I have to preface this post by saying that I seriously need a new camera and am in the process of researching my options to upgrade to a DSLR. Now that the days are growing shorter and the light weaker I am again reminded of the limitations of my point and shoot Canon Powershot, especially when it comes to interior photography. So I apologize for the poor quality of the photos here.

Okay, back to the business at hand. My daughter needed some kind of headboard for her bed frame in her new apartment. Again, not wanting to spend too much money, I figured I could easily enough make something for her. We wanted something light colored to contrast with the brown walls and something that also would complement her comforter which is black with a gray and white dot print. On our recent trip to IKEA we ran across this Britten fabric. It seemed perfect for the project at hand and at just $4.99 a yard it wasn't a budget buster. The fabric is a bit thinner than I'd prefer (you can see the floral print of my ironing board pad through it in this photo) but as long as it had white batting behind it I figured it would work okay. Everything else I needed for the project I already had so that was the only new expense.

Here's what I needed to make the headboard for a twin size bed.
  • Two 8' lengths of 1x2 pine lumber. 
  • One 4' piece of 1x2 lumber. (Lumber found in my husband's stash.)
  • Vinyl netting. (Left over from the garden.)
  • Upholstery batting (Left overs from my rattan chair cushions.)
  • 1-1/2 yds. 54" fabric (IKEA)
  • 1/2" staples (Already had.)
  • 4-3M Command velcro strips (already had)
To begin I used a miter saw to cut four 48" lengths of 1x2 that would be joined to form a square. We decided we wanted the headboard to be wider than the bed and to go all the way to the floor since it would be visible on either side. I also cut a cross piece to go vertically in the center of the square for some added stability in case my daughter wants to prop a pillow up against it for reading in bed. If you're making a headboard for a larger bed you may want to add more cross pieces.

I used 1/2-inch staples to hold everything together, stapling on both sides of the frame. I needed something to back the batting to hold it in place and was considering stapling some cardboard onto the frame when I happened to spy some vinyl deer netting we had leftover from our attempt at keeping the deer out of the garden. I cut the batting large enough so that I would have a few inches extra to wrap around the frame. My batting fabric was only half as wide as the frame so I cut two pieces to butt against one another on the crosspiece and stapled them together.

Finally I was ready to prep the fabric. You'll want to be sure to iron away any wrinkles or creases before attaching it to the frame. I used some spray starch to give the thin fabric a bit more body. Then I assembled everything by lying the fabric on the floor wrong side up with the batting sandwiched between the fabric and frame. Aligning the print just right was a bit tricky so that I didn't end up with lines of words going off on a slant as I pulled the fabric taut.

I started by wrapping the fabric and batting around the frame and stapling it in the center of one side with about three staples, then pulling the fabric tautly I stapled in the same manner on the opposite side. Next I repeated the procedure on the remaining two sides. Gradually I kept adding staples every few inches in the same manner working with opposite sides as I went. I left plenty of space at the corners to be able to wrap and tuck there and then went back and finished stapling any gaps on the sides. I didn't show how I did the corners. It was just trial and error to get everything looking neat and tidy. It's much like wrapping a gift.

Here's the completed headboard after all the stapling was complete. After all the supplies were gathered it only took a little over an hour to complete the project. 

And here it is in place behind the bed. The headboard simply stands on the floor and is secured to the wall at the top with a couple of easily removable 3M Command velcro strips. A very easy, inexpensive project and best of all my daughter likes it! 

Budget breakdown:  Fabric from Ikea: $7.49!!

Obviously it will cost more if you don't have the other items on hand like I did. But compared to going out and buying a custom fabric headboard you'll still be saving a lot of dough by making your own. Now that I know how easy it is I'll definitely be doing this again. Plus the fabric can fairly easily be swapped out for something different if my daughter ever wants to change the decor. 

FYI: The mercury glass lamp came from Goodwill (still sold at Target) and the bedside table was a curbside find!  

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