I leaned heavily on the tutorial over at Little Green Notebook, which suggests using a large sheet of pegboard as the base. It's a pretty genius idea, but my husband and I both drive tiny cars and there is no way something that large was going to fit. (Sidebar: Tiny cars are the best! Mine gets great gas mileage and I can squeeze into the narrowest parking spaces.) So I decided to go big and build a proper frame. I even drew up a sketch with measurements for our queen sized bed.
When Brian and I went to the hardware store, we had no idea what kinds of screws to use to hold this all together, but the employee who helped us was super nice. I think it helped that we were totally upfront with about how completely over our heads we were and the three of us had a good laugh. He told us many people come in with a vague idea but no diagram, so we were already off to a good start! He suggested we use these corner brackets to hold the frame together, and it worked like a charm.
Brian showed me how to use the drill, and I took over from there. Within a couple of hours, I had put this together:
Next, I plotted out where I wanted to put the tufts (using my fabric covered buttons) on the front of the board using chalk, and then transferred the markings to the backside of the board.
Next, I attached 2" foam from Joann's using spray glue. The foam is one of the most expensive components, so I waited until it was on sale and I had one of those 15% off your entire purchase coupons. Also, I recommend getting medium or heavywight bonding spray glue. I was feeling cheap and bought the less expensive lightweight bonding can, but it wasn't strong enough and the foam fell off within a couple of hours.
After that dried, I put down a layer of high loft quilting batting, and then the fabric on top. I used 2 yards of Beige linen from Gray Lines Linen's Warsa Line. It is the linen used in the Little Green Notebook tutorial, and they even sent an adorable hand-written packing slip. According to the tutorial, you thread a needle with heavy-duty thread, push it through from the backside, add a button, push the needle and thread back through the foam, pull as taut as you can, and staple gun the whole thing in place.
This is about the point where I ran into some serious problems. The upholstery needles I bought were maybe 1 1/2" long, and so I was having a hard time pushing through the foam at a straight angle. Additionally, the thread I was using was too thin for the staples to catch. I wish I had taken a picture, but basically the buttons were just sitting on top of the fabric in a wobbly line. It looked like a drunk person had been working on it. And at that point I was so frustrated I could have used a drink.
Before I resigned myself to submitting this to CraftFail, I made an emergency trip to Hancock Fabric, where I bought thicker embroidery thread (in retrospect I wish I had bought something more akin to twine) and 5" needles meant for making dolls.
These things totally saved the day! I still had to make sure everything was lining up, but it was looking much better. By the end of weekend two, I had gotten this far:
Starting from the center and working outwards, I just kept chugging along. The buttons kept coming apart as I was pulling the thread taut, so I eventually just gave up and glue-gunned them on at the end. When I was finished, I pulled the edges of the fabric taut and staple gunned it in place from the back, then trimmed the excess fabric.
And from the front:
And its new home in my bedroom!
I got the comforter on sale from West Elm pretty recently, but the room still seemed a little bare, which is what started this whole crazy thing.
All told, I'd say I put in about $100 in materials and 25 hours in time. I'm not sure I want to build any more furniture any time soon, but I'm happy with out it came out. I'm excited to wrap this up and move on to Karen of Did You Make That's Pyjama Party.