I transformed a $50 boring headboard into an amazing upholstered embroidered monogrammed headboard! All done and ready in one week-end – including the hand made initials! And if you think I’m some kind of expert in embroidery, then you’re mistaken! All you need to know is how to aim (and follow my simple directions)!
This was my daughter’s bed before:
And this was my inspiration. The Pottery Barn Teen Addison Camelback Headboard With Slipcover with an embroidered monogram.
You can find more pictures of that beautiful Pottery Barn headboard here.
I thought I could make my daughter’s bed look like it, and it turned out amazing!!! Take a look:
To make it identical, I was about buy some sturdy white fabric but I remembered I had a dark grey shower curtain from Target that was in the kids’ bathroom in Connecticut last year. It’s not being used anymore because all the showers in the new house have glass doors. It had a ruffle on the bottom, but I could cut it off since I had enough fabric to cover the headboard.
The color also worked perfectly. White might look good, but if the cover isn’t removable, it’s going to get dirty way too fast. Since I don’t posses the sewing skills needed to make a removable slipcover, the dark grey ended up working perfectly!
For the headboard, I used:
* 3 pieces of batting large enough to cover the front of the headboard and wrap around the back (approx. 10 inches on all sides) * 1 piece of foam with the same dimensions as the batting * fabric * staple gun
I first placed the two pieces of batting on the headboard and stapled them in the back of the headboard.
Then, I placed the foam on the headboard and secured it by stapling it. Lastly, I added the third layer of batting on top of the foam. All in all, I had two layers of batting followed by one layer of foam and finally one more layer of batting.
The next (and final) step would have been to place the fabric by stapling it on the back. But, since I wanted to make the embroidered monogram, I wasn’t done just yet. I have to admit that this wasn’t the first time I’ve embroidered something. My mom had taught me years ago when I had embroidered a couple of dragonflies on tea towels – but that’s about it! This particular monogram uses a satin stitch (though it has nothing to do with satin), and it happens to be extremely easy, fun and somewhat addictive!
To make the satin stitch monogram, I used:
* 1 embroidery hoop * cotton embroidery floss * 1 embroidery needle *1 sheet of black graphite/carbon paper (from Michael’s) * white chalk * well sharpened pencil * ruler * pins *scissor * typed, printed letters on regular printer paper at the desirable font & size.
I looked for a font that would be similar to my inspiration. I chose Bodoni MT Condensed, with a font size 500 on Word. Since all the letters printed out on different pages, I had to attach them with tape to form the final monogram. And because I couldn’t type in a dot at the height I wanted it, I printed each dot out separately.
To figure out where exactly I should place the monogram, I placed the fabric on the headboard and then placed the printed letters on the fabric. When I chose my desired height, I drew a horizontal line across the fabric with my ruler and chalk. Before I removed the fabric, I traced the outline of the headboard with chalk so that when I removed it I could ensure that my monogram would be exactly in the center.
To transfer my monogram’s outline onto the fabric, I pinned the paper on the fabric to keep it steady. Then I slipped a sheet of black graphite paper between my print-out and fabric. With a pencil and a ruler, I carefully drew the outline of each letter, using the ruler to make perfectly straight lines, where needed. I also drew the upper dots (the lower ones were just there to help me position the upper ones).
Before removing the printed paper and graphite paper, I made sure that all the outlines were traced on the fabric, and that I hadn’t missed a spot.
Also, before tracing the monogram onto my fabric, I practiced on an old piece of fabric for a while to get the hang of it. Here is everything you need for the embroidery.
First, loosen the hoop and place the smaller part in the back of the fabric, the larger part on top and around the first letter. Tighten the hoop. Make sure (a) the part of the letter you want to work on is in the middle of the hoop, and (b) the fabric in the hoop is stretched tightly and firmly.
Cut a piece of embroidery floss (about 3 feet – or 90 cm – is good). The embroidery floss consists of 6 strands and you will need to divide them in half.
To do this, separate three out of the six strands and hold them with your left hand, while pulling away the other three. You will have 2 sets of 3 strands. Set one set aside, and thread the other set (3 strands) into your needle and make a knot.
You are now ready to start filling the first letter. It’s easier to first start by filling a rectangular space and leave the corners for later. Start by bringing you needle up from underneath the hoop. Make sure your needle comes out exactly on the border of your letter. Now, aim with your needle exactly across the letter, on the marked border, making a straight line with your thread. You have made the first stitch! Now your needle is under your fabric. From underneath the fabric, go across and bring your needle up, exactly on the border of the shape, just slightly under where you first brought the needle from the back of the fabric. Go across, you have your second stitch.
When you’re running out of thread, end your stitch underneath the fabric, and weave the thread once through the previous stitches and then back once again, in the opposite direction – as shown here. Cut any remaining thread.
I like to do horizontal and vertical stitches better than diagonal ones because the result is neater. I did some diagonal stitches only on the corners of the letters. Again all you need is a little practice, aim exactly on your traced border, make sure to keep the outline as a straight line as you make more stitches and keep the fabric firm and tight in the hoop.
I timed myself while doing the first letter. It took me about two hours with a snack break and some phone calls in between. It is kind of a long process, especially if you don’t have so much free time but its worth doing it while watching a TV show (Downton Abbey is my fav right now!)
After I was done with the embroidery part, I made a stitch to hide the shower curtain holes. This part was the lower part of my headboard, it would be exposed on the sides and needed to look nice.
The next step was washing the fabric (machine wash, delicates, cold water), but before, I sprayed some good old Shout on the letters and wherever there were traces from the graphite paper. I let it air-dry. My fabric was dark so all the pencil marks went away with the first wash but for lighter color fabric, the spraying and washing process may need to be repeated. I ironed the whole piece of fabric and ironed the embroidered part from the back so that the letters would be rich and full (my mother’s advice).
The fabric is now ready to be placed on the headboard. I made sure it was centered. I stapled it in the back upper and side parts. For the bottom part, I decided to leave the layers of batting and fabric untucked, so they were hanging straight. As for the fabric, to ensure that it was stretched tightly, I stapled it on the back side of the bed legs. Here is the detail.
The room is now totally transformed and I think I’ve found the new color scheme: dark grey with camellia light pink. What a perfect combination!
The price for my Pottery Barn inspiration twin size slipcover was $129, but you can’t have it without the matching headboard which is another $279, a total of $408. All I had to purchase was the foam which was about $13! I already had the batting for another project (a quilt that I never made) but that was still not expensive (another $10 if I remember correctly). Does this headboard look like I spent only $13 on it?
This photo is taken extremely close, it’s not bad for a beginner!
I can’t stop walking into the room and admiring the new bed!
Now I have to do something with the walls around the bed, and I think I know what my next project is going to be…