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$25 45-Minute Upholstered Headboard Makeover

It was almost unanimous.  Almost.  According to the overwhelming majority of you, staging is very important in selling a home.  So with that in mind, I’m starting to put things together for the bedroom.  I brought the mattress set and bed frame in and set them up between the closets, and then brought the headboard back in.

Ugh.  That headboard.  It was so pretty when I made it.

But after four years of use, leaning against it every night and every morning while working on my laptop, very often with wet hair after a shower, the headboard was looking pretty dingy.  (Only vinyl, leather, or wood headboards for us from now on.)  So I decided to clean the whole thing with a baking soda/water/vinegar solution.  I scrubbed and scrubbed the whole thing, but the fabric turned out looking even worse — very streaky and dull with discolored areas.  It definitely wasn’t what I was hoping for after a good cleaning.

upholstered headboard before

So I moved on to Plan B — new fabric.  I wasn’t about to take the time and effort to remove all of those nailheads (those are individual nail heads that I nailed in one by one– I don’t like and don’t use those nail head strips), so instead I just reupholstered right over this fabric.

I used two yards of this fabric that I found at Hancock Fabrics for 50% off…

breeze monaco decorator fabric from hancock fabrics

…and then I got an additional 10% off because the whole roll of fabric had defects on the back.  Fortunately they don’t show through to the front.  Then I used a package of hi-loft batting (crib size, I think it was) with a 60% off coupon from JoAnn Fabrics.  So for just under $25, and about 45 minutes of wrapping and stapling, my headboard has a brand new look.

upholstered headboard 1

Upholstered headboards are so incredibly easy to make.  I didn’t take pictures of the process because there are approximately 1,452,746 tutorials online on how to make a wrap-and-staple upholstered headboard.  If you need instructions, this is a good tutorial from Better Homes & Gardens.  But the very abbreviated version is that I smoothed the batting out on the front of the headboard, wrapped the edges around to the back of the headboard, and stapled it on.  Then I did the very same thing with the fabric.  I used my staple gun that came with my air compressor to do the stapling, but you can use an electric staple gun, or even a manual staple gun to do a project like this.

I love the color and pattern that it added to the room.  I don’t want to go overboard with crazy patterns and colors, but this fun fabric seemed just right for my colorful condo.

upholstered headboard 3

I always hang my upholstered headboards on the wall when I can, and I use Ook Hangman French cleats to hang them.

I’ll keep the bedding a bit more neutral, with maybe a colorful throw at the end of the bed.  And last night, I also started making some very easy and very inexpensive curtain panels for this room.

curtains for condo bedroom

I’ll share those as soon as I get them finished and hung.

I have to admit, I’m having fun with this.  The decorating projects that I’m doing at the house are more involved and time-consuming, as they should be since it’s our forever home and I want things in our house that are higher quality.  But it’s been fun to take on some quick, easy, really inexpensive projects that can be started and finished the same day.  It feeds my need for immediate gratification that doesn’t get fed very often with my projects at the house.  And sometimes a DIYer just needs some immediate gratification.  🙂

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    1. I actually did consider that option first, but I would have had to purchase paint and fabric medium, and then it would have taken longer than 45 minutes to do because painting upholstery takes at least three coats, plus dry time in between. My sofa, which I realize is much bigger than a headboard, took me a whole weekend to paint. I also was concerned that the nailheads would look terrible after painting. So it really was a toss up for me between painting and reupholstering. Six of one, half dozen of the other. Less money but a whole lot more time with one option, and more money but a whole lot less time with the other. I opted for the one that i knew for certain would have a good outcome. 🙂

      1. I guess I keep more craft items on hand. For next time, you can water down the paint instead of using fabric medium (have you ever tried to wash paint out of your clothes? it’s not coming out.) And you can use Rub n Buff on the nail heads.

      2. C, my only concern about your bed and wall is, because I am an inveterate reader who reads herself sleepy; will you install little lamps on the sides of the closets, or perhaps on the wall behind the bed? I also like having bedside lamps because I hate to have to turn out the lights by getting up and going to the wall switch. Did you have lamps when you lived there?

  1. I am so excited to see you working on the condo. These quick fixes are eye candy for us. Lol I predict you will sell quickly and have money for your forever home as well as a peaceful mind knowing you don’t have to worry over the condo any longer.

  2. Yay for immediate gratification. Plus decorating is just fun. Wish I had 1/2 of your building know how. Oh and more time. The condo will look great and you will be proud to show it!

  3. it’s great to see the room with a bed in it – and the space you left for bedside tables or boards 🙂 I’m looking forward to see how you went about the curtains, they look lovely!

  4. since there doesn’t appear to be a lot of space for side table’s, are you going to attach like a shelf to the side of the cupboard ? beautiful work !!

      1. Great job! Be careful when adding shelving as most mattress sets can vary in height by several inches. What may fit your staged bed may not work for your new owners. Can’t wait to see the end result!

  5. You are doing such a great job with the condo! I would suggest that you offer an option of buying it furnished, since you think your buyers will probably be college coeds who probably would be starting from scratch with no furniture. And what a jackpot it would be to get a professionally decorated adorable place done by you! 🙂

  6. Those colors are “happy” colors. I think it adds much to the room. Someone is going to be lucky to get this condo. The rooms look so much bigger than your neighbor’s. It’s amazing!

  7. I love the curtain plan! I am glad you came up with a simple headboard solution. Though the fabric is a little juvenile for my taste I could see a college student really loving the room you put together.

  8. Love it! I too have a fabric headboard that I switch the fabric on regularly. I love the options it gives me. I like the suggestion someone had of offering the condo furnished. I have a bit of claustrophobia and the closets are a bit close to the bed for me, but the look is great. Good job!

  9. love it! I agree…someone will come in and snap that up for their college girl. And furnished? I think that is a definite possibility. I totally would have for my girl if something like that had been available when/where she was in school. How far from the campus are you?

  10. I love everything you do….including this! The built-ins are amazing and I love your fabric choice for the headboard. I personally like to have a night stand to sit things on like a glass of water and my glasses and a lamp. My question after seeing the photo with the bed between the built-ins is it looks like there might be room for a narrow built it ledge/shelf coming off the sides of the built-ins. Would that be a possibility? If this were your forever home it would also be amazing to built-in lighting on either side but I think I’d leave that to the future owners. 🙂

  11. Looks pretty. If I were buying it I’d add sconces on the size of the cabinets, shelves w/corbels for night stands and be good to go. Loving where this is going.

  12. I would be sooooo tempted to put some “floating” shelves attached to either side of the closets next to the bed. Add hanging pendants or sconces and that area would be so usable and adorable. But I realize the idea is to get it sold…not over decorate. 🙂

    Nice headboard save! It’s fun for your readers (or me at least!) to see the quick instant gratification projects too!

  13. I am going to say what a lot of people may be thinking……that fabric….will be the elephant in the room. You cannot help but be drawn to it, it is very bright and flashy. That being said, you are two blocks from campus, college kids, especially girls are nortoriously flamboyant in decorating their rooms. I would have cleaned it and left it be. You could prop up the bed pillows so that so little of it really shows. It will be the piece that sticks in their memory, and it doesn’t really stay (unless they beg for it). Fingers crossed for college kids. Blessings

  14. I love this headboard and think that simple navy blue bedspread would be perfect with it. It would accent the wall color and the navy blue in the headboard. Simple but effective.

    I’m glad you are finishing up the condo projects as I’ve always loved your condo and the things you’ve completed. You are very practical but eclectic. Makes for a wonderful mix.

  15. Something to consider, if I saw it just the way it is I would plug in a floor lamp (I have one that would fit perfectly) and wouldn’t want shelves to interfere with making the bed. Simpler the better for me. I understand that you have sconces to hang but simpler better. It already looks so nice and clean and pretty!

  16. I, too, loved your old fabric headboard, especially with the grasscloth wall covering, This new fabric is so fun, though. It looks grey with the wall color and will definitely leave a good impression in the buyer’s minds.

  17. I like the builts ins and the headboard, but i’m a bit worried the fabric may be too colorful and cause a distraction to the buyers. I’ve always heard they need to imagine their taste in the decoration, that’s why agents suggest very neutral white or beige tones.

    You’re so very talented with colors and making items work, it may be that my monitor isn’t doing justice to the true colors, but it looks really green to me.

  18. Love that fabric! Good choice! It will bring in the college crowd for sure. And, even though I haven’t been in college for a very long time, I would gravitate to it too. Young and fresh, it says. Excuse me, I need to go to the fabric store!

  19. Love the new look on the headboard! With the bed there it looks really spacious and shows there is plenty of room for the “night table” shelves, I’m excited to see it all together. The fabric goes great with that wall color, and I love the splash of color it brings. It really fits with the home. How did you make the stripe design on your new curtain? The colors are perfect. 🙂

  20. Kristi, I grew up in the 50, 60, and 70’s. That is what your fabric looks like, big, bold and loud! I had a bedspread in just those colors and the big flowers and I really loved that old thing! A lot of happy memories when I opened the mail today! Keep up the good work!

  21. Don’t they sell Folex carpet and upholstery cleaner/stain remover in your neck of the woods?

  22. Please let us know when you’re ready to sell. My cousin’s daughter goes to Baylor and they might be interested in getting this for her.

  23. I m a big fan of the work you do, however college tweens have no respect for “other people’s ” hard work and effort. There are some people who don’t even appreciate their own homes!. Looking at some of those who want to sell on HGTV. Disgusting and dirty. I hope the person who will live in this condo is nice, clean and appreciative.

  24. Love it. It was the perfect fabric. Model homes use bold colors in their window treatments/bedding. It’s likely some buyers will want the furnishings too.