First of all, I’d be remiss if I didn’t start this post with a shout-out to Fawn Log’s newest (future) reader: Grace and Phil’s new baby boy!
He is super cute, has chubby cheeks, and he already knows how to point, which might mean he’s a genius:
I’m really happy to be an aunt and am looking forward to starting my aunt-ternity leave, which is what I’m going to call the long Thanksgiving weekend from now on.
In significantly less exciting news, Tony and I did a DIY project that I’ve wanted to do for years: make a headboard! For some reason the internet is full of an astonishing array of headboard tutorials. I wasn’t sure which kind to make until Tony and I rewatched a bunch of Mad Men this summer.
Sure, Jon Hamm is attractive, but have you ever seen a more fantastic headboard?! We had to try to make it!
We used this tutorial from the blog Little Green Notebook. Unlike Fawn Log, that blog contains pretty photos, easy-to-understand explanations, and a professional writing style. If you want to actually know how to make this headboard, you should go to Little Green Notebook. However, if you don’t care about information, then this is the blog for you!
Like the tutorial suggests, we used pegboard for this project. We got it cut at Lowe’s, but because we are bad at math, we had them cut it a couple inches too big. When we realized our mistake, Tony suggested we buy a circular saw and cut it ourselves. I was like, “I dunno…” but surprise, surprise Tony really wanted a saw. (See: previous incident involving Tony’s saw obsession here). Tony is now a proud power tool owner, and I’m happy for him. I mean, who could resist this face?
After Tony re-cut our pegboard, it was time for even more math! We had to decide which peg holes would end up being tufts. In the real tutorial, this step is a sentence long: “You do have to do a little math and mapping out to figure out your button placements, but once you have the formula down, it’s just a matter of counting it out and marking the holes with chalk.”
Oh just “a little math” and “a formula,” you say? Do you know how badly I did on the GRE quantitative section? Don’t talk to me about formulas! In reality, this step took Tony and I at least an hour. Tony eventually thought of using coins to mark our spacing, which made the whole thing more like counting rather than actual math. Still, though! Have you tried counting lately? It’s not easy for some of us.
After we finished that arduous process, it was then time to mark our foam and cut out the spots where the tufts would go. This step is important for two reasons: (1) it lets the tufts go a bit deeper, which looks better and (2) it allows you to feel where the tufts should go after you’ve put the batting and fabric over the foam (and covered up the holes).
Finally, it was button time! We found button-making kits at Joann Fabrics, like the tutorial on Little Green Notebook says. Who knew Tony and I were capable of making fabric-covered buttons? It was actually really fun to make these. First button down, 50 more to go:
Then it was tufting time. This part was probably the hardest, mostly because it was difficult to get each of the tufts to be the same depth in the foam. We eventually landed on a pretty good system where Tony was the tufter and I was the needle-threader. Tony would pull the tuft from the back and I’d tell him from the front if he needed to pull harder or let go a little. He’d staple that one in, and I’d hand him the next threaded button. After 51 times, we were pretty much experts.
Once we finished all the tufts, we then stapled the fabric to the back of the pegboard. The tutorial was really helpful here in that it describes how you neatly fold over the excess fabric (that’s there because of the tufts) to make regular lines around the edges. This makes the finished product look neat and professional instead of sloppy.
Then it was time for more math as we figured out the right height at which to hang it and got it level. Bam:
Then we pushed the bed up to it and, yay! We have a kick a$$ headboard:
Here I am pretending to read with my back against it:
And here’s Betty Draper sitting by it:
Just kidding. But it’s similar, right?
This was a really fun project, and Tony and I are still super impressed with ourselves. However, a word of caution if you’re thinking about trying this: 3″ foam is really expensive. I have no idea why, as it doesn’t seem like a particularly special material, but it is. The piece of foam we got would have cost us $150, but I found a coupon for Joann Fabric that made it “only” $100. Together with other materials, this project costs us about $120 (not counting Tony’s saw). I made the mistake yesterday of looking up actual tufted headboards, and found that you can buy them for close to that. Fortunately, I have yet to find one that’s the appropriate Mad Men color.
While making this headboard, we enjoyed a fully immersive Jonathan Richman experience. By that I mean that we listened exclusively to Jonathan Richman via YouTube and Spotify for the 7+ hours it took us to make this. Song of our headboard:
Jonathan Richman is playing in Springfield this Friday. See some of you there?