Headboard Slipcover Tutorial

That's right, kids. It's a Twofer Tuesday here at Spoolhardy Girl!
Yes, thank you, I am aware that it is Wednesday. Why do you ask?
Anyway, I figured since I've been so embarrassingly remiss in getting my headboard slipcover tutorial posted, AND because I have so many new followers, thanks to the Let's Get Acquainted  blog hop, (HI! And WELCOME to you all!) that I would give you a little something extra for waiting so patiently.
So, first off the (cue the music) TUTORIAL!

I have to give just a wee bit of background on this before I start. My husband and I (and two kids and a dog) moved into this house thirteen years ago.  I can't believe it because it still feels like my "new" house.  When we built it, I swore I would never leave. I told my husband, this is the house I want to be in when the children start to worry about us getting too old to live in "that" house.  Actually, what I said was, "They will have to bring me out of here in a pine box!" I love our house.
Having said that, after thirteen years, the decor is getting a bit tired.  Honestly, it was tired after ten years, now it's exhausted. But I wasn't quite sure how I wanted to tackle the changes I wanted to make.

Then I learned to quilt.
Then I started getting some big ideas.
Then Sweetwater came out with Reunion.
Need I say more? Yes? Oh. Well, then, read on.

I figured the guest room was the best place to start because I could be stealthy about the changes I was making and nobody would have big opinions on what I was doing because nobody really cared about the guest room. I'm a genius like that.
First I smushed the two twin beds together, to make a California king

That's a Mighty Big Bed!
Then I  made Fiona The Ogre Princess
That's a mighty big quilt!

And while she was out getting quilted, I made the bedskirt,

and some pillows.

And, finally I made the slipcovers for the headboard.
Here is how I did it:
First, I measured the dimensions of my head board.  Actually, since I have pushed two twins together (and put California King sized bedding on them to make one bed), I have two headboards, so I made two separate slips. This tutorial is for one head board.

Supplies Needed
Sufficient fabric, according to your own measurements.
Fusible Interfacing (Pellon ShapeFlex 101)
Piping (Wrights 3/8" cotton piping)


1) Cut two pieces of fabric that measure 1" larger than the measurements that you took. These will be the front and back panels of your slipcover. My measurements were 39 1/2" X 29 1/2". Onto the wrong side of the fabrics, iron on a same sized piece of fusible interfacing. I used Pellon Shape Flex 101.

2) Next measure the width of your headboard and add 1". This number will be the width of the next piece you will cut.

You can see here that my headboards are covered in batting and muslin.
There are a bunch of really great tutorials on how to cover a headboard. Just google it!

3)Measure the length of the two sides and the length across the top of your headboard. Add these numbers together and this will be the length of the next piece you will cut. You will probably have to cut two pieces X width of fabric and piece them together. My piece was 3" X 76 1/2".  Iron on fusible interfacing to cover all of wrong side of this piece as well.

4) (Do you like piping? I LOVE piping! I think it is a small thing to add to a project that really packs a punch. If you don't like piping, it's OK.  Really. Just skip this step and Step 5.)
Using the measurement of the length and two sides of your headboard that you took in Step 3, cut bias strips of contrasting fabric that are 1 1/2" wide and piece together. Make sure you end up with a piece that is just a bit longer than what the measurement requires, to give yourself a little wiggle room. This gets pieced just they way you would if you were making binding for a quilt. DO THIS TWICE.

*I know. I said you have to cut on the bias. You do. You MUST. I INSIST you cut these pieces on the bias. It's tough love, but you'll thank me later. If you need a tutorial, like I do, watch this one from my friend Gene Black. I refer to it EVERY time I have to bias cut.
See? There's Gene, on my cutting table, showing me how to cut bias strips

See, now that wasn't so bad, right?

Step 5) Take your piping and measure a 2 pieces that are a bit longer than your pieced bias strips.

Step 6) Wrap your bias strip around your piece of piping so that the raw edges meet and your piping is securely tucked in.
CAUTION! Make sure that you are sewing WRONG sides together
at this point, and that your seams are hidden inside the piping pocket.
Don't ask me why I'm telling you this. I just am.

Sew bias strip together using your zipper foot. Congratulations! You just made piping! I don't know why, but I was so excited the first time I did this. I felt like a whole knew embellished world had just opened up to me.
Do this for both pieces of piping.
Now for the fun part!

Step 7) Place your piping down on one of your fabric panels right sides and raw edges together. Sew the piping to the panel using your zipper foot again. I found that pins were more of a hinderance  at this point, but if they help you, then knock yourself out and pin away.
A few inches before you get to a corner, stop and cut a few snips from your seam allowance to help your fabric ease around the edge.
I know. There's a pin, and I just told you I didn't use pins.
I did use them, but I don't feel like they helped, so I wouldn't use them again.

See how nicely the piping went around the corner of my fabric? That's because of bias cutting. YAY!

How're we doing so far? Still with me? OK! Onward and upward!

Step 8) Take the long narrow strip of interfaced fabric and sew it, right sides and edges together, allll around the edge of the panel onto which you just sewed the piping. You'll want your zipper foot again. You will really have to make sure that foot is smushed up against the fabric strip and the piping underneath it. WHATCH YOUR FINGERS!  Again, snip the seam allowance when you get to a corner. (I am so sorry, I don't have a picture of this step. I think I was concentrating so hard on keeping all the layers of fabric under the needle, and my fingers not under the needle that I forgot.)

Step 9) Now you sew the second piece of piping onto the raw edge of the fabric. Do this the same way you did the first piece. Don't forget to snip the corners!

Step 10) Woo Hoo! Almost home! Finally, sew on the back fabric panel
Right sides and edges together. Snip seam allowances as you
round the corners.
And that is pretty much it, kids! Try it on your headboard for size, and snip off any excess bits hanging off the bottom and you have yourself a pretty spiffy deluxe headboard slipcover!

Here is my finished "Reunion" room.

Well, almost finished. I think that table really wants to be red. I want to make one more pillow (a cathedral window), and I sorta think the room wants to be painted too. Don't tell Mr. Wonderful. He'll have a stroke!
Is there anyone left out there? If so, here are the details on the giveaway:
The winner will receive a charm pack of Kates Spade's "Flurry". That is her last year's Christmas fabric, so it is practically vintage!

For one entry, just leave me a comment.
For another entry, Tweet or Facebook the post and let me know you did.
For another entry, write me a funny limerick. If you do this, you will not only get a better shot at winning, you will have my undying respect, as I truly believe that limericks are among the highest of art forms.
Entries close on Sunday, August 5. Winner will be picked Monday morning, August 6.

So, that's that. My first ever tutorial. I don't know about you, but I am exhausted! Please let me know if you have any questions. I tried to be as clear as possible, but sometimes my brain thinks differently than other, more evolved brains.


1 comment:

  1. Fantastic work, the headboard looks amazing. I'm going to have to try this on my plain old headboard. Thanks for posting!