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Project

Slipcovered Headboard

Introduction

A simple fabric cover refinishes an old wooden headboard (and footboard) without requiring any scraping, sanding, or painting. Choose heavyweight fabric for this project; it works like instant upholstery, softening the lines of the wooden form underneath.

Materials

  • Heavyweight fabric
  • Headboard
  • Sewing kit

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Make a kraft paper pattern by tracing the headboard (add 1/2 inch to the top for seam allowance and 3/4 inch to the sides and bottom for hems).

  2. Step 2

    To accommodate the headboard's thickness, cut a strip of fabric the length and thickness of the top of the headboard. Add 1/2 inch to each long side for a seam allowance and 3/4 inch to the ends for hems.

  3. Step 3

    With right sides facing, pin the front panel to one edge of the strip. Sew, using a half-inch seam allowance. Repeat with the back panel and the other edge of the strip. Press seams open.

  4. Step 4

    Hem the perimeter of the entire slipcover: Turn under 1/4 inch, and press; turn under again 1/2 inch, and press. Then stitch along the entire perimeter.

  5. Step 5

    You will need to make eight tie tabs for one headboard. For each tab, cut a strip of fabric 9 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide. Fold the strip in half lengthwise, with right sides facing, and press.

  6. Step 6

    Using a 1/4-inch seam allowance, make a fabric "tube" by sewing along the entire length and along one short edge of the strip.

  7. Step 7

    Trim the seams, and turn the tube right side out (a chopstick can help you with this task). Press.

  8. Step 8

    Pin the unfinished edges of the upper and lower sets of tie tabs to desired locations on the slipcover. Sew the tabs to the cover, turning under the raw edges before sewing; drape the slipcover over the headboard, and tie the tabs together.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, June 1998

Reviews (10)

  • JoanMar 31 Jan, 2013

    I like this idea for my old 1970s bed. I would use 1-inch grosgrain ribbons for the ties however. I would maybe use two different complementary or coordinating fabrics for the front and back of cover so they could be switched for a change. Or if you are really ambitious, you could line the entire cover with 2 more different fabrics to make it reversible for 4 different looks.

  • SalahDecor 4 Nov, 2010

    Nice slipcover! I think using these types of covers are he best way to customize <a href="http://headboardboutique.com">bed headboards</a> with minimal effort.

  • yuan88gggmail 17 Sep, 2010

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  • yuan88gggmail 15 Sep, 2010

    great product

  • PeakMom 14 Sep, 2010

    Look to garage sales

  • PeakMom 14 Sep, 2010

    Old tablecloths (they wash so well) or even wide curtain panels are perfect for this project! They come in so many sizes, colors

  • lilyoake 21 Jul, 2008

    I am a really big fan of slip covers. I have made simple slip covers for most my furniture; essential when one has 6 pets and a messy boyfriend! I machine wash all my fabrics first so there is no danger of shrinkage later on. My most recent slip cover is a blue and white seersucker tailored cover for my chaise lounge. It is fresh and clean and easy to wash/dry - and seersucker is reversible so it is easier to work with for people like me who don't sew much.
    LilyOake

  • Lits 25 Jan, 2008

    I think this idea--on a smaller scale--could work for dressing up dining room chairs as well.

  • geminiqueen 10 Jan, 2008

    I have the ugliest bedroom furniture. It's very 80's with veneer and plastic doors. This is perfect for helping disguise it.

  • erinsegreto 18 Nov, 2007

    Looks interesting. I have an antique headboard that needs dressing up. I think this is a lovely idea to give it new life.