The Fool's Gold Headboard

Looked through a furniture catalogue lately? As you daydream about how much better your life would be with an overstuffed armchair or the perfect coffee table to accent your area rug, you catch the price tag at the end of the caption. You would end up a very comfortable homeless person.

I decided to end the madness. I followed through on a threat I've been invoking for months, perhaps you can relate, and I made it myself.

That gorgeous tufted headboard cost less than $100 in materials and required about 16 hours of labor- not including time spent shopping.

Yes, the suede back colored like red wine with copper flower buttons and a scrolling camel back top is actually cheap plywood, some warped 1x4s and sale foam padding. Lucky for me, my parents have a mini workshop set up in the garage. Every tool I required was at the ready. I got to use the circular saw, compound miter saw, skil saw, power drill, staple gun and even an electric knife from the '70s usually meant to carve turkey.

If you're looking to create your own luxurious bedroom furniture, please take my advice and wait until there's a sale at your local craft store. Unless you have eight feet of high density foam just lying around, it will be the most expensive purchase of your shopping list. Seriously, I got it for half off and it still cost $53. I had to wait at Joann's for an hour to get my piece cut on sale day, but it was worth it to stay on budget.

The real trick is to assess what you have and what you want to accomplish and create a sensible compromise. I wanted my headboard to be huge. However, I'm no skilled woodworker and plywood sheets are sold in 4' x 8' sheets. On top of that, foam is only 2' x 8' so somehow my high school geometry had to help me figure out how to maximize size. I chose to trim both sheets to six feet long. I discarded the plywood remnant, but used the remainder of the foam to build on the existing sheet to make it appear more dramatic. The arch in the center is only a foot high, but with the scrolling edges I made from foam scraps it appears larger.

Upholstery totally threw me for a loop on this project. I've never actually constructed furniture beyond woodshop in seventh grade. Lucky for me again, my mom has a degree in textiles and knows how to upholster. She had the right thread, a big bunting needle and technique that I can't rightly describe.

Now this girl's blog does an excellent job of breaking down upholstery so check out Centsational girl if you're seriously considering finally making the damn thing yourself.

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