Channeling my inner Daniel Kanter - Headboard upgrade
So I have been playing around with the furniture arrangement in my bedroom and decided that the bed makes much more sense on the longest wall in the room instead of in the little nook where it was originally. (You can check-out the old furniture arrangement here.) The only problem with the new spot is there is a tiny little window on this side of the room that you can see through our slatted wood headboard...
I have no problem with covering the window - It actually is a real pain because there is no cute way to hang a black-out window covering on a knee window so it has always bothered me. Not cute. We actually just updated our bedroom curtains to black-outs on the proper sized windows and it is working out really nice. So it would be great to have a solid headboard because it would block the window and make the bed look normal on this wall and also block the light!
Finally! a the perfect opportunity to do the Daniel Kanter headboard DIY! If you have not idea what I'm talking about stop and go over the the Manhattan Nest blog and check it out! This is such a classic DIY and I have always wanted to have a good reason to do it and now I do! The cost for a designer fabric headboard is out of this world expensive. Trust me if I had that kind of money to spend it would not be on a bed! In total (not including the cost of the bed) this DIY cost about $60.
Here is where I started. You can see the make-shift blackout curtain is over the knee window and how bad it looks through the open headboard.
The first step was to make the headboard taller and create a solid surface to wrapping with batting and fabric. I cut a piece of 3/4" plywood to the dimension that wanted the final headboard to be. Then I used a small piece of scrap wood to brace the new plywood on top of the existing headboard. It worked really well because I was able to find a piece of wood that was the same width as the existing headboard so it essentially became an extension of what was already there.
Then I used some of the leftover plywood to cover the back portion of the board that extends up above the old headboard. I don't think this is a must but it helped to have a solid surface to secure the fabric to.
Next I secured the new headboard frame to the old headboard. To do this I used a few straight metal brackets. This secured the new headboard to the base with the minimal amount of damage to the original bed frame. If I wanted to undo this DIY there is literally only a few screws in the back side of the original bed frame.
So now we have a new plywood headboard! YAY!!! Here is what the bed looked like after the headboard was secured in place. From this point there are a million different directions you can take the decor. I decided to go with a Grey Military Style Wool Blanket as my headboard covering like in the Manhattan Nest DIY but you can literally use anything you like.
Before you wrap the headboard in fabric first staple on a layer of upholstery batting. This will make the edges of the headboard less harsh and sharp. I have a compressor and pneumatic staple gun which was awesome for this project. I'm not sure I would have been able to do it with a hand stapler because the fabric I chose was so thick. If a hand stapler is the only tool you can get your hands on I would recommend going with a lighter weight fabric and potentially using particle board instead of plywood for the base.
I stapled the batting about every 6 inches and the wool fabric about every inch.
I wasn't supper neat about the stapling because it is on the back and no one will ever see it. It was harder than I expected to staple the wool fabric at the corners where it was folded over and thicker. It was also hard to have the corners hold their shape with so much fabric. You can see the top right corner is a little wonky but I didn't want to risk cutting out some of the excess and going too far and needing to order another blanket. So this was the best I could do.
Here is how it turned out! This is the picture I took right after I was done. The entire project took under three hours and there was very little clean-up (quick and clean - great qualities in a DIY). One thing that I did not anticipate is how much the cat likes to snuggle a the top of the bed and it requires a good vacuum pretty frequently - so a little more maintnenace than a wooden headboard for sure.
Here is what the bedroom is looking like now! It's come a really long way from back when we moved in right!!!
Since I made the new headboard I upgraded our bedding with a great new duvet cover and pillow cases from West Elm. and we finally have a good furniture arrangement worked out. We also got some new bedside lamps from IKEA. I secured them directly to the headboard so that we can take them down without damaging the wall.