First off, I sketched the plans.. because you know me.. if there's an opportunity for graphs or spreadsheets.. I'm on it.
Then, I cut a piece of super-large craft paper the width of the head board and folded it in half. I freehanded the curved top of the headboard and then cut it out. Once unfolded, you have a perfectly symmetrical cut. Bliss.. :)
Cut your sheet of plywood to the width of the headboard as well, tape on your stencil at the height you sketched out, and then trace the curve.
Then, take this baby to it: The Jigsaw.
You don't have to do this next step since you're upholstering it anyway, but if you're OCD like me, take a belt sander to it & smooth out any imperfections. Safety glasses recommended.. Penguin pj's & non-matching shirt optional.
Next, use a macho-metal-super-ruler (or whatever they're called) & tape measure to graph out your tufting holes. Then drill with a small-ish bit (I used 1/8" & it worked perfectly).
I picked up some 1" high density foam at JoAnn's in addition to the random foam I already had on hand. Just like good decorating, mix the old & new to cut costs. I pieced it together (yes, it looks rather ghetto now, but it won't in the end) & secured with a light coat of spray adhesive.
I had one of those old "egg crate" mattress pads kicking around that we weren't using, so I cut it to fit the headboard & flipped it smooth-side up. I secured it onto the other foam w/ a tiny bit of spray adhesive. If you want noticeable tufting, you have to have a good amount of padding.
I topped this off with two layers of quilt batting, secured with staples on the back.
Then, it's time for the fabric. Like I mentioned before, I got the fabric in the home decor clearance section of JoAnn's for $7/yd. It's nice & thick & durable- which is important. The tufting is very tight. Therefore, the fabric has to be pretty tough. I wrapped it around the headboard & started stapling.
The corners were pretty thick with all the batting, so they required a little more oomph in securing. My dad had these little "wire staples" that worked perfectly. Total improvisation, but it worked!
Once the fabric was all secured, I began the tufting process. I had already used fabric-covered button kits to complete the buttons (how's that for redundancy?). I used thin wire instead of thread for added strength. First, I threaded an upholstery needle with the wire and pushed it through the hole in the back out through the fabric in the front. One side of the wire was then pulled through the hole entirely. The end was then wound very tightly around the hook on the back of the button.
Here's where you need a partner. One person pulls the wire tight through the back while one person pushes the button in all the way to the wood. Then, the wire is stapled down several times back and forth & pounded in with a hammer. Those suckers aren't coming loose! :)
Repeat that step a whole 'buncha times & you get this:
Lastly, to make things nice & sturdy, I (and by I, I mean me, my dad & Zane) stained & mounted two 2x4's to the back.
We bolted a 2x8 cut the width of the bedframe onto the bedframe itself...
& then bolted the 2x4's to the 2x8.
And, there you have it! The finished product is a headboard that looks like you paid a whole lot more for it & that fun sense of pride in knowing you didn't.
*For those of you new to the blog, we're currently living in my parents' basement apartment while building our new house. Hence, the inadequate lighting & tight spaces.. doesn't make for the best photos, but it sure is saving us money!