DIY: Headboard and Cowhide Upholstery

My mom always laughs at the term “Jersey cowboys” but just like Brantley Gilbert’s “Country Must Be County Wide” I’ve been a country girl for as long as I can remember. I grew up as a horseback rider in the seaside suburbs of the Jersey Shore – a place that’s more famous for it’s spray tans than it’s own slogan “the Garden State” these days! Even after years living in Manhattan and San Francisco, I was never more than a 45 minute drive to the country – and I’ve brought my American country roots with me to Norway!

Naturally, I saw a large amount of cowhide print microfiber fabric on sale online, and I knew I needed to bring it into my home! I ordered it to my parents house and in NJ due to shipping restrictions and they sent it to me (thanks!).

First on the new home decor agenda was a headboard! I feel like a headboard is the hairstyle of a bedroom. The problem with living in Norway is that the cheapest and simplest king size (180cm) headboard you can even find will run you about 1800nok ($230usd), not including shipping, any attachments, legs, etc. But, luckily, on one of my daily trips to all of the local homegoods shops, I found a stack of headboards in the back of the store that had been on sale… trying to avoid the awkwardness of using my mediocre Norwegian I nudged Rasmus and said “Ask the guy how much he’ll take for this one!” Rasmus was embarrassed by my thriftiness around an already reduced item! But, he asked the employee and the man said “Well, actually the sale is over on these floor models and this one is discontinued. You can have it for 300nok ($35usd).” Boom! If there’s one thing I learned from working in retail for 10+ years, it’s that there is always a deal to be found, it’s all about timing!

I was so excited about this. Rasmus’s dad helped us pick it up, we had to borrow a little trailer and his car could pull it. When we got home I was so pleased with our find, but it was a bit low to the ground! We searched around online for headboard legs but apparently in Norway the headboards often just sit on the ground. Well, I wanted it higher so we found some slats of wood that were being thrown out (our housing community is getting 11 new buildings so there are always excess materials in the trash), cut them, drilled two holes in each, and drove them through the base of the headboard fastening them with washers and fasteners. Just like that we had a beautiful & tall headboard!

One thing was missing though. My country flair. So, I rolled out that beautiful palomino cowhide I had ordered onto the floor and Rasmus and I took turns staple gunning it into the back of the headboard! Voila! A perfect, custom, headboard at a DIY price!

Here are photos of the headboard progression (design of the rest of the bedroom is still a work in progress!):

While we were at it we realized we had enough cowhide fabric to cover our entry bench as well! The entry to a home should set the tone for the entire home, so I’m glad we have the cowhide right up front as well!

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