Upholstered Nailhead Trim Headboard

Shortly after we moved into our current apartment I posted about the inevitable “I’ve made a huge mistake” phase that follows every relocation. Apparently that rule applies to virtual moves as well: I migrated from WordPress.com to WordPress.org this past weekend and, so far, feel as though I made a huuuuuge mistake.

(Real quick, for those who don’t know, WordPress.org means that I’ve taken on the work and expense of hosting this blog on my own, instead of WordPress.com taking care of that for me. It should offer greater flexibility in my site’s design as well as an engaging learning experience that will exercise my aging brain (important!). So far, all it is offering are crushing reminders that I am not nearly as CSS-adept as I think I am. Anyway: if this site looks weird in the coming week or if old posts return from the grave, just know that I’m behind the curtain, editing code and cursing the gods.)

Let’s move along, back into the bedroom, and talk about our new headboard.

Bedroom

This is the fourth time I’ve reupholstered this headboard and each time I swear it will be the last (so many staples!). But beds are expensive and this headboard does the job. It’s a simple design: plywood cut to size at Home Depot, covered in high density urethane foam, wrapped in batting and then fabric. The cats thought it was a great game.

Cats

The headboard was previously tufted; this time I decided to try nail head trim instead. I glued some wood trim to the perimeter of the plywood, to add some depth to the headboard and to give me a sharp/clean edge to nail into.

DIY Headboard

DIY Headboard

DIY Headboard

I bought this Dritz Home Decorative Nailhead Trim kit from Jo-Ann for 12 bucks. This is the antique gold finish.

DIY Headboard Nailhead Trim

Most of the tack-strip nailheads are decorative.  Every fifth head, however, has a hole for a matching nail.  This ensures even spacing, neat rows and much quicker work.

Trim

My best take-away tip is to roll out your row, lightly tapping every other nail into place – not all the nails and not all the way in. That way you can adjust the row if needed. Once it’s placed and straightened just how you want it, then you can go along and drive all of the nails in. I used a rubber mallet to do so.

DIY Headboard

It always looks dopey at this stage:

DIY Headboard

Much better:

DIY Headboard

The functional nails definitely stand out, but they’re consistent (i.e., every fifth nail just looks a bit different) and it bothers me much less than a row of unaligned nails would.  It also bothers me much less than the nails I would have inevitably driven into my skull had I tried to line up 200 individual nails.

DIY Headboard

Bedroom Makeover

“Makeover” actually isn’t the right word because the bedroom was never maked to begin with.

Bedroom Before

We had an off-white carpet remnant rug that got dingy nearly immediately – terrible idea! We had a picture ledge that I always intended to style but never did. We had matching MALM nightstands that were too small. I later bought an old pair of nightstands (one seen on the right) on Craigslist that I refinished, immediately decided that I didn’t like and then sold for a profit.

Bedroom Before

I swapped out rugs, blankets, etc. as I honed in on what I wanted and didn’t want — the former is always much harder for me than the latter — and I finally gathered all of the pieces and put everything together in one exhausting weekend.

Bedroom To-Do List

And here’s where we are today:

Bedroom

I bought a new rug from Overstock and stained, painted and added hardware to a new pair of IKEA RAST nightstands.  The wall art and framing was less than $25 total, and I reupholstered our existing headboard with new fabric, adding nailhead trim.

Bedroom Wall Art

Bedroom RAST Nightstand

I swapped the dresser with one I had in the basement and plopped a plant in a basket.

Bedroom Window

Bedroom Dresser

Doozy is indifferent to the changes but I am pleased to finally have a bedroom that feels put together.   I will write follow-up posts on the headboard, art and nightstands, so check back later this week if you’re interested in details on any of those projects!

Bedroom Cat

Building a Picture Ledge for a Neon Sign

This right here is the kitschiest thing I’ve ever loved.

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I found it in an antique mall in mid-Missouri (Apache Flats represent!) for $30. Something about it is hilarious to me. Neon seems appropriate for vices, like BEER or GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS. Not SALADS. It lived in the basement for a while, illuminating our ping-pong parties, but I decided I liked it enough to display in the kitchen.

West Elm, Pottery Barn, IKEA, etc. have lots of options for picture ledges, but 1) they’re expensive, 2) they weren’t the exact width and depth I wanted, and 3) they have a raised lip on the front, which I didn’t need. I wanted a floating shelf that would hold the sign and virtually disappear.

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I bought some inexpensive wood and used glue and screws to join the two pieces. I put my new countersink drill bit to work so that the screws would sit below the surface of the wood, and I filled in the recesses with wood filler before painting.

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I wanted the ledge to look like it was one single piece – not two connected pieces – so I waited to cut the ledge to the correct length until after I joined the two pieces.  This worked really well – my chop saw ensured the edges aligned perfectly and after smoothing the end grain with some wood filler and painting it, the ledge looks legit.

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Similar to the oddly but perfectly placed outlet in our living room (for our leaning bookshelves), we have an oddly but perfectly placed outlet smack in the middle of our kitchen wall.

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SALADS!

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(The sign is discretely tethered to the wall at the top so there’s no danger of it toppling over.)

Just a couple of other changes to the kitchen since you saw it last back in summer of 2011 – as a reminder, it used to look like this before I painted the wainscoting, scored the STENSTORP island off Craiglist and painted the ceiling fan:

Kitchen

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I bought the ubiquitous BONDIS wall clock and I ordered the Tabouret counter stools from Overstock.com after months of Craigslist searching didn’t turn up anything I liked as much.

Stools

I highly recommend these stools – they’re super sturdy and you can’t beat the price (under $80 with coupons for a pair).  They also come in fun colors, if you’re into that sort of thing.  I’m not, but it’s fine if you are. No judgement.

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DIY Project Round-Up

Happy new year to you all and welcome to new readers!  Now that my subscriber count has surpassed 1,500 (thanks, everyone!) and we’ve rolled into 2013, I wanted to pause to do a DIY project round-up.  Not necessarily comprehensive, just a visual introduction to what goes on around here.

Decorating DIY Projects1: Operation Obscurement: Window Film
2: Wall-Mounted Bottle Opener
3: The Framer’s Intent: Scarf Display
4: Gallery Wall: In Praise of Chopsticks & 3M

DIY Experiments1: Gold Leaf Paint Options
2: Metal Cutting Options

Furniture DIY Projects1: A Harmless Dresser-to-TV Stand Conversion
2: Step by Step IKEA VITTSJO Nesting Table Hack

Garden DIY Projects

1: Raised Garden Beds: Two Tons of Soil, One Bucket
2: Tools for (Over) Planning Raised Garden Beds
3: Canopy Fail, Cinema Success
4: Pipe + Netting Garden Trellis

Cat DIY Projects

1 & 2: Cat Concessions: Plants and Upholstery
3: CATHOLE: Litter Box Cat Door
4: Catio Cleanup

Finally, because I’m always a bit embarrassed by blog’s name, I’d like to remind you that when I say “project!”, I’m channeling Cher Horowitz and her love of makeovers.  Because somehow that’s less embarrassing?

Step by Step IKEA VITTSJO Nesting Table Hack

And now for my next trick, I transform IKEA’s VITTSJÖ nesting tables…

IKEA VITTSJO

into nesting tables!

IKEA VITTSJO Nesting TablesVOILÄ

But let me back up: as with all things, I had very specific requirements in mind.  I wanted a larger table for our lamp (West Elm’s Morten Table Lamp, which I scored for much cheaper via a floor model sale) and a smaller table for Jarrod to pull out to use next to his chair when we’re camped out in the living room for the evening.  It had to be at least 18x18x18.  It had to be metal and glass because we already have too much wood happening in there.

I searched for used nesting tables on Craigslist for months before giving up.  I then searched for new nesting tables at every store/website I could think of before giving up.  It seems that stores offer only a few nesting table options, and they are very expensive.

Enter the VITTSJO nesting tables, which seemed perfect in concept, except what’s up with the child table being twice as long as its parent table?  Not sure what IKEA is going for there.  I would prefer that the smaller table nest fully within the larger table.  I bought the set planning to hack it but partially assembled it first just to confirm that the table as-is didn’t make any sense.

IKEA VITTSJO Nesting TablesNope, that doesn’t make any sense.

I totally winged it with this hack – there were several opportunities for disaster and I would have preferred to buy them used because it would made it less of a bummer if I ruined them.  The VITTSJO series is new to IKEA, however, so it’s not turning up on Craigslist yet.  Much love to Jarrod for encouraging me to barrel through.

Just like your favorite New Kids on the Block song, there were five major steps: cutting the metal frame, piecing back together the frame, cutting the MDF shelf, cutting the glass and painting the legs.  I’ll use NKOTB and some modified IKEA assembly illustrations to walk you through it step by step.

Step one, we can have lots of fun… learning how to cut metal.

Cutting Points

I needed to make six cuts, as indicated above.  I tried three approaches: a grinding wheel on my miter saw, a hacksaw and a jigsaw.  I’ll elaborate more in a separate follow-up post (oooh, I bet you can’t wait for that); for now I’ll say that I went with my Ryobi miter saw, which was fast, accurate, loud and sparky.  Hence the precautionary fire extinguisher.  (Update: see Metal Cutting Options)

Miter Saw with Grinding Blade

Cutting Metal

Sawing left me with the pieces seen below.  Modifying the bottom rails was easy; I just needed to drill new screw holes at the end of each piece to replace the holes I sawed off.  The top was more challenging because I needed to reconnect the pieces in a way that would be as stable and seamless as possible.

Table Pieces

Step two, there’s so much we can do… to piece this back together.  I walked around The Home Depot inserting all manner of things into the hollow metal tube to determine what would allow for a nice, tight fit.

The winner: a piece of 1/2 inch hardwood.  It fit perfectly tight – so much so that I didn’t need glue.

VITTSJO Metal Connection Point

Metal Wood ConnectionNot bad!

Sharpie

I touched up the cut edges with a Sharpie paint pen while Jarrod crept up on me with the camera.  I think I look half-crazed in the right-hand photo: I was really excited that this hackneyed scheme of mine was actually working out.

Table

The cutting scars are discrete like a high-class face lift – not invisible, but you wouldn’t notice them if you weren’t looking for them.

IKEA VITTSJO Nesting Tables

Step three, it’s just you and me… and a too-long particleboard shelf.  Nothing a jigsaw can’t fix.

MDF Shelf Cutting


Step four, I can give you more… 
photoshopped IKEA illustrations.

Tempered Glass

No pictures of this step, because I paid Ashland Glass to do it for me.  The IKEA glass is tempered, which means it can’t be cut, so I had a new piece of glass cut to fit.  $34, which isn’t cheap, but $34 + the $60 tables is still significantly cheaper than anything I found elsewhere.

Step five, don’t you know that the time has arrived… to dress it up a bit with some gold dip-dyed legs.  I tried three different types of gold paint and will compare the products in another follow-up post that you can await anxiously: Plaid’s Liquid Leaf in Brass, Rub ‘n’ Buff in Gold Leaf and Krylon’s Gold Leafing Pan.  I liked Liquid Leaf best.  (Update: see Gold Leaf Paint Options)

Taped Table Legs

Pro tip!: start with the back legs.  Not as big a deal if you mess them up.  I learned that FrogTape didn’t create nearly as sharp a line as good ol’ 3M Scotch Blue.

And we’re done!

DIY IKEA VITTSJO Nesting Tables

VITTSJO Nesting Tables

Dip Dyed Table Legs

IKEA VITTSJO Nesting Tables

IKEA VITTSJO Nesting Tables


You may also be interested in:

Gold Leaf Paint Options
Gold Leaf Paint Options
Metal Cutting Options
Metal Cutting Options