Easy DIY Rope Wrapped Headboard Tutorial

DIY Rope Wrapped Headboard
It may have taken way longer than I imagined, and used about 200 times more rope than I anticipated, though I’m still glad I did it, and I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it as a great DIY project to try.

If you missed the initial reveal post, this is the bed from the ‘guest room‘ at the flip house.

We started with this basic pine bed which we picked up for free from a Facebook ‘Buy, Sell, Swap’ group.

Bed Frame

It was okay as is, though it just felt a little generic.

There were a million different ways I could have upcycled it, but for some reason I can’t even explain, wrapping the headboard in rope needed to happen!

As with most of the projects from the flip house, I didn’t have time to stop and take millions of progress photos, so I’ll do my best to explain the process using the pics I do have.

The first thing we did was lightly sand the bed base and paint it black using some left-over paint I had.

Next I removed the length of capping from the top of the headboard. It was just screwed on so came off easily.

DIY Rope Headboard

Due to the way I wanted to attach the rope, I then notched out a section at each corner of the headboard using a hand saw. It literally took thirty seconds.

DIY Rope Headboard

DIY Rope Bedhead

They provide a perfect little niche to house the ends of the rope running along the top of the headboard.

Rope Headboard How To

I used 10mm/.4″ sisal rope which I bought on a 100 meter/32′ reel from Bunnings. I haven’t calculated it exactly, though in the end I think it probably took around 90 meters/29′ to cover the entire headboard!

And to attach the rope I simply used about one exact truck load of hot glue.

DIY Rope Headboard

Basically, I simply applied glue where needed, pressed the end of the rope into it, allowed it to set (which only takes a matter of seconds with hot glue) then stretched the rope tightly along the headboard. If needed, I used a few extra dobs of glue here and there to keep things flat and in place. Once I established the length the rope needed to be, I trimmed it to size with sharp scissors then glued it in place at the opposite end. Pretty straight forward.

Once the top was covered (which only took three lengths of rope) I moved onto the front.

Although it was initially tempting to wrap the rope right around the entire headboard, I worked out it was just going to use waaaaay too much rope – and the rope isn’t cheap! Instead, I simply wrapped it about 6cm/2″ around each side.

So, using the same process as already explained, I applied glue to the rear of one post, pressed the rope into it and allowed it to set, then pulled the rope tightly across the headboard before trimming it as needed and securing with glue to the rear of the opposite post. Easy.

No matter how tautly I pulled the rope it still sagged a little in the center due to gravity. And no matter how closely I attempted to position each length, there was still some separation between them. I could have remedied these issues by gluing along each length of rope, though to save time (and glue), I just glued along each third length (making them the ‘anchor’ points). This worked perfectly to keep everything straight and snug.

DIY Rope Wrapped Bedhead

The glue worked well for the most part, though it’s not magical. If you pull on the rope super hard, especially before the glue has had a chance to properly set, it has the potential to fail. For this reason, if you can wrangle in a second person to hold the rope in place whilst you stretch it across the headboard, this project will be soooo much quicker and easier. My initial idea was to use a staple gun in conjunction with the glue – just for extra insurance – though I found the staples too shallow. I did use a few nails in places, hammered into the actual glue (not the rope), to secure some areas which were lifting a little.

So, I just continued attaching rope in this manner until I got to the vertical slats where a small problem emerged.

Being slightly recessed (as they are shallower in depth than the end posts) the rope had nothing to attach to across the middle of the headboard – unless I pushed the rope back, which created a noticeable dip. An easy solution was cutting pieces of corrugated cardboard and gluing them to each vertical slat to bring them up to the same level as the end posts.

With that issue resolved, I continued attaching rope until the entire headboard was entirely covered.

Floral Fabric

DIY Rope Wrapped Headboard

At which point I stood back to admire my work and noticed another small problem.

This wouldn’t be an issue if your bed is going to be positioned against a solid surface, though as ours was in front of a window, there was a pretty obvious inconsistency with the way the light shone through the headboard. I don’t have a pic though I think you can probably imagine that the rope over the timber slats appeared opaque and somewhat dark whereas the rope over the open gaps was semi-translucent and quite light. Basically, you could clearly see the outline of the slats.

Again, there was an easy fix involving cardboard. We simply cut pieces to fit between the slats and glued them in at the rear of the headboard to block the light. I can’t say it’s the most professional solution, though it did the trick for us (keeping in mind this was done purely for house staging purposes). Of course, you could use MDF or plywood or block-out fabric or any number of more proper materials – LOL!

Guest Bedroom

Although I was conscious of keeping things neat and tidy, for obvious reasons the rear of the headboard isn’t exactly pretty (raw rope ends and copious hot glue!). I was planning on attaching some fabric trim or even a full fabric sheet (similar to what might be used on the rear of an upholstered headboard) though for our purposes it wasn’t really necessary. If you wanted to do something like this for re-sale, or to keep for yourself and it was going to bother you, then it’s a pretty easy finishing touch.

Bedside Table

All up I probably spent around $80 on rope and $20 on hot glue. At $100 I can’t say it’s the cheapest project I’ve ever done, though I really love it and think it was worth it.

Bed Frame

BEFORE

DIY Rope Headboard

AFTER

So, that concludes the flip house posts!

Now, onto the next project…

 

Signature

Find all of the flip house posts HERE.

I know some of you were keen to see a tutorial for the “brass” dining room light, though I didn’t take any progress pics of that project at all, plus it was really just a matter of me experimenting with paint until I achieved the look I was after. Sorry. If I create a similar finish in the future I’ll be sure to document it for you.

 

DIY Easy Slipcovered Headboard Tutorial…plus how to extend a low bedhead

DIY Headboard

If you saw the girl’s bedroom reveal from the flip house, then you’ll already know a bit about this simple bed makeover.

As mentioned in that previous post, the bed was already in the room and originally I was tempted to replace it.

Old Bed Before

It was just so plain and basic that my initial reaction was ‘blah’, though then I figured the fact it was so plain and basic meant it had unlimited makeover potential!

The options here were endless, however due to time and money restraints I didn’t want to do anything too full-on, so decided to keep things simple with paint and a headboard upgrade.

The first thing we did was give the entire base a coat of green paint (which was simply left-over sample pot paint from the console table I built).

Bed Green Paint

You can see the truer colour here. It looks much darker in some of the other pics.

Next, I used some scrap timber I already had to build and attach a headboard “extension”.

DIY Headboard Extension

Of course, if you’re planning on replicating this project, the way you construct and attach your extension will depend on the style of your bed.

There were a million different ways I could have done this, though in the end I just went with what was quick and easy, using things I already had.

Headboard

As you can see, the rear of the existing headboard was recessed so I framed the extension in a similar manner, then I used pine batons and screws to join everything together. It’s no masterpiece but it does the job, plus it was always going to be concealed anyway so I was never concerned about it looking perfect.

To soften things, we then covered the entire headboard with wadding.

DIY Headboard

DIY Headboard

Now, the fun bit!

I didn’t get images of the slipcover being made, because mum sewed it whilst I was building the headboard, though it was really easy.

Slipcovered Bedhead

I wasn’t quite sure what kind of style I wanted for the headboard, though when I came across this fabric at Spotlight it instantly jumped out at me!

Headboard Fabric

It’s kind of a mix between tribal and boho with a fun twist!

To make the slipcover you just need to cut two pieces of fabric slightly larger than your headboard, place them right sides together, sew around the edge (leaving the base open, obviously), turn it in the right way then sew a small border to create the tailored edge.

Then it just slips over the headboard.

DIY Progress at the Flip House

Once it’s on, simply turn the base under to hide the raw edge. If wanted or needed, you can even attach it at the bottom to keep things taut. If you don’t plan on removing it, you can staple it in place. Otherwise, you could look at adding something like press studs, buttons or velcro which could easily be undone.

Before

BEFORE

Bedroom After

AFTER

And it’s as simple as that!

Girl's Bedroom

 

Signature

 

Find the full bedroom reveal HERE.

Easy No Sew Bed Skirt…from a Curtain Panel!

Surely I’m not the only one who struggles to find bed skirts?

They’re either too expensive (like $150 – $250!), too cheap (I find the affordable cotton ones tend to look almost see-through), too big, too small, too plain, too old-fashioned (multiple pleats and layered ruffles just aren’t my thing). And the quilted ones, which are relatively plentiful, don’t really float my boat (I can’t get over the fact that, to me, they look kinda like a doona which needs a cover).

Anyhoo, creating a DIY bed skirt has been on my radar for a while and when we were left with this basic queen-size ensemble in the master bedroom at the flip house, it seemed like the perfect excuse to give it a go.

Bedroom Before

BEFORE

As with most projects from the flip house, time, ease and affordability were foremost in my mind. And when I came across some nice inexpensive curtain panels at Spotlight, I figured they’d work perfectly.

Curtain Panels into Bed Skirt

This pack comes with two large panels measuring 140cm x 250cm/55″ x 98″ each.
It was just $15 (on sale at half price)!

The bonus with using something like curtain panels is that they’re already hemmed. So no sewing (or even heat fusing) required! Plus, you’ll often find that buying the same amount of a comparable fabric off the bolt will be much more expensive – especially if you’re able to get the curtains on sale like I did.

Although this particular bed base wasn’t exactly hideous and could be used without a skirt, I personally like the tailored finish they provide.

DIY Bed Skirt

BEFORE

DISCLAIMER

This project was done in a bit of a rush with little forethought and lots of “let’s get this thing done already”. Due to my lack of planning, I ended up using a portion from my second curtain panel for one side of the skirt, however have since worked out that with more prudent cutting I could probably have made do with using just one panel. It’s not a big deal because I did have two panels and they weren’t expensive (plus it gave me more wriggle room with my fabric), but still, it wasn’t exactly the most efficient method. So, for the sake of clarity – and making myself look more professional than I actually am – I’ve written this tutorial using hindsight.

Of course, how you go about making your own bed skirt will depend on the size of your bed base and the dimensions of your fabric. As already mentioned, I’m working with a queen-size bed base and my fabric is 140cm x 250cm/55″ x 98″.

  

To begin, I trimmed my fabric pieces. You will need five in total. My curtain panel could be deconstructed like this.

 

Diagram

I started with a corner piece. You will notice that one side is hemmed (obviously, this will form the base) and the other three sides are raw. You don’t need to worry about the top (as that will be concealed by the mattress) however the other two sides will need to be turned under and ironed in place.

Ironing the Skirt

Once that was done, I positioned my piece on the bed base corner as desired, making sure it was almost skimming the floor at a nice consistent level.

DIY Bed Skirt Tutorial

When I was happy with its position, I stapled it in place (just two staples – one near each edge as shown). You’ll likely find there are solid and hollow areas in your bed base. Obviously, just make sure you’re stapling into the solid areas.

DIY Bed Skirt

Next, I created a butterfly pleat in the center and stapled that in place.

How to Make a Bed Skirt

DIY Bed Skirt

Although I’ve kept things relatively neat and tidy, the top of the bed base will be completely covered by the mattress and bedding so I wasn’t overly fussed. At one stage I was even tempted just to duct tape everything in place! Remember, this was done purely for staging. You can be as fastidious or messy as you like.

I then repeated the process for the other corner.

Done!

Bed Skirt Corners

Next I moved onto the foot of the bed base. And here’s where I also fell in love with my curtain panel a bit…because, as per my diagram, it was the exact right width along its short side to fit perfectly across the foot!

DIY Bed Skirt

I mean, if it hadn’t been the exact right width it wouldn’t have been a big deal (I just would have cut it down and ironed one end under) but it was a nice little win to have all three exposed sides hemmed.

Once I was happy with its position, I stapled it in place.

DIY Bed Skirt Tutorial

There’s no need to go crazy with the staples. You just need enough to keep it from shifting. I think I inserted one maybe every 30cm/12″ or so.

Now, onto the sides.

As per my diagram, each side piece is hemmed along one long side (which forms the base) and one short side. I decided to keep the hemmed short side near the foot of the bed and the raw short side at the head (because, obviously, the foot is in a more prominent location). Once I’d determined the right length for the piece (by simply laying it in place on the bed base), I turned under and ironed the raw side (just like I did with the raw side on the corner pieces).

Then I positioned it on the bed base and stapled it in place.

DIY Curtain Panel Bed Skirt

To finish, I repeated the process on the other side.

Bed Base Skirt DIY

As you can see, I didn’t exactly cut all of my pieces to the same depth, though as already mentioned, I wasn’t fussed about things looking perfect where they were going to be hidden by the mattress. Still, if I’d had a bit more time (or was doing this project for my own home), I probably would have taken some care to keep things symmetrical and not use as much excess fabric.

Anyhoo, here’s how the corners look.

DIY Bed Skirt

You could make the the pleat more ‘closed’ however due to the width of my curtain panel (which, remember, I used along the base), I worked with this. Plus, I actually quite like it.

With the mattress on top you can see how everything comes together.

DIY Bed Skirt

Such an easy and affordable ($8!) little project that looks super custom and professional.

Master Bedroom After

Master Bedroom After

Sorry, it’s a bit hard to see it properly in these after pics. I didn’t take them specifically to highlight the bed skirt.

Hope this helps inspire :)

 

Signature

 

See the entire master bedroom makeover reveal HERE.

Master Bedroom After

How to Turn a Basket into a Light Shade

Master Bedroom After

When I first saw this basket in a Spotlight store I knew it was supposed to be a light fitting.

Basket Light

And making that happen was surprisingly quick and easy!

The first thing I did was remove the heavy timber base. It was just attached with four screws so that was pretty straight forward.

Basket Light DIY

Next I demolished an old lampshade (you can pick one up for just a few dollars second-hand) to release the metal frame.

Light Shade Frame

Once it was free I used a hacksaw to cut off the large ring.

Lamp Frame

I then straightened each arm slightly before curling their tips.

Bending the Shade Frame

NOTE: You can straighten the arms with your hands, though I found it pretty hard-going with my brass frame and noticed it tended to loosen the welds as they are the weakest point – where the arms are connected to the ring. Using pliers was much quicker and easier.

This is what I ended up with. It’s like some kind of weird three-legged spider thingy.

Lamp Frame

Manipulating the arms warped the ring a little though not enough to effect its function.

To finish, I inserted the weird three-legged spider thingy inside the basket and hooked the curled arms under the basket frame.

DIY Basket Pendant

Hooking the Lamp Frame

So simple!

DIY Basket Pendant Light

NOTE: I kinda just got lucky with the size of my lamp shade frame as the ring sits just below the top of the basket rim – perfect! Obviously, if the arms had been too short they wouldn’t have had enough reach to hook under the basket frame at all three points. On the other hand, if the arms had been too long the ring may have sat proud at the top of the basket, resulting in the globe being visible above the basket shade upon installation (not the greatest look). But, shortening arms that are too long is much easier than lengthening arms that are too short. So, my advice would be to go bigger rather than smaller with your lamp shade frame.

Originally, my plan was to hang it as a pendant using a DIY suspension kit though when I trialled it in the room it felt a little imposing and distracting sitting low.

Pendant Basket Light DIY

This is how it would have worked as a pendant. For my test I used this old white pendant suspension kit I already had.

So, instead I attached it directly to the batten like a regular ceiling mounted fixture.

DY Basket Light

It’s a bit hard to get a photo, though it works just like this.

Batten Fix Light

I used the batten cover from the original light in the room.

I’m sure there are a million ways to have turned this basket into a light fitting, though I found this technique super quick and easy, plus it worked well.

And if your basket is different to mine, I’m sure there are a million ways to adapt this method to suit you. This was a total experiment for me, so just have a play and see what you can come up with.

Master Bedroom After

And don’t forget, you could always also use it as a lamp shade if you flip it around!

Have fun :)

Signature

 

See the entire master bedroom makeover reveal HERE.

 

DIY Easy Upholstered Headboard Tutorial

Bedroom Makeover

It’s finally time to begin sharing some of the tutorials for the DIY projects at the flip house!

I’m starting with the headboard in the master bedroom which lots of you have asked about. This is a really easy and inexpensive project that anyone can have a go at.

Bedroom Before

BEFORE

Master Bedroom After

AFTER

When I create tutorials, I like to cover each step in plenty of detail. I’m sure you guys can appreciate that documenting the process adds a fair bit of time onto the actual project, plus often I don’t have anyone with me to help with things – like being a hand model, or taking photos on my behalf when I’m up to my elbows in fabric and staples! Because we were so time-poor trying to get the flip house finished, I wasn’t always able to stop for the sake of setting-up the camera. So, for the purpose of this tutorial I’ve created a mini replica to demonstrate the technique (let’s just pretend it’s an upholstered headboard for a doll’s bed).

YOU WILL NEED…

You Will Need

1 BACKING BOARD

I used a sheet of MDF I already had from a previous project. You could use plywood, chipboard, masonite, or even something like a second-hand door.

My MDF was 18mm/.7″ deep and I cut it to 155cm/61″ long x 120cm/47″ high. If you don’t have the tools or confidence to trim your own board, ask at the hardware store and they should do it for you at no charge.

2 FOAM (optional)

I wasn’t going to use foam, mainly because it can be pricey, though then I noticed an old mattress topper my parents had sitting in their garage. I figured if I positioned it ridge-side-down it would work fine. Foam isn’t essential though it does help provide a thicker, plusher, fuller look and feel, especially if your backing board is relatively shallow, like mine. If you’re using something quite deep as your backing board, like a door, then you could get away with just using wadding and still have a nice thick headboard. Alternatively, if you want a simple thin headboard then wadding alone over a shallow backing board can work fine (we didn’t use any foam when we made the headboard for the master bedroom at my gran’s house).

I cut my foam to the same size as my backing board using an electric knife.

3 WADDING/BATTING

This not only helps soften everything, though also works to create a smooth finish which conceals imperfections.

I trimmed my wadding so it could comfortably be wrapped around the foam and backing board.

4 FABRIC

I used this gorgeous mustard upholstery fabric from Spotlight. Of course, you can use anything you like. Just bear in mind that thicker fabrics tend to be more forgiving and linear patterns, like stripes, can be super critical. For the tutorial I’ve used some linen from Spotlight I had left-over from a previous project.

I cut my fabric so it was slightly more generous than the wadding. If your fabric wrinkles easily, be sure to iron it first too.

5 BACKING FABRIC (optional)

This is just to neaten-up the rear of the headboard for a professional finish. You can use anything you like though for obvious reasons I’d avoid anything expensive (unless your headboard will be visible (such as in front of a window). Cambric is typically used, though calico or hessian/burlap would also be fine. If you don’t care what the back of your headboard looks like, then you don’t need to worry about this.

6 LENGTH OF TIMBER (for creating legs or mounting brackets – optional)

My initial idea was to add legs to this headboard and make it quite tall and grand, though when I put it in place (just resting on the floor behind the bed) I figured it would do as is. If you’d prefer to have your headboard off the floor, you can attach simple legs (remember, they are hidden so no need to do anything fancy here). Another alternative is to mount the headboard to the wall using a basic french cleat system.

 

THE PROCESS…

DIY Upholstered Headboard Step 1

STEP 1 | Lay everything down, in reverse order, on a large, clear, even surface.

Start with the fabric (right side down), followed by the wadding, followed by the foam (in my case, flat side down – because I was totally cheating by using a mattress topper), then the backing board.

If you like, you can trim the corners of the wadding and fabric on a 45 degree angle so there isn’t too much excess padding or material when you begin the upholstery process.

 

DIY Upholstered Headboard Step 2

STEP 2 | Wrap the fabric around and secure with one staple in the center of each side.

Step 2

These are just temporary staples to keep everything in position as you upholster. Don’t make them too tight.

NOTE: Yep, I’m using an old school manual staple gun, but I don’t really recommend them. You can get great affordable power ones nowadays which will help make sure you don’t hate upholstery by the end of your project!

Step 3 DIY Headboard

STEP 3 | Staple along each side.

Working from the centre of each side, begin stapling the fabric in place. Stretch some fabric evenly down and towards its nearest corner (I find it works best to pull a large amount of fabric at once by gripping it between your palm and fingers) then staple it in place. Stop stapling around 6cm (2″) from each corner.

DIY Bedhead Step 3

You may find you need to remove and reattach staples from time to time (if needed you can remove the temporary ones at this stage too) if your fabric appears too tight, loose or rippled. Occasionally look at the front side of your headboard to ensure everything is neat, straight and firm. You may also need to thin some areas of wadding as you go if it seems too thick.

 

How to Upholster Corners

STEP 4 | Fold and staple the corners.

Argh, the corners! I’m not gonna lie, getting these perfect is never easy. I used basic tailored pleats which give a nice clean finish.

First, trim off any excess wadding and fabric (being careful not to remove too much, of course). I find it easiest to fold corners when I can see how they’re looking, so stand your headboard upright and position yourself in front of it. Pull the fabric from the vertical side tautly up then secure it with a staple. Next, begin folding and crimping the fabric from the vertical side under, at the same time creating a pleat in the top side (it’s kinda like wrapping a present – kinda). Obviously, I generally use two hands for this though I had to hold the camera. If needed use a tool (such as a butter knife or a bone folder) to push any excess fabric inside the pleat or to smooth out any creases. Keep manipulating the fold until it’s neat then wrap the top edge over and secure it with a staple.

How to Upholster Corners

Don’t pull too tightly or you’ll over compress your foam and make the corners too shallow. You want to try and maintain the same level of depth overall.

TIP: If you’re struggling to maintain the shape and height of your corner, trim a strip of card (roughly 10cm/3″ long and about the same depth as your foam) then position it around the corner – under the wadding – to help provide some structure.

Tips for Upholstery

Check the appearance of the corner from the front. If needed, smooth and staple any nearby loose or rippled areas of fabric until everything is neat and even. Repeat until all corners are complete.

 DIY Upholstery

So, here’s my finished doll’s bed headboard. Or maybe it could be the top of a bench seat? Either way, really happy with how it turned out.

 

STEP 5 | Attach backing fabric (optional).

For the purpose of staging the house I didn’t bother attaching any backing fabric though I will if I plan to sell the headboard. It’s a simple matter of trimming some material to size then neatly attaching it (with staples or tacks) to conceal any less than attractive components.

 

STEP 6 | Add legs or mounting battens (optional).

As already mentioned, I didn’t feel the need to attach legs or mounting battens however this is a super easy addition. Just cut some narrow timber to size and screw it to the backing board.

Done!

Bedroom Makeover

DIY Upholstered Headboard Tailored Pleat

It can be fiddly, and getting perfect results takes time and practice, though there’s nothing difficult about this project.

Master Bedroom After

Bedding

Hope this encourages you to give it a go!

 

Signature

See the entire master bedroom makeover reveal HERE.