From Rags to Stitches: Making A Quilted Headboard

From Rags to Stitches: Making A Quilted Headboard

From Rags to Stitches:

Making A Quilted Headboard

By Deborah Michelle Sanders

If you have economized by using a mattress and springs on a frame without splurging on a wooden or metal headboard and footboard, you can make your bed look custom-made by making a headboard for yourself and setting it against the wall. All it takes is some measuring, some cutting of cardboard, some taping, some stapling, and some sewing.

Here's how:

The first step is to measure the inside width of the head end of your bedframe and also the height that you want the headboard to be, starting your measuring from the inside of the bedframe. That's the size cardboard you need (you can also use plywood or chipboard, but that will cost you money). The best way to get such a big piece of cardboard is to recycle a wardrobe box from a move and cut it down. I live in a big condominium building and someone is always moving in, leaving boxes to be reused. With a wardrobe box, you will only have one seam at the flaps. If you use smaller boxes, you will have more seams. Before you go any further, insert the cut board into your bed frame to make sure that you have a snug fit and that its height is good.

You need to tape the cut cardboard vertically at all the vertical seamlines and horizontally at all the horizontal seamlines with duct tape or other heavy plastic tape. Then tape the entire surface vertically. Finally, tape the entire surface horizontally. This procedure will take approximately one-third of a roll of duct tape. You may want to compare the cost of that tape with the cost of plywood or chipboard before deciding on using the cardboard.

Then you'll need fabric you like in a size 6" longer and 6" wider than the size of your board. You'll also need quilt batting in the same size. (You can seam either or both to arrive at the right size, if necessary.) I used paisley decorator fabric which I obtained at a thrift store -- the price was only $10 for 3 yards, and it coordinates beautifully with my existing paisley duvet cover and shams.

Now quilt the package of fabric right side up with batting either side up. Quilt from the front. With my paisley design, I just quilted along the lower edge of each of the largest curves, producing scallops. You can simply quilt straight across, if you like, and 3" to 6" intervals are best (be consistent).

The Final Step

The final step is to staple the fabric to the back of the board (with a heavy-duty stapler). Have a partner help you by holding one end of the fabric at a 3" overlap to one side of the back of the board, while you overlap the other side by 3" to the back of the board, making the fabric taut. Ensure that the top of the fabric is even across the board; adjust if necessary. Now staple in 3 places on your side of the board. Jump to the other side of the board and staple in 3 places. If the fabric looks well-placed on the front, go ahead and put in the rest of the staples on the back at each side.

Do the top next, neatly folding in the corners, and then the bottom. Place the headboard on your bed and wait for the compliments to flow in! Enjoy!

About the author

Deborah Michelle Sanders is editor of the The Penny Orchid "Thrift with Flair", a monthly print newsletter that shows you how to save your money and keep the money you have.

About The Penny Orchid

The Penny Orchid is filled with sensible solutions for busy people -- no "recycling dryer lint" hints here. Every issue has a heart-healthy and delicious recipe and invigorating news. Various issues give tips on how to save money in 15 other areas of your life. The Penny Orchid offers solid, helpful advice on living simply without sacrificing joy in life. Deborah Michelle Sanders has the experience of having lived on Social Security Disability Insurance. A lawyer since 1975, now inactive by choice, she has always enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle, even without much money. Read The Penny Orchid to make the most of your resources! A 12-issue subscription costs $24 Send your check payable to THE PENNY ORCHID to: P. O. Box 642335, Attention: Betsy Garcia, San Francisco, CA 94164-2335.


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