Covering a headboard

Since Little Four moved out of the crib (about two years ago, now) and into a twin bed, I’ve been on the look out for a cheap headboard for his room. You don’t really need a headboard, but it seems to finish a bedroom (and keep those metal bed frames from rolling all over the floor). I picked up a wooden bed frame from Freecycle at one point, intending to paint it, but soon realized that it was just too big for such a small room. (I think it had been the top bunk from one of those twin-over-full bunk beds.) It didn’t take me too long to pass it on to another freecycler.

Then early this fall, I spent a couple of weeks cruising the garage sales in my neighborhood. I happened across a multi-family sale full of old furniture, tools, linens, and vintage Pyrex and Tupperware. I found this little vinyl upholstered headboard irresistibly priced at $1. It even had a plastic bag with four bolts taped onto the back.

The shape was nice and the height was good, but the vinyl was terrible. I think my grandma had kitchen chairs upholstered in something similar. It was yellowed and ugly, but there were no rips and no funny smells, and the legs seemed to be made of sturdy oak.

Once I got it home, I started shopping for fabric to reupholster it. I wanted something neutral, sturdy and not too precious–this is a little boy’s room, after all. I had nearly settled on a navy corduroy, when I remembered an old blue and white ticking stripe shower curtain I’d been saving to repurpose in some way. Neutral, sturdy, and FREE.

I thought about adding piping, but decided it wasn’t worth the effort. I did use a double layer of batting (which I already had) to add extra cushion and soften the edges of the existing vinyl piping. The project was as simple as cutting the batting and curtain big enough to wrap around the headboard, and securing it all with a staple gun. I tried to pleat the corners nicely and make sure the stripes stayed vertical.

So for one dollar, Little Four has a soft headboard, and we have nice place to lean when we read bedtime stories. It was getting crowded in the rocking chair.


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