project

{creating the ideal headboard}

We had a bed frame that we kept in storage while we were living in Germany.  When we moved back stateside, and our storage stuff arrived, I just wasn’t happy with the bed frame anymore.  It was big, bulky, and just looked heavy in the room.  In an effort to make our master more open I started thinking of different ways to create just a headboard that could be used with our metal bed frame (so basically something we could lean against the wall).

I came up with the beginnings of a plan and headed to my local Home Depot for a big sheet of plywood to turn into our new headboard.  The sheet I purchased was wider than necessary, so I asked one of the nice employees to trim it down for me.  We have a king size bed and therefore needed a 73′ by 47′ piece.  You may need a bigger or smaller board depending on your bed size.  We took our piece home, put it in the garage, and there it sat while I hammered out the rest of the details in my head.

After a lot of thinking, I decided I wanted it to look like a stack of wood, to fit in with our ‘woods’ theme.  I enlisted the help of my brother in getting the “slices” of wood I would need to create this look.  He took some bigger branches and cut them into two inch (ish) slices.  He is pretty awesome and filled a huge plastic tote with them.  Then the trouble of getting the slices from Wisconsin, where he is, to Virginia, where I currently am.  Lucky for me my mother was coming to pick up our Little Monster for a couple weeks at gramma and grampa’s.  So she nicely drove them the twelve hours to me!  🙂  She’s awesome like that.

crreating-the-ideal-headboard-grey-stain

While I was waiting for the slices I stained the piece of plywood.  I didn’t want to just leave it untreated because I knew some of it would show through.  I had some grey stain left over from another project, so I just used that.  There’s a lot of grey in our room (well, in our whole house…it may be a favorite color of mine…) so I knew grey showing through wouldn’t look out of place.

When the slices arrived I had to think about how to preserve the wood so it wouldn’t crack more and change in the fluctuating temperatures.  I did some research, a lot of research.  Most of what I found was going to be pretty pricey, which I was not a fan of.  I knew I didn’t want to change the look of the wood, I wanted it to look as realistic and natural as possible.  I also wanted to keep the bark on the slices, which seems to make the process more difficult.  For days I was mulling over different methods to preserve wood…and then I happened to walk past a ‘deck sealer‘ at the store.  I decided the best method for me would be to dip the slices into this sealer, let them dry, and then glue them down to the plywood.

I got a bucket, some gloves, the sealer, a sheet of plastic, and my slices all together.  One by one by one by one I dipped the slices into the sealer, doing my best to get it in all of the nooks and crannies.  I then laid them out on the sheet of plastic to dry.  I picked the side that I liked better (based on appearance of cracks and the way the rings looked and other very scientific reasons for choosing one side over another) and made sure to keep that side up when drying on the plastic.  I let them dry over night.

After the slices were dry I got busy laying the slices out onto the sheet of plywood to create the look I was after.  Once I achieved my ideal look I used wood glue to adhere the slices to the board.

creating-the-ideal-headboard-overhang

I started at the top of the board and worked my way down.  Along the top and sides of the board I let the slices “hang” over the sides a bit.  I felt this would hide the plywood and bit and give it more of a wood pile feel.  The slices only go down far enough to stop at the mattress, well almost, would have loved  to go one more row; but I ran out of slices.  With the pillows you can’t tell anyway, so I am not worried about it.  If it bothers me later I can always add on more.

After letting the wood glue dry, and then after a few more days of it sitting there while I convinced both myself and my husband that it wouldn’t be that heavy.  We finally picked it up and hauled it upstairs.  I got it into position and it has been in place for over a year now.  and so far, so good!  None of the slices have fallen off and none of the cracks look bigger than they were at the beginning.  So I think I can say it was a successful creation!

creating-the-ideal-headboard-finished

Here’s the finished product in it’s place at the head of our bed!

I am super happy with it!

What do you all think of it?!

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