Who doesn’t love the word “custom”? Or even better…”Bespoke”. Yes! Say it again! These adjectives conjure up images of someone sitting down with a designer and dreaming up their a special made-to-order piece of their wildest design fantasy. What if I told you that I can teach you how to customize every inch of a headboard, even down to the color and scale of the fabric…completely “custom”, “bespoke”, and realistically “do-able” if you have a few supplies, a little money, and a weekend.
I picked up an old headboard off of Craigslist because I fell head-over-heals with the shape. See pics below👇. Can you blame me?
If you can’t get your hands on a amazingly curvey head board, there are tutorials explaining how to cut one. A post by Jennifer from Dimples and Tangles is perhaps my favorite. My tutorial, however, focuses on how to cover a preexisting headboard. So once you’ve procured your headboard by any legal means necessary, start HERE!
Cypress Contton Canvas Fabric Review
A huge shout out to Spoonflower.com for sponsoring the fabric in this post. It wouldn’t be nearly as exciting without this amazing Tropicana Jaguar Emerald Upholstery Sized Fabric designed by Ester Fallon Lau, the nouveau_bohemian. She is such a talented Surface Designer, and I swear you will not be disappointed if you check her out.
Also, you may know that I am a big fan of Spoonflower.com I love that they have a seemingly endless supply of fabric and wallpaper designs to chose from. Plus, if I want to adjust the scale or color I can usually contact the designer. They are often happy to help (sometimes for a small fee). I like to have the power to make these fun choices! What do you mean this makes me sound like a control freak? Who doesn’t want a little power in their lives? 😜
This was my first time trying Spoonflower’s Cypress Cotton Canvas fabric and I give it a huge thumbs up 👍. In my Spring ORC room I used Spoonflower’s sexy Celosia Velvet, but this time I wanted a crisp and preppy look for my daughter’s bed.
The canvas is thick, but not too thick. It doesn’t wrinkle particularly easily and still worked in my sewing machine (with a denim needle). Oh, did I mention that I can get Spoonflower fabric it in almost any color, scale, and pattern imaginable? So, um…yeah… I will certainly be using this product again… soon.
- Fabric 7-9 yards for a full to queen sized bed
- Sewing Machine
- Fusible iron-on Web Tape
- Acrylic Rotary Ruler
- Rotary Cutting Mat
- Rotary Cutting Tool (not pictured)
- 2 inch Upholstery Foam
- Bag of Quilting Batting
- Staple Gun
- Marker or Pen
- Iron (not pictured)
- Cord for welting (Measure the perimiter of the bed x2 plus another foot)
- Optional: Staple remover or pliers
Pad Your Headboard
I purchased a $25 bag of 2 inch foam from Walmart, and it was JUST enough to cover the entire full sized heaboard. I used upholstery spray to attach the foam to the board, but I will warn you, wear a mask. I’m no doctor, but this stuff feels dangerous to breath.
Cover Your Headboard
I used one bag of cotton batting. I believe it was around $10 and is advertised for use on blankets and quilts. This layer simply smooths out all of the lumps and bumps. Think of it as Spanx for your upholstery 😜.
Fit Your Fabric
If your headboard is larger than twin-sized your fabric will not reach across the width of the headboard. You are going to need to sew fabric together to to make it work. This is relatively easy when you are working with a solid. With a patterned fabric, however, you need to ensure that fabric repeat matches up PERFECTLY…no pressure😬. Don’t worry, I have a trick for you👍.
Simply match up the pattern, pin it together as shown above, and iron Fusible Web Tape between the two pieces. Using this technique, you can get a perfect match! Then take the fabric over to your sewing machine to reinforce the tape with an actual seam (from behind with like sides together).
Cut Your Fabric
If there is a large pattern, line the entire piece up on the headboard the way that you like it to look. You can see that I wanted my jaguars running down the center of the bed. Mark it, and then flip the entire thing upside down with the fabric right-side down and with the headboard on top. With a pen, trace along the curve of the padded headboard. Error on the side of “slightly too much fabric” vs “too little fabric”. Flip everything back over and double check that you like the fit.
Then pull out the scissors and begin cutting 😬.
Triple check that you did a great job.
Sew your Welting
If sewing welting is beyond your craft level, it is ok to skip this step…It just won’t be quite as fab. If, however, you are up for the challenge 💪 reference my other tutorial on sewing welting. Basically you take fabric, lay it on a rotary cutting board at at 45 degree angle and cut about 2-3 inch wide strips. Remember- 45 degree angle so that it snakes around the curves of the bed.
Then match ends up and fold over. See that diagonal line I ironed 👆? Sew right along that angle, trim with scissors, and iron flat. Ta da!
It is recommended that a zipper foot be used for this step, but don’t stress if you cant’ find yours. It will still work, though maybe not quite as well.
If all of this is too tricky, the second option is to buy the welting cord and doublefold bias tape. Iron the tape out flat, fold it over the cable and sew.
Cut, Pin, Sew
Now, there are two ways to go about the next step.
Option 1: People generally measure the depth of their headboard and add about 4 ish inches. That may be somewhere around 7-8 inches wide. Cut a strip that is long enough to cover the circumference of your headboard plus a little extra. Then put right sides together with the cord in between and pin. First pin a few inches to replicate the seam and then open it up. If it looks righ, and you’ve got the hang of it, go for it.
Option 2: (The one I usually use :). I broke option 1 into two parts: Top fabric and piping and then sew on the side piece. Twice the time, yes, but I wanted to double check that it looked correct.
So, first line up the end of the cord with the end of the headboard fabric. Pin and sew the seam all of the way around just the top fabric. Then, double check that it fits (right side up covering the headboard) and pin the side fabric all of the way around and sew the 7-8 inch fabric strip to the first seam (right sides together).
The reason I went with option 2 was to give myself the control to match up some of the jaguars on the two fabrics.
The below images shows what it looked like I after I had sewn the cord to the top piece and pinned the side piece (right sides facing). After all seams are sewn, iron and fit the fabric back on the headboard for the final time.
This is where it starts to get FUN! I propped a big box under my heavy headboard so that I could maneuver around while stapling. I lined up the grain of fabric parallel to the sides of the bed. I also ensured that the jaguars looked centered.. Additionally, I played with the fabric to guarantee the piping was in about the same place all of the way around the perimeter.
Once you are ready to staple, sink a few at the top, bottom, and then each side to ensure your fabric stays lined up. Then continue this pattern. Sink a few staples in a row and then rotate. You DON’T want to staple an entire side before moving on. It’s more effective to staple about 6-8 inches at a time and then double check your straightness, restretch if necessary, and rotate to another part of the bed.
The trickies part of the curvey headboard is…you guessed it! The curves. I found it helpful to make some cuts pointing and radiating towards the curves of the bed. See below. Just make sure that you don’t cut too close to the headboard.
Last Step! Staple the second welt along the back. You can secure it with a few tacks. It will have the appearance of being sewn, but without the work. You are welcome!
Optional: You can hand sew the welting along the foot to give it a polished look.
This project took me about 15-20 hours over the course of three days. I’d say it was well worth it, and I’m happy to report that my daughter is thrilled!
So tell me… What do you think?
Stay tuned soon for the BIG REVEAL of this room on the 12th…I can’t wait to show you the fun plans we have for the walls!