Monday, April 13, 2009


I love a great idea & Make Do Monday's hosted by Ann Kroeker is a place where you can certainly find some great ideas on how to make do with what you have.

"It’s a carnival you can visit to celebrate creative problem-solving, contentment, patience and ingenuity," says Ann.

This post also goes right along with Thrifty Thursdays from Tales from Bloggeritaville. A fun little time to hunt around the house, the garage, someone elses house and garage or even a thrift store or two to dig up some cool finds. Be sure and check out the other Thrifty Finds, too.

This is my bed. I pulled up the covers and gave the pillows a slight fluff. It's not terribly exciting or fancy, but boy is it comfortable. The duvet cover is from Pottery Barn. I found it on sale and we love it. It isn't a true match for our bedroom, but it is just so comfortable that it's perfect!

But that's not what my Make Do Monday is all about! My Make Do is the headboard. I've made three of these and they are so easy. I really like a padded headboard because I tend to sleep with one arm inbetween the bed and the headboard. So I like to make sure my arm isn't on a hard piece of wood or against the wall.

Here's how it works.

Purchase one sheet of plywood (4' x 8' - 1/2"thick)

For a King Size bed, I cut the piece into two pieces - each 3' x 4'

A Queen size bed I cut one piece 3' x 5' (but you could go 4' x 5' but I think I was having trouble finding the fabric I wanted for a 4' width, so I went with 3'.)

I purchased upholstery fabric, a very neutral color that went well with my yellow bedroom. Mine was real inexpensive - I think it was $3.99 a yard.

Also purchase batting. I chose a nice quality batting 1/2" thick I think. Honestly, I can't remember, but I know I folded it over, so it was doubled.

Staple Gun. Mine is a manual.

(I actually had my husband cut the pieces of plywood, but you can also ask the lumberyard to cut it for you for just 50¢ a cut. Well worth it if you don't have the tools.)

I set up my work station on my dining room table (when I had one) I put the fabric down first (right side facing the table) then the batting, then the plywood. I got it all centered and then pulled the fabric around the plywood and rolled the edges under to trap most of the batting and frayed edges of the fabric - then stapled. I did three or four staples in the middle of each side to make sure I got the fabric straight & fairly taught on all sides.

This strange photo is of the back of the headboard looking from the top down. you can see the rolled edges of the fabric. Some of the batting didn't get rolled in, but I just trimmed it afterwards.

EDITED to add: You do need to staple all the way around the headboard, not just a few in the center of each side. I sort of stopped mid instruction up there. Staple a few times in the middle of each side, then finish up all the way around. The corners can get really tricky with so much fabric and batting, so I cut out almost all of the batting in the corners and folded and stapled a lot. :) As long as it looks fine from the front, you can staple as much as you need to.

The headboard can be hung up like it is here (This was my bedroom in Daytona Beach) I wanted to add height to the bed since the room was so large. But in our bedroom here in Jacksonville, the space is small and the whole building was built using metal studs. I was so tired of dealing with those studs that I just stood the headboards on the floor. The headboards on the king size bed stick up two feet, while the one on the queen sized bed is only about a foot above the bed. This was a Make-Do for sure!

I used these fantastic hangers called Hangman Picture Hanging System. you can watch the video - at 2:22 is where he talks about this system, which I used on our headboard. These are just fabulous and sturdy and EASY! oh, and did I mention pretty inexpensive? I think they are $5 - $10 depending on the size you need.

I wanted a nice fabric headboard. I wanted it to be warm and soft and beautiful. I wanted it to be inexpensive and I wanted it NOW. I really wanted a new bed frame with the headboard, too LOL But once I realized I really could make the headboard for a lot less than I could buy one, I made it.

Plywood - $15 - $20
Fabric & Batting - $40 - $50

Less than $70 in my case.

My Make Do is a Make and Use! We've had the headboards for 5 years now, so it's been a long lasting Make Do, too.

Have a fabulous Monday!

*The Daytona Beach bedroom - The whole bedding thing didn't work. I just want you to know that I'm not oblivious. I was trying to get a nicer looking cover on the bed so I started layering things. The house was for sale when this photo was taken, Tom was getting listed for his transplant, so bed-scaping was not high on my list LOL

The cat on the bench is Maggie. Mocha's sister.


Ann Kroeker said...

What a great make-do story--I love how the original headboard is make-do, and then how you kept using them even when they weren't ideal for your new situation. I need to find those hangers. Did you have to order them online, or were they at a store?

And I've seen that Pottery Barn duvet cover before--it was on my short list of interesting possibilities when we repainted our bedroom. Then I messed up the colors and had to make-do. Maybe that's another story for another Monday.

Runningamuck said...

Great job! I love that you picked something fairly neutral in color so you can keep using it no matter if you change the colors in your room. Thanks for the tip! =0)

Kirby3131 said...

Ann - I got the hangers at either Lowes or Home Depot, in the picture hanger section. They are so incredibly perfect for large items. It kept that headboard (when I hung it) snug to the wall, no movement at all. I've used them for a large key rack I had once, too. The key rack was 3' x 2' and was used all day (we had a scooter rental business) and the rack didn't move.

Runningamuck - The queen sized bed headboard (same fabric) has been in three different colored rooms and it works in all of them. I'm normally not a "go for the neutral" type of gal, but in this case it's sensible. Thanks!!

Ruth Ann said...

Beautiful bedroom! At a first glance I thought the headboard was a cork board and I thought...that's cool! lol You could leave little messages for you husband on there! lol
Anyway...very cute headboard and I love the colors of the duvet. Is the picture on the wall one of your sister's pieces? Have a great week!

Sharinskishe said...

I like what Ruth Ann said about leaving notes for your husband. Even though this isn't cork, you could stick a straight pin through a note, it would work for me cuz I am always forgetting to tell my Hubby stuff!

However my headboard is wood and was made by dad. I think I should figure a way to put notes up for my hubby now.

Kristin, I love how your headboard looks! It is so simple and beautiful. Thanks for sharing how you have used it. I am glad your priorities are straight!!!

I am too simple when it comes to decorating, I just use what I have and don't usually worry if anything matches. One day I am sure I will get things coordinated!! But my priority at this time is spending time with my kids, my house can come first when they are grown and move out!!

Thanks for sharing!!! Have a great day!!

Esther said...

This has been on my to-do list for YEARS! I keep waiting for one thing or the other, but seriously, you made is look so easy that I think I'll move it to my "really am going to-do" list. :)

Kirby3131 said...

I totally forgot to add - which I will in a moment. You need to staple around the entire headboard - not just the centers. You start off with the centers of each side to make it straight, but then you need to continue LOL I stopped mid thought in my posting.

That's a real sweet thought about posting a note to my husband. One of the blogs that I read talked about the white board they have above the beds of their kids. The kids leave notes for the parents and vice versa. Cool.

Esther - It took me months to make the headboard even after gathering the supplies LOL But really, it is quite easy. You just need a helper every so often to help in the beginning when you put the board on the fabric. It's a little heavy. Then again when you want to move the headboard off the table.

I also highly suggest a slick surface to do the task, so you can move the headboard easily. I just stood in one spot and stapled - but spun the headboard around.

Thanks everyone!

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

Wow! VERY impressive, Kristin! I am going to look for those hangers. I have a large mirror that i afraid to hang b/c of weight. Will try those.