Home Decor

Easy DIY Upholstered Headboard

I have a pet peeve when it comes to do-it-yourself and home decorating blog posts… My Pinterest is constantly flooded with it. Title: ” Oh Em Gee, Easiest Project Ever,” “You Can Make This Intricate Looking Macrame with One Arm Tied Behind Your Back!” “I Created This One of a Kind Adirondack Chair in One Hour… With the 8 Different Types of Power Tools I Own and Have in My Garage” PEOPLE. I’m a mom. With a normal amount of tools, a budget, and very little time. I’m sure your project DID take you two hours, because your entire shed is full of Kreg Jigs and power sanders. And you don’t have an almost three year-old climbing on you like a rabid monkey the entire time. And, for the love, why is your supplies list SO. LONG!? I have about 20 minutes in between entrance and exit time at the store before my little one finds copper pipes to use as light sabers on fellow shoppers or something. This headboard really is easy. It took me roughly 3 days on and off, which includes shopping for supplies and only being able to work on it for an hour-ish for 2 days during nap time. The only somewhat out of the ordinary item you will need for it will be a staple gun and staples. I borrowed one from my sweet mom, but Home Depot has some options that are cheap and get great reviews here and here.

I based it on this tutorial I found over at The Everygirl. I have thought about upholstering a headboard for a long time… I love the tufted look and different shapes and styles of backing, but I inevitably decided that ain’t nobody got time for that. So, I chose a very basic rectangular style and used some fun fabric to make it pop. The fabric is from the Nate Berkus collection at JoAnn’s, and you guys…. It took me forever to decide on just one. All of them are so so good. The man can do no wrong! I know a lot of home décor fabric is on the pricier side, but I got it for 40% off, so it ended up not being that bad at all!


Supplies List (for a Queen Sized Headboard):

-2 yards of desired fabric (you will have a little leftover)

-1  1″x4″x*8′ wood board, cut in half (This is for the side pieces. Just measure how tall your want your headboard to be on the wall and go from there. I decided about 4 feet high would be good. I had them cut this board into two equal pieces in the store)

-1 1″x4″x10′ wood board, cut into two pieces that are equally 50″ long (These are for the top and bottom horizontal pieces. I measured our mattress as 58″ inches long, subtracted 8 inches for the width of the two boards on the side, and got 50 inches. Yay, math!)

-1 1″x4″x8′ wood board, cut into three equal pieces (For the inner boards. I wasn’t too picky about how far down the upholstered area went, as long as it was longer than 33″ so that it disappeared behind our mattress. You can do more exact measurements, if you prefer. These are to make it more sturdy and to give the foam something to stick to.)

-Foam mattress pad (Twin size)

-2 yards batting (I just used this)

-Staple gun and staples

Spray adhesive

-Mending braces (Enough for each joint where the boards match up. USE THESE AND ONLY THESE! TRUST ME!!)


First, I laid all of the boards out on to the ground to make sure that they were in the correct places. I just placed the three middle boards by sight and didn’t measure them to be exactly the same distance apart. It worked fine for me, but you can always measure if you’d rather!


At first, I used these smaller brackets on the front and back of the joints to hold the wood together. News flash: they didn’t work. I’m sure they would have been okay if I had glued the pieces together first, but they started falling out and shifting and causing all kinds of shennanigans as soon as I started upholstering. After I had a mini freak out, my sweet husband went over to Lowe’s and got me some mending braces… the bigger rectangular metal pieces with two holes for screws on each end. They worked so much better! Most of the photos will show these smaller ones, because they worked okay until the end. Just completely forget you even saw them and USE THE MENDING BRACES!!


After I had attached all of the wood pieces together, I laid out the upholstering materials like so: batting face down on the bottom (touching the floor), then the foam mattress pad on top of that (I put the indentations facing upward so that they would face the inside/back of the headboard, and then the wood on top of that. I left a good deal of batting and foam around the edges (enough to fold up and be stapled) and then cut the excess. Once I figured out even placement on all sides, I lifted up the wood and sprayed a little bit of adhesive on the front pieces that would be touching the foam. Some people choose to use an entire piece of plywood underneath the foam, but I thought the planks worked just fine.





After that, the fun began! Starting in the middle on the top and bottom, I folded the foam and batting up and around the wood and secured it with the staples. I may have gone a little overboard and used lots of staples close together, but I really wanted to make sure that everything was secured. I also pushed down on the wood piece a little bit with my knee while I was stretching and stapling to ensure that everything stayed tight. The top photos are after I had finished stapling and gone around with the scissors to cut off any excess foam or fabric. They should be trimmed pretty close to the staples.


On the front, I took those pieces that were hanging a little on the boards, tucked them up and under, and stapled them (you will need to do this with the fabric covering it, as well. Thankfully, it is behind the mattress, so you won’t be able to see anything!). After this, I laid the fabric out on the ground good side down, measured the same way as I did with the foam and batting (leaving a little more for it to overlap and cover the previous staples), laid the upholstered wood piece on top of it, and then stapled it to the wood support the same way I did with the materials underneath. One thing to be sure of is that your fabric is even and laying correctly! I tripled checked that the pattern was level and matched up horizontally across, but it still looks a little wonky to me sometimes.






Here is the finished product in place behind our bed! Super easy, super fast, and something fun, colorful, and comfortable to lean up against when we are reading (or, really, watching Community) in bed. We have since put up some wall lamps, and I need to paint our side tables to match. Our room is finally coming along!




Reclaimed Cherry Wood Shelves

Oh, man. This project was kind of an undertaking. We started planning it about a year ago and just finished it within the last couple of months. There were lots of things that contributed to it taking so long, but we are just so glad now that it is finished and that we are so happy with our new shelves!

As you can see in the previous link, our inspiration was the reclaimed wood shelves from West Elm. We loved the aged wood look with the heavy black steel brackets. We ordered those brackets and planned to use them, but after bringing the wood home, we realized they were going to be WAY too small for what we were trying to accomplish. I’ve set them aside, now, and planned to use them for some smaller shelves elsewhere in the house.

We got the reclaimed wood from Porter Barn Wood in Phoenix, and it is hard for me to describe how happy we are with it. We were really impressed by the selection there, and hope to get more for future projects. For these shelves, we got a couple planks of the Johnny Cash cherry wood (you can read about it here under the Materials History list). We brought work gloves and a tape measure with us and wore comfy clothes and tennis shoes (it is a lumber yard, so you dig through piles and find what you can). The blank wall in our living room is kind of big, so we tried to get boards that were around 8-10 feet long.


15749600427_6d72b47af7_o(1)Sometimes, you’re a total idiot and completely forget rope and ties at home. Thankfully, we had my husband’s school ID lanyard to jimmy-rig a way to keep them from falling out of the car on our way home.

15313110224_bd563b7c98_o(1)Blurry, but hilarious. Here were are traveling down the busy freeway in Phoenix with our boards hanging out the back of our Element. Beverly Hillbillies status. You can tell by his face and hand to the forehead that Jonah’s just thinking, “You guys are SO embarrassing.”

The boards had a really gorgeous patina from the years spent in the elements. We had a really hard time deciding whether or not we should just leave them as is and clean them up a bit or sand them down. Our boards were REALLY dirty, had lots of deep milling cuts, and had a couple large spots of paint and other unknown substances, so we eventually decided to sand them and get down to the pure grain (please refrain from throwing stones at us).

I had a couple of freakouts mid-sanding where I all of the sudden thought, “OH MY GOSH. WHAT THE (insert favorite expletive here) ARE WE DOING!?” but then I would take a few deep breaths and soldier on.



We rented a power sander from Home Depot (my random orbital was barely making a dent), and my hunky man worked tirelessly for hours to get these puppies sanded down. I tried practice sanding on my scrapboard to the left, and it was pretty embarrassing. Those things are POWERFUL (hence the name). My puny little arms couldn’t take it. Also we ended up having to rent one twice… the first day we had a little accident that involved sucking a rag up into the dang thing and having to take it apart to remove it. By the time we got it out, our rental was almost over. DIY party foul!

This is getting pretty long… Stay tuned for sanded boards and turning them into shelves in the next post!

Chalkboard Re-do

I have been looking for a little chalkboard for Buddy for a while. I almost grabbed this one at IKEA a while back, but decided against it. Lucky me, because I re-did this one for even less money (cheaper than $14.99? I know… shocking). I found this scribbled on easel that had seen better days just sitting at Goodwill in the very back for four dollars. The wood and hardware still looked good, but it just needed a little Tai from Clueless-style makeover. First, I washed the red Kool-Aid dye out of its hair…. Next, came the ditching of the 90’s grunge for a crop top and knee-high socks.




The funniest thing about it was the dry erase Mother Goose Rhymes side… Awesome.

I removed the dry erase side (it slides in and out) and all of the hardware from the top and sides to make it easier to prime and paint. The chalkboard piece had come loose in a couple of places, so I just tacked it down with some small nails (with the help of my trusty sidekick and his toy hammer).


This is the face he made when I told him he couldn’t use the “Mama” hammer because I was worried he would smash his teeny fingers.


Toddler ‘tude. Gotta love it.

I laid the pieces out on my trusty 80’s sheet drop cloth and went to town spraying with this. I didn’t get a picture of after the spray paint, but I did about three coats on the wood parts and two on the chalkboard and dry erase (since they were getting painted over anyway). Since everything was already in pretty good shape, I just used a primer/paint combo, as opposed to buying a separate primer and spray paint. Plus, I already had it on hand, and I am a cheapskate.


After the paint dried for about a day (I always like to err on a longer drying time than what the can says), I used a couple of coats of a satin gloss clear top coat spray. I taped around the chalkboard area to avoid getting black on the white painted wood.  Thankfully, since the dry erase portion was separate, I could just paint it with no problems. I used about three or four coats of this chalkboard paint with a sponge brush to make sure everything was nice and covered.

Because I can’t resist a black/white/copper color combo, I repainted the hardware using this. After everything dried, I carefully screwed the hardware back on to avoid chipping the paint, and voila!



I think he likes it! His room is kind of in a transition period from baby to “big boy” bed and stuff, so I’m sure eventually I will add some washi tape or something fun on it once we figure out a color scheme. Yay for cheap and quick projects!

Misfit TV Stand

So, you know that creepy/cute/endearing claymation version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer that is revived every  year around the holidays? The one where Rudolph and Hermey the Elf go on an adventure and end up in the Land of Misfit Toys? All of the toys are broken or have been made a little wonky and were thrown out, so they have been banished to live in a commune in the middle of the tundra. So sad. At the end (spoiler alert), Santa finds the right boys and girls that will love and cherish them forever, and delivers them on Christmas Eve. Cue tears.

Anyways, this is how I feel about furniture pieces. Sometimes, even some of the saddest things that have been cast out in the clearance section of the thrift store or put up in the free section of Craiglist just need the right person to love them (and, possibly, clean them up a bit!).  I have been looking for something to refurbish into a television stand lately, and I found this dresser on CL for super cheap… it was old/damaged and the owner, who originally wanted to re-do it, just lost interest. The picture was bad, but it looked worse in person. Yikes. I decided to take on a challenge and give it a good home. I have been sanding and cleaning the heck out of it, because it is definitely going to need some work, but I have some fun ideas for it!

Notable awful/hilarious things about it: It was obviously kept in a child’s room throughout the 80’s or 90’s because it had about thirty faded and dingy stickers stuck to the top (removed super easily… Thank you, Goof-Off!). One drawer is completely missing a side, the top left wood piece is missing, and the drawer slide is broken/looks like its been through a tornado. The top right wood piece attached to the drawer slide is being held on by rusty nails, old wood glue, and for some reason, disintegrating paper towels? (I have no idea) Needless to say, girlfriend needs a little zhuzh-ing.


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Can’t wait to show the progress!

Shelves, Glorious Shelves

We have been in our house a year now, and it basically still looks like we just moved in… Yikes. We have about six pictures and one teeny pair of shelves hanging on the walls right now, and that’s it for the WHOLE place! Part of it is laziness, and part of it is planning for projects that are WAY more than we can handle as far as time and budgets go. We have been trying to figure out a shelf situation for our living room for the past 6 months (no joke). However, we FINALLY are working on them! We both were able to agree on this design from West Elm.


We mostly loved the shorter industrial-looking brackets with the reclaimed wood. However, at almost 100 bucks a pop for the longest shelf (which isn’t long enough for what we were planning), we decided to do figure out a more cost-friendly way to get the same look. Miraculously, the shelf brackets were on sale for CHEAP one night (in red… nothing a little spray paint can’t fix), so we ordered some and are anxiously awaiting their arrival! We are either going to use real reclaimed wood for the shelf piece or beat up and stain some new stuff. Can’t wait to share what they look like when they’re finished!

Here are some other DIY shelves that have been catching my eye around the interwebs lately:

honeycomb shelvesDIY Honeycomb Shelves on A Beautiful Mess

left-shelfDIY Mounted Shelving Unit on Almost Makes Perfect

paintedshapeshelf7via Apartment Therapy