Nailed It!

posted by Christina on , , , , , ,


Crate & Barrel: Colette Bed
What happens when you fall in love with a great upholstered headboard with nailhead trim that is just way out of your budget? Well, you try to convince your hubby it's a great investment - and when that fails, you start to consider his revelation that he could easily help make that headboard for you.

The headboard that started it all was the lovely Colette bed from Crate & Barrel, as pictured above. My hubby assured me that this would be a super simple project; but with all his other easy tasks slowly mounting, I figured if we added this to the list I'd never have a headboard.

Well, the lure of the headboard was just too great for me to resist; try as I might. I thought I would at least go online and check out how difficult the project would be. I came across blog after blog of amazing DIY'ers tutorials on this very subject; and almost everyone indicated that they made their headboards (upholstery, trim, and all) on their own and in about two hours on a weekend. OK, so that sounded promising:

1 Crafty Person + 2 Hours Labour = 1 Custom Headboard

Yeah, that's not so bad! And if that's all it takes then really, how long and how much effort could it take for both me and my hubby to knock this sucker out?
Southern Exposure
Then I came across a blog by designer Rachel Bishop (Southern Exposure) and was blown away by her headboard - and that was it; I was sold. Rachel's headboard was just stunning and, before I figured out she actually is a professional designer, I thought if she can make such a beautiful professional looking headboard then surely so can I!

Here is my story as to how my hubby and I made our own upholstered headboard with nailhead trim:
Plywood too large? Just have staff at the home improvement
store cut your plywood in two for easy transport and
reassemble using brackets at home!
First you go to the home improvement store and purchase some plywood to the correct size (ours is for a queen sized bed). Then, mesmerized by all the intricate design possibilities, you force your hubby to pick up a jigsaw and painstakingly cut out the way too complicated design you decided on.
Framing the headboard
Then, since the hell of cutting out the design wasn't enough, you get hubby to cut out a frame for the headboard. This gives the headboard more depth and support, as well as a place to nail in your oh-so-simple nailhead trim.
Foaming the headboard;
or foaming at the mouth (I can't remember)
More fun with cutting out shapes to line the inside of your frame with foam which adds a little plushness to the headboard (just attach using spray adhesive... or a few staples using a staple gun).
After a "few" hours that fabric isn't going anywhere
(not with the amount of staples we put in!)
Many, many, hours later... oh yes, more than two that is for sure... you finish attaching two layers of batting and your chosen fabric to the headboard using a staple gun (we used P. Kaufmann Soho cotton fabric in silver/beige from Designer Fabrics). This was by far the most frustrating part of the project. Using a cotton fabric is almost impossible to work with around curves. Take it from me - use linen!
Hello little nailheads; I hate you so much!
Oh wait, still haven't had enough of cut outs yet? Well good news, you'll need them as templates to help guide you in painstakingly nailing in each and every nailhead for your trim. Hmm, did I say attaching the cotton fabric to the plywood was the most frustrating - well, I guess it's a tie then, because this was most certainly a pain! Because I was too eager to get the project underway I did not order a nailhead spacer as some bloggers suggest. Mark my words - GET A SPACER! I ended up fashioning one myself (actually two - a "draft" then the final version), which was way too time consuming when you consider they are already pre-made and available for cheap. The spacer helps evenly distance the nailheads and keep them in place while you gently nail them in using a mallet.
Although terribly time consuming, not to mention frustrating,
nailing in each nailhead gives you more control and a
professional finish (versus nailhead trim kits)
And then the beast is done, and you can have your life back...
Sigh of relief!
That is, right after you drag it up two floors and attach it to your bed frame; here's the final product on the bed (at least I got the Crate & Barrel bedding I wanted!)
After all the work I just can't stop staring at it
And there's the headboard in all its glory! Yup, this project took forever, and we hated every minute of it. But wow, we did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself; now, onto the next headboard for the guest room....

I would like to send out a very special


For featuring my headboard on their blogs:
Rachel at {Southern Exposure}, post {here}
Vanessa and Heather at {At The Picket Fence}, post {here}
Nicole at {Beach House in the City}, post {here}

For featuring my headboard on her Facebook page:
Courtney from {French Country Cottage}, page {here}.

Again, thank you all SO MUCH!

Now I would love to hear from all of you:

If you've attempted your own headboard project please share the details (and perhaps a link to some photos). Am I just nuts, or was this project seriously tough!? Has there been any other project that you might have tried that originally seemed so easy but turned out driving you up the wall?

I am also linking this project to: Funky Junk Interiors, The 36th Avenue, Saved by Suzy, At The Picket Fence, Miss Mustard Seed, Remodelaholic, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, French Country Cottage, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Tip Junkie, Not Just a Housewife, The Shabby Nest, and Fine Craft Guild. There are a lot of great projects linked on these blogs, so please do take a peek!


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  3. Courtni C.

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