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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Faux Headboard in Five

After 12 years of apartment living I can confidently say that the most frustrating part is my never-ending desire to buy permanent furnishings, which constantly struggles with the little guy in my ear reminding me that the price of buying nice, new furniture will not be worth it when I decide to abandon my dwelling and travel the world.

Ok, I understand that maybe traveling the world is a lofty goal.  And that really I refuse to buy furniture because I am afraid that if I buy some I will have made some sort of undeniable commitment to this place which is, at times, the most beautiful place on the planet, and, at times, is a cold, wet, dark isolated place that I detest (hey, it can't be perfect all the time).

So, how do I resolve these life decisions?  By putting them off.  I simply fake my furniture until such a time comes that I break down and buy an Ikea shipment that is twice as much because all the shipping it costs to send to the middle of nowhere, or just buy something from the local stores which is outdated and tacky.

How can a person fake furniture?  With fabric and scissors!  So fun.  Keep reading after the jump to see my solution for an apartment-worthy, cheap and easy headboard that won't break the bank!

I learned this trick when creating sets for theatre 10 years ago.  On stage we used wheat paste and muslin to seam together flats to create walls and the like.  Wheat paste is a gooey mess and takes a lot to mix properly, but luckily you can get the same results from liquid starch which is pre-mixed and has a nice smooth texture.  Whew.
Basically, all you have to do to create a headboard similar to mine, or to paste any fun shape temporarily to your wall, is to cut the shape out of your pre-washed fabric.  Then dip the fabric into the liquid starch.  Find the starch in your grocery store - the stuff I found was in a large blue bottle.  Make sure you cover the area below where you are pasting your fabric.  When you dip the fabric make sure to saturate both sides.  Once it's dipped you might want to gently squeeze the excess liquid off the fabric before you apply it to the wall.
Now stick it to the wall.  This will work on even or bumpy surfaces which is nice because those cool wall stickers they sell only work on smooth surfaces (I found that out the hard way- and apt. walls are never smooth!).  While you apply the fabric run over the top with a hand dampened with starch.  Make sure that the entirety of the fabric has been soaked in starch to get even attachment.  Once applied, let the applique dry and you are all set!!

The VERY BEST PART of this trick is that when you're done just peel it off the wall.  It shouldn't leave anything on the wall at all!  If anything you may need to wipe down the wall with a damp cloth to clean off all the starch.  TOTALLY BRILLIANT.  I want to see all your faux furniture next!!


  1. What a cute and simple idea! I have a bamboo shade hanging on my wall behind my bed and I've stuck post cards and photos in it - it's also temporary but not quite as creative as this.

  2. Oh! Love that idea! Mine turned out a little bit fairy princess bedroom which the Cap'n is a bit offput by, but, whatever works!

  3. This is such a great idea. I think I will use old charts!


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