Thursday, 31 January 2013

DIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial

As promised here is my how to for the upholstered headboard I made this week! 

Building Materials & Tools:
old headboard
foam mattress topper (I used a twin, measure your headboard and get the appropraite size you need)
electric knife or bread knife
spray adhesive
fabric of your choice (just make sure it is heavy enough for upholstery)
staple gun and staples
nail head trim (the ones I got from the hardware store were called upholstery tacks)
strip of duct tape

flush mount wall hangers
cordless drill
measuring tape

Step 1:

Lay your headboard down front side up and lay your foam on top.  I used my bread knife (but I've heard electric knifes work well too) to cut out the shape of the headboard, following along the edge.
I wanted nailhead trim which can be difficult to nail in through foam (if it's too thick you won't even be able to get them to stay in) and my headboard has a nice rounded, thick edge that I knew would look fine without the foam, so I actually cut my foam a few inches smaller than the headboard.

You could also trace the headboard and cut it out along your trace line.  You might end up with more even edges than I did.  (I'm tend to be a bit of a short cuts person when I do projects for myelf) 
Step 2:
My headboard had depressed areas.  To level it out I filled in those areas with the scraps of foam I had left over.
Once they were filled in I used spray adhesive to attach the large piece directly to the headboard, which also did the job of  keeping the "filler" pieces in place.  I just sprayed it on the wood and laid the foam on top, then pressed the foam down firmly and let it dry for a few minutes.

Step 3:

Once the foam was dried enough I knew it wouldn't fall off I laid out the material, pattern side down, on the floor and laid the headboard, foam side down, on top of it.  Make sure the fabric is as smooth as possible under the headboard.

My fabric had a pattern so I had to center the headboard on the fabric both side to side and top to bottom so in the end the pattern would be even.   If you had solid material all you should have to worry about is having enough material on each side that you can pull it around to the back and staple it down.
(centered on the fabric)
Once it's where you want it you can start cutting.  If you wanted you could measure it all out and draw an outline and cut along that but as long as you make sure you're leaving yourself with plenty to pull around and staple down you can just eyeball it.  It doesn't have to be perfect!

Step 4:

Next get out your stapler (heavy duty, not just your paper stapler :D in case you're new to the upholstery thing) and starting in the middle of the top pull your fabric over and pull it snug before you staple it down.  Next go the the middle of the bottom and pulling the fabric as tight as possible do the same.  The key to a professional look is pulling your fabric as tight as possible before stapling it down, so you need the staple on the bottom to hold the fabric in place and give you something to pull against. 

Working from the center of the top work your way to the outside pulling firmly and stapling every two or three inches (or even less along curved areas) to help keep it as flat and snug as possible.  Around curves and dips there were times where I had to cut small v's into the edge of the material to get around them.
Because of the shape of my headboard I went from the center all the way down to the bottom corner on one side then from the center down to the other.  Last I did the bottom workng from the center out.

Again, I stress, make sure you are pulling the material as snug as possible every time before you staple it down.  It gets to be hard on the arms but worth it!

Lift it up and check out your handiwork so far!
Step 5:
I only had access to a few boxes of nail head trim so I ended up having to space mine out to make it all the way around the edge.  That meant I had to measure betweent the tacks as well as from the edge, to make sure they were evenly spaced and followed the edge evenly too.  If you had more than I did you could do them side by side the whole way around. 
Since I was spacing mine I started in the middle of the top and worked my way out so they would be centered.  They say to use a rubber mallet to protect the nails finish but I heard they were really difficult to do with a rubber mallet and sticking a piece of duct tape on your hammer head would help protect the finish but would be easier to work with.  I thought it worked well.
The back of the package had a little measuring tape on it that ended up being handy.  Nailhead trim can be a little hard to keep straight when eye balling so just use a ruler or by a nailhead setting tool if you can find one.  You can also buy strips where there are faux nailheads and only every fifth one is a real nailhead.  I've never tried it and I'm not sure what it would be like for going around curves but would probably save a lot of work on straight edges.


Step 6:

I'm going to admit now that I have not yet done this step, lol!  My local hardare store didn't have the flushmount hardware I needed and I haven't had a chance to get to a Home Depot and get one.  This is what they look like.

One gets screwed to your headboard and the other to the wall (into a stud if possible).  They fit into one another so your headboard can hang on the wall without leaving a big gap behind it.  Besides a bit of measuring, I don't think this will be a difficult step but I'll update you when I've done it.

Headboard - $20
Foam - $15
Fabric - $22
Nailhead trim - $6
Total - $63

I already had everything else I needed (except I still need to buy the mounting hardware but I think I've read they're about $8, I'll update when I have them)

Far less expensive than any of the other upholstered headboards I've seen, starting around the $150 -$200 area, and only took about 3 hours!

Hope this inspires you to do your own!

Need some help making your bedroom a restful escape?  I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, 28 January 2013

DIY Upholstered Headboard -Reveal

Last week I picked up this headboard second hand for $20 and showed you some of my inspirational pictures for what I kind of wanted it to look like in the end.

I bought it because I liked the shape, it was in great condition, the price was right, and it would save me buying a piece of plywood and having to cut it out myself (which is a common way to do DIY upholstered headboards).
I found some fabric I loved, bought a cheap foam mattress topper for a little padding, borrowed a staple gun (thanks L!), added some nailhead trim and this is what I ended up with!
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  I could only get a few packs of the nailhead trim so I had to improvise and space them out a bit.  I figured if I can get my hands on more later I can fill in the spaces if/when I feel like it.


It took me about 3 hours start to finish to put it together.  The stapling and trim were by far the majority of the work.  I'll be sure to post a tutorial soon with all the steps, materials and cost breakdown.  But my arms are a like jelly right now so I think I'm going to stop typing! 
I love it but makes me realize I really need to paint and maybe get a new lamp shade.  But one step at a time :)  What do you think?
Have a lovely day!!!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Emily A Clark - Kitchen Organization Tips

I'm very excited and honoured that my name is appearing on one of my favorite blogs!  If you're not familiar with Emily A Clark you need to check out her beautiful house!  Her post today is her favorite kitchen tips from her readers and my little tip is one of the ones featured.  Thank you Emily!  Everyone make sure you click the link button below to check out her amazing blog and my tip!
Have a great morning!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

DIY Upholstered Headboard

I made a little trip today to pick up this beauty!

I know it doesn't look like much right now but sometimes you have to imagine the potential.  I like the shape of it and with some padding and fabric I think I could have a smokin' hot headboard on my hands!  Here are a few of my inspiration pics.

I love the navy and the nailhead trim!

Source: via Kirsten on Pinterest

White is gorgeous too!  Censational Girl did a great job with this one!  This shape and height is a little closer to mine.

Sarah Richardson must have seen the future when she made this Emeral Green jewel.

I really like this fabric!  But I can't decide whether I should keep it neutral or do something fun?!


That ones so much fun!  I wouldn't go that bold for mine, plus mine isn't that high, but I think that would be awesome in a teenager or little girls bedroom!  Very graphic!

Those were all DIY headboards that turned out really nice (IMHO) and cost far less than you could buy it for.  Now I just have to find the perfect fabric!

Which is your favorite??

Monday, 21 January 2013

Gallery Wall

I mentioned I was working on a gallery wall for my living room.  I've been a little slow in getting it together but it's as complete as it's going to get for now (I can't guarantee I won't tweak it in the future, cuz that's just me).  So I'm sharing the pics I promised!

I have a few projects planned for my living room but I'm waiting for a bit more budget before I start and most of the other projects are waiting on the ones that are waiting on budget,lol.  So the living room is in a bit of a transition right now.  I really made this gallery wall to fill the wall that had the tv before.  The tv is now on the wall beside the fireplace, until I get the mirror removed from above the fireplace, build a mantle and mount the tv over the fireplace.  And that's just one of several projects in waiting, so you get a sense of what I mean by in transition.  Because this gallery wall is just a filler until I get all the other projects done I wanted to spend as little as possible.

Most of the items I used were things I already had.  The large canvas was one I had in my basement storage.  It was painted in colour blocks before.  I had used it in a different house but it didn't really work in here.  I spent an hour one evening repainting it as an abstract in colours that go with the living room.  Cost was nothing!
The white frames were from a garage sale freebie pile last summer.  They were golden oak before so I gave them a couple of coats of my trim colour. They also cost me nothing!

The framed pictures were just family pictures from around the house.  Also cost me nothing!
The canvas painting of the beach scene was a souvenir from a trip to Cuba many years ago.  I've always loved the colours in it and thought they worked well here.  Cost? Zippo!
The chalk board canvas was a canvas from the dollar store ($2) and I bought a small tub of chalk board from Walmart ($8).  I just used a small amount of the paint, probably a dollars worth, so I still have lots left for other little projects down the road.  So if you count the whole tub of paint it cost $10 total if you just counted what I used it was really only about $3 of materials.
 View photo.JPG in slide show

If you can't read my chalk board and curious, it's a saying I found on pinterest.
'It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy.' 
We've been trying to practice thankfulness lately so it was fitting.   I'm looking forward to changing it out whenever I want.  I'll definitely be putting up a sweet saying with some cute hearts for Valentines in a few weeks!
As a place filler till the other projects start happening, I think it turned out pretty well and only cost a few bucks.
And just ignore the programable thermostat that's stuck in there.  Like I said it's just a temporary solution, so I'm choosing to pretend it isn't there ;)
What do you think of my place filler gallery?

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Custom Window Coverings - Graber Blinds

I'm really excited to soon be expanding Real Interiors by offering in home custom window covering consultations!

It will be a few weeks till I have my samples but I was so excited I couldn't wait!  The company I will be teaming up with is Springs Window Fashions, specifically the Graber brand.  They are gorgeous!!! 
Graber offers a huge selection of styles, all of which have tons of choices in materials, colours and customization options.  All these come right to your door so you can see all the options in your home, with your decor, and know you're making the right choice. 

Check out some of these designs!

I love how many styles and materials there are!  As a decorator the ability to offer so many options in window covering, that work for any need but also look incredible, is really exciting!

If you're looking for custom window covering or have any questions please feel free to contact me!  I'll be announcing a date to begin in home consultations and more info on this amazing product in the next few weeks.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Candice Olson Family Spaces- Book Review

I don't typically buy many design books because there are so many on line sources for inspirational images and information but when I saw Candice Olson's book featuring family rooms on sale I thought I'd check it out. 

The book is set up so that each room starts with a before picture and a paragraph about the challenges she faced in the redesign.
I liked that the before pictures are actually in colour and large enough to see what they looked like before.  That's kind of a pet peeve of mine in magazines and books when they have teenie tiny black and white before pictures and you really can't see anything.
Also with the before is a mood board of the materials and colours they used, a colour floorplan and then an after picture showcasing the big change. And the rest of the rooms' pages are more afters, a paragraph on the solutions to the design challenges and a paragraph on how she added style to the room.

All the rooms were set up this way so you had lots of information about each room and piles of really great pictures from all different angles.

What I loved about this book:

~There was a really good mix of styles and functions; from modern to traditional and adult spaces to children spaces. 
This was really nice as a decorator to see how she handled different rooms in different situations, because that's exactly what I have to do everyday.

~Not every room was a complete gut job.  Many books, shows, magazines, etc. feature overhauls where they completely tear everything back to the studs and start from scratch.  These usually finish with gorgeous shots but as a decorator, I know the majority of people can't do that.  So it was really refreshing to see how she used the old stone fireplace, the big green sectional, or painted out the stucco and paneling and still got incredible results.

~I loved how much function she managed to fit into one space.  She's excellent at dividing the room into areas that work for different activities but still flow together really well.  You could tell these were spaces for real families and would be used in real life, which is what Real Interiors is all about ;)

~Style wise I've always thought Candice Olson is fantastic at lighting rooms and it showed in this book.  I think that's a really big area of decorating that often people forget. She added pot lights but she also puts in sconces, pendants, lamps, puck lights and under cabinet lighting to get really amazing results. The right things are highlighted and it feels warm and comfortable.

~She's also great at mixing colours and fabrics and materials. The end result is a room that feels very collected and natural (not stuffy).

Source: via Kirsten on Pinterest

(I love the dark moody walls in this room and how lighting and adding white balanced it out to create a really warm and cozy space.)

What I didn't like:

~There were a few design choices I didn't love (such as a silver vinyl couch or a white fabric couch in a family room with kids) but I'm sure she consulted with the families and they were happy with the idea or it wouldn't have been in the room.

~The only other thing I might have liked to have seen is a budget for the rooms but understandably it would probably be hard to find that many people willing to share what they spent on their room.


I flew through it!  I think it was a great book with lots of beautiful pictures and great ideas. I'm glad I have it in my library!

Source: via Kirsten on Pinterest
Source: via Kirsten on Pinterest
Source: via Kirsten on Pinterest

Redoing your basement or family room and need some help?  I'd love to hear from you!  Contact me at  Have a great day!