During a recent conversation with our social media manager, Rosie D’Argenzio, we both remarked how much we loved the work of Commune Design, especially the superchic look of the American Trade Hotel in Casco Antiguo in Panama. So when Rosie asked me to help her add some character to her new apartment I knew exactly where to look for ideas. Inspired by the hotel’s ingenious bench cushions that are laced to the wall with leather cord, I set about translating the design into this simple upholstered headboard project. Keep reading for my step-by-step guide to how I created this look in just an afternoon.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- Upholstery foam (I cut two pieces of 22″ x 30″ x 2″ each)
- 2 yards of fabric (woven fabric like cotton or linen works best)
- Wooden stretcher bars (four 22″ and four 30″ assembled to create two 22″ x 30″ wooden frames)
- A staple gun
- A drill and a screwdriver
- Screws and wall anchors
- 1″ wood screws
- 2 yards of inch-wide belt leather
- 3 yards of leather cord
Step 1: Cushion Construction
To begin, cut one yard of fabric so that you have a piece that is approximately 28″ x 36″, and lay it face down on a flat surface. Next, assemble your stretcher bars to create two 22″ x 30″ frames. The stretcher bars lock neatly together at the corners to form 90-degree angles without any tools, so assembling them into a frame is a piece of cake! Center one of the cut foam pieces on the fabric, and top it off with one of the assembled stretcher-bar frames.
Step 2: Fold the Fabric
Along each side, wrap the fabric neatly around the foam and the frame, and with your staple gun secure it to the wood on the back. I find that stapling the sides first and leaving the corners for last helps keep the fabric straight. To finish the corners, fold the fabric (as you would a bedsheet) and staple it in place.
Tip: You can always use a flat-head screwdriver to remove staples and reposition the fabric as needed.
Step 3: Trim the Excess
To ensure the cushion hangs flat against the wall, trim the excess fabric about one inch from the staples.
Step 4: Create the Loops
Using scissors, cut eight 6″ lengths of leather to form the loops that you’ll attach to the top of the headboard (four per side). Fold each length in half, and use a wood screw to attach it to the back of the headboard. Next, cut six 4″ lengths of leather for the wall (three per side). These loops are a little shorter because none of that length will be hidden behind the headboard. When hung, all the loops will appear to be the same size.
Step 5: Attach the Loops
To attach the loops to the wall, use a pencil and a tape measure to mark out the placement. Next, predrill the holes for the anchors, and insert them. To finish, attach the loops by screwing directly through the leather into the wall.
Step 6: Hang the Headboards
To attach the cushions to the wall, first knot a 5′ length of leather cord to the first of the leather loops on one of the cushions. Thread the cord through the first leather loop on the wall, then through the second cushion loop, alternating between the wall and cushion loops before reaching the final cushion loop and knotting it to finish. Repeat the process for the second cushion. Before you tie your final knot in the leather cord, you can easily adjust the position of the cushion on the wall. You’re done!
Before I attached the cushions, I decided to add a painted detail to the lower part of the wall. I like the way it adds another layer of interest to this simple headboard and helps to breaks up the large blank wall. To get started I masked off a straight line on the wall (60″ from the floor) using painter’s tape. I painted the lower part of the wall a light gray (Benjamin Moore Bunny Gray) and added an inch-thick strip of black (Benjamin Moore Onyx) to the top edge of the gray.
We’d love to see what you’re making! Share your weekend projects on Instagram using #WeekendDecorator, or follow @onekingslane to be sure you never miss a project.