Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DIY: Not your every day headboard

As you may remember, I think I have been a DIY'er ever since I was born - well maybe since I learned how to use power tools in junior high.  The internet has greatly helped my abilities and spawned many a new ideas.

When we first got married, I made several pieces of furniture for our apartment because we were dirt poor and couldn't buy anything because I had so much extra time on my hands being a med student and all.  I made a headboard, bench for end of bed, and a banquette.  The headboard was recovered a few years later when I changed out the duvet cover.  And now I have redone it again.  But a bit different.

The first version was just a piece of plywood covered with batting and a blanket then framed out with trim.  The second version lost the frame and was covered in a deep chocolate brown and had 3 buttons (no picture).

And now it is a woven headboard.  I got the starter idea from Lowes creative ideas website.  But I wanted to change it up a bit. (UPDATE - Lowes removed the page that spurred my idea)

And here is how I made it  for a queen size (bit different than the Lowe's directions).
What you need: 8ft sheet 1/4" plywood, 2 pieces 1X4 by 6' wood, fabric (I used 3 yds cream corduroy and 2/3 yd orange/cream pinstripe), batting (I reused what was on the old headboard)

1. 1/4" plywood - cheapest one I could find.
2. Had Lowes cut it into 9.5" strips length wise
3. I then cut 3 long strip into 2 pieces - 62" which left 34" pieces for the short pieces
4. Cut another long strip into 2 additional 34" strips (total of 3 long and 5 short pieces)
5. Used spray adhesive and attached 1" (can't use much thicker or it's too hard to weave the boards together) batting strips to wood.
6. Cut strips of fabric 14" wide and 66" or 38" long.
7. Covered batting with strips of fabric.  Secured undersides using wood glue (tried spray adhesive, glue gun, and staples (too long and went through board) but surprisingly wood glue worked the best).
Glued on batting
8. Pulled fabric taut - this is where the wood glue was the best.  I secured one long edge and then the next.  Went back to first long edge (glue was tacky but not dry) and readjusted by pulling more taut.  Repeated on the second edge - got a really nice tight wrap on the fabric and when glue dried I could not pry up fabric without ripping -so pretty darn secure.  Don't secure ends yet.

Fabric wrapped
9. Now time to weave the boards (trying to do this from memory because the directions are no longer on the Lowes site).
- Place the 3 long boards face down next to each other.
- Start with the middle short board face down and weave into long boards - i made it so the 2 outer and 1 middle boards (in white in picture below) had their ends on the right side of the headboard.
- I vaguely remember having to weave through the top and middle long boards with all of the short boards and then adding the bottom long board last.
- Sorry I can't remember this part very well - never thought to copy the Lowes directions down.
- I think when I made the mistakes with this step had to do with the outer short pieces and having them opposite of what they needed to be.
10. Make sure everything is square board by board- truly important step.

11. I attached boards together with screws instead of glue - much easier and less wait time.  I used whatever screws I could find laying around the workbench.  Some were 3/8" long (had to pull out batting so that it would secure into 2nd board) and some were 5/8" - left batting and sometime put extra fabric as spacer so it wouldn't puncture all the way through.
12. Folded over and stapled remaining ends of fabric.  I pulled it taut or smoothed out any wrinkles that may have developed from the weaving step.  I folded the long ends first.  Then wrapped the short ends over it to give it a nice finished look.
Stapled Fabric

Wrapped edges after weaving boards together

12. Made frame from 1x4.  Cut each piece at 19" so I had 2x19" pieces and 2x41" strips.  Again different than Lowes.  I glued the pieces together and then stapled them at the joints on both sides.  The staples don't really add much but I didn't have to wait for the glue to dry.

13.  Attached frame to headboard with screws (didn't use spacer strips like Lowes as this frame is mounted on wide side of frame boards instead of edges -didn't want it to stick out from wall so much and don't think they will warp too much).  Stand it up and make sure it is level - so even if the head board (or frame) is just a bit off square (not noticeably so) you can tweak the frame just a bit to account for this so that in the end it is level.

14. I found where the studs were on the wall I was going to hang it on (usually 16" apart) and then made sure my D-rings were mounted on the frame at the points where the studs were so I didn't have to use anchors.  This was easy for me because the studs were perfectly centered around the center of the wall I was hanging it from.
15.  Attached 2 d-rings to frame.
16. Placed a screw into each stud (I think I used 2" long screws -again whatever I had in the garage) don't screw in all the way - I left about 3/4" out of the wall.

Frame attached
17. Hang on wall. (Ignore the white spots on wall from old headboard - I forgot to account for the drop in height from D-rings so now I need to paint the wall to cover old holes.)

Finished product
And those are DIY lamp shades and nightstand boxes.  I took the photos that are above the bed.


  1. seriously where do you find the time? this is awesome! xoxo B

  2. This made me tired just reading it. I can't imagine MAKING it. :)

  3. Love your idea, which I found from the Lowe's version. How do you keep it from banging and scratching the wall?

  4. The 1x4 frame is what touches the wall. When I hung it from the D hooks, I just made sure that the screws were sticking out far enough that the rings weren't angled to hang from the screws. This way everything was flush and there is no bouncing of the headboard. Also the bottom is just below the mattress, which helps too. I haven't noticed any scratches on wall, but if you were worried, you could just glue a piece of fleece to the 1x4. Hope you like making it!

  5. What if your bed is kaddy cornered and need something to hook to the bed frame which is metal. Any Ideas for that?

  6. Kena- can you explain more what you mean? Are you wedged into a corner with low ceiling or just a corner and not limited by height? I am think the D hooks will still work for you on the frame and then maybe large screw in eye hooks (or those open curved hooks to hang heavy ceiling lights/plants from) on the wall.

  7. I am going to try and make this next weekend. I really hope it turns out! Just wondering, what colour paint is on the wall?

  8. Tara-
    Good luck- let me know how it turns out!! The color is from Valspar (Lowes) but I can't find the name of it. I know I tried Quarry Pond, but I don't think that was the final color. I think tried 3-4 different blue/blue greens before I picked this one. If I can find it, I will let you know! I loved the blue, it was a big room and yet I don't think it felt dark (despite all dark brown furniture).

    Is this a Tara I know or someone that just found the DIY for the project??

  9. Wow thank you for sharing this,it looks absolutely amazing !

  10. Where did your tutorial pics go?? SO disappointed, wanted to see ypur process for woven headboard!

  11. sorry i changed user accounts and all the pictures disappeared. Post has been fixed.

  12. Your headboard is beautiful! I love that woven look to it - just gorgeous! I have this linked to my DIY headboards post too today, for great ideas!

  13. I can not find the directions on Lowes website on how to weave the board together.... any suggestions?

    1. Cori-
      Ugh - bummer they took down the post about headboards. I tried to add what I could remember to the post above. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.