Hey Oprah! Has your smug brilliance ever gotten you in over your head? Well, mine has! I have been working with a longtime client on a couple of her guest rooms. She wanted one with twin beds, to be designed toward her teenage daughters’ style so that the friends that would be sleeping in them would feel special. Besides, what lady doesn’t have a girlish side that wants to “feminine up” one room in her house?
In the process of creating this design, we were kicking around some ideas for headboards for these two beds, without breaking the bank. So I came up with this idea that we would cover wood with batting and burlap. Then we would stencil them with a couple random Suzani style wheels in the same colors from the duvets. Lastly, we would inset from the outer edges a black grosgrain ribbon that would create a graphic frame and finish them off. By “we” I meant me, even though my client was perfectly willing to crank up the creative juices and collaborate. Unfortunately, time is of the essence.
Really cool and fun idea for headboards, right? Not too complicated. I mean we see stuff like this on Pinterest all the time. Easy peasy. After all, I make things. Things like light fixtures and wood headboards. Upholstered ones are sort of similar, don’t ya think?
As the sweaty, premenopausal, chub that I am, I decided to lay the first one out in our home office in the comfort of air conditioning. I started with stretching and stapling the batting on, only to realize that I was going to need the whole roll for one if I wanted it not to feel like a board. And the shopping list begins: another roll of batting. The next step was ironing the folds out of the burlap, doubling it and laying it out on the floor. Once the batted board was positioned face down, I was ready to do the next round of stapling. A few years ago, my parents gave me this “Arrow Powershot” stapler when I was stretching some artist canvases. We’ve used it for some other projects, and it’s proven to be temper mental about actually shooting staples. It behaved reasonably well for the batting, but when I was applying the burlap, it misfired about 100 out of 90 times. Is that possible? It sure seemed like it. I was getting irked and saying some things about it under my breath, but the longer it took and the more staples that were jamming, my colorful protests became louder. I took the screws out of the stapler. I took the staples out of the stapler and reinserted them. I swore some more. I pounded the son of a %*tc# on my beautiful wool rug from my days at E.A. I truly was putting blood, lots of sweat, almost some tears, and a blue streak of language into this stupid project. Every now and then Mikey would holler from the other room, “Mommy, you are saying a lot of bad words!” Oh yeah? Guess what I was saying back to him in my mind?
When I finally, FINALLY got enough staples in it that it was totally assembled, I flipped it over and the damn burlap had been stretched too hard and the weave was sloping down from the right to left. I mean for god’s sake, it looked like had try to do something fancy on the bias. SON OF A…! I still had another head board to make. Man! This was just great! Why did I say I could do this?
I got on Amazon, looked up my current stapler which got lousy reviews for all the same problems I was experiencing, and then started looking for ones with 5 star reviews. I took a chance on another “Arrow” product. It arrived yesterday. This time I set up in the garage. It worked BEAUTIFULLY! Wow! I didn’t know it could be that easy. It even came with a staple lifter that popped all the staples out of my first headboard disaster, so I could redo it. I think I had both of them put together in the same amount of time that the first one took, and the burlap weave is much straighter. The stencils aren’t here yet, so White Light that process! I don’t want to be buying more burlap! Stay tuned for finished product photos—if I deem them worth bragging about!