New Headboard. Who dis?

So I have been slowly (heavy emphasis on the word slowly) completing projects around our home. The most of the ones I have completed so far are boring (read: not design based) but my first completed design project was a reupholstering of our headboard.

I fell in love with a sketch of a Kate Spade bed from the comforter that we purchased and thought how cute would it be if this bed were a real bed?

kate spade bed

It was just my luck that Kate Spade actually makes a very similar bed and the design in the photo is just up my eclectic preppy little alley.

kate spade worthington

So I drove myself down that alley of the Kate Spade Worthington Bed and instantly pumped my brakes, as it retails for the low low price of $7,345 and includes an additional fee of $199 and a shipping and handling charge. But who’s counting?

So this piece became my lofty inspiration and the jumping off point for several ideas. I dabbled with the concept of getting this feel with a vintage scalloped headboard and painting the trim black or getting an upholstered headboard that had the wood exposed. Nothing was showing up when I hunted for vintage wood beds and I refuse refuse refuse to pay $2000 for a bed when I am currently sleeping in a perfectly good one.

One weekend, I woke up and realized I love the shape of our current bed. I just want the feel of the contrasting Kate Spade bed. *Queue DIY music* I decided to reupholster our headboard and just add a contrast trim instead of the piping that was already there.


Here’s a before shot of our headboard. Note the comfy way I’m reclining against it. I more than paid for that because after years of owning it, our headboard had giant prepford wife (and prepford husband) size stains from body oils. Knowing I wanted a white headboard I took that into consideration when deciding on which fabric to get.

Before leaving the house, I stripped the old headboard so I would know how much fabric I needed.


It is very much apparent that I did this project on a whim since I didn’t even clear out space for it in our bedroom. Basically in these photos, I removed the legs of the headboard then the decorative black backing GENTLY as I had no intention of paying for more of that strictly decorative netting. When I removed the netting, I realized very quickly that our headboard was made of two pieces which is what gave it the trim that we had. In the third photo, I also realized that there was piping that created that nice line of piping that was on the original headboard. I gently pulled it away, mentally documenting the order that I removed the pieces.

I ended up with three pieces of distinct fabric in the end; the part from the main headboard that I rest against, the trim and the piping. I am the “Measure halfway twice and cut three times”. By measure halfway twice I mean I guesstimate and eyeball how much fabric I need and then run off to the store. I have a good eye for spacial reasoning and distance and have only been wrong maybe once or twice. I swear this method makes my husband nervous.

I went to Joann Fabrics (armed with my customary 40% coupon) and sprinted back to the upholstery wall. I have to be fast in the store because the husband loathes the fabric store and I took him along for his opinion. I purchase furniture the same way I purchase clothing; by touch. I went to the white upholstery fabrics and found a piece that felt appealing and after a visual assessment looked appealing. At $24.99/yd and with 40% I could absolutely swing it. While we were in the upholstery section we also snagged a can of Scotchgard because we were not going to make the same mistake twice with the body oils.

I knew from measuring that I needed about 1.75 yards of fabric and I was going to bump it up to 2.5 yards because I was so lazy with the measurements. At the counter the girl helping us said there was only 2 yards on the bolt. Insert nerves in my gut here. Obviously I took it since I was on a serious deadline here. I also decided to make this a no sew project  -oh you know, since I don’t sew- and grabbed a roll of grosgrain black ribbon for the contrast trim.


I spread the white fabric out on the living room floor (don’t worry, I swiffered first) and laid the biggest panel of fabric from the old headboard out in a way that left room for the other panels. I eyeballed as usual.


I cut the panel out, making sure to leave enough to be able to pull around the edge and staple it down. At the bottom of the panel which is the straight end. I left enough fabric to be able to lay the large plank which had the trim (it’s the part that labeled A in the earlier pictures) onto this and staple the fabric to the back of it.


The batting on my headboard was in surprisingly good condition but if you need any, definitely add it before stapling down. You can see my batting peaking out at the bottom there. IMG_5606

I then added fabric to the piece where the contrast is (part A again). I cut out a piece of fabric by just cutting a few inches from around where I cut out the first piece of fabric since it pretty much made the perfect cut out. For the part with the corners, I just created a bit of a fold in the fabric, pulled really taut and then stapled down to the back to create uniformity. Now for the piping.


This part is kind of tricky to see but I saved the old piping and made sure that I chose a pretty thick and long grosgrain ribbon. I measured the length of the old piping which was about 156 inches and made sure to get a ribbon that was long enough on the spool so that I would have one continuous piece. When I started this part of the project, I wrapped the ribbon around the old piping like a hotdog bun and then stapled the part that would be open against the side of the white trim. If you look at the pictures above and below, you can kind of see the old canvas color peeking out of the bottom of the black ribbon at the right. I was totally unphased by that since the main part of the headboard would be going over it. IMG_5608

Here’s a much closer picture of it. I continued along the headboard, wrapping and stapling, wrapping and stapling until I got to the curvy portion.


At the curve, I wrapped and tacked to the headboard and pushed into the corner real good to make sure it didn’t come loose. At this portion of the program it was well into 2 am so the pictures stopped but this is definitely the home stretch. Once the ribbon was in. I placed the other main headboard layer into the hole created for it, pulled the fabric taut on the main headboard piece and staple the back on. Before doing so, I poured almost a whole bottle of wood onto the big trimmed piece.

If I remember I will add more pictures of the headboard.


Voile finished product. The headboard could definitely have been pulled more taut. That step is very very very important if you want a nice clean finish but overall, I am satisfied with the results and this $35 fix will tide me over until I find the vintage headboard of my dreams.


XO Prepford Wife


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