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A Vintage Tablecloth Covered Headboard

Hi friends! Can you believe where the week went?!!

I just blinked and it was *poof* – Friday.

You know how I mentioned cleaning out all the photos on your computer the other day as part of getting organized in the new year? Well I spent some time doing that myself, and came across tons of things I’ve been meaning to share with you here.

Yesterday I wrote about how I converted two twin beds to a king for my daughter and today I’m back with a quick idea for an upholstered headboard:  using a tablecloth to cover it. 

I was looking for something special for Hannah’s headboard…..a fabric that was white but maybe with a subtle little pattern on it. You know how you get something stuck in your head, and then you can’t find what you’re looking for anywhere???

 I shopped around forever, and then one day I was setting my dining room table and came across an Irish linen tablecloth we had been given for our wedding from my aunt. SO sadly, it had been eaten by moths in our last house (the very reason we had a cedar closet installed when we finished our basement in this house.)  

My beautiful tablecloth had a bunch holes in it and if I ever learned to sew I always thought I would cut it up and make it into napkins. 

WELL – it struck me that the beautiful, very subtle, delicate pattern on it would be perfect in Hannah’s room!

So……I built a headboard out of 1×4 lumber, cut on my miter saw and screwed together, with a piece in the middle for support (I intended to add another support but I cut it too short. Oh well!)  This is so easy to build, and if you aren’t comfortable with a saw, just bring your measurements and ask the guys at the lumberyard to cut it for you!

On the top I nailed scrap pieces of plywood 

(nothing fancy, the ply doesn’t even cover the entire frame but it doesn’t matter because the bottom is behind the mattress anyway.)

I ironed the tablecloth,  spread it out on the floor then strategically layed batting on top of it (avoiding  the moth holes), placed the headboard frame on top of it, and then trimmed the batting and tablecloth about 6″ all the way around – enough that I could pull it over to the back of the 1×4 frame to staple.

After it was trimmed, I pulled the batting and tablecloth over and started stapling, first in the middle of the long ends, then the sides of the long ends, and then the short sides. I periodically peeked at the other side to make sure the pattern was straight.

What I learned:  a finely weaved fabric like this doesn’t like being told what to do. It was impossible to keep the pattern straight because pulling it taut made it funky. After a while I just starting embracing that it wasn’t going to be perfect. The funny thing is that once the headboard was installed, you would never notice that it wasn’t completely straight.

It’s really hard to capture the detail but there are flowers, leaves and vines all in a very understated pattern that is so feminine and pretty.

The headboard is low, so that it could fit under the existing bulletin board, but it’s just high enough to make sitting up in bed comfortable.

Initially I just rested the headboard on top of the platform of the bed, but it did move a bit so I finally got around to hanging it with one of these French cleat hangers that I love for heavy things. I mounted the headboard in our master bedroom and a couple heavy mirrors with these hangers too.

I love how a big dose of white visually balances the bright wall color and all of Hannah’s STUFF. Hannah and I have plans to use some colorful fabric in perhaps the form of a lumbar pillow.

A tablecloth is a great source of fabric for covering a headboard because it doesn’t have any seams and you can often find a large one for a great price! (Think Tarjay or Homegoods.)  

Vintage tablecloths can be found at antique and consignment stores, flea markets, thrift stores, or at your mom’s or grandma’s 🙂

I am so happy to use this lovely gift we got for our wedding, and some day if we change out the fabric on this headboard maybe I will have learned to sew and this fabric will have new life once again as napkins!

Wising you a wonderful weekend ahead!


Linking to the wonderful bloggers at….

How To Convert Two Twin Beds To A King
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Monday 10th of May 2021

Nice! How long was the cleat used to hang the headboard? 12" or 18"?

Mary K.- The Boondocks Blog

Friday 15th of January 2016

What a great idea, to use a tablecloth as a headboard. Any why not, tablecloths are gorgeous and you've got plenty of fabric! A wonderful repurpose.

Robin Johnson

Friday 15th of January 2016

Looks great. What a great idea.

Vel Criste

Wednesday 13th of January 2016

LOVE it Lisa! I have a tablecloth from Dwell Studio Target that 'm dying to use for something similar, the question is, where do I put it?! Awesome job my friend!

Kris Jarrett

Saturday 9th of January 2016

Hannah's room is so awesome! I used a tablecloth with Lindseys headboard too - it's a great way to have no seams since you can get one wider than a standard fabric roll (and it's cheap!). Have a wonderful weekend Lisa!!