This DIY headboard project has been on my mind for over a year. It’s taken a really long time for me to actually focus long enough to make it. The last time I worked with thumbtucks on an art project I really liked the outcome so this time I knew the nail trim detail was a must on my headboard project, but it wasn’t easy I tell you.
The celtic twist art above the head is also a DIY recent project.
I wanted to have this finished in one morning but quickly realized that my goal was too ambitious. It took me longer than expected but at least I got done in under a day.
- Upholstery fabric / leather
- Upholstery / Knitting thread (I used the knitting kind)
- Thumb tucks
- Saw ( I used a jigsaw)
- Sander / Sandpaper
- Heavy duty Stapler with staples
- Ruler / Straight edge
- Scissors / Utility knife (I used both interchangeably based on what I was cutting)
- Hammer / Heavy metal object ( I Used a large screw)
1. Cutting the plywood
I measured the width of the bed frame first. Mine was 1100 mm. I decided to have the height of the headboard as 600mm.
I taped two sheets of newspaper together to get a width of 1100mm, then folded down the middle and traced out the shape of half the headboard by free hand. I cut out the shape with a pair of scissors to create a template for the shape of the top of the headboard. This template was very useful in later stages of the project.
I then traced the outline of the newspaper template on the plywood, marked the height from the top as 600mm and drew the rest of the headboard.
To cut out the headboard base, I would need clamps to hold the plywood in place as I sawed. I didn’t have these but I had a really heavy printer which would do the job.
I set the plywood on a table and put the printer on top of it then cut along my pencil line with my jigsaw. This was the fun part.
When I was done cutting, the plywood had a lot of splinters along the cut edges and I needed to get rid of them. I gave the edges a thorough sanding with my sander. You can also use sandpaper and but my sander was much faster to use. A trick I used to do was to wrap the sandpaper on a wooden block and nail it on the sides to make a sanding block for easier handling.
After sanding, I placed the base on a table and laid the fabric (faux leather) leaving about 50mm margin at the top and 100mm on the edges. I then placed the newspaper template on top of the fabric and taped it leaving about 30mm margin from where the top of the headboard would be after folding the fabric over. I think the picture below will make this clear.
I picked a spot and started nailing in the thumbtacks. The plywood was too hard to penetrate so I cut out some cardboard using the template about 30mm wide. I stapled this cardboard to the plywood which made a better surface to nail the thumb tucks into. Working with thumb tucks can be a little tricky especially when you have to keep them in a straight line and with equal spacing.
I developed a few hacks to ensure I got it right with every tuck. Check out the tips at the bottom of this post.
I used the template again to cut out the piece of foam to use. The foam came in 1 inch thickness. I wanted to use two layers but found it hard to stuff in since I had already nailed in the trim.
At this point, I toyed with the idea of tufting a bit but decided against it since the pattern on the fabric was busy enough. However I decided to add a bit of detail. Using a utility knife I punctured two holes and threaded a piece of knitting yarn through. I made a hole in the foam and pulled the yarn through, pulled it tight and tied it on a piece of cardboard. I pulled this cardboard some more and stapled it on the headboard base. I did this in the middle of the headboard then again on either side, 30 cm from the centre.
I finished the headboard by stapling the excess fabric to the back. I struggled a bit with the top of the headboard since I had left a smaller margin so be sure not to do as I did.
If you have been following this far, thank you. This is what the headboard looks like finally
This post is not complete without these free tips. These are super important tips that I put together in a downloadable pdf for you. Get them now.