Sunday, November 25, 2012

DIY Upholstered Headboard

Hubby and I have wanted an upholstered headboard for our master bedroom at the BDH for awhile. We were very close to purchasing one a few weeks back, but decided to do one of our favorite things - DIY one. As you all know, Ross is very handy and I LOVE crafting. When we had a garage in our Texas house, we spent tons of time in it working on projects together. It's one of our favorite couple pass-times.

{Spoiler alert: here's our finished product}

Long story short, we needed a new bed and we love to DIY, so this project was perfect for us. In case you're interested in building one yourself, here's how we did it, step by step:

1) Purchase materials and gather tools. For materials, you'll need:
-A 4x8 piece of plywood - $25
-Enough foam to cover the size of headboard you want. I got mine at JoAnn's Fabrics. If you don't want a perfectly rectangular headboard, the math gets complicated, but it's doable. This foam is expensive, so make sure you use a coupon. - $45 (AFTER my 60% off coupon)
-Batting - $15
-3M Spray-on Adhesive - we had some on hand, but you can get a bottle for about $6
-The fabric you choose to cover the headboard (again, use a coupon) - $12
-Newspapers (or other paper you can tape together to make one large piece)  - on hand

For tools, you'll need:
-Electric Sander
-Staple gun
-Saw Horses

2) Decide which design you want and trace half of it onto the newspaper. There are so many popular shapes for upholstered headboards out there; you can really do anything.We chose one of the more complicated shapes (of course), a rounded arch. The headboard we almost bought was this shape, so it was our inspiration. Our headboard is king size, so it's 84 inches long. This means I needed to draw a 42 inch left to center half version of it on the paper. You could draw the full design, but it might be harder to maintain symmetry that way. As you can see, it took me several attempts doing it freehand (I'm not an artist), but after enough tries, I got there.

3) Once your half design is drawn, cut it out.

4) Tape your design to the plywood and trace the design onto the wood. Flip and re-tape the newspaper to the other side and trace the design again. Make sure your left and right ends are at the same height from the base of the plywood. Remove the newspaper from the plywood when you're done.
 (please note my pug, Gus, making a cameo)

5) Now that your design is on the plywood, carefully cut along the markings with your jigsaw. For intricate shapes, a jigsaw is probably the only saw that can make the cut precisely enough.

This is what it looked like after Ross cut it:

6) Some of your edges will be a little rough, so use your sander to round and smooth them as necessary. I'm super picky with how things are sanded, so I usually play a role in this step.

7) Now that you have cut out and sanded the design, cut your foam to cover the space. We used a steak knife from the kitchen to cut the foam; it was the only way we could cut it. I've read online that some people have also found success cutting the foam with turkey carving knives. If you choose to do a non-rectangular shape, as we did, you'll have to get creative filling in the curves and angles at the top. Once you're comfortable with the placement of each piece, use the spray adhesive to glue them to the plywood and to each other on their sides.

After we cut the scraps to fill in the angles, this is what it looked like:

8) Now cover your headboard with batting. This smooths out the design, shields the green color of the foam (by the way, if you can, buy a neutral color foam... we were stuck with green because it's all JoAnn had in stock), and covers the plywood edges. We chose the low intensity batting, but regretted it. The green foam showed right through, so we had to go out to get another layer. Anyone who knows where my parents' lake house (i.e. our project site for the headboard) is KNOWS what a task 'going back to town' is. Luckily, and to our surprise, Walmart sells batting now. Whew.

Make sure you pull the batting tight so it traces the shape as accurately as possible. We secured it to the plywood using the staple gun, placing staples about an inch apart. Please ignore hubby's grouchy scowl in this picture.

9) After your batting is secure, iron your fabric to eliminate wrinkles. I'm not a huge fan of ironing, but in this case its necessary. You're going to be staring at that fabric for a long time and this is your last chance to make sure it looks right.
10) Attach the fabric to the headboard in the same way you attached the batting, pulling it tight and using the staple gun. This is totally a two-person job, with one person stapling and one pulling the fabric.

This is what the finished product looks like:

 We're really happy with it! We have the exact headboard shape and color that we wanted, in a fabric that perfectly matches our curtains, we got to do a carpentry project together and we got it all for under $100! That's not bad for king size and custom. Now we just need to find king size bed rails, but I've heard they're under $100.

One more perk to point out for DIY'ing your own upholstered headboard: you can recover it any time with another fabric if you change your mind!

Oh, one last advisory: it might be good to have an additional man on hand for all of the headboard flipping that will take place in this project. My dad and Ross must have flipped this thing 30 times. Although I'm fairly confident that my dad doesn't understand what a blog is, he begged that I put his picture on it and 'make him famous like Kanye West', so here you go:
As always, thanks for reading barbies! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Shopping for the BDH

Oh, Black Friday.

This day has long been one of my favorite days of the year. It's all about shopping and Christmas, my two favorite things. For whatever reason, Ross gets a huge kick out of it too, so it's a huge day in our household. When we lived in Houston, or the 'Black Friday Big League' as we like to call it, we became quite proficient at and enamored by the act of doorbusting. We've never really needed anything in particular; we just loved the adventure of it. But when you're closing on your first home in 8 weeks, Black Friday takes on a whole new purpose.

Today almost every item we brought home will in some way serve the BDH. We were out for furniture, kitchen stuff, decor and yard tools. You would think we would have all of these things already, having rented a home for 3.5 years and being newlyweds, but we still have lots of gaps and TONS of things that need replacing. We figured there was no better day to set out to get/replace these things than a day we love, we know and a day with rock bottom prices. Plus, lets face it, furnishing, decorating and supplying the BDH is going to be a costly process, so we need to seize any and all opportunities to find the things the BDH needs at the best prices.

Enough talking, here's our Black Friday BDH haul:

We got these two 40' TV's at GREAT prices (Ross, my mom and I waited in line for four hours to score them), one for the hearth room and one for our master bedroom.

Something we really wanted to do was to replace our cookware to one nice, complete set, preferably in stainless steel. Our current pots and pans are old, mismatched and in rough shape. We figured that if you're building your dream kitchen, you should do it right. This is the set we got:

We also supplemented it by buying these two pieces separately. They're both really large and seemed really universal.

Like many things, our leaf blower was broken in the move, so we needed to replace it. We found this on at a GREAT price ($15!!), so we figured it was a good opportunity to replace it.
Our tupperware in Texas was JUNKY. Even worse, it would all fall down on us in a disastrous mess when we opened the cabinets. Needless to say, the opportunity to replace it with a nice set that stacks was well worth $7.
We also got a new set of Pyrex that includes bakeware and storageware.

Our kitchen will have a bar, which is something our rental house in Texas didn't have, so we had to find bar stools. We got a great deal on these today and we're very happy with them! They're oil rubbed bronze, which matches our fixtures.

Oh, and what's Black Friday without getting a little deal for yourself? I got these beauties today and LOVE them!
What deals did you barbies score today?


More Siding!

Hi barbies!

While you and I were out feasting with our families and snatching up good deals on Black Friday, our sub-contractor worker bees were working on our siding. I never would have asked them to work over the holiday, but apparently Toll Brothers did. I guess I shouldn't complain; when you can get Toll in a hurry over something you should seize the momentum.

The siding is yellow now, but luckily that's only the primer color. It will be a much more palatable khaki brown after they paint it. Here are the pictures from today:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Designing the Formal Living Room (aka Vanesa's Bridal Shower Room)

Perhaps one of the most important rooms (to me at least) in the Barbie Dream House is the formal living room, which comes in a distant second behind my closet. This room is important for a wide array of reasons, including:

1. Most importantly, it will be the location of my best friend Vanesa's bridal shower, and many other bridal and baby showers I anticipate hosting for my friends over the next ten years or so (I'm looking at you Mary Beth, Jill, Laci, Sandra, Hurleys...). After all, we are all in our mid-twenties. It's the logical time to get married and have babies.
2. It will be the female oasis of the house; the antonym to "man cave," if you will.
3. Given #2, it's one of the only rooms where I don't feel guilty including pink in the color scheme. Ross doesn't decorate the house in UT Orange, after all. It's common spousal courtesy.
4. Architecturally, it's one of the best rooms in the house. It has two different ceiling heighths - 10 ft in the main area and 20 in the turet; a semi-circle with 6 windows as one of it's walls; and connections to three other rooms.

Long story short, this room needs to be chic. Vanesa worked her butt off for a year helping me make sure every aspect of my wedding was going to be fantastic, so the least I can do is make sure her bridal shower is hosted in a venue as fabulous as she is.

This is my inspiration pallette:

Here is the space we're working with (under construction, of course):

Dark hardwood floors, as is the case with the rest of the first floor.

Here are the light, dusty pink 18 ft long curtains, which my mom gifted us a few weeks ago. We found a specialty curtain shop in Buffalo Junction, VA - Bed Bath and Curtain Outlet ( (They had a HUGE selection, great prices and a very helpful staff. The lady who helped me looked exactly like Jennifer Aniston and was super sweet and knowledgeable. I highly recommend the place! They say they're the biggest curtain store on the east coast - and it shows.)and when I went to the register to pay for them, mom had already paid for them. My mom is the best, that's another story for another time. This is the closest replica I could find to what they look like, except ours are 18 feet (to go from the top of the second story windows in the turet to the floor, hopefully with enough room for some puddle action on the bottom). Ours are probably slightly more pink though.

These are the couches I'm currently keeping an eye on for the room. I want two, of course, so the room will be symmetrical and to provide seating room for shower guests. :) This is the Emma Tufted Sofa from It went on sale yesterday, but I hesitated to pull the trigger for whatever reason. Hopefully I'll be able to get the courage to buy them soon. They're very reasonably priced for what they are, but its still a big purchase (not to mention, shipping on couches is outrageous).

I plan on using gold as an accent color, ala the color scheme of our blush pink & gold wedding in 2010. We picked up a mirror like this at the Raleigh flea market over the summer. It has a bit of a cool story behind it too, but I won't spoil my best conversation piece here on the blog. :)

This is one of the only rooms where we didn't order a chandelier through the builder (basically, none felt special enough), so I've been looking online for the right chandelier. So far, this gold Vaxcel chandelier is my favorite, but I'm likely to change my mind between now and move-in in 8 weeks.

This is the wallpaper I currently have in mind, which is from Home Depot of all places!

Of course, there are going to be plenty of pink roses/hydrangeas. It's the girly room, after all!

As always, thanks for looking barbies!

Siding Installation!

Hello and happy Thanksgiving week barbs!

I'm happy to finally have some good news to share: the BDH is getting siding this very moment! This is the first effort we've seen in making the outside of the house look nice, so this is a big jump! Don't worry: our house isn't going to be yellowish brown, this is just the color the siding comes in standard. They are going to paint it "khaki brown" (see below) before we close.

Here are the pictures so far:

Here's the combo of siding color, trim color, shingles, stone and shudders that will make up the exterior of the house:
And of course, here's yours truly on the front side of the BDH which doesn't have siding yet, obvi.
We have no news to report yet on the icky situation I alluded to in my previous post, but I'll keep you updated!
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