1: Measure the inside dimensions (height and width) of the inset panel on your headboard. Since the trim needs to frame the panel, you will need to account for the molding width too. Once you have determined the width and height of the panel area, minus the trim measurement top, bottom and sides, mark and cut your foam core board to size.

Step 2: Place your fabric face down on the floor or a work table and position the pre-cut foam core panel on top. Be sure that the foam core is aligned with the pattern; this is especially important if you are using a striped, checked or patterned fabric. Now, using your foam core panel as a pattern, mark and cut the fabric leaving an extra two inches on all four sides.

Step 3: Determine the amount of batting you wish to have under the fabric. I used several layers to create a soft, cushiony look, but you can use less or more depending on your own requirements. You can even create a flat inset by wrapping the foam core in fabric with no batting. When you've determined the amount of batting, place the foam core board on top and cut the batting with a razor or knife to the exact size of the board. If the batting is larger than the foam core board, it will be too large to fit the headboard requirements.

Step 4: Its time to assemble the upholstery. Place you fabric face down on the floor or work table. Position the pre-cut batting on top of the fabric and the foam core panel on top of that. Remember to center everything on the fabric so that you have enough material to wrap all sides of the panel. Now, keeping everything in place, gently pull the bottom edge of the fabric like you were wrapping a present. Be sure to create a clean edge (not bulging ) and secure with tape. Continue working your way around the foam core panel until all sides are secured. It is important that the corners form clean lines on the front side and lie flat on the reverse side. Depending on the weight of the fabric, you may have to use scissors to cut away some of the excess fabric. Once you have all sides secured, check the front to make certain everything is aligned and edges and corners are good, and then secure with additional tape.

Step 5: With the panels complete, its time to work on the trim. Using your earlier measurements, cut the trim to fit the top, bottom and sides of the inset headboard panel. Measure carefully and miter the corners with a 45 degree cut to create a professional look. Test the boards to make certain they fit snug and form tight, clean corners. You should paint or stain the trim pieces before securing them with nails to the headboard. This will prevent you from having to paint alongside your fabric panel later.

Step 6: All that's left is securing the panels to the headboards. I used a 3M Scotch heavy duty mounting tape. (The same one that came in handy for my paint-by-number painting gallery blog post: Great Art for —so much—Less! published in November 2009). Press the panel firmly to the headboard and its time to take pride in a job well done!