DIY

Upholstered Headboard with Nailhead Trim, Revisited

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Greetings!  I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!  I can’t tell you how nice it was to take a few days off to just enjoy this beautiful season with the family.  I did things I don’t often do, like sitting still.  Ha!  Some of you may be taking some well deserved time off this week, and truth be told, it’s going to be a slower week around here too. However, I am very excited for what the New Year brings and I already have a few home improvement project in the works.  One is a good friend’s master bath remodel, currently underway.  I can’t wait to share the ‘Before’ and ‘After’ with you come January!

While reading some emails yesterday, I came across this question from Andrea:

“I have recently been working on my master bedroom and the last piece of the puzzle is a fabric headboard.   My husband wants to just buy this one from West Elm for $449, but I like to do things myself for much less money!

west elm headboard
I have been begging him to let me just try to make a fabric headboard with nailhead trim.  I saw one on your blog that you’ve already done.

Here are my questions:  1) How do you know how wide/tall to have the plywood cut?   2) I am willing to spend more on fabric since I’m doing it myself, so what texture do you think will hold up/look the most expensive?  I like the natural fiber look but I also want it to be comfy!  3) Did you mark where the nailheads go before starting them, or did you just follow a straight line as you went along?”  ~ Andrea Larson from LoveLifeLarson blog

Andrea, I love upholstered headboards with nailhead trim, so much so I had to have one of my own for my master bedroom.  I made another version earlier in 2009, but then later tweaked the design and replaced the fabric.  I did manage to reuse the same nailhead trim with this newer version by oh-so-carefully removing it from the original.

Making an upholstered headboard for your own room, your child’s room, or a guest room is one of the easiest projects you can tackle, and you can certainly achieve the West Elm ‘Look for Less’ in an afternoon.

You savvy readers and DIYers know there are quite a few tutorials online for this project.  Here is my own version and the steps how I made this headboard with nailhead trim for my master bedroom.

centsational-girl-bed-linens.jpg 

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Simple Sew: Double Welt Cord

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Last Sunday I went in search of double welt cord.  I’m in the middle of reupholstering a chair, and I was seeking this specialty trim to hide some staples.  I read somewhere that you need double welt cord to make double welt cord trim, but I have since learned this is not necessarily the case.  My day started like this:

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As I browsed the local fabric store, I realized they had no such thing as double welt cord in stock.  Wrenching my hands, wondering what to do, nervously pacing back and forth, I paused next to the upholstery supplies.  It was then I heard from behind me, “Whatcha looking for Hun?”  I thought at first this was some bored sales clerk, but then I realized by the way she said ‘Hun’ she was, in fact, a well intentioned stranger.  A stranger I shall dub ‘Saint Seamstress’ for reasons which will be revealed.  

I’m prone to striking up conversations with strangers, so I related my dilemma, wholly expecting her to shrug her shoulders, say “I dunno” and walk away.   When I explained I was in the middle of reupholstering a chair, and I needed to trim the edges to hide the staples, she immediately said, “Have you thought of using gimp?”   Gimp?  Gimp!  I knew I had encountered someone who speaks upholstery language! 

So I tackled her to the ground and made her answer all my questions under extreme duress.  

I kid.  No, I explained I didn’t want to use gimp this time, like with this bench, rather I wanted that polished double welt cord look you see on high end upholstered chairs.  I started rattling off questions and then I hit the jackpot. 

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This lovely woman stood there unshaken at my brazen unending questions.  “Am I insane to reupholster with velvet? Velvet is so fussy and temperamental, always prone to puckering.  Is velvet really the diva of fabrics?”  “How do I round this corner with my piping (pointing to the old smoke scented foam seat)?”  Where can I find inexpensive quality foam in this town?”   And the ultimate question: “How do you make double welt cord trim?”

She shared all her secrets, tips and tricks with a smile on her face.  Don’t you love when experienced professionals share their knowledge with the world for freeeeeeee?  Why didn’t I get her name?  Why didn’t I give her my name?  Why didn’t I snap a photo of us with my phone for me to remember this blessed soul for all eternity (and then of course add to this post)?  Why God whyyyyyyy????

Sewing Your Own Double Welt Cord

Start by cutting your fabric on the bias, then sewing it together to form one long strip.  Make sure you have about 2” width of fabric to form your cord casing.  ‘On the bias’ simply means cutting ‘on the diagonal’ so that your threads criss-cross and therefore bend around the turns better.  At least, that’s my amateur definition.  Someone much smarter than me with more experience figured that out a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. 

bias long strip

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Yuletide Tool List + GIVEAWAY

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Last year, I wrote up an article ‘Tools for a Cool Yule’ with a list of the the tools I consider important for my own DIY projects.  Now that this year is coming to a close, and some of you may be thinking of adding a few tools to your holiday list, here’s a revised list of a few I consider essential. 

Those of you just beginning to dip your toes into the DIY pool might consider a few of these handy dandy tools to add to your growing collection.  This list is not exhaustive, nor is this list anything near what a professional might possess.  These are just my personal favorites and the tools I frequently use.  Oh, and if you like the word "Dremel” you’ll love the giveaway at the end! 

 

Cordless Drill/Driver & Drill Bit Set

dewalt combo

I have a DeWalt just like this one.  They are expensive, but worth it.  I use this for everything, from removing seat cushions to assembling furniture to drilling pilot holes with drill bits.  Cordless, powerful, wonderful !   I couldn’t live without it. 

 

Measuring Tape and Level

Essential for everything from hanging pictures and art, to more advanced projects like installing molding, trim and wainscoting

 

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