Wallpaper Headboard

It is with great pride that I introduce my latest and greatest crafty achievement – the wallpaper headboard! Putting all other arts and craft failures aside – I did it!!!!! Or should I say we did it – I must admit I had great help from my willing partner (and all I had to do was buy him a new drill), oh and I must thank my brother who ‘routed’the legs (what ever that means?).

Using wallpaper on a headboard                                                             (Pictured above – Wallpaper Headboard – Please excuse the messy bedroom)

The idea was simple enough and I had been googling the concept for ages. But I was a little anxious about size, durability and price – how much was this going to cost? A trip to Placemakers sorted out the cost issue. A precut piece of MDF board 1800 wide x  600 tall was $44.00. 400 grams of wallpaper paste $15.00 (and we only used a quarter of it), 2 x slats (to be used as legs) $5 each. They were going to charge me $40 delivery but I managed to squeeze it into the back of my Ford Mondeo sedan. The next problem was to choose  the design. There are hundreds of wallpapers that I could of picked, but putting aside colour, I wanted a wallpaper that was going to last. This ruled out lightweight papers, and neutral colours. Eventually I choose a metallic paper which (because of the metallic properties) would be spongeable and durable. In this case it was UTOPIA – TEAL. I also thought this particular design  wasn’t so girly or floral so my partner surely couldn’t complain (think again!!!). I figured the headboard would take about 3 metres. WRONG, even though I deal with wallpapers everyday, in my excitement I forgot to take into account the pattern match. Ahh the waste :(. I ended up using 5 metres with several large offcuts (which I figured I could cut into squares and make a patchwork medley on the back of the headboard).

Originally I had wanted to use chipboard because of its lightweight properties but was told that chipboard would probably soak up the glue too much. The MDF was bad enough, I shudder to think what would have happened if we had used chipboard. If I was to make a headboard again, I would give the MDF a light paint or prime, as it used so much glue and it was a constant battle to get it to stick. The corners were another challenge. Before the glue was applied we had to cut the edges so that the wallpaper would just wrap around (imagine you are gift wrapping) the sides. Doing this before the wallpaper is soggy with glue is kind of critical – because it rips! We left the newly wallpapered MDF board overnight to dry out. The next day I went to a joiner in town to see if he could put some slits in the legs for me. I had wanted to drill corresponding holes into the headboard that would marry up with the bed, but my partner wisely explained about ‘levelness’ or some such thing and suggested we just get slits made in the headboard legs. The next day a trip to a local joiner proved successful, he cut some lines into the legs for free! When I got home my partner pointed out that they weren’t wide enough. A word to the wise, take the bed attachment with you for accuracy (kind of simple really). In the end my brother routed the lines out for me in five minutes, but I think any joiner would do it for you for a few dollars as it is a very quick process. For extra strength we used liquid nails on the back before screwing the legs to the back of the headboard. Actually, at this stage I must add a footnote, in his exurberance my partner glued and screwed the legs  in the wrong place and we had to pull it apart the next day and re-do it. The Laurel and Hardy of the craft world – but we got there in the end – the headboard looks great!


1 x sheet MDF = $44

100 grams of wallpaper past = $4

5 x metres of wallpaper (Available from http://www.theinside.co.nz) = $55.40

2 x slat legs $5

TOTAL = $108.40

(I haven’t counted ‘liquid nails’as we had it at home already or lacquer as we are not using it with this wallpaper design).

This blog was posted 18/8/2011 – tune back later for an update on how the headboard has actually lasted.


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