From bench to boudoir

May 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

(ETA: This is the second of the three projects I mentioned in yesterday’s post.)

Magazine clipping


A few months ago I was flipping through a home dec magazine and came across a clever idea for a headboard. Since I was in the market for a headboard, I clipped it an added it to my idea wall. I decided the easiest way to get the look was to use a bench cushion. I kept my eyes open, but didn’t happen on anything suitable until a few weeks ago.

I was in IKEA, making my way to the one non-self-serve check-out that was open (I hate self-serve checkout. If I wanted to work in retail, I would. At the very least I should get a discount, since I’m doing the work of a checkout clerk they no longer have to pay. But I digress.) and there, right in the middle of a bunch of other completely unrelated stuff, was a single patio bench cushion. I figured it would be pretty cheap because, you know, IKEA. I was right: for $7.99 I finally had my headboard cushion.

The only thing was, it was covered it a very bright blue and purple striped fabric…definitely not something that would fit well in my lovely, tranquil boudoir. It’s pretty easy to recover a cushion, so I hit my fabric stash and came up with a great print that I bought last year on a business trip. Not only was it pretty, it coordinated beautifully with the fabrics I already had in the room and would serve as a great focal point — something the room had heretofore been lacking.

I didn’t have quite enough to cover the whole cushion, but I reasoned that there was one whole side of the cushion that would only be seen by the wall, so it didn’t really need to be covered. I also decided that since the cushion would get very little actual use (as opposed to if it were actually be used as a cushion), and since I was planning on using buttons to tuft it as in the original, I really only needed to tack down the edges.

Closeup of buttons

Tufting accomplished with vintage buttons

I really love adding vintage touches to projects like this, so I dug into my button stash and came up with a bunch of buttons of different styles but similar sizes. I got the tufting done with minimal blood loss, and added on ties made from strips of the same fabric I used to make my curtains. Then I turned my attention to the “shelf” part of the project.

Closeup of tie

A close-up view of the tie

I really didn’t want to spend a lot of any money so I headed out to the garage where I found this perfectly sized, already finished piece of wood. Gotta love it when that happens. I originally thought to mount it perpendicular to the wall so it could serve as an actual shelf, but I didn’t want to spoil the look with brackets, and I didn’t have screws long enough to support it via holes drilled in the shelf, so I ended up just hanging it flat on the wall. I screwed a few small eye bolts across the bottom, and tied my cushion on.

Now I have a great, inexpensive headboard that also serves as a focal point for the room and — to my delight — a comfortable back and head rest when I’m sitting and reading in bed.

Finished headboard

Works beautifully, dontcha think?


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