Headache Headboard

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

When we first moved into our house I was eager to DIY something…anything! Since we inherited Chris’s antique old furniture (a mattress, bed frame, and a side table), and that was literally all that we had in the house at that time, it was an easy choice of what my project was going to be: a headboard.
This is the way my husband thinks: if something is over 20 years old, it is an antique. And, if it is an antique, it is worth a lot of money. And, if it is worth a lot of money then I cannot in any way, shape or form alter the appearance of the piece of furniture. Well, I altered it! At that time Chris lived in Tyler so he had no idea what I was doing! Hehe J
Once I knew my plan of action I headed to the store. My first stop was Hobby Lobby for the batting and nail-head trim (which I didn’t end up using).
I then headed to Home Depot. A nice gentlemen helped me grab a piece of plywood and he cut it to size. I told him 4x6 (I think that’s what I told him!). After cutting the plywood, he wheeled it out to my car to help me load it up and...low-and-behold, it didn’t fit. Did I ever mention I’m a genius?! No, I haven’t?! Good! Because for more reasons than I care to share, I am by no means a genius.
I tried to convince the man that it would fit in my car if we turned it a different way. He graciously tried several ways to fit the plywood in my car. After numerous failed attempts (in the 100+ degree weather), he suggested that he go back inside and cut the piece of wood in half. Embarrassing! Who goes to Home Depot to get a piece of wood without thinking if it would fit in their car or not!? Me!
Finally, after it was cut in half, the man placed it in my car and I scurried away with my tail between my legs. I wanted to tip the man, buy him lunch…something to show him I appreciated him putting up with my lack of knowledge about my DIY project that I had obviously not planned thoroughly. I’ll admit, the whole “I can make a headboard” idea was on a whim, given that I was home alone, armed with only an antique (literally!) hand saw, one drill, some screws, and no moral support.    
After getting home I was ready to DIY my little heart out. “Do It Yourself” was taken to a whole other level being that the completion of this project depended on me and me alone.

Now, the bed that I was making the headboard for already had a headboard, but it just wasn’t my style. The problem was that it was sort of “wing—backed”…so in order to have another headboard pushed flush up against it, I needed to take the “wings” off. Rip the wings off. In all honesty it ended up being beat the wings off. The wooden wings were screwed and wood glued to the other part of the headboard making it nearly impossible for my strong weak self to pry those puppies off. Let me remind you…I have a flat head screw driver, a drill with a dying battery, a hammer, and my weak biceps. Those things combined, successfully, not neatly, but successfully, ripped the wings free of the headboard. One side came off rather easy, but the other side…let’s just say I said screw (no pun intended) the tools, I am ripping this baby off…and that’s what I did…and it cracked it…so if Chris ever, for some terrible reason, wanted to put it back together, it would be a no go. Oops. Love you, Honey.

After that I honestly wanted to quit. But I now had a hideous headboard and there was no turning back. I measured the spacing of where I needed to attach the legs to the headboard in order for them to sit on the inside of the bed frame’s already existing legs. Confusing? Here is a diagram.

The wings are what had to be removed in order to get a flat head board. Excuse my other diagram...

Once I took my oh-so-accurate measurements, I headed out to the air conditioned scorching garage and got to buildin’.
Now, I had a 2x4 that was eight foot long that needed to be cut in half. Oh, and I only had an antique hand saw to get the job done. The only thing available to prop the 2x4 on was Chris’s nice new freezer that we had just gotten. I sent him this picture:

And he frantically told me to stop what I was doing, immediately. I listen well. Sometimes J I assured him that I would not saw into his precious freezer (that is still sitting unused in our garage to this day).  
Oh. My. Gosh. If anyone has ever used an antique hand saw, while leveraging a 2x4 on a freezer, in a 105 degree garage, and successfully cut the board in half in less than 45 minutes…then I commend you. Cutting with that saw was like cutting granite with a butter knife. It was nearly impossible. I was pouring, pouring sweat. After what seemed like all day, I cut that board in half! And swore that I would never attempt that again! And told Chris that his freezer was unharmed in the process!  
Almost there!
I took my piece of plywood (that actually fit the bed/existing frame great, even though it had to be cut down in order to fit in my car) and began to mark where I needed to drill in the legs. Once marked, I got my drill and screws and was ready to use some power tools!

Drill in hand; I began to drill in the first screw. And then I heard the sound…the sound of a dying drill. With the screw half way in the 2x4 my drill died. But don’t worry! I had a back up battery…oh wait! That battery was dead aslo! I had to manually unscrew the screw out of the board. Fun! Not.

Sweating profusely, I turn to the next logical option; hammer and nails. Genius. Ha! I grabbed the hammer and started to pound in the only nails that I had. The only nails that I had were about an inch longer that I needed them to be, but I was going to make them work one way or another. I got the first nail through the plywood and 2x4. Then I had to flip it over and pound the pointy end of the nail sideways so that it wasn’t sticking straight out. Would Chris have approved of  that method? Probably not, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!
After repeating that process four times, I ended up with this:  

It was finally time to bring that devil baby inside and start to cover it.
Since we had no other furniture in the house I decided the master bedroom would be the perfect covering spot.
I laid out the batting and cut some of the excess away from the edges. I then stapled the top, bottom, and finished by stapling the sides.
The fabric I used was a flat sheet that matched my comforter. I was on a budget and didn’t use that sheet anymore, so I figured, why not?! It matched perfectly and was free!
I repeated the same process as I did with the batting. No exciting stories about the covering process. I think my luck was finally turning for the better because a power tool was not required for this step.
And ta-daaa. Here she is!

Scary to say, but this weekend I think I am going to attempt to make another headboard! This time I will be better equipt!

Have you every DIY'd a headboard?! Any suggestions?! Maybe use power tools that work :) 


  1. so much light!! lovely home (:

    1. I really appreciate that. Thank you so much :)

  2. You did an awesome job Sarah :) Sometimes you need a couple tries to get it right!. I made a tufted headboard a few months back and it took me a few tries too. You can check it out if you'd like ;) Here is the link: http://eighthundredsqft.blogspot.ca/2012/10/tufted-headboard-diy.html

    Nike O.