Category Archives: Bedroom

Loosen Up My Buttons, Babe

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

Hers.

Ah yes, this was my anthem for the second half of our headboard project.  Curse you Pussycat Dolls and your catchy lyrics that get stuck in my head for days!  For those of you up-to-date, you know our latest endeavor has been creating a winged, tufted headboard for the guest bedroom (for those of you needing to catch up, check out the project breakdown here).  You may also remember my oath to do this all without touching a sewing machine.

Well, I had reached the final portion of the project – covering the screws with matching fabric buttons.  We decided to take a day’s break from the project… and the day turned into a week… I’m sure you DIYers know how that goes.

The main source of my procrastination was the fact that I was waiting on my button making kit to arrive in the mail… okay, so maybe that only accounted for 2 days.  The other 5 days involved me dreading the creation of 67 buttons.  Yup, we had 67 screws to cover.  Yippee…  While the ultra-tall headboard makes quite a statement, it came with quite the price.  In the end it was worth it and I love the look, but for those of you with the same mindset I had of “the bigger, the better,” here’s your warning:

Big tufted headboards = a heck of a lot of buttons = a heck of a lot of work.

The process isn’t really that bad.  It takes about 1-1.5 minutes per button.  I sat and did mine while catching up on Real Housewives of Orange County because nothing makes dreadfully boring tasks like button making more interesting than a room full of overly-tanned, plastic-faced women screaming at each other.

So, here we go:  how to make fabric buttons without busting out the evil beast also known as the sewing machine.

First things first, you’ll need a button making kit, button shells, and button backs.  The least expensive option I found was a set from eBay for 100 buttons (buy extra because you’ll inevitably screw a few up).  I chose to buy size 24 (or 5/8″) buttons.  For those of you using the “tufting via screwdriver” method like we did, this size works great or you can go a little larger, depending on your preference.  For this method, I recommend buying flat backs (instead of wire backs) as you’ll be gluing rather than sewing it to the headboard.

Materials:

  • Button making kit which consists of a pusher (the pink item seen bottom left) and a mold (the clear item seen on the bottom right): $2.99 from eBay
  • Button back (seen at the top left)
  • Button shell (seen at the top middle): this plus the backs are $15.99 from eBay for a set of 100
  • Fabric swatch
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

Step One: Take the mold (the clear piece), placing the flat side down.  Put your piece of fabric over the mold.  Place the pusher (the pink piece) on top of the fabric (flat side up).

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

Step Two: Push the pusher (who would’ve seen that coming?) so the fabric is pushed down into the mold.  I gave the pusher a good twist too to really be sure the fabric was wedged in there.

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

Remove the pusher and you’ll see your fabric swatch is beginning to make the button shape.

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

Step Three: Place the button shell with the rounded side down, on top of the fabric swatch (still placed in the mold).

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

Step Four: Place the pusher on top of the button shell and push down.

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

When you remove the pusher, the fabric and shell should be lodged in the mold.

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

Step Five: Without removing the shell and fabric from the mold, trim the excess fabric from the edges.  Don’t trim it too close as you’ll need to fold the edges over the back in the next step.

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

Here you can see how much fabric should be trimmed.

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons 

Step Six: Next, fold the edges in, covering the back of the button shell and use the pusher to push it into shape.

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

Meet my best friend.  The hot glue gun.  In theory, you can use the pusher to push down the button back and it should pop in, securing the fabric in the back.  My fabric, however, was too thick to successfully do this so I found gluing the back on worked just as well.  If your fabric is thinner, you may be able to use the pusher instead and skip this step.

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

Step Seven: Use a hot glue gun to put glue on the back side of the button.

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

Step Eight: Quickly (before the fabric unfolds or glue cools), place the button back on top of the glue, securing the fabric ends.

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

Step Nine: Warning!  The hot glue will make the button back very hot so don’t use your finger to push it into place.  I used my pusher again to be sure the button back was secure and pushed it firmly in place.

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

Voilah!  Fabric button!

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

To finalize the headboard, I used my trusty friend again to put glue on the backs of each button then simply placed it on each screw on the headboard.

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

I gave it a little extra push with my finger for good measure.

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

It’s held great was SO much easier than sewing the buttons through the headboard.  That’s just nonsense, people.

DO or DIY | How to Make Fabric Buttons

Happy button making!

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Filed under Bedroom, Easy DIY Projects

Tuft Luck

DO or DIY: how to make a tufted headboard

Hers.

I think every room needs a little glam factor.  Our guest bedroom started out pretty glamorous… for a nursery.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Now before you all freak out, no, my eggo’s not preggo.  The above picture was taken when the sellers were still in the house.  I’m still a little bummed they took the chandelier with them- that was the best part.  They left us with a lovely 80s dome light in its place and the birdcage decals.  Gee, you shouldn’t have… no, really, you shouldn’t have.

We haven’t shown many pictures of the guest room thus far (besides the construction of the bench at the end of the bed- read more here), so I guess we need to do a little catching up.

The guest room actually ended up being one of the first rooms we painted upon moving in since we had all the bedrooms re-carpeted immediately.  And because we’re lazy painters, we wanted to paint while the old floors were still in so we didn’t have to cover them for protection against paint drips.  The bright red color was cute for a nursery- a nice departure from the typical pink used for girls- but it was a little too… well, bright red, especially for a guest room.  So, we went from bright red to a flat sheen of dark gray and softened it with whites and teal as the accent.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

The dark gray brought some drama to this mama but I knew something was still missing.  The wall above the bed was an empty void begging to be filled with awesome-ness.

Bedroom… drama… hmm…  I smell a headboard project coming on.

I knew I needed something pretty tall to cover up a lot of the blank space above the bed and I wanted the headboard to be the room’s statement piece.  I was drawn to tall tufted options that included wings on the side that enveloped the bed such as these.

morgan-harrison-home-milbrook-modern-22A

Source: Mix and Chic

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Source: Jillian Harris

I was curious what headboards like this cost.  I finally found a pretty close match to what I was dreaming of, seen below.

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Source: Ethos Interiors

Unfortunately, it came with two problems:

  1. It was from Australia.  I can only imagine what shipping a headboard from across the globe would cost.
  2. It was retailing for $690.  Now, I’ve seen plenty of way more expensive headboards but still, $690 was more than I’ve spent on everything in our master bedroom thus far and this room would only get used a few times a year when we had overnight visitors so it didn’t really seem worth it.

I found a few, less exciting, domestic options from the usual suspects but those weren’t any more reasonable.

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Source: Pottery Barn, $799

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Source: Horchow, $1199

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Source: Restoration Hardware, $1465

So, what’s a girl to do?  Buy her husband some beer, suggest steak and potatoes for dinner (it helps if your husband is severely Irish), then sweetly ask his help DIY-ing a headboard masterpiece.  This method has proven 100% effective thus far so, ladies, take notes.

And we were off.

First, I needed to settle on a fabric.  Because I wasn’t 100% convinced this was going to work (not that I don’t have faith in you, honey, but this seemed a long shot even for you), I didn’t want to spend a ton on fabric.  I also couldn’t decide on a color (should I go white, cream, light gray, medium gray, or dark gray) so I decided to let fate decide for me.  At my favorite fabric store, I hit up the remnant section to see what white and gray options they had.  I found one cream option (seen on the right) and one gray (seen on the left) option that were long enough to work.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

At $5 a yard (each was 2.5 yards, which they rounded down to 2 costing me $10 each), it was a score.  I thought I’d end up going with the cream option but it ended up looking too yellow against all the white bedding I already had in the room.  I considered completely redoing all the bedding to better coordinate but my conveniently-too-pragmatic husband quickly shot that option down.  So, gray it was.

His.

I’m beginning to think my wife has me figured out: every time she wants something expensive for the house, I end up building something almost identical for a fraction of the cost like the leaning bookshelves seen here and the telescope lamp seen here. Lately I’ve been suspecting that she doesn’t actually want the expensive version, she just wants to scare me into a DIY project by threatening to spend an obscene amount of money on something.

So her latest obsession? A headboard. For the guest bedroom. Now, here’s the thing about our guest bedroom: it’s just for guests. We don’t have overnight guests often and the few that we do have aren’t particularly picky about their lodging (if they were, we wouldn’t invite them to our house). So, frankly, I didn’t see the point. Sure, the space above the bed was empty, but the only time we ever really go in that room is when we can’t find the cat. Either way, Julie tends to get what Julie wants, so I now had to figure out how to make a headboard.

First things first: size. The width pretty much took care of itself as it would be dictated by the width of the bed frame, but we had to decide how tall we wanted it to be on the wall. We ultimately decided that it needed to be 5′, which meant the actual “board” part of the headboard would be 3′ tall. So I started with some plywood:

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Cut cut cut!

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Next, Julie wanted some “poof” or something, so we looked at craft stores for foam padding. Well, it turns out that I could’ve taken a decent vacation for what it would’ve cost to buy that much padding, but I had a more cost-effective solution in mind:

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

That’s right, Wal-Mart mattress pads (yes, the same ones that when stacked high enough make dorm beds somewhat tolerable). It was plenty long but barely wide enough, but with a little stretching and clever layering, we hid it pretty well. We even had enough left over from the ends to refinish a small chair.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

We used spray adhesive to secure them to the plywood, but due to the porous nature of the pads, it wasn’t the strongest hold.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

We added a second because a) we needed the extra thickness and b) cheap mattress pads have weird textures pressed into them to make you think it has some bogus cooling effect or something. Not bad for just $20 for the pair.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

I ended up stapling the edges for a cleaner finish and more permanent hold while we positioned the fabric.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

And trimmed the excess:

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Now, you normally use batting to ensure a smooth finish but we were on a mission of frugality and the cost of batting just wasn’t going to cut it.  We realized that batting was essentially just a thick layer of fibers so we found a cheap-o cotton blanket to help hide any uneven points on the padding. Once again, our trip to Wal-Mart proved fruitful.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

This time I flipped it over and stapled it to the back of the plywood so it held nice and tight across the padding:

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Ignore the lumpy edges, those hide easily with the final piece of fabric.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

The next stage of the process was unexpectedly tedious. We moved things inside for a cleaner, cooler, and lighter work environment. Good thing we have an awkwardly empty space in our living room after all, I guess.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

So we draped the fabric over the board and smoothed everything out. What came next was an exercise in patience and dedication: tufting. I don’t know how it’s normally done, but I knew how I was going to do it: screws. But using short screws and washers, I could create that “pressed in” look, and it would hold, like forever.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

So I started in the center:

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Note: the fabric was draped loosely over the ends of the board so we’d have plenty of slack if we needed it.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Initially I tried measuring where each screw would go but that got old quickly. Plus, the positioning of the fabric would change slightly as I pressed on it to screw it in, so eventually I figured out how to predict where things needed to be and just eyeballed it.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

What seemed like years later, I had driven in all 67 screws. Now the weird part: trying to bunch up the fabric into a “diamond-shaped tuft”.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Finally, it was time to secure everything. I didn’t want to flip the board over and crush the tufting, so I had to work from below. Fortunately we have an extra bedroom that is also awkwardly empty, so there was  some soft floor space so I could work on my back.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

After stapling all around, we cut off the excess fabric.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

We folded a straight line from the end of each tuft off the edge to create a uniform look around all the edges.  We then stapled that tuft to the back of the headboard so it held.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

After completing the board, it was time to move on to the posts. I used generic 2×6 lumber but had to be careful to select really straight pieces. Each post was 5′, so I just bought one 2x6x10 and cut it in half.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

The process for wrapping the posts in fabric was a bit like wrapping a present, but instead of a box it’s lumber, instead of paper it’s fabric, and instead of tape it’s staples. we also made sure all the staples and edges ended up in what would be the back side of the board, so the nice smooth edge faced outward.

First with the cheap blanket:

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Be sure to wrap the ends, too:

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Repeat process with actual fabric:

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Cut off excess:

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Finally, it was time to put it all together. We moved the board to the guest room and laid it on the bed. Then, I set the posts up on the side and had Julie press down while I drilled up. This was actually a really difficult process, and of course Julie decided pictures were more important than being helpful.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Almost done (I only had to chase the cat away 100 times).

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Repeat the process for the other side, and your headboard is done. Time to mount it! Fortunately our bed frame had a bracket welded onto it for who knows what, but it had some holes I was able to run some drywall screws  through to secure everything so it didn’t flip over and turn my in-laws into Flat Stanley.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Huzzah! Headboard!

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Hers.

We wrapped up the upholstery work and installed the headboard in the room.  I then realized I had a dilemma.  Do I stop here or do I keep going?  Much like Sandro on this season’s Project Runway (anyone else watching this season?), I decided our headboard needed more bling and by bling, I, of course, mean nailhead detail.  After two calls consulting outsiders, one voted for, one voted against, I ultimately decided to go for it.  Oh yes, these side wings were in for a treat.

So while Chris stood beside me, giving himself a pat on the back for finishing another project, I, instead, smiled sweetly at him and asked for his help on the next stage of the project.

And I soon learned a vital lesson- never EVER convince yourself to save a few dollars by buying a case of loose nailhead, thinking you can spend a few extra minutes taking care to line them up straight.  This is the most frustrating, arduous process that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.  Chris thought it would help by buying fishing line and nailing it down as a guide to follow.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

A great idea in theory but it didn’t execute that well.  Each time we’d nail a head in, it seemed impossible to get it to line up with the fishing line.  At the last second, it would go rogue on us and veer off course.  After an hour spent on this and barely making progress, I decided we could splurge and buy the cheater’s kit aka a nailhead kit that you only had to nail every 10th or so piece aka my lifesaver.

People of the DIY world- spend the extra dough for this.  So. Worth. It.

I bought mine at Michael’s, but here’s a link to buy it from Amazon.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

If that doesn’t convince you, it comes with a bonus of packaging that doubles as a cat toy.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

After the nightmare of sparring with individual nailheads, this was a breeze.  You just unwrap the string of nailhead from the packaging and cut it off where you need it to stop.  I suggest cutting it to size before you begin nailing it in because the weight from the package makes it harder to install straight.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Next, place the string on the headboard and nail in the heads where there’s a hole in the trim (every 10th head or so).  Tip: use a rubber mallet to nail in the head to prevent scratches.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

30 minutes and 2 nailhead trim kits later, I was done!

Stay tuned for an additional post on how we made the fabric-covered buttons to complete the tufted look.

Materials and Costs:

  • Fabric (from local fabric store): $10 for the full remnant
  • Foam (aka 2 egg crate mattress pads from Walmart): $20
  • Batting (aka cheap blanket from Walmart): $5
  • Spray Adhesive (any craft store): $0 as we already had some on-hand
  • Staples and Staple Gun (any home improvement store): $0 as we already had some on-hand
  • Small sheet metal screws (from Home Depot): $3
  • Plywood (from Home Depot): $10
  • 2x6s to create side wings (from Home Depot): $5
  • Washers (from Home Depot): $1
  • 2 nailhead trim kits (from Michael’s with 40% off coupon): $24
  • Rubber mallet (from Walmart): $5
  • Button making kit (from this eBay vendor): $17

Total: $100

After.

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

DO or DIY | How to Make a Tufted Headboard

 

Update: To see how we made fabric buttons to cover the screws on the headboard, check out our easy, step-by-step guide here.

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Filed under Bedroom, Easy DIY Projects

Earning Our Stripes

Hers.

Dear home decor companies,

Why oh why are your store shelves void of striped curtains?  Don’t you know your shoppers are pleading for you to add such items to your inventory?  There are thousands of households out there in desperate need of glamorously striped window decoration and you are letting them down.  Please address this issue.  Immediately.

Sincerely,
Julie

Seriously though, I’m seeing striped curtains everywhere now but apparently the only way to add a little stripe to your drape is by either painting or sewing it on yourself.

So while the shopper in me was frustrated as can be, the DIYer in me was itching at the chance to make my own striped curtains.

I mean, look at these beautiful things!

   

Sources (left to right): Amanda Carol at Home, Bag Fashionista

     

Sources (left to right): Dear Lillie, Reckless Glamour

I found the perfect curtain candidate.  I had installed a set of white grommeted (extra long!) curtains in our ex-hoarders room (more on that later).  They needed an extra umph and that umph would be stripes!

I’m still amazed to see floor space in our ex-hoarders room.  These pictures were before we really jazzed up the room (more pictures of the full room to come later).

Now the question was what color.  I like the look of gray or salmon colored curtains so I tested a few samples on an old T-shirt to see how they looked.

For the salmon color, I can’t remember the name and it wasn’t printed on the label but the formula is FL 6, RL 115, TL 71 with a base of UL204.

Chris picked his usual choice, the darkest option (Cement Gray), so naturally my feminine instinct chose the exact opposite option, the lightest (Natural Gray).  The other two grays looked almost black when held up to the sunlight and the salmon was beginning to look a little pink.  That left our winner, Natural Gray.

I read on another blog that this process took them about 4 hours to complete so it took me awhile to finally suck it up and take on this project.  The competitor in me was convinced I could get it done faster though.  I was also convinced that I had to keep the “4 hour precedent” a secret from Chris or this project would never see the light of day.

Fortunately, Chris didn’t figure out the time commitment on this project until we were too far in.  Unfortunately, the blog was right.  It ended up taking about 4 hours.  Oh well, it looks great and, thus, was well worth it.

His.

Julie and I occasionally (read: usually) fight over home decor. I rarely care about colors, patterns, etc., but Julie always wants my opinion, whether it exists or not.

One thing I really don’t care about is curtains. Julie spent my ability to pretend to care when we picked out curtains for our master bedroom, and I was able to “fake the funk” for the living room. So, by the time it came to picking out the sixth set of curtains for the house, I really, really, really didn’t care, and was not able to feign behavior to indicate otherwise. Naturally, this became a point of contention.

Now, it’s important to note that I actually did care about one thing: price. After spending what seemed like years in the curtain aisle at Target, I somehow convinced Julie that the cheapest set in her “maybe pile” would look best. Little did I know that she was merely setting me up for a new project.

So here’s what I thought was a victory: plain, simple curtains.

These were apparently too “blah” for the room, and we were now planning on  painting them. Like, with wall paint.

Step 1 was to iron them. Julie is terrible at ironing, but my mom had made my sister and I iron our clothes every day since we were six. So I do all the ironing in our house:

Next, we had to measure where our tape would go. We went with thick stripes spaced 10″ apart:

Once we had our lines measured out, we (carefully) laid painter’s tape. Keep in mind that every other stripe is unpainted, so your outer tape lines are what need to be 10″ apart. Also, we used the green tape, as it is quite a bit stickier than the blue or white varieties.

Next, we laid the curtains out on the tile floor.

Step 5: remove dirt, dust, and pests.

At this point, I decided it was time to change the spark plugs in my car, so Julie actually did some work this time, painting until she ran out and we had to make a Home Depot run (FYI: we used 3 cans of sample paint for this project but really could’ve used a fourth… so if you take this project on, do yourself a favor and just buy 4 sample sizes at the start).

<Insert Home Depot run for more paint.>

We ended up doing 2 full coats because it’s really difficult to get the paint even. Also, the grout lines of the tile showed up as thin spots and were a huge pain to paint over.

After letting everything dry, we pulled up the tape, fully expecting uneven stripes, bleeding lines, and thin spots, but we were pleasantly surprised.

We put the curtains back up only to realize that sunlight really highlights the thin spots, so we just pulled them straight in front of the window, turned off the lights, and touched up anywhere we saw sunlight coming through.

I’d say this project was a success because we saved tons of money, but until someone invents an affordable time machine I will never get those hours of curtain shopping back.

After.

Voilah!  Striped curtains.  Take that manufactured curtains!

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Filed under Bedroom, Easy DIY Projects