Thursday, March 1, 2012

the Crafty Sister: DIY Headboard

I have my moments of DIY but must admit that since the kiddos, my personal DIY's are usually driven by some sort of necessity rather than true creative inspiration.  Lately, I have been living DIY vicariously through my kid sister who always seems to have some project in the works.  This month she took on a chesterfield headboard.  Check it out for the how to and the finished result.  And stay tuned for more from "the Crafty Sister".


 1) Supplies needed for a Queen-Sized Headboard [under $110]:  
  • Fabric – Upholstery fabric is 54” wide, while others are 45” wide, so be conscious of your desired height dimensions. With a 60” wide desired headboard, I chose a piece that was 68” long, approximately 2 yards of fabric [Fabric Corner - $17]Sturdy Plywood (60”w x 33”h) – wide enough to cover the width of a queen bed and high enough to touch the top of box spring with enough height to sit-up comfortably. [Home Depot - $30, cut to desired size] Note: An alternative to use could be pegboard, a lighter-weight material that would not require you to drill holes into the plywood for the chesterfield effect.
  • Twin-sized Egg Crate – perfect height for my dimensions and I only had to cut a few inches off the width. It was an economical way to have foam without purchasing what can be pricey upholstery foam from Joanne’s, etc. [Bed, Bath & Beyond - $10, with a coupon]
  • Full-Sized Quilt Batting – It folded in-half and I had enough to pull over the foam and the plywood. [ACMoore - $6, with a coupon]
  • Dritz 7/8” Half Cover Buttons – These ensured the same fabric I was using for the headboard would be the same fabric for the buttons. [Windsor Button - $20]
  • Hangman – Can mount up to 200lbs [Home Depot - $15]
  • Upholstery Thread & Long 4” Needle [Fabric Corner - $7]
  • Drill/Drill Bit
  • Staple Gun/Staples
  • Measuring Tape
  • Permanent Marker
  • Scissors
  • Spray Adhesive 
2) Measuring/Marking/Drilling
With a 60”w x 33”h board, I measured alternating 5 and 4 hole rows. 6” or 12” apart vertically and 5.5” or 11” apart horizontally.

3) Marking/Cutting
I laid the foam next to the plywood with the flat side on top and marked/cut the button holes to align with drill holes. [Note: Spray adhesive can help to keep the foam from moving while marking/cutting]:
Then I laid the quilt batting over the foam and stapled along the edge of the plywood – starting in the center and working out, stapling 3 – 5” apart. 

4) Buttons
Using the extra fabric from the headboard, I made the 23 buttons using the Dritz 7/8” Half Ball Cover Button Kit. These were easy to complete, there is a pattern on the back of the kit with the size of the fabric circle you need to cut.  I just laid the top of the button on the fabric, tucked it into itself, catching on the teeth and then pop on the back side. No tools required.  Then I strung about 16” of doubled upholstery thread onto the eye of the back of the button, in a simple loop to fasten.
I did this all in advance to help speed along the process of putting the buttons through the board.

To place the buttons, I led with the eye of the needle through the back of the plywood and punctured the fabric.  Then I threaded the needle and pulled it back through the hole.  I taped the thread to hold in place until we were ready to staple them.  
To staple the thread of the button, I found it much easier with two people. One person to push the button and pull the thread in the back simultaneously, while the other person staples the thread. 

5) Final touches
Finally I pulled the fabric taut and stapled to the backside of the plywood, working in the center, stapling every 3 – 5”. The corners can be tricky, so I cut a bit of the batting and fabric to reduce the bulk, tucked it into itself and folded over the corner for a crisp corner. 

Using a French Cleat we attached one part to the wall and one part to the headboard and voila, new headboard!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

the Joy of Cherry Blossoms

It is my favorite time of year in San Francisco when the cherry blossoms bloom, it usually happens in late winter because of some bout of warm weather.  The streets here are lined with them and it is such a beautiful site.  A long cherry blossom branch in a tall clear vase is one of my favorite flower displays.  Not being lucky enough to have a blossom on our property, I might admit to sending my husband out at dusk to "trim" the neighbors tree once or twice.  2012's version was bought and didn't have as many blooms but I still loved the simplistic look.

Nothing says SF like a bacon truck flanked by beautiful cherry blossom trees

Photo: Etsy via Jonathanly
Etsy has some great Cherry Blossom wall decals which are cute in a nursery but I came across this artwork from Jonathan Ly, love the graffiti style.

And if you are so inclined, why not celebrate cherry blossom season with your own ACME party in a box!?!

Friday, February 3, 2012

the Garden

The transformation of the backyard is one of the most significant we have made to date.  All the credit needs to go to my husband, the green thumb of the family.  He pours over organic gardening magazines and blogs the way I do over decor.  The backyard has gone through several phases in our effort to find the right balance of garden and play space.  It continues to evolve with new plantings (and our neighbors renovation) but it has been an amazing journey thus far.

Original Yard

We've taken to the backyard in steps, updating as we have saved our pennies and had the time to monitor plantings.  The before picture was from the realtor site (hence the long angle lens), by the time we moved in that dirt patch was filled with a thick layer of weeds from the Autumn rain.  The path was a shoddy collection of brick with square with pink slabs in the middle.  It was a massive space but was totally inhabitable.  We pulled out the large bushes in the middle, most of the old vegetation and removed the pink slabs to create a fresh slate.  We did, however, leave the heritage roses in the back, they have been there for years and are amazing.

Phase one: new planter boxes

My husband sketched a design of the new planter boxes that he envisioned running around the backyard and dividing it in the middle with a lower box for herbs.  We used redwood but decided not to treat the wood to keep the garden as organic as possible, it has worn really well but we will have to replace it earlier then if we had used treated wood.

Phase two: Grass
 Weeds! It was a b*&%ch to get these out, the backyard was covered in it every time it rained.

 Dirt, finally ready and then....


I wanted a bit of a grassy patch for the kids to play on.  My bright idea now requires my husband to mow the lawn every other week....but it is sure pretty. :)

Phase three: Decomposed granite and path

Decomposed granite is rough sand, it packs down really well and becomes firm but still has movement. 

 We got the stone left over from a project that my mother-in-law did, it worked well with the gold granite.


   In addition to the work we did, our neighbors are in the midst of a major renovation themselves and we benefited from them removing our old shoddy fence.

 We spend hours out here now.

 Original roses still going strong and adding some nice color to the planter boxes.

 So lucky to have a gardening husband to grow us organic veggies, yum!

 We wanted a concrete or industrial table for the outside. We found this in the workshop attached to our garage, it had shelves underneath it so I didn't initially realize it was a table.  It was just what we were looking for.  The chairs are from Costco, but I am saving up for these.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

the Parsons Desk

I just discovered Front&Main, West Elm's blog.  As a huge fan of the store and its modern bohemian style, I am also a big fan of the blog.  They seem to always showcase their Parsons line; which is probably West Elm's most famous piece often featured in design mags and blogs.  I decided to show how I use my own Parsons desk - as an entry way console.  I decided to get the desk vs. the console because it was deeper and shorter (which worked better for the space) AND I thought it more useful to get a desk should I need to use the piece somewhere else down the line.  {SIDE NOTE: When buying a piece, I try to think of multiple uses for it therefore if it doesn't work as expected I have a back up and also helps justifying a new purchase.  My husband laughs at me for this. }

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

the Love of Craft Paper

I love craft paper.  It's natural, easy and always seems to fit in nicely with the earthy vibe that I am always drawn too.  It has become a staple table runner option, reminiscent of an Italian countryside picnic.  I often write guests names directly on the paper as well as a welcome note providing a nice personal touch.  Craft paper has also become my wrapping paper of choice, either with a big colorful bow or more natural with garden twine and snowflakes for Christmas.  I normally keep a roll in my dining room closet (yes there is a closet in the 24th dining room) but I came across this sweet set up in my daily Remodelista newsletter.  The picture is from the office of Fuzzco in Charlston, but Remodelista provides recommendations on where to find my own massive roll of paper.  Now where to put it.........

(Image: Remodelista, Fuzzco Office)