DIY Headboard (and How to Mount It)

posted in: DIY, Home, Posts, Projects | 2

Ever since I started working on my cousin’s bedroom update I have had bedrooms on the brain.  So naturally I moved onto our bedroom next.  Our bedroom has been just fine, but it’s always just sort of felt like everything was just thrown in there to me.  Everything in the room was stuff that we owned in our last house; there was nothing in there (at least furniture wise) that was new to this house.  So the biggest update in there is that I decided to make a new headboard.

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For our bedroom, I wanted something that was a little lower and more modern than our last headboard, and something with nice clean lines.  The good news about all of those requirements is that it makes the making of the headboard pretty darn simple and straightforward.  The toughest part by far was figuring out the mounting brackets on the back. Here is what our bedroom looked like before:

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See, not bad or anything.  It has some good stuff in it.  But after a few simple updates I really love it now.

Onto the headboard making process.  We had a piece of plywood cut at Home Depot to be 26″ high.  (Just for reference our last headboard was about 31″ high — so this one is about 5″ lower).  And about 6″ of that height goes behind the mattress, so really the height of the headboard from the top of the mattress is only 20″.  We were able to score a piece of plywood that had an imperfection (there’s a crack on the backside, but we knew it wouldn’t matter for our purposes) for 70% off, so the entire piece of wood was only about $6.  And we’ve already used almost all of the rest of it for other projects.  So, score.

Before doing anything to make it pretty, Mike took the piece of wood to the garage and made some mounting brackets.  He first marked out on the back of the wood where the studs would match up from where it would be placed on the wall so that he knew where to mount the brackets to the actual headboard (that’s why the brackets aren’t evenly placed on the back).  We looked online and they do sell some mounting kits, but we couldn’t find one when we went to Home Depot so we decided to improvise and make our own (this is DIY baby!).  We grabbed 4 of these T Straps and some carriage bolts.  Then Mike just used a vice grip and a hammer to bend them so that they would fit into one another (see photos below).  After that he just bolted them onto the piece of wood and put some scrap pieces of wood on the bottom as spacers so that it would sit level with the wall and not move if we leaned on it.  Allow these photos to tell you the story of how to do this:

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After all of the hardware was mounted on the piece of plywood, I brought it inside.  I purchased a piece of 3″ thick high density foam from Joann.  When I got it home I had to cut it down to size to fit the exact dimensions of the wood.  I left about 6″ of bare wood at the bottom though so that the mattress could slide right under the foam part but so that the headboard wouldn’t just sit on top of the mattress and end right there.  (Side note: After I already made and hung the headboard I was trolling the aisles at Home Depot and found out that they sell big pieces of 3″ foam there that you can cut to your exact size at home.  They are in the same area as the shelves and window blinds at my store.  And bonus — it is only $20 (!!!!) for the entire piece.  My piece was about $48 at Joann with a 40% off coupon.  So yeah, I was totally kicking myself for not figuring out that one sooner!  You live and you learn.)

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I attached the foam with some spray adhesive.  Then I covered it with a layer of batting.  I just got regular batting (not hi loft) for this project because I wanted the straight lines of the rectangular shape to be obvious.  And the foam is cushy so it is already very comfortable.

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After it was covered in a layer of batting, I moved on to covering it with the fabric.  I found this awesome yellow fabric at Home Fabrics.  Notice how I stapled at the bottom of the foam too to keep the fabric and batting in place? I stapled as close to the foam as I could get and the mattress covers the rest.  You can’t see any staples at all.

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After I was done making the headboard we hung it up using the mounting brackets that Mike made.  Worked like a charm.

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I also updated a few other things in the bedroom.  I got a new duvet cover and throw pillow at Homegoods, and some new lamps at Target.  I scored that huge piece of art above the bed at a thrift store for only $10!  And the butterfly print is by an artist friend of mine, Kyler Martz.  His work is amazing and I have several pieces of his throughout my house.  We also moved around a few things to make it more functional.

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I am loving my bedroom now.  What about you guys?  Any bedroom updates going on out there?

Painting Furniture: A Few Tips


I have done a ton of furniture painting lately.  And I’ve done it all — latex, oil, spray — you name it, I’ve done it.  So, I thought it may be helpful to put together and pass on a few tidbits of information that I’ve learned along the way. Let me first state for the record that no painting job will ever go perfectly.  So don’t get down on yourself if you make some mistakes along the way.  Almost anything is fixable.  And for the rest, no one will ever notice but you. Promise.

So, without further adieu, some tips:

Tip #1: When using latex paint (on furniture and mouldings) it would be wise to use Floetrol.


I love this stuff for just about any paint job (except walls, not really much need to thin paint that goes on walls). So much in fact that I dedicated an entire post to just this product.  You can read about this stuff in more depth here, but I’ll give a short explanation of what it does. When using latex paint, you just add some of this stuff to it and mix before you paint.  It thins the paint and makes it so much easier to brush or roll, and it makes it so that brush or roller marks are so much less noticeable.  The only thing is that since it thins the paint a bit you may have to do one to two more coats than normal depending on what you are covering.  But so worth the end result!  Don’t have any Floetrol handy?  Use water!  If you do this be careful because it thins the paint a little more (just use a little at a time until you get your desired consistency), but it will give you similar results.

Tip #2: When using oil-based paint, use Penetrol.

This goes right in line with Tip #1.  Penetrol is Floetrol’s equivalent for oil-based paint.  But in my experience the use is just a little different.  You can mix it in with the paint just like with Floetrol and latex paint, but the most handy use in my opinion is that if you make a little mistake while brushing on the paint, just dip your brush in a little bit of the Penetrol and run the brush over your mistake area.  Viola!  Gone!


Tip #3: When using oil-based paint resist the urge to brush and brush over the same spot trying to “fix” an imperfection.

Oil-based paint can be a little tricky, but when it’s applied correctly it has the perfect glossy finish.  I love oil-based paint on furniture, it gives a piece that lacquered, enameled look (just see the smooth slick surfaces on the nightstands below).  So pretty.  But unless you are fixing a small mistake with a little Penetrol on your brush (see Tip #2), then don’t try to fix it!  Finish the job, let whatever it is you are painting dry completely (sometimes it may even take more than 24 hours), and after it’s dry sand away the imperfection and try again.  In fact, since oil-based paint is self-leveling, the imperfection may even be gone by the time it dries.

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Even though oil-based paint can be tougher to work with than latex in some ways, it is so much more forgiving than latex paint is in others. Latex paint dries SUPER fast, so if you do make mistakes, that’s it.  Oil-based paint dries painfully slow, but that means it is easier to do the little Penetrol trick I mentioned above to fix small mistakes.  The fast vs. slow drying properties of these different types of paint are also attributable to the type of finish you get in the end.  Since it dries so slow, oil-based paint will give you a smooth, glass-like surface because the paint levels itself out over the drying time.  With latex paint you have to work fast.

Tip #4: When painting over furniture with latex paint (and sometimes even oil-based paint), oil-based primer is your friend.

More often than not a furniture piece you are going to paint over will either be wood, or it will have a smooth, varnished finish.  The use of oil-based primer in these instances decreases any bleed through (if you are painting over wood) or any bubbling or chipping off (if the piece has a smooth, slick surface).  To make this even easier, you can now get oil-based primer in a spray can.  Easy peasy.  This is a step you won’t regret in the end.


This is exactly what I did on the dresser below.  (And then I also used Floetrol in the paint to eliminate most of the brush marks).

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And I did the same on a set of large bookcases recently.

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Tip #5: By all means use spray paint when you can, but use it with caution on furniture pieces.

Spray paint is awesome because it makes a painting job so quick.  It dries so fast that you can get 3-4 thin coats on a piece in no time flat for a flawless finish.  BUT — If whatever you are painting has larger flat surfaces or parts to it, beware.  Depending on the type of finish of the paint you pick, the gloss that is mixed in with the paint may not come out and distribute itself evenly.  When this happens you’ll get some splotches of paint with the clear coat top and some splotches with no clear coat on the paint at all.  This does not look good no matter how you slice it.  And when it happens it is SO disappointing.  Moral of the story: watch out for bigger flat surfaces when spray painting. All that being said, spray paint is great for smaller pieces.  For instance, I spray painted these old lamps with black glossy spray paint and they came out great.


So there you have it.  I know there are a lot of people out there who know a lot more about painting than me, but these are just a few things I’ve picked up along the way in my painting adventures.  I hope they help!

Do any of you have any other little gems you’d like to share about painting?  Do tell!

Bedroom Makeover Project: Final Reveal!

posted in: Decor, DIY, Posts, Projects | 8

It’s done!  Whew!  I’ve spent the last few weeks working diligently on making over my cousin’s bedroom.  I did lots of thrifting and had lots of DIY projects planned for the space, and I spent basically all of last weekend wrapping them all up and getting everything put together in her room.  I posted a sneak peek of the in progress shots of some of the furniture here.

(Warning — this is a picture heavy post!)

I pretty much started with a blank slate on this one.  She really didn’t have any furniture besides a bed and an oversized chair in her room.  Let’s take a peek at what the room looked like before I got my hands on it, shall we?

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Womp womp.  Right?  This was no place for a working mama to take a load off at the end of a crazy day!

When she asked me to help her out with the space she pretty much gave me free reign over the design.  I poked around a little with her and figured out colors she liked and got a general sense of what direction I should head.  It was so rewarding to see the space come together after so much hard work.

This is what the room is looking like these days:

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Like I mentioned above, this room makeover is chock full of DIYs.  The nightstands, dresser, and lamps were all painted.  The ottoman was recovered.  The mirror was framed out (and painted).  The headboard was handmade. Just to name a few.  :)

The headboard turned out awesome! And it looks perfect with the white enamel nightstands, the (ever popular) IKEA Maskros light, and those curvy lamps.


The vintage Kilim pillow was an eBay find.  There are so many on eBay to choose from — it was really hard to narrow it down!

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I think my favorite thing in the whole room is the dresser.  I really love the color.  It’s Galapagos Turquoise by Benjamin Moore, and it’s fabulous.  I originally was reluctant to use the original hardware on the dresser, but after it was all painted out I held a piece up against it and it looked perfect.  I’m SO glad I didn’t get new hardware or paint the original hardware a different color.  It’s sort of an antiqued brass color and it looks like it was meant to be with the new dresser color.

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The accessories in the room were all either thrifted or previously owned by my cousin (oh, and a couple were from Homegoods).  Isn’t it amazing how old, tired items can look fresh and new it a different setting?

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I love this little corner.  The perfect spot to read a book or put your feet up and watch a little TV.  I love the new fabric on the ottoman.  It plays perfectly with everything else in the room.  The best part about the room as a whole is that nothing is matchy matchy, but everything goes together.

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I found the adorable Henredon chair in this corner at a thrift store for only $13!  It was a total score.

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The turquoise bench under the window was from Target. So was the coral pillow.  I love those two colors together.

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And the rug (which I love and want one now!) was from Rugs USA.

Oh, and I made sure to take some photos with the lights on.  I love the shadows that the Maskros light casts on the walls and ceiling.

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I am so so happy with how it all turned out (and I’m pretty sure she is too!). Thank you to everyone who helped me get this all together last weekend (you know who you are!).

Ok, so if you made it this far through this giant post I have some good posts coming up on the DIYs in this room, including one on furniture painting tips and tricks.

It looks much better with some personality now, right?  Have you guys done any complete room makeovers lately? They sure are a lot of work, but so worth the end result!

DIY Pompom Garland

posted in: DIY, Posts, Projects | 0

I have fun little DIY project to share today.  And it involves pompoms.  Can’t really get more fun than that.  :)

I shared Jack’s room awhile back and while looking at the photos I kept noticing how boring the window looked.  I am not usually huge on curtains or drapes (although they can look great in the right setting), so I wanted to come up with an alternative idea to dress up the window.

I took a trip to Michael’s and picked up three strands of green and blue pompom strands and also a bag of slightly larger multicolored pompoms.

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First, I sewed the green and blue strands together using just a needle and thread.  Then I just attached the larger pompoms onto that strand the same way.  There was really no science behind the spacing, I just sort of placed them next to the strand before I sewed them on to come up with a plan.

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I worked on this project for at least a couple of weeks.  Not because it was hard (it was extremely easy!), but just because I always have about a million other things going on and a very busy little boy to tend to.  I just slowly chipped away at it, one pompom at a time.

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I really love the pop of color it adds to the room, and it certainly makes the window a lot less boring.  Jack loves it too.  He tries to eat it every chance he gets!  :)

I kind of want to add some pompom fringe to a pillow now…  Any other pompom fans out there?

P.S. I finished up my cousin’s bedroom makeover this weekend and it turned out even better than I had hoped (and it’s chock full of DIY projects).  So stay tuned for the rundown this week!

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