I’ve been slightly obsessed with Channel 7’s House Rules over the last few weeks. Probably in part due to the fact that Vince and I recently moved into a new place and I’ve got a serious case of the nestings. I usually cannot abide reality TV in any of its forms, but something about House Rules really took me.
In two of the renovations teams chose these wonderful, huge, padded headboards for the bedrooms. It never occurred to me that this was done outside of hotel rooms and the 1970s, and I was instantly taken with how awesome and inviting it made the beds look.
Our own bedroom suffers from too much bright white wall space, and looked a little on the clinical side. As renters, we can’t just add a splash of colour to the walls, or hang shelves, nice big mirrors, or artwork (as good as 3M hooks are, I just can’t trust them with something heavy above where I sleep!), so I’ve been looking for clever ways to soften the wall space. A big, soft headboard might be part of the solution, but as a part-time student with fees to pay, I could forget spending $1500 for a good one.
Then I stumbled across a DIY version. This was an IKEA hack, using the exact bed we had. Bingo!
The building phase
Step one would be to build the headboard up nice and tall. We didn’t have the shelf unit that the people in the IKEA hack had, so we ventured to the As-Is section of IKEA and were lucky enough to find some battered shelves in exactly the right thickness of wood. We bought two – which just happened to be one in black and one in white – and raced back home to hack them up.
With Vince’s help and a circular saw loan from a friend we attached the two boards together, trimmed them to size, and braced them to the existing headboard.
The stapling phase
Despite this looking pretty funky as it was, I now needed to find some fabric. I had my heart set on a light grey velvet, so I scoured the Internet looking for Australian sellers of my dream material.
Pfffft! Australia and eCommerce are apparently only mild acquaintances, so reluctantly I ventured out to actually go to a shop.
To cover the headboard I also purchased a 5 metre big roll of value wadding. I doubled up on this for extra softness and with Vince’s help I wrapped the headboard, stapling the wadding into place. The same process saw the fabric stapled into place, and after some fiddling with the awkward corners, we were now the proud owners of a plain padded headboard.
But I wanted tufting.
I planned out my arrangement of tufting and settled on a fairly wide diamond pattern. To ensure the correct spacing Vince and I added string as a guide, and we measured from the middle out, stapling in a tuft every 28 cm.
I want to point out at this stage that staple guns are fun. I wished I had opted for more and smaller diamonds.
To hide the staples I made some buttons with the left over fabric, a button making kit, and my trusty glue gun. These were then carefully hot-glued to the headboard. Hot tip for hot-gluing: just leave the strands be. Once they are set they are much easier and cleaner to snick off.
And presto! We’ve gone from a boring black stumpy headboard to what is actually a pretty dramatic feature. Sure, it’s not in the same league as the $1500 professional headboards, but for a measly $100 in materials I’m pretty darn pleased.