Thursday, February 28, 2013

DIY Headboard {Ethan Allen Inspired}- Part 1

I am excited to show you guys my Ethan Allen inspired DIY headboard with tutorial! Sorry for being so absent this week, we have had some sickness going around but I still wanted to hop online and share this project I finished last week that I have been so excited about. I ran into a few issues so I am hoping my experience and tips might help you if your thinking of tackling a fabric headboard.
(I may have to break this post up into a couple posts because I have lots of pics and info to share and it will probably be an overload!) I found a headboard I loved at Ethan Allen, but I didn't have the budget for an $800 plus headboard so I decided to make my own. I went to the fabric store and searched for fabric. I knew I wanted it white...but I was nervous about stains! I found a perfect faux leather made of white vinyl (which can be wiped and cleaned)  and knew that it would be perfect.

I also went and bought some pegboard for backing, thinking this would make the tufting part oh so easy. Well...I ran into a few snags. First off, after ruining about 4 buttons (and the button making tool itself) from my button making kit I realized that I wouldn't be able to make tufted buttons out of the same fabric I chose. It was just too thick. In the end, I decided I would rather keep the fabric then have a tufted headboard with a lighter fabric that might easily stain. Since I wasn't going to need the pegboard for tufting I knew I wanted something I could reinforce a little better that would be a bit sturdier. I headed back to the hardwood store for plywood. 
Wanting the corners in a cutout shape, I found a leftover sign in our garage that I cut to use as a template and traced it on the plywood. 
After tracing it out, I used my jigsaw and made the corner cuts to get the basic shape I was going for with my headboard.
I decided that since I wasn't going to be adding tufted details that I wanted to make sure and keep the nailhead trim. I have seen lots of different headboards and some of them just seemed too thin after they added the trim.  So I used some scrap wood pieces (1x2's) and cut them to fit the edges of the plywood as a border so that when I nailed in the trim, the headboard would still be sturdy and plush looking. I used liquid nails to hold them in place and then used finishing nails and a hammer to secure the border to the plywood. (Most people have nail guns and air compressors and that makes this much easier, but it can still be done without them!)
Here I ran into my 2nd big mistake and didn't realize until it was too late! As I have mentioned before, I do all my DIY projects with limited tools and virtually NO help from my husband. When I told him I was making a headboard he said "why do we need a headboard." lol, you get what I am working with right? Well, I think I could have used another helper to figure out the corners. :) I decided just to piece straight scrap pieces around the corners hoping that if I got it close enough and after I add the foam you won't be able to tell. can see that the corners aren't nice and tight in a few places where there were gaps in the border, so I would recommend you get more plywood and cut out a 2" corner cutout to add as a border to the corners so it is completely even with no gaps. See photo below for corner mistakes:
At this point I got my 2" foam and cut it out to fit inside the border. I had to piece it around the corners. I attached it using spray adhesive to help it stick and stay where it needed to be!
You'll notice the foam kept puckering up so used more scrap pieces to hold it down until it dried. Notice you make sure and leave your border uncovered. This is so that you have something nice and sturdy to hold your nailhead trim in. Otherwise it won't be able to stick past the foam.
After I got the foam all put where it needed to be, I used low loft quilt batting to cover the entire headboard and stapled it onto the back of the plywood. The low loft batting helps create a seamless effect to the foam and headboard and will make your fabric look much nicer and it isn't too thick so it still allows your trim to attach with ease to the wood border.
 Next, I laid out my fabric right side down (in the house)
 and I carried the headboard and laid it front side down on the fabric and started stapling it onto the headboard. Make sure you work opposite edges and pull your fabric tight! 
 I kept checking for bunching to make sure it was staying taut. For the corners, I made sure to cut it into strips to help the corners so the fabric wouldn't gather and bunch. Then I pulled each strip tightly and secured it with several staples.
Here's how it was looking after I got the fabric all stapled on.
 After I had it all nice and tight I turned the headboard over to check and make sure there weren't any bunches and to prepare to add the nailhead trim!
Stay tuned for part 2 of my DIY Headboard to see the finishing details.  
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  1. This has such a luxurious look to it. You did a great job and I love it!

  2. Classy! This headboard looks absolutely amazing! Great work! Looking forward to reading part 2. ;)

  3. What a gorgeous gorgeous headboard!!!
    Definitely will be back for part 2!

  4. This is so impressive! Looking forward to seeing more. :)

  5. Looks fabulous. We're in need of a new head board and now you've really got me thinking I can do this myself. Found you via Somewhat Simple linky. I would love for you to visit my cleaning blog Angela Says. And I can't wait to see part 2.


  6. Looks great, a lot of work but the results are worth it. I will come back and see how you finished it up.

  7. This is amazing, Marie!!! Love love love. Someday, I'll get around to doing my bedroom - you have some great tips here!!

    1. I know, I am FINALLY getting around to working on my room! LOL

  8. Hi marie, I'm part of the I heart nap time creative team and just wanted to stop by and say hi! Love this tutorial, we need a new head board so bad but I just can't get myself to buy one. Maybe I can actually make one as cute as yours:)

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Kristy! You should make one...its really kind of easy and fun to make it exactly how you want. :)

  9. I can't tell you how long I've been wanting to make my own headboard just like this. It is so beautiful. Not sure I'm handy enough, so I'll have to live vicariously through you. :) Can't wait to see the rest of your post!

  10. Never in our marriage have we had a headboard. As soon as have a real house an don't move 10 x's a year I'm making this one! Love it..


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