Look It


As my kids would say…”Look it Mommy!”  Well, look it guys!  While I’m puttering away at deep cleaning our kitchen this week (and I really mean puttering because…kids), it’s a great time to pop in and share some creative ideas and pretty projects done by other people. 

Look it!

One thing that has a surefire way of making my heart swell is when a reader tells me they used one of my tutorials for something…and then they send me pictures.  Lisa has been a reader and one of the sweetest commenters ever here on my little blog for a long time and awhile back, she wrote me an email telling me that she had helped her niece make valances like the ones we made for our dining nook.

Here’s the before:

And here’s the after:
IMG_0453I love that her windows are situated similarly to ours!  That makes it even more fun!  But seriously, didn’t they do a great job?  It’s always amazing to see just what a big difference adding window treatments makes!

Lisa also just sent me this picture of a bed post that her and her husband turned into a table!  Look!
IMG_0405THAT, is impressive, no?

Then there’s my friend Bonnie.  She blogs over at A Knotted Life and you should really go follow her and read all about her miracle story.  Then once you start reading her blog, you’ll want to call her up for a coffee date because she’s that great.    

Anyway, she posted about her birdbath on Instagram a month or so ago and I was so impressed.  The lady is genius!  As the story goes, the previous owners of her current home left a birdbath behind.  Well that’s all fine and dandy except that the birdbath was broken so no bird-watching could Bonnie and her fam do.  So, instead of tossing it, she filled it with dirt and turned it into a beautiful planter!

I mean, isn’t that genius?  Can you imagine how many countless birdbaths have been trashed because they couldn’t serve their intended purpose anymore?! 

Last but not least, you guys know how much I love spray paint, right?  Well then it shouldn’t surprise you that I loved this transformation by Mary.  She shared this in a Facebook group and I thought it was so awesome that I asked if I could share her handiwork here!  The metal house numbers on her house were looking a little worse for wear. 
So she grabbed a can of spray paint and now they look as good as new and just really fantastic, don’t you think?13612225_10155023360195031_5194626441292375286_nWould you ever guess, if you hadn’t known, that they weren’t brand new?!  Nope, me either.  Spray paint, I tell ya.  The stuff is magical.

So, let’s give a rousing round of applause for these three creative ladies and their A+ transformations!  Since we’re so slow at getting fun projects done around here these days, it’s nice to be able to show off everyone else’s stuff!

State of the Painted Cabinets


It’s been awhile since I’ve filled you in on the state of a project or two so, since I just finished super cleaning the laundry room, it’s a perfect time to snap some pictures before the dust setttles once again.  So, let’s focus in on the cabinets, yes?  Shortly after we moved in, I painted them white.  This was prior to the blog so I don’t have a tutorial or anything but I scrubbed them down and then just slapped some Kilz primer up on them followed by some white latex paint.  (You can see kind of see what they looked like before on our Current Nest page.)  But the thing is, they’re laminate.  Laminate can be tricky to paint.  Sometimes it holds paint well and sometimes it doesn’t.  A lot rides on what paint you use and how you paint, whether or not you prime it first, and what state it’s in before you start.  Our cabinets were in great shape and I’m happy to say that, after almost seven years, they still look good.
IMG_8072 There’s no peeling paint to be seen but some of the edges by the knobs are a tiny bit worn with a little of the brown peeking through.  I added knobs to these cabinets three years ago so before that, they were opened and closed by pulling on the lower edges and corners, hence why those areas are worn.

Speaking of the knobs, they still look as good as they did the day I painted them, despite their frequent use.
And, while we’re at it, the mirror I glued toothpicks to gets an A- because it’s missing one toothpick (11:00). IMG_8080I keep forgetting to grab pointed toothpicks when I’m out but someday I will so it can be complete once more.

In other laundry room news, we hung our ironing board awhile back.
IMG_8078It used to just rest against the wall but having it up and off the floor feels so much better.

We grabbed one of these small hooks* to hang it on (this mount* would work if you’ve got a t-leg board).   It hangs on that short horizontal bar between the legs.  IMG_8079
It was centered on that small expanse of wall until I added the tall shelves where we store our shoes.  The diaper box holds all the kids’ shoes until I can gussy it up or find a prettier basket.  The metal trash can holds all of our recycling…I mean, holds it for about two days at which point it overflows onto the floor.  We still have yet to figure out a good organization system for our recycling.  We have a fairly large laundry room but it’s pretty full of stuff (we don’t have a garage so it holds tools and paint too).  Ideas on how to tackle the recycling pile are welcome!  Please!

Also in other news, I nabbed this big basket from Goodwill last weekend.
As you can see, one of the handles was hanging off and the other was just peachy.  So, to even things up, I just cut them both off.
We’ve got plans to build a bigger countertop atop the washer and dryer area so eventually, that basket might hold all of our laundry supplies.  That will free up lots of space in the cabinets above to store tool and whatever else needs a home for the sake of organization.

Per the usual, I’ve got lots of other plans for this room (and a Pinterest board to prove it) but first we’re reluctantly staring down a few other necessary but not-so-fun projects like rebuilding our entire chimney, replacing the collapsed floor in our outdoor shed, and getting our backyard into shape.  Ugh, you always gotta get the work done before the fun starts, dontcha?  It’s okay though because I’m a pro at slipping in little projects between those big, boring ones. 

Stay tuned.  :)

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*affiliate link



(Completely unnecessary disclaimer:  This is NOT a sponsored post nor did Kohl’s ask me to write it nor is anyone twisting my arm to type this here story about a shopping cart.  I’m just sharing because I had a little too much browsing-while-nursing time this week, I personally love shopping at Kohl’s (their Lauren Conrad collection is the bomb), and I happened to stumble on a great deal you might want to know about.  However, I did put some affiliate links down below on items I’m contemplating on purchasing.  Read on.)

I’m not a huge online clothing shopper for myself.  I feel like I have a hard time finding things that fit in stores much less online; you know, taking the gamble of buying online only to find out what I ordered doesn’t fit.  That alone isn’t the biggest deal though.  It’s the shipping costs that terrify me.  I only spend about $10-20 a month on clothing for myself so paying to have something shipped to me to find out it doesn’t work sounds like a fun or fruitful game I want to play.  #not  The kids however?  I could shop for them online all day because they fit into most things.  Which is why I have a whole shopping cart full of stuff for the fall for the girls over at kohls.com.  And it’s just sitting there until I figure out how to narrow it down or decide to just splurge and grab it all.  Why do you care?  Well you probably don’t.  But, you might be impressed at the numbers.  Let me explain.  But first, let’s dive into my cart contents, shall we?  (All prices are current as of today, 8.11.2016.)  


1 // chambray tunic + leggings set  The set is $13.99 in baby & $16.80 in toddler.  I mean, how cute would it be to match all three girls?  My pre-kids self would’ve said not cute at all; only overboard.  But now I’d show a enthusiastic thumbs up!  So, that means I’ve got three of these in the cart.  The leggings aren’t necessarily ones I’d pick up were they sold separately even though they’re cute but I love, love, love the chambray top.  It’s simple with a touch of flair in the added pockets (my style in a few words) and could be paired with skirts and pants galore.  I could dress the girls in chambray everyday and be totally ok with it.   

2 // horse print skater dress  Cost:  $15.60 in toddler.  Maybe it’s the plethora of girls and therefore, the everlasting flow of pink we’ve got going on, but I’m personally sick of the color as far as baby clothes go.  However, this dress gets me.  It’s not a gaudy shade of pink, which helps it’s case in my book, but the prettiest shade of light pink.  Paired with the splatter of horses makes it *sigh*, I want it.  Put a tiny jean vest over it and an olive green infinity scarf ‘round the neck and we’ve got a mini fashionista on our hands. 

3 // printed leggings  Cost:  $6 in baby & $7 in toddler.  This print had me at hello.  Floral is hit-or-miss with me but this one is a definite hit.  It’d be super cute with the chambray top of #1 and many a graphic tee.

4 // pull-on ribbed waistband jeans  Cost:  $13 in toddler.  My girls aren’t huge fans of jeans.  They’re too restricting.  I guess the whole of the human race, or at least the women in it, might echo that sentiment.  There aren’t thousands of yoga pants memes for nothing, right?  But, with a comfy waistband and a cycle with some fabric softener, these ones might make them think twice.  Jeans go with everything but I snagged a couple of little red sweatshirts on clearance awhile ago that I’d love to pair with these.  Roll up the hems a little, put some booties on them, and I just might squeeze them to death.  ;)

5 // olive button-down & floral leggings set  Cost:  $13.99 in baby & $17.99 in toddler.  More of the dreaded pink in the leggings but they’re actually really cute with the olive green tunic.  Green is my favorite color and I especially love it in it’s muted shades like this.  I’ve got this in sizes to fit all three girls so, once again, it’d be the cutest ever match fest.  A fluffy ivory scarf and/or an ivory puffy vest would put this one over the edge, no?

6 // feather jumpsuit  Cost:  $11.99 in baby.  I’ve bought Gianna two outfits since she was born and one of them is her Halloween costume.  This might be the third thing.  I LOVE rompers and jumpsuits and the print on this one made me put it in my cart a second after seeing it.  That’s also known as an impulse buy.  But it’s just so cute though…

7 // kayla toddler girls’ boots  Cost:  $29.99.  I get (or grandma gets) the girls a pair of boots every year for the colder months and this year, I think I’ll skip the calf boots for some shorter booties.  I absolutely hated booties a couple of years ago and couldn’t understand why anyone would wear them but I’ve grown to love them and in small sizes, they’re even cuter.  I love these but then today I stumbled upon these booties over at carters.com and I think I like them even more.  Decisions, decisions.

So here’s the cost breakdown:
It’s $256.85 with no discounts, $246.85 with a $10 off coupon (we got in the mail), and then $172.79 with an extra 30% off mail coupon (the benefit of being a Kohl’s credit card owner…so worth it).  So that’s $173 (not including tax) for 16 different items (22 items if you separate the leggings + tops sets and remember, I have to at least buy double so that’s where that big number comes from) PLUS, we earn $30 in Kohl’s cash to be used another time.  I mean, that’s a pretty fantastic deal for all those clothes, right?  And this is coming from the mom who has probably only spent about $300 to clothe all four of her kids within their lifetimes so far (that number would be a bit higher if I didn’t account for gifted clothing of which we’ve recieved a lot).

Ack!  What’s a mom to do?  The 30% off coupon is good until the 14th so I’ve got a few days to decide what to deck the girls in from my digital pile-up.

Old Navy has some really cute stuff for girls on clearance right now too!  I had to force myself to close the window because it’s all just so tempting…but I did manage to sneak two of these dresses into my cart first.  I haven’t pulled out the plastic yet though because I have commitment issues and a budget to check first. 

One thing is for certain, I’ve been gathering lots of inspiration seeing all these cute clothes and my sewing machine is begging to make some little girls clothes.  Better get on that.  Leggings, maxi dresses, cute floral sweatpants, mini infiniti scarves, and more kimonos – they’re all calling my name.

Headboard Retrofit


Annnnnd we’re back with the last step in the making of our new, luxe headboard.  Get all the details on the tufting here and see how we made the arms here.  Pretend that it hasn’t taken me weeks to pound all these out for you and we’ll be well on our way to a harmonious and constructive blogger/reader relationship based on mutual trust and understanding.  ;)

Right after we got hitched, we made our way down the road from our new house to our favorite thrift store in Steubenville, Ohio where we found and purchased a new-to-us bedroom set.  We paid $100 for the solid wood four-post bed, long dresser, and tall dresser.  It wasn’t exactly the style I would’ve picked up new at the store but we needed something and our teeny, newlywed budget loved this set.

I know it’s hard to see the entire thing with all those pillows in the way but here’s what the bed used to look like and what it looks like now after we retrofit the new headboard right over the old:

“How?”, you might ask.  Well, let me tell you.  Quick though because all the kids are apt to wake up in the next half hour.

The posts on the bed simply screw on and off so, off they came.  IMG_7829

Next we had to remove those two pieces of trim at the top of the headboard.  If they hadn’t been as bulky and thick as they were, we probably could’ve left them there but, alas, they had to go or the new headboard wouldn’t have fit in between the mattress and old headboard.  I thought it’d be as easy as removing the three screws holding them in…IMG_7830

…but once the screws were out, I still couldn’t get them off because they were also glued on.  In came Anthony and his hammer to the rescue with a few solid taps and that brought us to the new blank slate.


Pan to the new headboard…

Before attaching it to the old headboard, we attached the arms.  Along the back of the plywood we used to make the headboard, we had to place a few boards – two 1 x 4s on the top 1/3 of each side, a 1 x 4 close to the bottom, and a 1 x 4 plus a 2 x 4 along the entire top.plywoodboard 
Those boards needed to be there, not only for extra support for the plywood but also so that the screws that would attach the arms had a place to sink into.
arm8The top of the headboard had to be extra thick so that it sat flush at the back with the arms, which were extra deep in order to completely cover the existing bed posts.

In order to attach the new we had to construct it so that it, in a sense, slid right over the old headboard.  Screws would be placed through the arms into the side posts of the old headboard and from the back of the old headboard into the 1 x 4 along the back of the new.   IMG_7870
And then we realized shortly before we went to install it that we (ok, I) mismeasured and that the 1 x 4 across the middle-back needed to be moved down so that it was between the old and new headboards.  My.  Bad.  #pregnancybrainIMG_7870too

Then it was up and at ‘em as Anthony and a friend slipped the new over the old.  It sounds super easy but really, we didn’t realize how heavy the entire headboard was being that it was solid wood and so when I write they “slipped” the headboard on, what I really mean it that they heaved it on.  They pulled the entire bed out from the wall and one held the tufted back while the other attached the arms.

Here it is on but unsecured; just standing on it’s own between the mattress and old headboard:IMG_7913

To give you an idea of how it slipped over the old headboard, here’s the old just prior…IMG_7908

…and here’s a mock-up of how the new fits on:
Three screws were placed into the back of the old headboard straight into that 1 x 4 spanning the lower back of the new headboard and then Anthony put a couple of screws through the side of the legs into the posts of the old bed frame.

Here is the view from the back:IMG_7917IMG_7916
See how the arms extend back past the plywood in order to cover the posts?  That might help explain why we needed to add the 2 x 4 along the top of the new headboard – so that the back of the arms would be flush with the top back of the headboard.

I think McGyver would be proud, don’t you?


The entire headboard cost us around $100 to make from start to finish.  That’s not including the tools we used (drill, a friend’s jigsaw to make the curves at the top of the arms, and a measuring tape) nor does it include the foam since that was given to us.  I could be a tad biased but the quality of this headboard would probably make it over $1000 retail so I’m throwing confetti over what we did (and didn’t) spend.  Oh what a little vision and elbow grease can achieve, no?

IMG_7984picm(Sources:  the sheets and duvet are both originally from Target but found at Dirt Cheap ($28 altogether), the lamps are updated thrift store finds, the euro pillows are down-filled, West Elm scores from a local resale group ($12 for both) and their covers I recently made along with the matching shades, the square decorative pillows actually belong in the living room, the small lumbar pillow was a thrift store find but originally from Target, and the faux bamboo mirror was a resale group find.)

I’ve conked out at the nursing wheel a bajillion times during these midnight feedings and I blame it all on the softness of what’s behind my head these days in our new headboard.  Also, it’s funny how much a luxe headboard will do to a room – it makes even the messiest moments look incredible.  Our bed is the home of the contents of the laundry basket waiting to be folded and with the headboard in the background, the piles of clothes look just fab.

Anyway, this is the last you’ll hear of the headboard but probably not the last you’ll see of it.  I still love it so much I take trips to our bedroom door just so I can peek in on it.  I can’t wait to gussy up those nightstands and figure out some wall decor to compliment it but something tells me I’ll have to wait until we’re well out of the newborn stage.

So, retrofitting.  It’s an awesome way to take what you already have and turn it into something else.  What have you retrofit?  I know there are some of you who have genius ideas that need to be unleashed!  Go ahead!  The comment section is open!  :)   

.           .           .

We are skimming right past summer and into fall and, for us, that means back into a routine of sorts and hopefully more consistent blogging.  This summer was crazy busy with Anthony being gone a lot for youth group trips and then a week-long family vacation with my extended family and, oh yeah, we added another human to the fam bam.  So I guess I should rephrase and say it’s been busy with a capital B.  But, that’s how I like it.  It’s better than boredom.  Am I right?  ;)

Gianna – One Month


There’s another baby around which means that there’s a whole ‘nother round of monthly pictures to be taken.  Gianna gets to wave her white flag every month even though it’s really my white flag if we’re being honest – I don’t rule the roost around here.  She does.  My white flag is high and dry.  All you parents of newborns, you know exactly what I’m talking about, right?  ;)

Anyway, here’s our one-monther:

And because some friends gave us some monthly belly stickers, she’s actually getting two monthly photo shoots.  I’m crazy, I know.  But, this is my kind of fun and I’ll have it.  :D

(PS, to make the flag I used some white fabric I had laying around.  I cut it to the size I wanted the flag to be but double the width, folded it in half, and used some iron-on hem tape to secure the fold, leaving just a smidge un-ironed along the fold so that I had a pocket I could slip a wood dowel into.  Along the edge I glued a strand of pom-poms I had.  Then I just used pixlr.com to put the ‘1 month’ on.  The quilt was given to us by a friend who made it long ago and the headband I made when the twins were wee babes.) 

So far, at one month young, Gianna’s given us our fair share of eventful with a 911 call at three weeks of age because we thought she had aspirated milk and was choking (turns out it was just a bad acid reflux episode) and nighttime fussiness but she is the best sleeper we’ve had so far.  I won’t go into all the details of her life so as not to bore you but we love our sweet little chick and we think she loves us too, at least her awkward beginning smiles in our direction seem to make that a true statement.

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For kicks, let’s waltz down memory boulevard to one-month old Sebastian:seb1month

…and the one-month old Seraphia and Cecilia:aug62012 004_thumb[1]

If you notice one thing in all of these, hopefully it’s that our kids all look alike when they’re tiny (and when they’re big) and that taking pictures in ample amounts of light makes for much better photography.  :)

You Know You’re Nine Months Pregnant When…

No comments:

you think about writing a post about being nine months pregnant.  And bam, here it is post-partum. 

Once again, I called out to a group of moms to help me out in writing a post about, well, you read the title.  ;)  So, either you’ll be able to relate, you’ll dread those days when you find yourself in that month, or you’ll just simply give it an eyebrow raise and move on.  But really, whether you want to acknowlege it, we’re all affected by women in their ninth month.  Don’t say, do, or move the wrong way or there will be repercusions.  ;)  Kidding…kinda.

Let’s start with this to set the mood, shall we?  Two nine-month bellies, a year and a half apart:37weeks_thumb[2](more belly side-by-sides where these came from here)


…you can't leave your phone b/c if you fail to answer your mom/dad/MIL/BFF will assume you went into labor and will panic that they weren't called.
…you drop something on accident and kick it under the couch on purpose.  It's dead to you.
…you've quit nesting and gone straight to not giving any, b/c you're STILL pregnant.
…someone asks when you're due and you say tomorrow/today/last week, and they glance down and step away, worried that your water will burst rightthisverysecond and soak their shoes.
…you begin to answer every "Baby yet?" text with angry cat memes. (No? Maybe that's just me...)
Shannon @ Organic Mama’s Shop

…you start running to the bath every evening.  I'm usually not a bath-taker, but I hit the 9th month and my large body aches for how buoyant it is in that water. You cannot get me away from the kids at bedtime fast enough, I just HAVE to take a bath every night.
Ana @ Time Flies When You’re Having Babies

…someone ate the meat and vegetables out of your leftover curry and you start angry crying when there's only rice left.
…ice cream happens at least once a day.
…you refuse to visit any establishment without a bathroom.
…eating is a constant battle between eating too much and getting heartburn and eating too little and being hungry again minutes later.
…you peed your pants a tiny bit while walking into the bathroom stall, but at least you were wearing a liner!  High five.


…the security guard at work asks you not to go into labor in the lobby (little does he know I was actually in early labor for the whole day at work).
…you don't care about anything anymore.
…you stress about your water breaking in public.
…you refer to yourself as a beached whale.

8ac8b44f7d677e8fcdaea9582ad7c63f(image from here)

…your legs and nether regions are like a jungle and you only wear slip-on shoes - ain't no way in hell you're gonna risk trying to shave or tie shoelaces.
…everytime you sneeze and pee yourself, you wait an extra minute before changing panties in case it was actually your water breaking.
…someone mentions "how big you are" or "you're about to pop", you do that awkward fake laugh and imagine smacking them in the face with a chucks pad.

…you count taking a load of laundry to the basement as exercise.

…you throw caution to the wind and ask your hubby to shave your legs

…you consider peeing the bed because it would be much easier than turning and lifting yourself out of bed (again!)

…you crawl up the stairs because walking up them seems like too big of a task.
…you actually tear up when the doctor wants to do an exam - not because of the exam but because getting undressed and redressed seems like SO much work.

…your Google search history is riddled with various versions of how to jump start labor.

…you scare the teenager working the pretzel stand in the mall by crying because she's out of cheese dipping sauce.
…you eat a medium pizza as an appetizer.

…you lose your breath walking any incline.
…Facebook becomes an emotional graveyard with other people actually birthing kids while you're hot and tired and uncomfortable and fat as hell.  Oh and everybody wants to know where the baby is.
…you get excited to cook something yummy but by the time you get home from the grocery and put all that shiiz away you're too freaking tired.  Frozen pizza it is.
…you abandon trying to look cute in maternity clothes in favor of your husbands sweats and undershirts.
…you stop fighting to cover up your belly when at home and just let it happen.

…rolling over in bed is an accomplishment.
…walking up 3-4 steps gets your heart rate going.
…you can't eat much because there is so little room!
…you contemplate peeing yourself because getting up would take so much energy.
…you’re drinking so much RRL tea, prunes, pineapple, EPOs in hopes of starting something.
…you confuse gas pains with contractions and are wishing every twinge of pain is real labor.

…you get unreasonably upset with your unborn child for not being born yet like all of your friend’s babies who are due at the same time.
…you rock back and forth on your birthing ball chanting, "Get out. Get out. Get out.”
…your husband or mom tries to joke with you and you have absolutely no more sense of humor.  Or patience.

…you unintentionally hit yourself with the refrigerator door...everytime!

…every time you roll over in bed it takes so long that you have to get up and pee....again.
…you drop something and have to back up two feet to see where it fell....and you can't even pick it up anyway.

…you waddle everywhere.
…you feel like you might have had a contraction on your due date but really it was probably just gas since your babies have all been over 10 days late.
…all you can think about is when is labor going to start and where will I be...

1344393959373_3492298(image from here)

…Arby's getting your sandwich wrong launches an all out ugly crying spree.

…you sit through the entire Mass because well, you can't breathe going up and down all the time, and all the old ladies stare at you because they think something is going to happen.

…you fall over while trying to get your underwear on.  So embarrassing.

…you sleep so badly that you start looking forward to getting better sleep with a newborn.

…you make plans for a day or two (or a week) from now, thinking that will encourage the baby to come....and you're still around to do whatever it is you planned.  Cue tears.

…you are sweaty 24/7 and there's always the battle between eating and sleeping.

…you can't breathe worth sh*! because your sinuses are swollen shut.
…baby's head is using your bladder as a bouncy house.

…your other kids have watched more tv in the last two weeks than in their entire lives.
…you live on the couch.
…you ask your dr. for a catheter so you don't have to get off the couch.
…you wonder if this is the last night you’re going to bed without a baby...every night.
…you stop wearing cute maternity clothes and just wear the same loose sweats...everyday.
…you've googled "ways to induce labor" at least 1000 times hoping to stumble across a hidden magic formula.

g8gvN72LI9SG2G29XEqWSULZ9he40WDJ_lg(image from here)

And last but definitely not least (and also the one that really ‘cracked’ me up)…

…your husband asks, "was that always a thong?"
He will never live that one down.

Arms Up


Man guys.  Remember in my last post, when I said Gianna might be the easiest baby we’ve had so far?  Unfortunately, I’m eating my words.  Sweet girl has been a little fussy while she’s awake during the past couple of weeks and that’s why it’s taken me so long to get this post up…and any post at all.  No complaining though and I’m not apologizing because it’s family over blogging but I will say that, while these days are fleeting and I’m trying to soak them up as much as possible, when those days when a routine becomes the norm again come, they will not be unwelcome.


Our DIY, tufted headboard headboard is finito and we are loving it.  We have upped the comfort anty 1000% over our previous headboard:
Now it’s behind with the old and in front with the new.


In case you missed it, the tutorial for the tufted back of the headboard can be found here

The inspiration for the arms of our new headboard was taken from those on this headboard, made by Sarah at Sarah M. Dorsey Designs.  I fell in love with the curves at the top of the arms at first sight.  She gave instructions on how to make them for the most part, which you can read about in her post about them, and in this post I go into more detail showing how we made them.

Sarah used a 2 x 8 and a 1 x 8 for each arm.  We needed a 2 x 10 and a 1 x 10, a tad wider than those Sarah used since we were retrofitting the headboard to our existing headboard.  So, instead of getting two boards and screwing them together, we cut costs by using three.  (It saved us about $10 to do it this way and the look is no different.)

We used:
1 - 2 x 10 (cut in half lenthwise to make them each about 60 inches long)
1 – 1 x 6 (also cut in half)
1 – 1 x 4 (also cut in half)  IMG_7874The wood shown in the above picture is everything needed for one arm.  Like I mentioned above, the boards we bought we had cut in half in-store as they were each 10 feet long and we needed them to be 5 feet long as each arm needed to be 5 feet tall.

We placed the wood together like so to create two, wide arms.
Anthony used wood screws* that were almost as long as the boards were wide to screw everything together.  The screws needed to be long enough that they’d securely hold the boards together but not too long that the points came out the other side.  IMG_7875

In screwing the boards together, we had to be careful not to place the screws where we’d be cutting the design out of the top of each arm.  If you’re only interested in making two rectangular arms, you won’t need to worry about screw placement.
Once the boards were all one big piece, I labeled each side of the arm – back, front, and top.  I did this because the 2 x 10 was slightly deeper than the other two boards put together (you can kind of see it in the above picture) so one side of the arm was flush (front) and the other wasn’t (back).   Also, I wanted the 1 x 6 board to be at the front, inside of the arm.  In case you would be able to see where the two one-inch boards met through the fabric later, by placing the 1 x 6 board in front, the seam would likely be covered up by the tufted padding of the back of the headboard later.  (Turns out that the seam between boards is not noticeable under the fabric at all.)

Next up was creating the curved design at the top of each arm.  First, I drew the design on a piece of thick paper and then I traced it onto the wood.
Like Sarah did, I used the lid of a jar to create the rounded parts and then drew a straight horizontal line to connect them.  The top rounded part is five inches wide (wider than Sarah’s since we had to accomodate for retrofitting) and the straight line and curve at the front are each 2.5 inches wide.

A good friend of ours cut the design out for me using his jigsaw (thanks Matt!)  Anthony has a rotozip he was going to use but the blade wasn’t long enough to cut through both boards.  Once the design was cut out, Anthony pre-drilled three holes at back of each arm where they would be attached to the back of the headboard.  More on that later.

The next step was wrapping fabric around the inside of each arm so that the arms could be attached to the back of the headboard and then finished.  I cut out two rectangular panels of the same gray fabric used on the tufted back – each panel was wide enough to be stapled at the back and wrapped around the entire arm to be stapled at the opposite back and was also long enough that it extended an inch past the ends of each arm on the top and bottom.  I used two yards of fabric to finish both arms bringing the grand total in fabric to five yards for the entire headboard. 

To start, Anthony laid the fabric on the ground and then placed the wood arm we were working on on top of it, placing it close enough to one edge that there was enough fabric left to be pulled around and stapled.  Then he pulled the fabric taught and up and over the other side of the fabric. 
arm(Note:  At this point, the insides of the arms needed to be stapled at the back so we had to pay close attention to which side of the wood we were laying on the ground and which side we were stapling.)

Then he stapled the fabric to the back of the inside of the arm. 
arm7(Note:  You’ll want to make sure the grain of the fabric is straight while it’s wrapped around the arm for a professional look.  It should be running horizontally across the side of the arm and/or vertically up and down.  As long as you initially cut the fabric panels along the grain, this should be easy to accomplish.)

Here’s what an arm (in this case, the left arm if you’re looking at the headboard) will look like once the inside is stapled:arm3The fabric will hang loose but will be attached at the back the entire length of the arm.

So that the fabric stayed put while attaching the arm to the headboard, Anthony grabbed a small scissors and stuck the pointed ends into the holes he pre-drilled earlier (the holes that would hold screws that attach the arms to the headboard).
We also realized last minute that we should get the fabric at the bottom of the arms situated before attaching them since we’d be attaching them standing up.  To do this, we stapled the fabric at the bottom of each arm to the outside back about six inches up the arm.  Then Anthony whipped out his present wrapping skills, folding the fabric like so on the bottom of each arm and stapling it:
I’ll have another post coming later that shows how we attached the new headboard to our existing headboard but at this point in the project, we had the help of another friend (thanks Dan!) to get the arms onto the back.  (We didn’t realize how heavy the headboard was going to be so, being postpartum a couple of weeks, I couldn’t help like I normally would.) Basically, Dan held the back of the headboard in place while Anthony held the arms, one-by-one, onto each side of the headboard and screwed them on.  Once both arms were attached, they looked like this:
PicMonkey Collage
You can see here how the arms and back were held together; where the screws were placed:
Next, we finished wrapping the fabric around the front and outside of each arm, stapling at the back.IMG_7918
Now it gets a little tricky with the design at the top.  To polish off this part, Ifirst folded down the excess fabric at the top of each arm and stapled it to the back.

The arms now looked like this:

Then, I trimmed away the fabric around the design, making sure there was an inch of excess above and beyond the top of the design.IMG_7926

The fabric had to be wrapped onto the design but because of the curves, I had to cut notches around each curve and corner so it could be folded nicely.  So, I basically cut triangles with the points almost touching the wood of the arm around each curve and into each corner.  I made sure I cut the triangle points deep enough that they’d allow the fabric to be folded without being pulled but not too deep that they went into the side of the arm, exposing the wood beneath.

Next, Anthony helped me staple each flap around the curves down – I held them down tightly and he stapled.  (Tip:  If a staple doesn’t go in perfectly; if it sticks out a little, just grab a hammer and hammer it flat.)

The last thing I needed to do to finish off the arms was to make a strip of fabric to cover the front of each.  To make these strips, I cut out two long, narrow rectangles out of what was left of the fabric we used to wrap the arms in.  The front of each arm measured 2.5 inches wide so I cut the rectangles to be 4.5 inches wide so that I could have a finished, one-inch hem on each side.  Length-wise, I cut them so that I had plenty of fabric left to be able to fold it over and under the tops and bottoms of each arm.  That made them about 70 inches long.

Using my quilting square* was super helpful in making sure I was measuring and cutting straight edges.  I drew four lines onto what would be my strips of fabric – two the width of the entire strip pre-hem to show where to cut them out of the fabric remnant and two where I’d fold to make the hem.IMG_7932

To finish the strips, I used no-sew, iron-on hem tape*.  I placed the hem tape on the inside of the fold line on one side, ironed it, and did the same to the other side.   

To get the strip on its arm, I first cut a small piece of hem tape a little shorter than the width of the front of the arm, placed it at the top of the arm, and ironed on the strip of fabric so that it was secured by the hem tape.

I wanted to glue most of the strip on because I wasn’t sure I had enough hem tape to iron it on so by placing that small piece of iron-on tape at the top, the strip was held in place and allowed the glue I used to dry without moving.  I did the same thing with a small piece of iron-on tape to the flat part between the two curves of the design at the top of each arm and also placed one right below the second curve; right on the front, flat part of the arm.

To glue the strips on, I ran two small lines of glue down the middle sides of each side of the front of the arm like so:IMG_7941(I used this fabric glue but any craft glue and even hot glue will work.  Hot glue just requires a lot of careful gluing so it doesn’t get on the fabric where it’d be tough to remove.)

I did it this way all the way down.  There was extra fabric at the bottom of the arms that we just folded under the arm – I folded under while Anthony held the headboard off the ground.  One day, when we move and have to take the bed apart, we’ll staple them down but until then, no one will ever know they’re not secured underneath so shhhhh…

Ta-daaaaa!  That is IT!

It cost us a little under $100 to make this headboard and if we’d have had to buy the foam for it, it would still only have rung in at around $130.  Not too shabby, eh?  Not too shabby at all.  :D   


Right after we finished it, I got really excited and quickly cranked out two new pillow covers for the euro pillows on the bed plus some matching faux roman shades that you might’ve noticed.  I stole the smaller square pillows from the living room to add some more color but really I’m still sulking over the fact that the fabric I wanted to make covers out of for those costs $230 PER YARD.  No way Hosea.  It’s this orangerie floral by Designers Guild…
il_570xN.1034432595_iidn…and if I ever find a remnant that is majorly, and I mean majorly discounted, I will pounce.  Until then, I’ll forever (but hopefully not) be on the look-out for a similar print and pattern.

So, the headboard is done but what about the footboard?  Well, eventually I’d love to sand and restain it and I’m toying with the idea of upholstering and tufting the flat part in between the two posts but for now, there are bigger project fish to fry in this casa but don’t be suprised if that post pops up one day in the future.  

There are still a lot of things I want to get done in our room before we call it “done” – painting and adding legs to the nightstands, painting the dressers, painting or restaining our desk and bookshelf, hanging stuff on the walls, making a West Elm chandelier knock-off that I’ve had on the agenda for over a year now, blah, blah, blah…  Basically, the room will see it’s final state in a few years at the rate we move.  So it goes and so it is. 

But, now that I have a plush surface to sink my spine into when stress strikes, I don’t care how long it takes.  Slow and steady wins the home decor race…or maybe that’s just an excuse for decoristas with kids.  ;)


Stay tuned for a quick post on how we attached this headboard to our existing, thrifted bed frame.

Adios.  :)

*Affiliate link to product we purchased or something similar to what we purchased to make this headboard.  If you click and buy, we will get a small commission.  Thank you for helping us keep the lights on around here!  :)

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diy headboard


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