Best laid plans will *always* have a few hiccups. This is not to say that things will not get done and turn out fabulously, but I find that as long as you go into a task with the attitude that the unexpected might happen and you can overcome obstacles, the whole project will be much less stressful and you’ll be happier in the end.
I generally consider my husband’s free time to be golden. Even though he’s not on a ship currently, he still works 10-12 hour days. He’s such a hard worker, he just can’t settle for a half-way job even if these are supposed to be his “easy” years. Thus, I figured I’d be helpful and get all of our headboard supplies on my own time so he wouldn’t have to fuss with the shopping and would only be tasked with the carpentry side of my project. If only.
We have a simple metal frame for our queen-sized guest bed. Our plan is to basically have plywood measuring 62″x39″ with 1×3 boards as a frame. 62″ will make the headboard a smidge wider than the bed so the support structures aren’t as noticeable, and it will make our beautiful new headboard a little more prevalent. 39″ will give us about a half of a foot above the pillows for the headboard to be visible without coming too high that I would otherwise have to rehang a print I have up on the wall. The 1x3s serve dual purposes. 1) They will provide more of a lip to which I can attach the fabric and batting and 2) my plywood “piece” will actually be cut as two 31″x39″ pieces so that it will fit into my car safely — thus the frame serves a structural purpose as well. Additionally, there will be an extra 1×3 laying horizontally across the middle of the headboard to which the vertical posts can attach. The headboard will then both rest on the metal frame and also be bolted to the frame for additional support. Here’s a schematic of what I had in mind:
If you are really in the know about these things, you will have noticed a slight discrepancy in what I was just typing and this layout here. Me being the silly wife that I am, I *assumed* that the folks who create wood had a rational reason for calling the boards 1x3s (or 2x4s or whatever the size). It would have made perfect sense to me that those numbers corresponded with actual units of measure. NOPE! Fortunately, it’s not off by too much (about 1/4″-1/2″ difference), and this is one obstacle more easily overcome. When my husband makes the frame there will just be a few small gaps around the frame, but he’s assured me this will not matter in the long run. In the future, I will consult the internet on lumber dimensions ahead of time. Thankfully, there are handy websites like this one: Lumber Dimensions. I’m choosing to ignore the fact that the website itself is called “MI Stupid.” Or maybe I’ll just take comfort in the fact that I’m not the only “stupid” person who has made this assumption about lumber in the past…
If this were the only problem with my lumber purchase, all would have been merry and well, because as my husband noted, the 1×3 error is easily overcome. No, no. As I got ready for my husband to be my Carpenter in Chief, I came to the realization that my beautiful plywood pieces were not the 31″x39″ pieces of which I had dreamt. They were, in fact, 31″x30″. This does not work for me. This would make my headboard 9″ shorter than I had imagined, and thus, not visible above the pillows on the bed. How silly! Thankfully, a call into a manager at Lowe’s, and we were permitted to return the cut wood to get the proper size. This error, afterall, was not my fault. I had the dimensions written down for their employee to cut — he just miscut the wood. So much for saving my husband’s golden time. A trip to town was necessitated. No worries, though, he was compensated with a trip to his favorite coffee shop. 😉
This time around, the wood was cut perfectly, and we also picked up some work gloves. If you’re doing a project like this, we definitely recommend the work gloves. Splinters would abound otherwise and would not make for a very happy carpenter. When we finally got home, my husband set to work sanding all of the pieces (nobody wants splinters in their heads, either, when they are sleeping!), drilling holes through the boards, and screwing the pieces together.
Above, you can see my husband sanding at our “work bench.” It consists of two of my Christmas storage boxes with some tarp laid over it to keep the sawdust out of my decór. When you move as much as we do, you don’t have room for real work benches, so why not make use of everything else in your garage?? Here’s another one of him finishing up the frame:
Once he finished it all up, we moved it inside for me to work on later with my upholstering. It might not seem very big, but trust me, it’s HEAVY and bulky to boot. I probably could have gotten it inside on my own, but it would have been much more of a task for me than my personal handyman. So, for now, here is how it will sit in my kitchen:
The chairs serve a very important purpose: they keep my munchkin’s curious fingers away! Even though it’s been sanded, she is into everything, and I figure it’s better to sacrifice a few chairs for a day than to have her trying her hardest to work some splinters into her tiny fingers. In the next day, I’ll work on the upholstering with the help of a neighbor. In the meantime, I can do a happy dance that my headboard is *that* much closer to actually being assembled and beautiful upstairs!