Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bed Head(board)

Do you ever find that one not-too-well-planned project just leads to another and by the end, all this DIY-ing isn’t worth it?  Happens to me more often than not.  This was one of the few attempted projects that actually was relatively easy from start to finish and didn’t involve more work than bargained for.

It all started when Jason and I went up to Baltimore to clean out a storage unit of his that he had from before we were married.  We both moved a ton in the year leading up to our wedding so now that we’re relatively settled (as in we’ll stay at least 6 months), it was time to clear it out.  We stuffed a U-haul and the jeep full of everything and just had a few things to drop off at the dump before heading out.  Ironically, as he was dropping stuff off at the dump, I noticed we had parked next to a warehouse called “Overstock Outlet.”  It looked like the perfect place to get my craft on, so we browsed a bit.  It’s like the law of the conservation of energy, you know? (Do you know? Or am I revealing my nerdiness too soon?)  As soon as we get rid of something, we just pick up something else so it’s always at a constant level.

Anyways, Overstock Outlet seemed mostly full of stuff out of old hotels: mirrors, tables, frames and headboards.  The last two of which I thought I might actually be able to use!  Neither I nor Jason has really had a proper bed for the last ten years.  We've just had the mattress frame and mattresses, but being married now made us grown-ups, so it was about time to have a proper headboard (or maybe the implication goes the other way? Having a headboard makes us real grown-ups?).  Unfortunately, they only had full size and king size headboards. Our bed is a queen, but the guy working there convinced us the king would only stick out a couple inches.  I figured it was cheap enough that if we really hated it or just didn’t want to keep it forever, I wouldn’t have any regrets, so I think we walked away with a headboard for something like $20 and 6 frames for another $20.  Good thing we had a U-haul.

Because the back was just held together by a few screws/clamps, it didn’t look like it be too hard to unscrew the padded parts, repaint and reupholster.  I think because I planned on using a staple gun, I can use the word “reupholster,” which makes it sound fancy, but honestly, it wasn’t.  If I can do this, I think anyone can.  

The hardest part really was choosing fabric I liked. The one I really liked was also (of course) the most expensive, but I went for it since I really only needed a yard.  I got it from Joanne’s and since it’s impossible to get to a convenient fabric store in the city, just had it shipped, which was a little scary not to be able to test it!

I followed these basic steps:

-Measure as best as you can how much fabric you will need (erring on the side of a few extra inches). I’d recommend a relatively sturdy fabric such as “upholstery fabric.”

-I washed, dried and ironed the fabric just to be sure any shrinkage, ink bleeding, etc. happened before it was forever stapled.

-Unscrew padded parts from the back of the headboard.  (Or if you are lucky, have your husband/man do it.  Not that girls can’t.)

-Stretch tightly and staple along edges.  Be sure to staple far enough to the side so staples don’t show when you put that part back.

-Sand and paint frame.  Let dry 24 hours.

-Screw the upholstered panels back in.

Here is the before picture:

There were actually a ton of layers of fabric underneath when we unscrewed it. I tried to remove the staples and layers of fabric, but it was actually really hard, actually impossible for me to do.

So I just had to try to staple far enough in to not be on the old staples, but not so far in they would show when it was reattached.
When working with a geometric pattern you may need to pay more attention than with solids to ensure that the fabric is straight and you won’t have a skewed pattern (though it may not bother you as much as it would me).  Once I was done, I kind of wished I’d lined up the two pieces of fabric so that the pattern started at the same place on both sides.  Oh well.. next time.

This brings us to the frame, which basically the only thing we did to it was paint it with some sample paint that I bought when trying to decide on wall colors.  It’s Behr’s “Subtle Touch” which is really really light grey, but was close enough to white for me.  It took two coats. I wish we had sanded the frame before painting to smooth it out and help the paint to be sure to stick, but it hasn’t chipped yet.

Because the frame is actually a bit bigger than the bed, Hubs had to drill a couple holes to be able to attach it to the bed frame. After 24 hours of drying, we reattached the upholstered parts.  And the final product!

Overall, I am thrilled with how it turned out.  We just need a bigger bed to fit it now.  Oh well, at least we have room for our side tables.