So probably one million years before anyone but my mom read my blog, I did a post about covering some very plain wooden bed rails for Little Miss' first big girl bed. I had just made her a headboard with some fabric that coordinated with her Very Hungry Caterpillar bedding and was on a "let's cover the world in fabric" kick.
She rocked those rails til I realized that she wasn't falling out of bed when she slept, and they've been sitting unused waiting for the day when Little Miss would get her next bed and Kee-ku would inherit her old one as his first "big boy bed". That day finally came when we pulled the great switcheroo, split the kids up, and he got his own room.
|Your not-so-sneaky-peek at the finished project.|
I used the exact same formula as before to make both kinds of pieces . . . with considerably more ease than I did in 2008. It was astounding to re-do a project I did when I first started getting into sewing (and really had no clue what I was doing) . . . it felt to me so quick and simple this time around, and helped me feel just how far along I've come since then.
|The best photo I could get of the whole ensemble. Kee-ku's room is the former sewing room and it's pretty small in there. I had to take this picture from the hallway.|
Because I never really explained what I did back then with the headboard (or for that matter the rails), I thought I'd give a little rundown on how you could DIY this yourself. You know . . . in case you have a similar bed situation or simply don't have any headboard and want to put something up on the wall there. (I wish I could say that I was going to now show you an awesome and inspiring step by step photo tutorial of the whole process, but I'm very pregnant at the moment and it was on my agenda to get this project done for my son and not for the blog so all you get is the Reader's Digest version. Sorry.) - - Also, for those of you concerned about the bedrails and safety issues, please skip to the bottom of this post for my comments on that.***
FOR THE HEADBOARD:
- You will need:
- 1 piece of foam core board as large as you want your headboard - easily obtained for $6 (or less if you brought your coupon) - - I got mine at the Hob Lob
- a piece of batting large enough to cover one side of your foam core board to your desired plumpness - - in this case I reused pretty much all of the skeletal parts of Little Miss' headboard so I discovered that I had gotten what appeared to be some fusible fleece (though I don't think that's absolutely necessary that it's fusible) that I folded 3 times to give it a little more cushion
- fabric large enough to cover the entire front as well as several inches extra that can be folded around the back - - in my case (for both of the headboards I made actually, I pieced together several different fabrics to get a piece large enough, but you could easily just use one large piece if you're not fussy cutting a graphic like I was)
- enough iron-on hemtape to go around the perimeter of the foam core board
- The process is pretty straightforward really . . .
- In my case I started by punching some holes through the foam core in strategic places to my particular bed and threading some ribbon through the holes so that when it came time to attach the headboard to the bed frame I had a way to tie it securely down. If you don't have an open backing on your bed like me, you could probably use some velcro adhesive or something to secure it in place.
- After that part is done you just need to make a big sandwich:
- Lay your foam core board right side up (meaning if you have ties or whatnot, you want those to be hanging out the back)
- Lay your batting/foam/fluff on top of that
- Lay your fabric on top of that
- Carefully flip your sandwich over (at this point you may want to clip the excess overhang off the corners)
- Use pieces of iron on hem tape to secure your fabric to the board (yes - - you are going to iron the fabric onto the board to get it to stick on there - - yes, it might slightly warp the board to do this - - no it does not effect anything negatively to do so)
- THAT'S IT! Now all you have to do is tie it onto your bed/secure it to the wall in the manner you see fit and you've got a swanky new head board in the fabric of your choosing. :)
A little note on the bed rail fabric: For the bed rails I pieced together some images from a piece of fabric I acquired off of Ebay some time ago . . . no selvage to speak of. I *suspect* it was a remnant of a bed sheet that goes with this set, but the seller told me some other story about it which I can no longer remember . . .
FOR THE BED RAILS:
- You will need:
- A set of bed rails - Mr. Skooks made ours by hacking two Vikare guardrails from Ikea with some larger wooden boards (no idea the measurements . . . Kee-ku is sleeping . . . but because Vikare is supposed to be used on a toddler bed and not on a twin, the rails just weren't high enough on their own) . . . but you could zazz up some bed rails appropriate to your bed situation by adding some fabric to them in the same manner. (Once again . . . if you're concerned about the hack-y part of this project and safety, please see my note at the bottom of this post.)
- 2 pieces of batting large enough to cover the section of bed rail in between the 2 pieces of hardware (and to whatever desired thickness you think is appropriate)
- A large enough piece of fabric to cover over the batting (add a few inches all around so that you can wrap it and hide the batting) - - in my case I frankensteined together several different fabrics so that Kee-ku had all of the fun animals to look at, but you could easily just use one continuous piece of fabric to uncomplicate things
- 2 lengths of sew in Velcro tape the length of your batting (so you can secure it to the boards)
- And here's how you do it:
- Lay your fabric right side down
- Iron in the top and the bottom about 1 inch or so
- Sew the velcro into either side of the fabric so that it can attach properly to itself to make a tube around the bed rail
- Iron the sides in enough so that the batting can nestle into the creases on either side
- Pin the batting into the creases and zigzag down the sides to secure the batting to the fabric
- Wrap em around the wood pieces, Velcro, and watch your little one squeal with delight at the new fabulous bed rails
- THAT'S IT! Yes . . . you can do this too. :)
And there you have it . . . a padded headboard and rails that you can DIY yourself. Hope this helps someone out there. For anyone that has a few projects under her belt (or his!), they really are both very easy projects. If you've never sewn anything, you could probably do this too. I mean, I did.
Just for fun, here's a little side-by-side action of the bed when it was Little Miss' and now that it is Kee-ku's:
|1. Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle Big Girl Bed Side View, 2. African Savannah Eric Carle Big Boy Bed Side View|
If you try this and end up having any questions about the process let me know. I realize pictures would help, but it is what it is. 40 weeks and counting . . . ;)
***A little note about this "hack" . . . it was published over at Ikea Hackers recently and got some flack over issues of possible safety hazards which I want to address. 1) Never do anything you think is unsafe with your kids. First and foremost. No matter what anyone says - - I've certainly seen plenty of things around the internet that people have done that look cool that I would NEVER attempt because they seem completely unsafe. If that's your feeling about the stuff you see, go with your gut. With that being said, I had this setup with my daughter when she moved into her first twin bed, and I never had any safety issues with the rails or with her and she used them for years. They never fell off the bed, she never became entrapped in them, and she never fell out of the bed while they were there. In my mind it made sense to redo this project and use them again with my son because of this experience . . . 2) Interestingly, since I have put these up/posted about them and used them with my son, I have realized that he is much more of a mover than perhaps she was, and have thus concluded that I am not comfortable with this arrangement with him and have since taken the bedrails down. The headboard has stayed. 3) One more thing, when we set out to do this hack, we weren't looking to have it win any beauty pageants. (That comment is in response to the very brave anonymous poster who posted about how "ghetto" this hack was. - ahem.) We wanted it to be safe, fit the height of the mattress better than the little original guardrails we bought (which we didn't realize were going to be way too small), and I decided to add the bit of padding to the middle for the sake of aesthetics from my kid's point of view (you'll notice the designs on each are something the kid can see when laying in the bed, not on the outside for everyone else). In conclusion, this whole project is certainly not for everyone, and I'm fine with that. I thought that the headboard part of it would probably be of use to someone since it was for me, and since I had also worked on the bed rails I decided to post on them as well. Like I said, use your noggin when it comes to safety. Always.***