Saturday 29 October 2011

The Project That Didn't Want to End...

Not too long ago, I asked my hubby a silly question.
"Have you ever started a project, only to get halfway through and realize you have NO IDEA what the heck you're doing?!" I was currently working on some project that I apparently realized was totally over my head, and thought I'd see if he could relate.
He gave me a funny look. "Yah. Every time you ask me to build something for you."

Well...let me introduce you to the latest addition to our home that brought the feeling of "what in the world am I doing?" to both of us over and over again....

The tufted headboard.

For those of you who follow on the FB page, you've read the odd status update about this headboard here and there, and if you were counting (which you probably weren't cause that'd be kinda weird), you'd know that it has taken WEEKS and WEEKS to finish!!
A few times I started singing...It's the Project that never just goes on and on, my friend...
In fact, it took well over eight weeks to complete, thanks to lots of mistakes and dumb uneducated decisions.

Originally I had intended to record our steps so that I could do a tutorial on it.
But as the project went on (and on and on), we both realized we really had no idea what we were doing, and there was no way I was going to pretend we did and attempt to tell you how to do it!

Not that you really need another tutorial...there are so many fabulous ones all over blogland already.
That's what got me going in the first place!

So - I thought instead of telling you how to do it, I'd point out some things that we didn't think about before starting our project. Sound okay?

First of all...we wanted a contemporary looking piece. We came up with the idea of a wide black frame and a tufted center. I thought it was a pretty original idea...until I joined Pinterest and found a dozen or more similar to ours already pinned. Ha!
At any rate, hubby knows me well and decided that the tufted center should be removable, without having to take apart the frame. I am a commitment-phobe after all and tend to get bored and fall out of love easily.
Strangely, hubby says this tendency of  mine is a bit unnerving for him.
So, through lots of sweat and tears, hubs made two separate pieces (frame and insert) so that when the day arrives that I no longer love and adore black and white, we can easily remove the fabric center, reupholster and repaint the frame. Brilliant, no?! I knew I married him for more than his looks!

Before we finished it with the white fabric, we stapled down an old cotton sheet, using exactly the same upholstery method (pull tight!!). Now, if/when I want to change out the white fabric for something else, the foam and batting will stay in place, thanks to the sheet!

This should be obvious, but to us upholstery dummies it wasn't...make sure you pull your top fabric tight TOO! We thought since the cotton was tight, we could just snugly wrap the white around everything and then go ahead with the tufting.
 Nope...we ended up having to take it apart and redo it thanks to lots of wrinkling.
Sometimes I wonder where we come up with our ideas!

(if anyone out there particularly loves ironing bottom sheets, please feel free to come over and iron mine!)

When hubs was figuring out the measurements to build the frame, he asked if I wanted it to be flush with the sides of the mattress, or to extend past the mattress. I had no idea! I was so concerned about doing this "right", that I started scouring the internet for pictures to see what the "right" way was. To the best of my knowledge, there is no "right" way so we decided to build the frame about 2" wider than the mattress.

And I'm so glad we did. I love that I can see all of the frame and that it's not hidden behind the mattress.

When I was purchasing the upholstery supplies, the sales assistant asked how thick I wanted the foam.
Once again, I had no idea! I'm really not sure how we started on this project so unprepared.
I couldn't decide if I wanted the fabric flush with the frame, or coming out past the frame! After much deliberation, we decided on 1 1/2 inches of foam so we would have a decent amount of cush extending past the frame, and allow for a nice deep tuft. That meant, however, that we needed to use one layer of 1" foam and another layer of 1/2" foam. I do NOT recommend this, even if it is less costly than using thicker foam. It's too much hassle to fight with the layers and keep them would have been much simpler to go with 2" foam and put out the extra dollars.

We kept the tufting to a modern minimum. It's a king sized headboard and we used two rows of five 1.5" buttons (fabric covered). The top row is 10" down and the side buttons are 10" in...and the remaining buttons were spaced evenly by dividing in halves. Hopefully that made sense.
In my internet searching, I came across a great tip for securing the backs of the buttons. After running the upholstery thread (I used four strands of thread doubled up, and looped through the button once), through the button and back down, we tied the thread around a finishing nail and then twisted the nail around and around, in order to get a deeper tuft. I pushed pretty hard on the button, while hubby twisted the nail on the bottom and then he stapled the thread ends into place. It worked like a charm and I highly recommend it!

And there you have it! Hopefully I gave you a few things to consider before starting your project, unlike us, and you will be able to finish yours much sooner and with less headaches!

Now...on to dressing that bed!! I come! 
Feathered Nest Friday



The DIY Show Off
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

To see the other great parties I'm linking up to, click HERE!


  1. Evie, this is gorgeous. Bravo on a job well done! What a great hubs you have being so understanding & helpful. :)

  2. Before I scrolled down very far I thought the project that would never end was going to be that gorgeous stenciled wall! I have SO wanted to try it but haven't stocked up with patience for that one yet. Oh, the headboard is fabulous too! So different than anything else I've it! Now that it's DONE it was really worth it, right? ;-)

  3. Absolutely beautiful. Amazing job!

  4. Well it was worth all that work because it's stunning!! Straight out of a magazine, perfect!

  5. Ha! Don'tcha just love projects like that?! NOT! I did a similar headboard this summer and was originally going to do the buttons, but after getting it hung up to decide, it never came back down. :o) I love ours and I especially love the fact that I didn't spend over $300 for the Pottery Barn one!!! Yours looks great. It turned out really, really good.

  6. Just beautiful! I love the frame and how it extends past the mattress!
    I recieved the neat pumpkin in the mail yesterday, I love the velvety leaves and the fabric the pumpkin is made from...wonderful fall pumpkin that I will have out for Thanksgiving! Thank you so much!


  7. I know it was a lot of work the the final result is beautiful! Love the stenciled wall too.

  8. Oh my gosh, it is gorgeous! Great job!

  9. It looks beautiful!
    So all the headaches were worth it, right? :)

  10. Love your headboard! Looks like a high end hotel. Good job.

  11. You'll never convince me that you didn't know what you were doing - it looks great! Visiting from WUW.

  12. It turned out great --- it was obviously worth it to muddle through!

  13. This is gorgeous! I need to get started on my own headboard now!

  14. The completed project is beautiful--worth all your hard work. Thanks for linking up to Share the Love Wednesday!

  15. The finished headboard makes it look like you both knew what you were doing and are pro's. Love it.

  16. Wow it turned out beautiful! Nicely done! Thanks for linking up with us at Show & Share!


  17. I love this headboard!!! I love the stenciled wall :) Great J*O*B!! Your newest follower.

  18. Very sleek and expensive looking. Great job.

  19. All your hard work really paid off! It's beautiful and looks very expensive.

    Thanks for linking your creativity to Potpourri Friday!

  20. Wow! For "not knowing what you were doing" you sure figured it out! Your headboard is beautiful!

  21. Tweeting this. It's amazing! Worth all of the time and effort. Wow!!!!

  22. I love this headboard! It came out great!

  23. It turned out beautifully. I really like the final product.

  24. Nice work! It looks fabulous especially against your stenciled wall! Thanks so much for linking up to The Creative Spark. I'll be featuring this tomorrow. Have a wonderful Sunday!
    Jenn :)

  25. You are so funny! I just finished a headboard last night. I thought about tufting one, and then realized it would be A LOT of work! So, I went with nailheads instead and will be blogging about it next week! So glad that your project finally ended, and it turned out gorgeous!

  26. OMGoodness I love how it turned out it is beautiful. I hope you love it cuz I think it is totally worth all that stress. it is beautiful. I wanted to drop by to let you know that I featured you this week on my show and share post. Come check it out and grab a feature button. Thank you so much for linking it up.

  27. I absolutely LOVE this headboard. This is exactly what we want to make for our room! Ahhh can't wait to show this to my hubby!

  28. It looks beautiful! {And very expensive!} Y'all did a wonderful job!!! :)

  29. Not only is this gorgeous, but hilarious, too. I can totally empathize as I made our king headboard, too! It's giant, "leather" wrapped with nailhead trim....and worth it!
    I love how yours turned out. Not an easy task!


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