Last night at midnight I finished transforming my (antique?) twin bed frames for the guest room. Now I finally feel like I’m really getting somewhere with the guest room makeover!
I got the beds in November, but this is real-time decorating, my friends. Decorating fit in amongst work, wedding planning, Etsy shop running, and too much business travel. This is also decorating that was fit in amongst the whims of the winter weather – which this year, thankfully, weren’t as bad as in years before.
Here’s how I got from the original, dusty and rusty frames that cluttered my parents’ basement to the current awesomeness:
First, Ryan helped me re-size the tall footboards, which would have made the very tiny room feel too cramped in their original size. Next up – sanding, filling scratches, priming, painting, and finally sealing. These steps caused the long delay in completion. The painting and poly sealing had to be done outside in moderate weather, and many weekends were spent hauling the frames out of the basement and into the yard for a few coats of paint or sealer. You can find the detailed painting process here.
At this point, the bed frames entered the guest room – but they weren’t ready for sleepovers just yet!
Some of the wooden side rails were pretty beat up, with large chunks of veneer broken off the visible sides. Even though I was painting and not staining, I didn’t think I could do a good job of patching the missing strips of veneer. Instead, I decided to upholster them with fabric – covering all the imperfections and adding a little extra awesomeness to the frames.
Here are the upholstery steps:
1. Cut strips of fabric that are 2 inches longer, and 3 inches taller, than the bed rails.
The chevron fabric I used was only 54″ wide, with the stripes going in that direction, so I had to sew two pieces together to make a long enough strip for the long rails. I matched up the patterns to make the seam less visible. To ensure I sewed in just the right spot, I first used iron-on hem tape to seal the seam together. Then followed up with the sewing machine.
2. Hem the edges, to prevent fraying and create durability, using iron-on hem tape. Just iron your crease, then slip some hem tape inside, and iron (with steam) again. Be sure to check the length before doing the final side hem, making sure that the strip is just long enough to cover the bed rail.
3. Wrap & staple the fabric to the bed rails. I held the strips in place with some painter’s tape, then stapled the top of the fabric to the inside top of the rail. Pulling the fabric taught but not crazy tight around the front and bottom of the rail, I then stapled the bottom to the inside (bottom) of the rail.
*I applied the staples about 1 inch apart, wanting to be sure the fabric was attached well. Also, I was careful to keep the chevron stripes lined up – I didn’t want them veering across at an angle!
The process took about 2 hours, and really went faster once I got the hang of “staple . . . line up . . . pull taught. . . . staple.”
Once I popped the mattresses in, you couldn’t see the inside rails where the staples were applied. Perfect!
I don’t have bed linens yet (unless you want to see the first sheets I ever slept on) and the light is horrible in these photos, but last night I was too excited about completing the project to wait and photograph them in good light.
Here’s a little detail: The beds have a slightly distressed paint job, because some of the edges showed through when i did the final stain job. It’s subtle enough that I liked it and kept it.
The yellow Dwell Studio pillows from my shop are just there so I can see how the warm gold color works with the dark teal of the chevron and the Tempaper accent wall. I like it, and can’t wait to sew some custom pillows and accessories for the space to bring in even more color and pattern. And then I need to find a light paint color for the yellowish-white walls.
Do you see that mid-century modern cabinet that’s serving as a night stand? I snagged that at Goodwill, and it’s probably going to become a two-toned piece, with white top and sides, and the nice wood face on the front.
So much to do, but I feel like the hardest, most time-intensive project is behind me. From here on out, it’s all about adding the fun stuff!
Do you like the patterned bed rails, or would you prefer a more solid look in your home? I’m stoked; the chevron fabric-upholstered sides really give the beds a custom look. And changing the look is as simple as pulling out the staples and wrapping them with new fabric.
Approximate Cost: $75 (fabric, paint, sealer, sanding sponges)
Approximate # Hardware Store Trips: 7
Approximate time to completion: 3 months, but who’s counting?
You know what? In my almost three years of home blogging, this is the first time I’ve painted a piece of furniture white. Can I get my “Official DIY Blogger” badge now?
***I am most definitely sharing this project over at Thrifty Decor Chick’s Spring Paint Party!!