DIY: Nailhead Trim Headboard

The fun productions have continued and this time it's an addition to the master bedroom! We have a platform bed with drawers on the side... in our previous house we needed lots of storage so this was a great bed, plus it was a good deal! Now, I feel like it's a bed we have grown out of and since I wasn't ready to commit to a whole new bed I wanted to a headboard to dress it up. There are a ton of options out there, I fell in love with this one from West Elm... buuuuut I didn't fall in love with the price! Yikes. $500 for a headboard. Well, luckily there are other, DIY options.

And a DIY headboard looks just as nice with a great feeling of accomplishment. :)

So here's the list of supplies and how we did it.

- 3/4" Plywood (I believe that it was an 8' x 4' piece which is plenty big for a king headboard)
- High Loft Batting - high loft is thicker and stiffer whereas low loft is softer and more flimsy for molding to different projects. High loft is good for this project. I bought it big enough to fold it so it was doubled and created a cushier look!
- Nailhead trim kit... I used the cheater method and you should too if you want to do this project!
- Fabric
- A couple screws to use to hang the headboard
- Heavy Duty Stapler - I used an electric one though you can use a manual, hand stapler it is just more difficult!

Step 1: Preparation
First step is to measure.... Measure from one end of the bed to the other so that you get a perfect fit. Once you have the measurements, let's say it's 72" wide, then you cut the plywood the exact length and then the height you want. We cut the height to be in line with the size the batting was but allowed an extra 3 inches on all sides so we could wrap the plywood. Next I cut the fabric to also be about 3" bigger on all sides... meaning 6" taller an wider than the plywood.

Step 2: Stapling :)
First lay the fabric the good side down. Next lay the batting on top of the fabric. Then lay the plywood down on the top. My husband helped with the stapling and I would recommend a partner because he would pull it tight and I would staple. We make a good team. :) We stapled a lot to make sure it was on there good... about every 2".

Step 3: Nailhead Trim
Since I was using the nailhead trim kit this part was a breeze and didn't take very long - two very good reasons to use the cheater method instead of nailing a ton of nails individually. The kit works well because it is a strip of nailheads without the actual nails and about every 5-6 there is a hole where you insert a nail to hold it in place. So you only have to nail a fifth of the actual nails for the project. Easy! And you can't tell!

Step 4: Hang the Headboard
Using the scrap plywood my husband cut a long strip in half and then cut the meeting edges at 45 degrees. This allows a ledge for the headboad to hang on. He screwed the top piece to the headboard (45 degree angled in) and then used a stud finder to screw the bottom piece (45 degree angled out) to the wall. After that we simply hung the headboard on the mounted piece of plywood and centered it on the bed! Whew... that was easy and cheap! :)

And what a difference a headboard makes!

Here's the budget breakdown:
- Plywood: $25
- Fabric: Remnant for $5... yes... a steal!
- Batting: $15 because I used a 50% off coupon at the craft store!
- Nailhead Trim Kit: $12 because I used a 40% off coupon at another craft store... love coupons!
- Stapler.... borrowed it from the in-laws
TOTAL: $57 for a king size nailheadtrim headboard!

Are you interested in upgrading your bed with a new headboard? Any ideas on how to do it differently? I would love to hear your ideas!

Thanks for stopping by!! Happy Halloween. :)

<- Kassy ->


DIY: Newborn Pictures


It's been awhile since my last post... After a brief sabbatical to welcome my baby boy, Mason, I am finally getting back to blogging and projects! And since I am loving being a new mom I thought my first blog post back should be about my little bundle of joy.

When I was pregnant I started noticing the cutest newborn pictures on Pinterest and Facebook so I checked out local photographers. Holy Moly! They charge a lot... Maybe I'm just cheap (well that's definitely true) but I couldn't believe how much this cost. Most photographers charged $150-250 for the session and then some had minimum print orders of $300-500 and if you just simply wanted the CD of prints then bet on around $600. Yikes! For pictures that my son will likely not care about, ever... I figured that was pretty steep. The pictures are mostly just for me, to share his cuteness with family and friends. So I decided to DIY it and from one amateur to another here are some tips that helped or could have helped me make my newborn pictures successful!

Tip #1: Patience

Duh, right? haha.... I'm sure any parent will say that patience is needed in dealing with any child but it's definitely important for taking newborn pictures. I set aside a whole day for these pictures and I'm glad I did because it took nearly the whole day! After preparing Mason (nursing, changing his diaper, rocking him to sleep) as soon as we started setting him up (removing his onesie and diaper) he peed on my sister (Tip #2) and then again when we set him in his crib to clean up the first pee mess. :) We didn't wait long enough to let him fall into a deeper sleep and that's where a lot of patience comes in. We were too excited to start snapping!

Tip #2: Recruit a Side Kick

My sister was going to be in town the weekend after Mason's birth so I figured she would be a good person to help with the pictures. For ease you should try to shoot the baby within the first 10 days. Babies are calmer, sleep more, and they curl up during that time which makes it easier to "mold" them for the pictures. I could have recruited Seth to be my side kick but he lacked patience which, from tip #1, we know is necessary. After the first pee episode Seth suggested we just call it a day... hadn't even snapped a single shot yet. Good thing I'm stubborn! :)

So why is a side kick important? Well, while you are snapping pictures someone has to spot the baby! They are fragile and at any moment they can move so you want to be sure they are safe. Plus my sister was able to move and change sets/props while I settled him down and kept him calm. 

Tip #3: Warmth

Babies like the warmth. It's soothing and comfortable. If you want to get those cute bare bum pictures then you need the room to be warm. I used a small space heater and set the temp at 77 degrees. This was really warm for my sister and I who were in tanks and shorts but great for Mason when he was baring it all for the pictures. Also, you might consider wrapping (Tip #4) your baby in between pictures sets to make sure they don't get chilled. Lastly, have a hair dryer on hand. We used it occasionally when we noticed him moving and stretching a little bit plus it provides some white noise which can be really comforting to newborns (Tip #5).

Tip #4: Start with Swaddling

This tip is not something I did but I wish I had! I thought the bare bum shots were adorable so I jumped right into them. I should have started by swaddling him in some cute fabrics (cheesecloth is pretty cute). This is a good way to ease him into the session. Babies like to be swaddled anyway so he or she will likely appreciate the warmth and comfort and may even give you a smile or too.

Tip #5: Noise

In the first couple of weeks Mason really liked white noise. It was soothing to him so we kept the hair dryer on hand and I downloaded a white noise app on my phone which was really helpful. (It's called Relax and Sleep.. pretty cool because you can choose lots of different sounds. Mason liked the heartbeat and the summer rain combination. :))

Tip #6: Cheap Props

Before Mason was born I searched the internet for props. These are also overpriced! Who pays $10-15 for a knit cap or a blanket which was basically just cut fabric? I ended up finding great deals on eBay. I bought a knit dinosaur cap, angel wings, and an owl cap (which ended up being huge because I guess newborns in China have really large heads). So I spent $20 for all of those items and then I found a children's tie at Goodwill for $2 and some glasses for $1. I also bought a faux rabbit fur at Hobby Lobby (with a 40% off coupon) for $6. In total I spent less than $30 for all the props and didn't have any other expenses because I had everything else (blankets, fabric, books, baskets, our wedding rings, etc). There are a ton of cute props out there or things you can use at home like your favorite pearl necklace for a baby girl. :)

I hope all of these tips help and get you the best newborn pictures! Let me know if you test it out and how it works.... or if you have any tips of your own.

<- Kassy ->


DIY: Dining Chair Overhaul

A couple weeks back I finally found a new dining table. Well it's new for us but it's actually over 100 years old! The table is a stellar piece but it didn't come with any chairs. The amazing thing is that when I went to pick it up (found it on Craigslist) the lady who was selling everything and moving also gave me a set of four chairs, two other chairs, and a bench since she needed to get rid of them! Lucky find! :) So these chairs, they were in pretty bad shape because they were also over 100 years old and were not taken care of... they are so old the cushion was stuffed with straw! Crazy that they used to use straw before they could pick up cotton batting or foam.

Anyhow, we thought that with an old table in a mahogany tone that we could modernize the look by painting the chairs black. A quick trip to the hardware store to figure out what we should do and we quickly decided on a black lacquer. So here's the list of all the supplies:

- Black Lacquer Spray Paint (Krylon)
- 2" Foam
- Faux Leather material for the cushion
- 3/4" Plywood
- Screws
- Heavy Duty Stapler which we borrowed!
- Felt Pads for the bottom of the legs so they wouldn't scratch our floor

Step 1: Preparation
For this project we measured the chair frame to figure out how big the cushion should be. These chairs have sort of a trapezoid shape and we made the end opposite the back of the chair about an inch longer to make it a little bigger and to make sure it wasn't short of the chair frame. My husband cut the plywood and I used that as a pattern to cut the foam and fabric. I cut the foam the same size and the fabric an extra 3" on each end.

Step 2: Staple!
I laid the faux leather, good side down. Next I laid the foam and then the plywood on last. We pulled the fabric tight, pulling the foam into the plywood. Then we stapled the fabric to the bottom of the plywood and trimmed the extra fabric.

Step 3: Paint
This takes a bit but it's worthwhile to paint a number of coats. We painted about six coats because we didn't want to sand each chair. We just primed and painted a lot! Be careful not to spray too close as you might get drips/clumps. A nice even spray and some patience to do multiple coats for coverage is key! Also, if you are going to do a big project like this then invest in a $5 sprayer so you don't kill your hand.

Step 4: Attach the Cushion
Next we used four screws four each chair to attach it at the corners of the cushion to the corners of the chair frame. And lastly we put felt pads on the bottom of each leg.

Didn't these turn out great?! I love them and I love that they were so cheap because I looked at dining chairs and they weren't cheap! Now we just need to find six more to fit our table when we put all four leaves in it!

Here's the budget breakdown:
- Plywood: Left over from our headboard project! Love using all the scraps!
- Faux Leather: $16 - I happened to find some on clearance... it was $8 per yard and two yards was perfect. This is normally $30 per yard!
- Foam: $29 - I bought a twin 2" foam mattress topper from Walmart for $29... a serious steal considering the craft store would have sold me the same size for upwards of $80!I also have some foam leftover... looking for a good project for the scrap. :)
- Spray Paint: $25 - 5 cans for about $5 each
TOTAL: $70 for all four chairs! Unbelievable... dining chairs usually go for more than $70 each and don't have as much character or good structure. These are solid chairs.

So.... What do you think? Does the black lacquer look work?

<- Kassy ->

PS - See that basket on the table? I made that for $6! And a matching vase for $2... Tune in over the next few weeks for that DIY post!