For the first 11 years of marriage, Handsome and I slept on the Queen-sized mattress that I bought in college. I spent a whopping $300 on that mattress set at a discount store back in the summer of 2001 because, well, it was the most I could afford at that time. Neither Handsome or I realized just how saggy and alarmingly uncomfortable it had become until we finally bought ourselves a real adult bed for our anniversary just last year.
Part of the reason I held onto the Queen for so long was that I really liked our headboard/footboard. It was one of our first big purchases as a married couple — sturdy, handsome, name-brand, not too feminine, not too masculine.
When we super-sized to a King, it no longer fit our mattress. Originally I had planned on selling it to have money to build a bed for Songbird’s room, but after a few sub-par Craigslist offers, I realized that *DUH* I already had a perfect bed that I liked. Why drive myself cray trying to build something that would never be as high-quality as this already was?!
Painting it was step one. The dark wood was awesome for our room, but it was a little heavy for a 5-yr-old. Not gonna lie, those 4 coats on all sides were a huge pain, but now it looks like a whole new bed! The crisp white was perfect, except that it sorta blended in with her white walls and white bed linens.
Both the headboard and footboard have a slightly inset panel that I decided would be great for upholstering, but I also didn’t want anything too terribly damaging or permanent. Once I found this cute paisley tablecloth for $11 at TJ Maxx, I knew exactly what to do!
This will work for any bed that has a panel design. Measure the inside of the paneled areas and cut 1/8″ plywood to size. I was lucky that my panels were perfectly rectangular, but if yours are curved or irregular you can use large craft paper to make a pattern (like these guys did).
Double up some low-loft quilt batting, lay boards on top and cut around them, leaving the batting an inch or so larger than the board.
Figure out how your fabric will best fit the board. I was lucky to find a pattern that was free-form and forgiving, but be careful if you use stripes or something else that would need more attentive aligning. Lay the fabric flat, then lay low-loft batting on top of that, then your board atop that. Again, cut around the edge, leaving the fabric 1″ larger than the batting.
Use a staple gun with shallow staples (you don’t want them going through the front) to attach the batting and fabric all the way around the board. Be generous with the staples, as this will give you a cleaner fold. And staple as close to the edge of the board as possible.
Trim the fabric/batting close to the staples.
I didn’t want the staples to scratch my paint job, so I also covered them with tape.
You probably know about how awesome Command Strips are and how well they work without damaging your hanging surface. But did you know they also make a “velcro” version? Instead of having one strip that’s sticky on both sides, each strip is sticky on just one side while the other side has a plastic velcro effect.
I stuck one strip to the corner of each board.
Velcro a mate to each corner strip, remove the paper from that sticky side, carefully align your board inside the bed panel and press!
Wood, fabric, batting and Command strips … project materials cost me just under $35. Now, should I ever want to change the fabric for a new look or remove the upholstering entirely, I’ll just pull the board off. And because these aren’t heavily abused parts of the bed, they’ve remained stuck with no problems.
Re-purposing furniture I already own makes me happy, happy, happy!