Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The Artist's Headboard - Rental friendly, real velour

When i moved out of my last apartment after several years of tenancy (i don't. do. moving.), the wall behind my bed was looking worse for wear. While repainting the entire apartment more than addressed the problem, i vowed to class it up at the next place.

But when you're renting, and your bed frame is a two-piece ensemble, how do you make a headboard work without damaging the wall? Like most renters, i just went crazy with Velcro command strips!

Command strips are pretty great; They generally remove without taking paint with them, and the foamy thickness provides good shock absorption. But they're pretty terrible with holding weight for any sustained period of time in the Australian summer (i've lost multiple arts that way!). To have them stay put, they need to be carrying as little weight as possible.

Luckily, my local dollar store has a range of horribly cheap art canvases, made of wood so light that they would buckle under the tension caused by actually touching them with paint. But i'm not here to make pretty pictures.

The natural springiness of a canvas is good news for careless, sleeping me, but the frame could be a bit softer around the edges. I wrapped each canvas in this fluffy, felty sheet thing i bought from a fabric/craft shop. It'll soften them up, and fill the gaps when i jam them against each other on the wall. I made up a whole bunch, using my stapler.

Next up, i wrapped each one in a layer of fabric. I took an age to choose an appropriate candidate material, but i settled on this crazy, leathery, plum velour. I have no idea what it is exactly, but it lets you make hand prints in it. I can actually neaten up my headboard by brushing it!

Instead of installing each square  separately with command strips, i decided to connect them into two groups of five (two top, three bottom, and the other one alternating) using these badarse nail-plates from the hardware store.

This let me get much tighter, neater joints between the individual panels, and vastly cut back on the number of strips required. The vertical load of the assembled unit is also partially carried by the wall sockets it's lined up on.

After two years, it's still going strong, and after peeking behind the Velcro the wall still looks good as new. Sumptuous velour, rental friendly, and cheap as chips!

I've also used these canvasses as speaker covers for my Ikea Expedit!

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