Category Archives: Woodworking

New Headboard for the Master Bedroom

One of my favorite projects to date.  Our bed has been sitting in the raw minus and headboard or foot board for a little over a year now.  The boyfriend purchased it as a Christmas gift to ourselves the year before last so it’s fairly easy to keep track of the neglect time on this one.  I love our bed.  It is a Tempur-Pedic and I love it.  Never really thought about mattresses until he bought this one and now I can’t imagine sleeping without it.  I like to refer to it as my best friend.

So how could I leave my best friend unattended for so long?  The inability to make up my mind played a big part of it.  I like a lot of different styles and finishes which makes choosing a direction to go and sticking to it very difficult.  As I mentioned, in a few previous posts, the new bedroom window and baseboard trim finally kicked my procrastinating butt into action (at least in our bedroom).  I knew it was time to make a few decisions and follow through on them.  Finally.

This is my bed in it’s raw state.  Not the best photo ever, but I might possibly be the worst ever at remembering to take before photos.  Seriously, the worst.

raw master bedroomI’ve had that down comforter since before either of my kids were born, so it has definitely seen better days and as you can see in the photo it doesn’t really fit this king sized bed very well.    I figured it was time to find a new comforter too.

One goal of mine for our bedroom was to keep things pretty, but not overwhelmingly feminine.  I’m not much of a girly girl myself, so it hasn’t been super difficult.  I just wanted to be sure it was a room the boyfriend wanted to spend time in too, without feeling like he was in “my” room.  So with that thought in mind is how I began my headboard search.  The bed plan that inspired me the most was this one from Ana White’s site.  The decorative wood headboard really appealed to me.

3154831991_1375986653The plan called for using bunches and bunches of wood shims for the decorative part of the headboard and initially that was what I planned to do until I put some more thought into the project.  I keep every little piece of scrap from all of my woodworking projects, unless it is no longer in usable condition (warped, cracked, etc).  That is where the idea to change up the plan spawned from – wood scraps.  Why buy packages and packages of more wood scraps (basically that is what wood shims are to me) when I already have a huge stockpile of my own?

So my new plan was to create the decorative portion of the headboard from scraps I already had on hand.  Two huge benefits from this plan – greatly reduce the small pieces in the scrap stockpile and save some $$.

This is the end result and I love it.

headboardIt took me an entire Saturday to cut, stain and piece together the puzzle.  I dug through all my scrap beforehand to find as much of the 3/4″ stock as possible and then started fitting strips from each end with the goal of meeting in the middle.  There are 4 different stains from minwax that create the color combo, ebony, special walnut, early american and espresso (this  color was used from the body of the bed too).  I don’t think this project would have been possible without my beloved table saw.  It’s a game changer.  Seriously, I don’t know how I lived without one as long as I did.    The table saw allowed me to easily create strips in the same width from mis-matched wood and in some cases rip pieces down to 3/4″ thickness. The strips were nailed into place.

master bed

I kept to the plan for the rest of the bed with a few minor modifications:  modified the width (plywood was cut to 73″ vs 77.5″ in the plan) of the headboard and footboard to accommodate the pre-existing metal frame (I did not use the frame setup described in the plan) and increased the height of the foot board by 2 inches.  The height increase was so that the side rail would sit level with the metal frame and allow the 1×12 to completely cover the box spring.

master bedI’ve given up hope of getting better pictures in our bedroom.  The darker walls just throw everything off-balance.

headboard closeup
The new comforter is one I found on  Not that you tell from the pictures, but it is a nice, rich brown corduroy that goes well with all the other wood tones in the room and on the bed and it is lined in this super soft berber fleece.

One more big project down and only a few more to go before I am done in here.  Two painting projects:  Need to paint the chest at the end of the bed.  It’s current color is a cherry wood and it really doesn’t go with the rest of the room anymore.  Also, need to paint the ceiling.  Ugh.  Painting ceilings is not one of my favorite activities.  I know it will make a huge difference in the end, but I don’t wanna.  And, lastly, to maybe add crown molding.  Just not sure the ceilings are tall enough to handle it along with all the other molding in the room.  Oh, and put up some artwork.  Right now the walls are completely bare.  Figured I would wait until all the big pieces were up before decorating the walls.

I’m just happy that is starting to look and feel like a real bedroom now and not like we just moved into it yesterday.

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The Bar Stool Journey Ends

When I first posted about my bar stool dilemma I had a new plan in mind, but had yet to put it into action.  Well, shortly after writing that post I went to work and built the new stools.  My confidence in these new stools was so high I actually built both of them at the same time.  That might possibly be a first for me.  I tend to be a bit wishy-washy when committing to furniture that needs to be built in duplicate.  Thankfully my confidence was not misplaced.  I love them and the kids do too.

Our new counter height bar stools…

diy bar stools

I built them using this plan from Ana-White’s site.   Fairly easy to build with the only exception being all the angle cuts which will give you a headache if you’re not careful.  I just had to remind myself to be patient and not try to rush to the finish.  The stain is in Espresso from Minwax.  My current favorite color of all time.  I did two coats to get a nice dark finish and then topped that with two coats of a poly in semi-gloss.

top of diy barstools


I covered them with some thick leather-look vinyl I found at JoAnn’s as I wasn’t willing to commit to the real thing with both of  my kids climbing all over them daily.  I used 4″ thick foam for the cushions (which I already had from a previous project) and upholstery tacks to hold it all in place.  I found a great tutorial for covering the seats  here.

diy bar stoolsThings I would do differently… The building plan is straightforward and easy to follow, so no changes there.  Now when it comes to covering the seats there  a couple of things I would change.  One, go slower when tapping in the upholstery tacks.  Why? The end result would be a neater more even line of tacks around the seat.  Also, the tacks don’t pull out easily and most become useless once pulled out.  It’s okay to lose one or two, but having to buy another box of these little suckers because of my impatience is a little silly.  Another minor change would be to glue the foam down to the top of the seats to ensure it stays put.  When I covered the stools, I pulled the vinyl super tight, but with the kids bouncing up and down on them every day I’ve noticed the foam will shift a little to one side or the other.

diy bar stool2

Things we love about the stools… The seats are super comfortable, both kids commented on that the moment they sat down.  They look good.  My son has dubbed them the “fancy stools”.  Of course, compared to what he was sitting on for all the months prior to their completion they truly are fancy.  The style is timeless.  Whatever style direction I take the kitchen I know these little stools will fit right in.

So there ends the bar stool journey on a happy note.


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